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TV pilot review by David Blackwell

THE TIME TUNNEL was an exceptional time travel series that lasted for one season in the 1960s. The revival of the series caused two networks (ABC and FOX) to battle over the rights to make a new series pilot. This reimagining of the Irwin Allen series stars David Conrad as Department Of Energy Agent Doug Pillips and Andrea Roth as scientist Toni Newman. This new version of THE TIME TUNNEL is superior to the original with a new take on the mission of the tunnel and allowing time for characterization in this 51 minute pilot. A rip in time has been caused by the U.S. government's experiment in nuclear fusion and a variety of time anomalies were caused throughout time during 240 minutes (or known as the 240). The scientists at the project were protected by the changes caused by the 240 and their mission is to correct the time anomalies that affect history. Doug is recruited by the Time Tunnel project to do back to the Battle of the Huertgen Forest in 1944 on the border of Germany and Belgium to find a man displaced from the 16th century.

This expertly directed pilot (from Todd Holland, director of three episodes of Wonderfalls and various other TV shows) is an experience within itself. The World War II battle footage is as good as anything you see on Band Of Brothers. The special effects are also equally impressive for this fast paced pilot. 

It was a shame FOX didn't pick it up as a series, but I think the show would have had a better chance on the Sci-Fi Channel. Sci-Fi shows usually don't have much success on FOX except for The X-Files. I just think passing on this new version of THE TIME TUNNEL was a big missed chance for a great time travel show. Everything in the show is different because we start out with a world that has 49 states in the USA (instead of 50) and red means go (and green is stop). I liked how changes in time have ramifications that reach out to the present and the team can only go where time storms exist. Just like so many pilots, this one had a chance to be a great sci-fi series in the tradition of the new Battlestar Galactica series. I just hope FOX can include this fascinating pilot as an extra for Volume 2 of the original series coming to DVD this summer.

this review is (c)2-22-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com