The Future In 1968

I’m still in my “1960s cheesy Irwin Allen TV shows as background noise at work” kick. The shows I’ve been listening to are: Voyage to the Bottom of The Sea, Lost in Space, Land of the Giants, and The Time Tunnel.

I used to love these shows as a kid. Now, they seem quite different.

I’ve watched a couple of episodes of Voyage to the Bottom of The Sea. After the second one, I couldn’t stand any more. I’m pretty sure I had a model of Seaview as a kid. It is a cool-looking submarine. The two episodes I’ve listened to recently couldn’t seem to make up their minds if they wanted to be WWII submarine dramas or The Man From U.N.C.L.E rip-offs.

Land of the Giants seems to be a Lost in Space rip-off with fewer changes in scenery. I listened to an episode today with a giant turkey wandering by while everyone’s hungry. That was cool.

I listened to the pilot episode of Lost in Space this afternoon. I don’t remember ever seeing it before. It was actually pretty good. Somehow, I’d forgotten that every episode ended in a cliffhanger. I used to watch this show regularly , and couldn’t wait to see how the cliffhanger resolved. I didn’t have time today to find out how the pilot episode’s cliffhanger turned out.

One thing I’ll say about the pilot episode of Lost in Space: After spending a hundred billion dollars on a space ship, I’d like to think the cost could include a tether that doesn’t break the first time someone uses it. (That’s a spoiler, by the way, for those few people who couldn’t guess why there were so many close-ups of the tether attachment during the space walk.)

I am really getting into The Time Tunnel, though. This show is so bad, it’s awesome.Set in the near future year of 1968, the time tunnel (officially, Project Tik-Tok) is powered by banks of computers with flashing lights, dials, switches, and video screens showing abstract shapes. And when General Kirk asks to see the data from the computer. someone appears from a back room with a manila folder full of papers. We can develop time travel, but we can’t show numbers on a video screen. We also can’t put a printer in the control room.

I “love” that Dr. Ann MacGregor is both the accomplished scientist and the helpless female, at the same time. “Ann! Boost the radiation feedback!” (No one ever calls her “Doctor”.)  “I can’t! It won’t respond!” Then a man runs over, turns a dial on the console, and everything’s OK.

In every episode, it seems, either Dr. Tony Newman or Dr. Doug Phillips says “You’ve got to believe me!” And, of course, no one ever does. You’d think they’d eventually stop trying.

I would think Tony and Doug would get tired of nearly losing their lives within minutes of landing in a new time period, and just stop trying.

I love how quickly Tony and Doug can figure out when and where they are – especially when most episodes take place in the same studio back lot.

I love the extras in the back of the control room, looking busy in front of the computers, and who never speak, not even to each other, and never seem concerned about anything going on behind them.

I listened to an episode today that featured alien makeup so unbelievable that the makeup artist would get eliminated during the first round of Face Off. It turned out to be the last episode of The Time Tunnel. It had one of the best series wrap-ups I’ve seen in a long time.

2 thoughts on “The Future In 1968

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