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THE TIME TUNNEL--End of the World


Chase - Posted on 21 June 2009

THE TIME TUNNEL

END OF THE WORLD

Writer-William Welch and Peter Germano

Dir-

Music-stock; Alexander Courage (from VOYAGE's THE CYBORG and LOST  IN SPACE'S WILD ADVENTURE)

 

After the opening narration, Doug lands. There is different versions of the music from the cliffhanger before. Doug lands, tumbling onto a dirt area and at night. This landing is mysterious and eerie. There is dust and some crash sounds. Tony rolls out of the time vortex and lands onto rocks and in some kind of cave mine. Explosions rock a mine. A whistle blows and men run from the mine. An older man asks about the crew of 200 men in the mine. He asks a man who escaped. The man tells him the others-all 200 are trapped. The man runs to the very nice (stock?) set of a building with a sign on it that says Emperor Mine. Miners run out of a cave. A young miner deeper in, snaps orders to other miners to divert them toward a safer way out. He says one way is blocked and they should go another way, then he spots Tony, "Hey you get outta here!"  Dirt falls on them, "Hold on!"  Tony asks what's happened; men are trapped in a mine. Tony wants to help but the young miner yells at him to get out and punches him back (a bit extreme if you ask me and if you are trying to save his life). Tony falls on his back as the cave entrance seems to fill up with dirt. Several incomplete and even error filled synopses relate that a Nelson Leigh was cast as an American Preacher and an actor called Robert Adler was cast as the man. Strange in that it doesn't seem any Preacher was featured prominently in the episode. After the slide of dirt, Doug is on one side of a mound and Tony on the other. Doug moves wood while dust falls on both. Doug will have to get to the surface and get help (we hear VOYAGE-THE CYBORG music here). Doug finds the mine superintendent listless and saying that all men will die. The man, Henderson, tells him they're all going to die thanks to that, "thing out there."  Doug runs out of the mine office and looks up. In the night sky, he sees a flaming ball of fire! (cue WILD ADVENTURE-LOST IN SPACE go around the sun music).

 

ACT ONE

The time tunnel complex has lots of movement. The tunnel people see St. Peter's Square. They change the viewing angle, lose contact, then get a response--see a semi tropical area, possibly South America, Buenos Ares, England, Wales. The picture changes place but they have time fix, not a good fix in space. The comet Doug saw is Halley's Comet. Kirk asks Jerry for info on it. It seems to be Spring 1910. They view Doug in the mining office. Henderson has lost all desire to live. Doug returns to the rock slide and digs. Tony digs on his side and together they make a hole. Tony comes out of it. They have to find help for the other trapped men. The whole area collapses and they run out. Henderson tells them, "Haven't you heard? the world's coming to an end."  Tony views the comet. Doug reads a note on the desk--it is 1910. Tony looks at Henderson, "Is that what you mean by the end of the world?"  The boys try to talk to Henderson. Tony tells him that Blaine--who Henderson calls a young gang boss on the payroll--saved his life. Blaine calls from the shaft--the men are trapped on the 3rd level. Tony answers him. The miners trapped don't know about the comet--word came in too late for them to hear. Tony tells them that help is coming. The miners shake and dust falls. Rocks hit some. They lose the phone connection. Blaine finds the broken wire.

 

ACT TWO

Time Tunnel Staff watch the comet on the tunnel. Jerry gives out info on it (we hear WILD ADVENTURE music and even the Dr. Smith theme!). Ray notes the comet came by Earth in 1531, 1607, 1682, 1759, 1835 (these dates are fairly accurate with only 1759 being in question as really being 1758; it came back in 1986; it was also visible in 1066). Ann finishes for him, "And 1910."  Kirk asks if the comet could affect the complex. Ann tells him, "General, the time tunnel is not perfected yet."  They only have marginal control over Tony and Doug. It is only 50 percent predictable. Kirk tells Ray and Ann, "You're both beating around the bush."  Jerry tries to explain but Kirk snaps at him, "Duty here is voluntary--would you like to be relieved?"  Jerry answers, "No sir."  Ray and Ann continue to explain. They have to refine their focus polarization, give a quick scan, and then they may know. Doug sees a newspaper called the Sentinel--it reads Comet Strike At Dawn. "You're just gonna sit there and let those men die for nothing."  Doug asks about who Ainsley is--he wants him to retract his statement of the end of the world coming due to the comet hitting the planet. Henderson tells him that might work, "A herd of wild horses couldn't make that man say anything he didn't want to."   Tony wonders how but Doug tells him they cannot tell the truth about themselves being time travelers--the last thing they want is for people to think they are out of their minds. Tony will go into town---"We need men to help."  He goes to the heavy set Sheriff who is no help to him but cannot help other towns that call in. He tells Tony to try Philipsberg. He knows about the mine disaster but the whole town is running around like scared horses. A man called Owens calls in but the Sheriff cannot give him help--he tells him calling the town of Carver will do no good--their County Seat is on fire (ouch!). He suggests the National Guard. Townspeople have all gone up to Pilgrimage Hill--they all took up with religion all of a sudden. The Sheriff has to answer the phone again--a Johnny calling. Doug goes to the observatory which has a telescope aimed at the comet. Every observatory Ainsley has contacted confirmed his research--every one they could reach. He meets with Doug in a dark room. Limbo? Cheap set? Ainsely checked his research 50 times. Other minds in the university agree with him. Doug tells him, "Professor, if I were to tell you about myself, you wouldn't believe me."  The Professor hopes to make observation until he can no longer. If Doug continues to claim the comet will not hit, Ainsley asks for data if he is to believe him. Tony goes through the crowd at the Pilgrimage Hill. They all hold torches, "Listen to me! It's not going to hit! It's not the end of the world!"  No one listens or even talks to Tony. Time Tunnel watches Doug make calculations on Ainsley's chalk board. Ray wants to send him a radar scope to prove it. Ann agrees with Kirk in that doing so would be a risk. Jerry takes the controls as Ann makes the arrangements to do it. Jerry wonders if they can move all the guys in the mine shaft but they cannot. Jerry calls Ray, "Dr. Swain."  He holds the focus within the magnetic field. Masses of opposite polarity attract---Ray tells Kirk the magnetic forces of the comet can blow out all power. Kirk wonders what that would do besides sticking them with a big repair bill. Ann tells him, "So far, we've learned more from failure than from success."   Tony returns to Henderson's office where the Sheriff is, come to help. Nobody with Tony suggests no one is going to help him. Henderson is gone--they figure he took off for the hills. The Sheriff takes a shovel, "Let's dig those fellows out."  They find Henderson there first, moving rocks. Tony got him to thinking, "A man has no call to sit around and wait for the end..."  Tony tells him they need timbers to support the walls first. Henderson doesn't listen, "What's a little cave in among friends."  He causes a cave in on all three of them. The time staff watch as looting and pillaging and burning is everywhere. Ray asks Jerry to get a fix on Dr. Phillips. Doug shows the Professor the perihelion and trajectory of the comet and confirms his findings. A tech puts the radar scope in the tunnel and leaves. The hum builds but they have an imperfect fix. Jerry zeros in on the comet to try to get a time-space fix from there. Ainsley tells Doug, "You're an exceptionally intelligent man."  Doug wishes he could have an explanation. The phone lines are dead, the operators have given up. There is two hours and 25 minutes left until the end of everything. Sheriff finds Tony under some rubble and says, "I ain't so easy to kill."  Tony tells him to get out before there is another slide but the Sheriff won't leave. Henderson, he says, was not so lucky. I imagine this means he is dead. In the mine, Blaine pep talks the trapped men telling them there must be 100, no 200 men digging them out right now. Kirk looks at the tunnel screen as the world plunges into chaos, "All because they think it will be the end."  Ray says, "It will be for some."  Jerry mentions their early talk in the afternoon---the comet and Earth are bodies that have mass and attraction. Today, Halley's Comet is a billion miles away from Earth Ann says but with the constant fix on the comet in 1910 more and more impossible. Doug and Ainsley talk: a dark mass can divert the comet from its trajectory into the Earth--it reflects no light but the dark mass can move the comet. Doug tries to figure out what data instruments they have he can use to prove it, "1910, 1910."  He says a radiometer could. Ainsley tells him he is wrong that the radiometer is not yet in existence--it is--there are only about six of them and he calls it Nichol's radiometer. The university he is a part of has one--it was a gift to the university. Doug asks for it and the Professor claims he will get it. The Sheriff digs Tony out. Tony says, "I guess it's hard to tell how a person's going to react when faced with how they're going to die."  The sheriff tells him they will face it--like poor Henderson did. Suddenly dust and dirt rain down on them!

 

ACT THREE

Doug calls the radiometer a crude device, puzzling Ainsley who calls it the most advanced piece of equipment they have. They hook it up to the scope and get intense radiant energy above. Doug sees nothing, not a darn thing. Ainsley tells him that a non reflective mass of something can divert the trajectory of the comet. They must go to the mob on the hill and tell them Ainsley was wrong. He retracts his statement on the hill but the mob doesn't seem phased. They don't even talk. To prove it, he tells them the tail of the comet is a cloud of flaming gas which will evaporate in 16 seconds. Doug tells him, "You'd better be right."  He is. Doug tells the Professor to bring the people to the mine and Ainsley gives him a handkerchief to wipe a smudge off his face. The Prof is one of those nice characters that crop up from time to time (pun intended I guess) that offset the evil characters in history. This episode is full of nice people who are well meaning. I did hope Henderson didn't die as he proved that men rally around and when the worst is about to occur, can accomplish great heroics and deeds, even the most unheroic men. In many ways, this episode foreshadows Irwin Allen's disaster movies and in general, all disaster films. It certainly is better than the later CAVE IN but people work together to help each other survive incredible odds as in THE TOWERING INFERNO and the earlier THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE. Other TIME TUNNELs also show the later Allen preference for disaster: CRACK OF DOOM foreshadows WHEN TIME RAN OUT and other volcano movies, there was the Titanic which foreshadows POSEIDON ADVENTURE.

 

Time Tunnel watches the comet which Jerry fears they are locked onto. It's coming right at them Jerry gasps. Kirk tries to calm him but the tunnel is connected with 1910. Kirk says, "Jerry, that's just an image, it can't affect us."  Jerry tells him, "The tunnel connects us to 1910---now!"  Ann agrees, "Jerry's right, the time tunnel does connect us with 1910 and the comet--we're in the same time frequency."  Kirk and Ann argue briefly. Something in 1910 can affect them physically. Kirk wants Ann to talk common sense and logically. Ann tells him as far as she knows no one's ever succeeded in defining time logically. Kirk orders them to clear the complex. All get out but Ann, Ray, Jerry, and General Kirk as they shake and fall from the comet. Men run on bridges again, bridges over each other, bridges over the atomic furnace. The power jumps the circuit breakers and the comet pulls the foursome. Jerry is pulled to the foot of the tunnel! The others go flying to the consoles. Ann screams, "Jerry!"  Jerry is being pulled into the mouth of the tunnel!

 

ACT FOUR

Interior angle of the tunnel as Ray runs and disconnects the console. All stops. Kirk helps Jerry back, Ann cries. Jerry falls and stops breathing. Heart attack--electric shock. Ray and Kirk try to revive him using heart massage. They call for someone to come with a resuscitator. Ann pulls a wire from the console and uses electric shock to stimulate his heart. They revive Jerry and techs take him to the Medical area. Ann gasps, "We almost brought the comet itself back!"  Ray says, "I think it's time we reexamine the whole project. We're dealing with forces of cosmic proportions about which we know little or nothing."  He goes on to tell Kirk that bringing the force of Halley's Comet across billions and millions of light years and time right here into the tunnel--into their own time and place is not just a calculated risk. He says the H bomb is just a toy balloon compared to the forces they are loosening here. Ann tells him he's forgetting Doug and Tony but Ray tells her he is not. He is just weighing their lives against the lives they're endangering here.  Ann barbs, "Our own!"  Kirk scolds her, "That isn't fair. Ray has risked his life as much or more than all of us here."  Ann concedes, "I know, I know, I'm sorry."

 

Kirk tells them to build more safeguards around the project, not scrap. Ray won't let it go, "Don't we say that a couple of times each year, then we come right back here the next morning and play with forces beyond imagination."

 

Ann tells them they can't be out of touch with Doug and Tony too long or they may lose them forever. A couple of hours or days to fix, Ray cannot tell yet. Blaine, in the mine, is fixing the wires. Tony and the Sheriff go to the office. Tony asks what time it is and finds out, "This has all been for nothing."  Blaine calls, proving him wrong. They are not dead, everyone is left so far but they can't hold out much longer. As Tony is about to answer, the Sheriff tells him not to give those men false hope. Tony rethinks and is about to tell them the truth when Doug bursts in--a whole mob is coming that will dig the men out in no time. They hear shouting and the Sheriff sees Tony and Doug vanish into thin air! The boys fly into the time vortex. Tony appears over a desert in an extreme long shot (this whole sequence is from the unaired pilot). He is in mid air and then he falls to the desert floor. Ray says, "They're separated in time."   Tony looks for Doug but can't find him. A jeep rides up to him from the ground--the Tic Toc labs! A soldier is sent by Jiggs to Tony. A soldier doesn't believe Tony is one of the men in charge of the project. He has been here 14 months now and doesn't know Tony at all. Tony tells him he's been here for close to seven years! Jiggs comes to him and Tony tells him he didn't recognize him without the moustache. Jiggs tells him he never had a moustache! Tony realizes they brought him back too early--it is not his time. Agitated that they brought him back in the wrong time, Kirk watches, "Newman was still in school--he and Phillips haven't even met yet. Imagine the nightmare Tony is going through."  Ann asks to see the license plate of the jeep--A-2630-Grand Canyon State, Arizona 58---1958. Doug arrives in a nice 1950s car. He doesn't know Tony either. He tells them to bring him back to town but Jiggs tells him that their security officer will have to question him first. It was ten years ago. Ann tells them to close a gap. Jerry asks why not just go out there--why would he ask such a stupid question? Why--I'll tell you why--his lines were replacing the lines from the Senator Clark in the unaired pilot--Clark didn't fully understand the implications but Jerry should have. Ann tells him he would see nothing. Ray wants to superimpose Tony's signal with Doug's. They do and as Tony breaks free of the guards, he vanishes.

 

CLIFFHANGER: After Tony's harrowing experience in the year 1958 where neither Doug nor Jiggs knew him, he is transferred back to Doug into the time crystal like vortex. The pair fly through the time vortex and toward an island. They land in the Japanese consulate room in a corner. It is Honolulu, Hawaii and three Japanese men---Chief of Espionage Tasaka, his aide Okuno, and agent Sumida are burning files that they take off a desk. Kirk, Ann, and Ray see when this stop is by looking at the clear calendar on the office desk: Dec. 6th 1944. After a brief questioning by the three, Doug and Tony lie about being tourists and quickly leave. Tasaka sends the large Sumida on a mission: "Follow them, if they make one suspicious move---kill them!"  END OF CLIFFHANGER. NOTE: Cliffhanger music would differ greatly but many of the later episodes have the same theme or variations of the cliffhanger theme. 

 

END SCENES TO NEXT WEEK FOR END OF THE WORLD includes: music from WILD ADVENTURE from LOST IN SPACE (on the CD set) set to scenes from CRACK OF DOOM and REVENGE OF THE GODS. A native comes at them, "The earth trembles and we must appease the gods."   The scientist tells Tony and Doug, "This island is called Krakatoa."   Doug mentions the greatest explosion and then no man's land from REVENGE OF THE GODS and we see the spears. There are also quotes from Ulysses who will rescue Helen, the traitor, and Helen herself confronting the traitor. A narrator then says, "The Exciting Past, the Breathtaking future, next week on this channel!"

 

NOTE OF ACCURACY: The Earth swept through the tail of Halley's Comet in 1910 with no noticeable effect, enterprising merchants sold comet pills as protection against the disaster. 1910 was also the year of the radio direction finder. Although difficult to find at first (perhaps because of embarrassment) I did find this in WHAT HAPPENED WHEN: "This year thousands of people became convinced that the end of the world was at hand. The cause: Halley's Comet, named after the English astronomer Edmund Halley, who saw the comet in 1682 and predicted it to return in 76 years. He also determined it was the same comet from 1531 and 1607. Miners refused to work on May 18th when the earth was due to pass through the fiery tail. Many workers stayed home with their families. Farm families hid in cyclone cellars. In Milwaukee, Wis. two men were said to have committed suicide. The comet's tail could be seen across much of the night sky. Mark Twain said he came in with Halley's Comet and would go out with it was not disappointed. He died on April 21, 1910 and was 74. 1910 proved to be a rough year: The last major outbreak of Black Plague struck, killing millions in China and India; in February a train wreck in Washington were hit by a severe blizzard and one hundred and 18 people died in the disaster---avalanches. There was an LA fire at the LA Times building on October 1. Later in the day a suitcase was found at the home of the LA Times publisher and which police carried to a safe location in a park, moments before it blew up. 22 workers perished in the scandalous fire. Clarence Darrow was defending the alleged perpetrators. There was a forest fire in Montana and Idaho which killed 85 people in August. And in a British Coal Mine Disaster a total of 334 miners were killed by an explosion at the Number 3 Bank Pit Colliery in Hulton, England on December 21. Not a good year.

 

Miners were dying in explosions and cave ins for many years. 1909 saw a fire and explosion in an Illinois Coal Mine, killed: 259 miners. 239 miners died in explosion in Darr coal mine in Jacob's Creek, Penn on December 19, 1907. In 1906 the Courrieres Mine in France blew up, killed: 1060 including would be rescuers from gases. Not to mention the many children who perished in mines in England and America as well as other countries. Of note is the blast in 1908 in Siberia. This was believed to be a meteor, a comet, or an asteroid that exploded in mid air above the area in Russia---which left trees standing but dead and stripped of their branches at the center of the crater left.  No record of a cave in in the year 1910 and not on the day that the Earth passed through the tail but I suppose it could have happened but it is fair for THE TIME TUNNEL to take dramatic license and tell a rousing tale, which this time it definitely did.      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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