The Time Travelers (1976)

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The Time Travelers (1976)

Post  BoG on Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:29 pm


From IRWIN ALLEN stars SAM GROOM * TOM HALLICK and RICHARD BASEHART

I did see this about a decade ago; it might have been replayed on The Sci-Fi Channel and that's when I caught it, but I'm not sure. It's not very memorable and its weakness is that it simply rehashes the Time Tunnel concept from the sixties. No surprise - this is Irwin Allen's brainchild once again - but the style is more mundane. Rod Serling had a hand in the story.

Choosing a more exciting locale than old Chicago, 1871, might have helped matters. I find it odd that a cure for some disease was found way back then, according to the plot, and never again in the next hundred years. This was a pilot for a TV series that didn't pan out.
Then I found out that this film was on disc, in the 2nd volume of the Time Tunnel DVD set. So I checked it out again the other day. It was a bit better than I recalled. The whole set-up of the new time travel experiment was much more small scale than the Time Tunnel series and I wasn't really clear on the process - the two heroes begin to walk down some stairs, some light FX and they appear on some crowded stairs in old Chicago - but it was fairly interesting, if slow paced.
The element of tension is added when the typical mess up by computer happens; the heroes arrive just one day before the start of the infamous Great Chicago Fire - they expected to have 4 days. Basehart hams it up as a 19th century doctor - Dr. Henderson, the key to the cure - and Booth Colman plays the modern day scientist in charge of the time travel. Groom's character sort of falls for Henderson's daughter (lovely Trish Stewart). There's stock footage of the big fire. BoG's Score: 5 out of 10
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