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THE TIME TUNNEL--The Day the Sky Fell In


Chase - Posted on 21 June 2009

 

THE TIME TUNNEL

THE DAY THE SKY FELL IN

Writer-Ellis St. Joseph

Dir-William Hale

Music-Paul Sawtell

 

We hear the opening narration as 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. 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!"  He follows them even though Doug told them they were tourists. A nice shot of the room as seen by the tunnel staff shows us the date on a clear see-through calendar. Outside, Tony and Doug walk amid Honolulu. They must warn the base. Tony says, "We used to drive it in 15 minutes."  Tony lived here. His mother died a year before and he was now seven. His father was a Naval Lt at the station who went missing after the attack...he was never found. "He's alive now, we can warn him."  Doug smiles at they thought and they plan as to how to go about doing this. Tony recalls he spent the day with his best friend, Billy Neal. His father must be there. They leave, followed by the large Japanese man.

 

ACT ONE

Tony and Doug arrive at the house and meet the maid servant Yoku (Ono?). She shows them in and they hear voices of the guests in some other room. Tony figures his father is his age now! It is strange to hear them enjoying themselves when such tragedy will strike in a few hours. Mrs. Louise Neal, a blond, greets them. Tony told Doug the house was destroyed by a direct hit. Mrs. Neal's husband is on the Enterprize (the real one, that is!) and she is worried if any news about it has come. Yoku goes to a back door and lets the large man in. They watch through the blinds on the doors. The butler, Ishiro is an American sympathizer (as a note, not one traitorous act by any Japanese citizen or military man in the US was noted before the attack on Pearl Harbor; despite this, many, if not all Japanese Americans were put into camps). When Ishiro comes to the back, the large man covers his mouth, stabs him in the back with a knife and hides his body. Tony's father is brought in by Neal, "Have we met before?"  he asks Tony. Tony says, "Yes, many years ago. You meant a great deal to me. You must have forgotten but I never have."  They try to warn him with, "Don't ask us to explain, we can't, and if we could, you wouldn't believe us. The Japanese will launch a massive air attack on Pearl Harbor."  Tony tells his questioning father the truth since at Indianapolis he learned about quantum physics and that it is possible to travel in time as well as space. Doug tells him in the days to come every American will know what it means to say, "Remember Pearl Harbor."  Just then little Tony comes in, followed by blond Billy and Louise. The boys must go to bed. Tony continues to try to tell his father more but Yoku comes in and lies: she tells them Ishiro's wife was sick and he had to leave. Lt. Anthony Newman makes them leave, telling them if they are nervous they should leave for the main states, don't spread panic. Yoku shows them out--right into the large man with the gun. He takes them outside. The sets in this episode (and indeed in almost every episode) are fantastic. The time tunnel watches as the two men are lead away by the large, vile man. Jerry is there also and he looks. They lose the time lock. They also see the Japanese fleet en route to Pearl Harbor. The fix drifts again.

 

ACT TWO

An old fashioned car drives up to Japanese imports warehouse. The fat man Sumida, has Tony and Doug and has gotten their crazy story that no body would believe. Two Japanese men arrive. Doug goes over it once more, "We're scientists. We travel through time."  The scrawny leader Chief of Espionage Tasaka tells them they will use a method developed by their allies, the Germans, which is used by Gestapo: truth serum. His aide Okuno is with him. An Admiral Brandt talks to Lt. Newman. There was a report the Japanese were heading south off the coast of Indochina--just as Tony said would be reported. Brandt calls it another Doomsday Prophet. The children are asleep and the Lt wants to leave to check on something. He bids the Admiral goodbye. Under truth serum, Doug tells the Japanese the same story, "A government sponsored project for the exploration of time."  He goes on to tell them the next move of the Japanese will be to take the Philippines and Guam--he knows because it is history. They ask about the decisive action of the war and Doug tells them it will be in Hiroshima. Japan loses he tells them. They used a needle on Doug. Tony tells them, "You want me to tell you where the war will end..do you want me to tell you about the atomic bomb?!"

 

Lt. Newman arrives at the Pearl Harbor CIC Naval Communication base and takes his hat off as he walks inside. He asks Tom Anderson about the Japanese. They are moving South. From Washington they have heard nothing. The Lt wants Tom to check the Indochina report, he will wait. Tony is drugged and tells them the time tunnel made them come into the office--that was how they got into the consulate. The US government sent them but they are not secret agents, their main objective is his father and the children, they must save them. Tasaka scoffs, "All this talk of time tunnels and children. It's a trick. Your government has brainwashed its agents."  Tony tells them they told Commander Newman of the attack so Tasaka sends Okuno to silence him. Doug says, "No. He thought we were drunk or crazy."  Tasaka must report them to Tokyo. Ishiro's wife calls and tells Mrs. Neal he did not come home. Neal is glad she is not sick but is worried now. She looks around and checks the kids in the bedroom. She goes to the back way and finds blood on the floor. Okuno, sly and slithery, comes in to the house and looks around, despite her protests. He wants the Commander. As he becomes more irate and heads to search the children's room, Mrs. Neal takes out a gun, "If you go near those children, I'll kill you."  As she phones the police but then the Navy yard, Okuno runs out. The Commander gets her message and sends a marine guard to the house. Mrs. Neal cries.

 

Ray's fix keeps drifting to the fleet. The tunnel watches the Japanese enemy fleet. They must intensify the probe. Jerry looks, "That's way it was..."   Kirk corrects him, "The way it is."   They see Neal's house and then see little Tony sleeping, then the Japanese planes. Then it goes to Tony and Doug. The drifting fix makes it impossible for them to switch any of them--it would kill them. Ann yells for the techs to get rid of the loud plane sounds. Kirk looks at little Tony, "Little Tony..."   Ann gulps, "It can't be..."  Jerry figures it out, "You mean if Little Tony is killed, our Tony will cease to exist?"  Ray figures that if our Tony survived to the present day, then Little Tony must have escape the bombing...logically. Kirk says, "Logic. How can we deal with something logically that we know so little about."   This seems logical...but not the next statement one of them makes: if our Tony dies, then little Tony will die too. Why is that? Kirk says, "They're lives are interlocked."   Lee Meriweather does a terrific job of delivering basic talk lines and making them dramatic here as she insists they have to get them both out. Ann watches the planes, "Too late...too late."  A disturbing sequence.

 

ACT THREE

Tony and Doug watch the clock. A decoded message is picked up by the Japanese. Doug rocks his chair until it is back to back with Tony's. They untie each other. Tokyo's message is to kill them. Sumida, Okuno, and two others come in to do this and have a huge, well choreographed fight with Tony and Doug. The Japanese use knives. Tony kicks the fat Sumida and a barrel hits Tony (and Darren) on the head...this looks like it wasn't planned to happen that way as Darren grabs at his head but continues the fight. Doug flips one; Tony uses his karate on Sumida and another, Doug beats his two away, boxes fall all around Doug, his jacket off (it was taken off during the interrogation). Tony wraps the fat Sumida around the neck with cloth on the shelf and he and Doug run out. Sumida takes a long time pulling free. He follows them. Via phone, Mrs. Neal tells Tom at the Navy Base she sent the marine guard home since it is morning and everything is okay (oh, good move, Mrs. Neal, it is okay to cry and all but finding blood on the floor of your rug is hardly okay!). Tom tells Lt. Newman (who is still here?--he left really early from Mrs. Neal's party--if it was a party--sounds like the Robot from FLIGHT INTO THE FUTURE). Sorry. The report from the radar room has come in clear and Tom is going to take a break, as it is going to be a "nice, quiet peaceful Sunday morning like any other." 

 

Ann says, "It did happen."  Jerry feels they should do something to help Tony and Doug. Kirk tells them, "We are looking back into time. All men have to live with their past--it can't be changed."  If Doug and Tony were not a part of the events in the first place, Lt. Newman wouldn't have gone to the radio shack area and not have been killed---so if Kirk is right--they were always a part of this event in this way. Unless something else made him go. As Fitzhugh says in LAND OF THE GIANTS-THE UNSUSPECTED, "Brrrr, it's too puzzling!"  Doug and Tony knock at Mrs. Neal's house and she lets them in, believing them to be friends. Doug tells her Yoku was a spy and won't be back. Mrs. Neal believes the story of the attack and realizes her husband's ship is headed right into the enemy fleet. Billy comes out and tells them Little Tony left the back way. Neal tells him they are going on a picnic up on the mountain. Doug mentions they only have 25 minutes. Neal and Billy get ready to leave. Tony and Doug try to think about where Little Tony night have gone...where he went...as Doug says, "Where you went."  Tony thinks the garden. They run to it. The tunnel watches the planes in a good build up to the climax. Tony and Doug can't find Tony. There is only a few minutes. Doug tells him, "We can't leave without the boy...without you!"  Tony tries but the shock of the bombing--it must have wiped out his memory but then he recalls...he went to warn his father. They run and catch up to the boy, Tony grabs him, telling him he will warn his father. "He's my father,"  the boy pleads. Tony tells him not to tell Billy about the attack--it will only scare him. He also tells the boy he can run faster and can warn his father. Doug arrives and Tony tells him to take the boy, Billy, and Mrs. Neal away. Soon, the four of them are running out of the house and down the streets as bombs fall. Billy thinks these are just maneuvers. The house is blown up. The foursome run as bombs fall, they pass a park and houses and finally get out of the main area. Doug tells her to watch the kids if she can. She tells him to go. He leaves them at the top of the mountain. He runs as battleships are sunk right in the harbor, fires spring up all around the water. Ships go into the bottom.

 

ACT FOUR

Planes bomb Pearl Harbor as Tom Anderson heads to the Japanese consulate. Bombs rock the radio station. Tony runs past naval men, some run one way, others run the opposite, one bumps into Tony and doesn't hear him or answer him. A jeep comes by---Tom Anderson. Tony asks Tom about Lt. Newman. Tom tells him how to get to him and pulls off toward the consulate. A bomb lands close to Tony. A piece of flying wood hits him and he falls! On the mountain the boys and Mrs. Neal watch. People flee to the mountains, beach goers, sleepers just awaken, and families, all trying to leave the area of attack. Many do. Doug arrives at the consulate in order to help Tom arrest the Japanese men. He tells Anderson he has to get to the base. Tom tells him to take the Japanese's car and tosses him the keys. He leaves, thanking him. The tunnel sees Tony recover and get up. Jerry looks at the other three. Doug finds Tony amid smoke and running men. Ann orders, "Ready to transfer."  The radio man calls for the Enterprize to turn back but he hasn't reached them yet. Bombs rain down on the radio room and the operator and Commander Newman fall and are both badly hurt. The operator is dead soon. The Commander checks him but then tires to use the radio but it is broken. He needs to fix it. The tunnel sees this and a bomb--a large missile shaped device of silver metal. Ann looks, thinking it is a dud. It is not--it has a delayed action fuse. Jerry scrambles to the controls and moves them. Ray and Ann try to stop him. Ann warns that if they send the bomb to another time zone as Jerry suggests, it could get innocent people killed. Jerry tells them to bring it here--he could disarm it--he knows how. Kirk orders Ann and Ray out. "No,"  Ann whispers. Ray stays to hold the fix on the bomb--90 seconds to hold it in the tunnel. Kirk helps Jerry and takes his jacket off. Kirk and Jerry go in and try to disarm it. Ray orders them out as he can't hold the timelock on the bomb any longer and it vanishes. Jerry and Kirk don't know for sure if they disarmed it. It reappears in the radio room remains. Tony and Doug arrive now. The Commander tells them about the Enterprize and he wants to do it--to warn them off. Tony and Doug fix the radio and the Commander calls the Enterprise and gets them. He warns them away from Pearl Harbor. They get the message this time. Tony and his father talk. The Commander asks, "You said you knew me a long time ago and you always remembered me."    Tony cries and tells him his name to which the father answers, "I know you as well as I know my own son."   Tony crying says, "I am your son."

 

The father smiles, "It's good to know my little boy will survive."  He dies and Tony cries some more. Doug after a bit tries to pull him away, "C'mon, there's nothing else we can do here."  Tony eventually pulls himself out of it and he and Doug run out, Doug following him. There are planes overhead, ships on fire, bombs blowing up homes and ships, fires in the marina. They turn around and see the base blown up--nothing left. Tony figures that is why there was no word on his father. They walk among the wreckage. More bombs shake them. Ann and Kirk agree (!) on a transfer but the image drifts to Little Tony again. Ray tries a time lock. Soon, Tony and Doug vanish away from the blasts.

 

CLIFFHANGER: Tony and Doug fly in the time vortex. The boys fly down. Tony seems to glide and tips head first over and over. As he recovers we hear second season VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA music. He finds himself in a forest with British soldiers firing rifles. He runs through the woods and finds a small camp sight. Equipment lies about but he takes some buckskins he finds and drinks some water the men who were at this camp had. Doug lands (quite a bit after Tony) on his back in some soft hay or grass. Tony runs from shots that rain about him (and now we hear first season VOYAGE music---the rest of the score is by Lyn Murray). Tony and Doug meet up and are glad to see each other. The actors do a good job in this scene and we feel their relief at seeing each other---in fact, the acting in this entire hour is top notch. The boys put on the buckskins. Tony tells Doug, "It looks like we've got ourselves caught in the middle of a battle."  This wouldn't be the last time either. Doug wonders if it is southern United States. British soldiers chase them and Doug falls. When he turns over to get up, he is staring right at one of the British soldiers, who is behind a bush of some kind--pointing the rifle right at his head.              

NOTES: There is some proof that FDR knew the location and time that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor from reports received from Australia and others (possibly the Dutch or Norwegian ships) and from spies in Japan. Other warnings were sent to him but were ignored. He may have wanted the US to join the war and make it look like a sneak attack (which it really was) so that the American people would not waver as they had after WWI about becoming involved in foreign affairs. Despite all of this, the attack killed many of our soldiers and Navy men as they slept in their bunks, sending them to an icy death in the harbor they were stationed at. The Japanese were very definitely cold hearted fanatics. Also, their atrocities during the war rivaled that of the Nazi Germans and other evil people in the past. It should also be noted that the US had cut off trade with Japan just before all this--probably as early as 1938, which forced Japan, some say, to attack us. WWI and WII and indeed, most wars, are just messes, misunderstandings, rivalries, delusionsional people with ideas of power and killing...and this was just the beginning for the US.

 

This episode is perhaps, the very best. It is certainly the most dramatic and rewarding in terms of human drama. All the actors are superb and likeable, with the exception of the Japanese villains. I felt sorry for Mrs. Neal, Ishiro's wife, Commander Newman, Billy, Little Tony, and all the others...they were characters we could care about. This made the action all the more valid and lively...and if you notice, there was only one fight scene and it was well handled. Linden Chiles was very good in the finale, despite waiting around for a couple of acts. Susan Flannery is always likeable and identifiable. Wouldn't Little Tony after he grew into big Tony, remember Doug and Tony warning his father and all? I suppose this was stopped by the memory loss thing. This story is almost unequaled in all the other Irwin Allen shows, including the other TIME TUNNELS. It is quite good and involving. Jerry appears here and that he really cares about doing something is a nice touch. Often, I almost forget Jerry is around at all and a few episodes that have him, I feel didn't since he didn't do much. He was a character that could added some more conflict among the older three members and himself. Ann and Kirk seemed to almost rival each other at times and in this and other episodes (WALLS OF JERICHO, THE GHOST OF NERO, THE DEATH MERCHANT) she is downright mutinous, at one point telling Kirk she won't let him do that or that--in DEATH MERCHANT it was shutting down Tony's signal. She wasn't going to let Kirk and Ray shut it down when they thought Tony was dead. Instead, her idea of a pulse burst, brought him back to life! The footage of the enemy fleet and the planes taking off came from actual footage of the Japanese navy from their point of view, used here for the first time. Other stock shots came from another movie about Pearl Harbor and fit in perfectly. VOYAGERS! Also had a Pearl Harbor episode-SNEAK ATTACK! This episode was originally to be titled THE DAY THE SKY FELL DOWN, which leads many who don't watch the actual episode (including people who write books about THE TIME TUNNEL) to think it is titled that.           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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