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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE TIME TUNNEL Volume One

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 765 minutes (15 episodes on four double sided discs), unaired extended pilot, Behind the Scenes Home Movies, Visual FX Camera Test, 5 Still Galleries, Promotional TV and radio spots

STUDIO: FOX

RELEASE DATE: 1-24-2006

DISC 1, SIDE A- RENDEZVOUS WITH YESTERDAY, ONE WAY TO THE MOON, END OF THE WORLD

DISC 1, SIDE B- RENDEZVOUS WITH YESTERDAY (Unaired extended version), Irwin Allen's Behind-The-Scenes Home Movies

DISC 2, SIDE A- THE DAY THE SKY FELL IN, THE LAST PATROL

DISC 2, SIDE B- CRACK OF DOOM, REVENGE OF THE GODS

DISC 3, SIDE A- MASSACRE, DEVIL'S ISLAND

DISC 3, SIDE B- REIGN OF TERROR, SECRET WEAPON, Promo TV and Radio spots

DISC 4, SIDE A- THE DEATH TRAP, THE ALAMO

DISC 4, SIDE B- NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES, INVASION, Visual FX Camera Test, 5 still galleries

THE TIME TUNNEL is a series I've heard about for years until I finally started watching in on the Encore Action channel last year. As 1960s sci-fi shows go, THE TIME TUNNEL is one of the very best and even blows some of today's sci-fi shows out of the water. This show was one of several that Irwin Allen created during the 1960s (LOST IN SPACE, LAND OF THE GIANTS, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA were the others). Before it decided to descend deeper into sci-fi and fantasy trappings in the second half of the show's one and only season, THE TIME TUNNEL managed to create entertaining stories wrapped up in a different time period in history. Even certain time travel elements like fear of Paradox (THE DAY THE SKY FELL IN) and Time Warp (CRACK OF DOOM) come into play. I enjoyed the adventures of Tony Newman (James Darren) and Doug Phillips (Robert Colbert)as they sent through time as the personnel back at the Time Tunnel complex try to bring them back to the present. The unaired extended pilot is the one that is usually shown on the Encore Action channel instead of the aired version. Volume One covers the first fifteen episodes released in 1966 from September 9th to December 23rd.

VIDEO: 1.33:1 (Full Frame)

Colors and shadow values capture the way THE TIME TUNNEL looks on the Encore Action channel. Dirt and other print damage show through. Video noise is evident at times. So I suspect they have used the same prints used for Encore Action channel.

AUDIO: English 2.0 Mono, Spanish 2.0 Mono, French 2.0 Mono

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Dialogue, music, and other sounds come in nicely. Easy to hear and better than the video.

SPECIAL FEATURES: FOX really tried with this release and provided a wealth of extras for Volume One of THE TIME TUNNEL. Side B of DISC 1 has the unaired extended version of the pilot episode and over 50 minutes of Irwin Allen's Behind-The-Scenes Home Movies. The home movies have no audio track, but it might have been nice to have some type of audio commentary track recorded for the several home movies you can play each by their own or all together.

Side B of DISC 3 has three Network TV trailers, Network TV titles, a Promo TV spot, the original Promo spot for syndication, and three radio spots for the show (with James Darren).

Finally, Side B of DISC 4 has 5 still galleries and a Visual FX Camera Test of the Time Tunnel (with no audio and it runs about 1 1/2 minutes). The packaging says there are 4 still galleries, but five are included: CONCEPT ART, PRODUCTION AND BEHIND-THE-SCENES photos, MERCHANDISE, COMIC BOOK, and STORYBOARDS. I could see clearly most of the items in the first three galleries (except a couple of clippings and text sheets in the CONCEPT ART gallery were too little to read), but the COMIC BOOK and STORYBOARDS could have been bigger. The COMIC BOOK gallery includes pages for at least one or two issue of the comic book series, but only the use of a big TV and a zoom button will allow you to see the pages and read them. The storyboards have the same problem. So I offer a suggestion to FOX for the second volume of THE TIME TUNNEL set even if you have already prepared the extras for Volume Two. make sure everything in the still galleries are big enough to see and read (if text is also included) or make them available as a downloadable PDF file though DVD-ROM drives. Also it would be nice to have audio commentary tracks for any video extras that have no audio or even audio commentary tracks for the episodes (if you can get a few recorded). I do think the most important extra for the next volume would be the unaired pilot for the remake of THE TIME TUNNEL that FOX decided not to turn into a series a few years ago.

FINAL ANALYSIS: If you're a fan of THE TIME TUNNEL, you will be happy that the show is finally making it's way to DVD. The extras aren't perfect, but the nice assortment go a little beyond some of the other FOX TV on DVD sets.

this article is (c)1-24-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com

Buy THE TIME TUNNEL Volume One today.