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Doug and Tony are truly remarkable. As they fall from disaster to disaster and catastrophe to catastrophe, not only do they never once appear fazed, but their astounding stores of knowledge never seem to fail them. Whatever the subject, one of them is an expert in it. Doug's a Vulcanologist, Tony speaks fluent Malay. Why Malay?! Is this a language often taught in American schools, or is it just another of the things that Doctors of Physics pick up, alongside combat techniques and escapology?

So, first up in this batch of episodes is a journey to 1883, where the tunnel thoughtfully maroons Doug and Tony on an exploding island. It really does have a warped sense of humour. Beset by a brilliantly wobbly camera, and a wildly over-enthusiastic CO2 machine, the boys struggle to convince the rest of the cast to escape from Krakatoa before it obliterates itself with a spectacular bang. Doug's a little cavalier with the whole escaping thing. Thinking that they've arrived the day before the explosion, he announces that they might make it to safety if they leave right now. Later, having realised that they've got their sums wrong, and that it's actually the day of the explosion, he announces that they should be okay if they leave really soon. Well make your mind up. There isn't just the volcano to worry about, either. A cheerful little gaggle of native islanders are determined to throw somebody into the volcano to appease it. Well, of course they are. This is something of a tradition with onscreen natives. Happily Doug and Tony are, of course, skilled in all forms of combat. Unhappily, the team back at HQ are still eager to cut in at moments of great excitement. This time they snatch Tony from the jaws of peril, on a whim of Deeply Irritating Jerry's. Will they never learn that his plans are always rubbish? Tony finds himself in a frozen world, trapped between seconds, or something. This leads to an interminable scene where he wanders around the control room saying hello to everybody, and failing to get any response. Eventually he gives up and sends himself back, a five minute period that could easily have been devoted to something interesting, that didn't involve the bloody operations room. Anyway, they escape, just in time to be sent into the middle of a skirmish outside the gates of Troy. Sometime, the folks back home really need to give them time to sleep.

Troy, then. Cloaks! Shiny uniforms! Swords! Silly helmets! Tony, it quickly turns out, absolutely loves to play dress up. It was his idea to wear the buckskins a couple of episodes back, and this time he can't wait to get dolled up in full Greek battle regalia. He loves every minute of it, he really does. Taken for gods, they make friends with Ulysses (why is he calling himself by his Latin name?!), and Tony gets to play with the wooden horse. Doug has rather less fun, being captured almost immediately by the Trojans; although it does give him the chance to hang out for a bit with the most beautiful woman in the world, which doesn't happen to everybody. Besides, it serves him right. Lately he's taken to bossing Tony about all the time, and giving orders like the universe suddenly made him head man. What gives? Then it's all torture and battles and stabbings and stock footage, before we're off again, without a chance to draw breath. No time to relax now either, because it's 1876, and Custer's about to head into battle. Yep, it's Western time again. That can only ever be a good thing.

It's probably not much fun if you suddenly get yourself thrown into the middle of a war, though. Doug and Tony are swiftly captured by some of Sitting Bull's men, who then promptly lose Doug almost before they've got the knots fastened. He gallops off in search of reinforcements, whilst Tony is hauled off to a rather small camp that bears absolutely no resemblance to the piece of stock footage of a giant one that we keep being shown clips of. Once there he gets himself adopted by Sitting Bull, and becomes a Sioux. Doug, meanwhile, ends up stuck in the camp of General Custer. Not hard to see who's got the best part of this arrangement, but then there are always benefits in having top billing. And then there's a fight, and Custer doesn't do too well in it, and Doug and Tony are, once again, whisked away from any chance of taking it easy as the dust begins to settle. This time they're dropped onto Devil's Island, which is naturally staffed by psychotic guards. Guns! Jungles! Wilful time traveller abuse! It's all coming up next time on The Time Tunnel. Hideous stripy pyjamas optional.

Picture time.


Marooned on Krakatoa, just before it all goes bang.


And stranded with murderous nutcases at that.


Fight!


Having escaped certain death for the seventy-third time in as many minutes, Doug and Tony meet a scientist. He's eager to watch Krakatoa explode from the world's silliest vantage point, apparently just in order to see what happens.


Doug and Tony attempt to explain that this is not a good plan.


However the scientist and his daughter - Look! A woman! I don't think we've had one of them since episode one! - are dead-set and determined to be silly.


Oh look. It's an exciting moment. Must be time for a trip to the sixties to join the annoying half of the cast.


Doug and Tony plan a wholesale evacuation to Java by rowing boat, not at all deterred by the fact that pretty much the only thing that can save them is a fast plane to the other side of the world.


The local murderous loons would much rather kill Doug and Tony than be rescued by them, however.


Whilst the people back at HQ would rather just get in the way.


Fight! Fight! Fight!

See, this is definitely better than refueling a rocket or arguing about Halley's Comet.


Head Murderous Loon thoughtfully hurls himself into the volcano mid-fight, thereby removing the need for a sacrifice.


Doug and Tony therefore scuttle back to the beach to try to rescue everybody again. Having decided to avoid Java, on the grounds that it's about to get swamped by a tsunami, they instead pick Sumatra as a destination - which is rather unfortunate, since it's also about to get swamped by a tsunami. Mind you, given that nobody has a hope in hell of rowing to safety by this point anyway, this is probably irrelevant. Since there's not enough room on the boat, Doug and Tony elect to hope for rescue by time tunnel.


The time tunnel, however, with its usual sense of humour, has stopped working, and Doug and Tony prepare for annihilation. I love how Doug has chosen to dress for the occasion. If you're going to explode, it's always best to do it in the proper attire.


Obligatory Kevin Hagen. He has an uncanny habit of turning up somewhere in absolutely everything that I watch. He certainly seems to have appeared in everything that Irwin Allen ever made. It's remarkable.


At swordpoint in less than ten seconds. I think this is a new record.


"The city of Troy!" announces Kevin Hagen. Funny, it looks exactly like twentieth century Greek ruins. What are the odds of that.


Tony is challenged to a fight, in order to prove that he's a god. You have to have a pretty serious ego to believe that only a god can beat you. Especially when it turns out that you're easily defeated by a Physics geek in a green sweater.

Mind you, fencing is, of course, an important part of every Physics doctorate. So perhaps that latter part is understandable.


No! Not now!


Go away!


Tony indulges his love of costumes by digging out a cloak to go with his shiny new tunic. Doug, meanwhile, is only interested in fruit. He's remarkably intent on stuffing a rucksack full of grapes.


No matter how much Tony tries to show off his fancy new duds, Doug remains single-mindedly fixated upon fruit.


Consequently Tony decides to go and find somebody else to play with. Look, he's got a helmet from somewhere as well now.


For Doug, meanwhile, it's still all about the fruit. That bowl on the table was full just a moment ago.

I love the little oil lamp beside him there. That's a nice touch.


See, this is the kind of thing that happens when you only think about fruit.


Elsewhere, Tony is in seventh heaven. He couldn't have fitted in more completely had he actually been born in Ancient Greece.


As a battle starts up, inevitably the fun is cut short. This time, however, the people back in HQ are not only being annoying, they're also being breathtakingly insane. "Quickly! Let's send Tony a submachine gun and some handgrenades!" yells the general, clearly not even remotely interested in protecting history.


He even sends back a soldier to help butcher the locals by the dozen.


And gosh, lucky us. This leads to a ten minute detour in the storyline, as they fumble over getting the submachine gun wielding soldier back. Just shut up and get back to Tony and Doug, damn it!


But no, we have to have yet another annoying detour first. Hello? Tony? Interesting battle, remember? Doug captured by the enemy? Could we please stop faffing about in 1968?


Thank you.

You know, I think Tony has forgotten about Doug being captured as well. He's clearly decided to go native.


They think he's a god, he's getting to hang out with Ulysses and discuss the Trojan Horse battle plan, and he's got an awesome outfit into the bargain. Who needs a bossy sidekick when you've got all that?


The Trojan Horse. Only very slightly completely obviously nicked from a different bit of film.


Elsewhere, Doug is clearly not enjoying the adventure nearly as much as Tony is.


Go away.


With the battle over and Troy defeated, Tony looks like he's planning to settle down, and perhaps join Ulysses on an odyssey or two.

Doug, however, is apparently still thinking about fruit.


Huh? What?! Give me my nice uniform back!

Sorry Tony. Enjoying yourself is forbidden by order of Killjoy Central. It's time for another voyage through the tunnel.


Wherever and whenever they are, they can always be counted upon to stand neatly shoulder to shoulder. They're a very aethestically-minded pair of polymath Physics geeks.

Doug's becoming a little annoying by this point, though. Doug, we know you're bigger, we know you're older, but stop pushing Tony about. He's your best friend, not a sheep in need of herding.


Oops.


Go. Away.


Rope time again. They must be getting used to it by now.


A soldier helpfully comes to rescue them. Unhelpfully, he stops halfway through the rescue just to have a chat. Consequently only Doug manages to get away.


Still, Tony then gets moved to a very nice tent, so it's not all bad.


Well, okay. It could be better, admittedly.


General Custer. Hero or pillock, probably depending on what decade you were born in.


Custer puts Doug under arrest, largely because he can.


Meanwhile, Tony is spared from the barbecue, and offered trial by combat instead.


Naturally this means five minutes worth of the home team talking about how they can't help him. Well go away then.


Tony wins. Of course he does. After all, he's skilled in hand-to-hand and fencing, so naturally he's also skilled with a knife and a tomahawk. What scientist isn't? Sitting Bull then welcomes him into the family; but sadly for Tony, this time there's no opportunity to play dress up.


Oh for heavens sakes. This is getting to be a habit.


Custer plots glory. How he expects to win a battle with a haircut like that is beyond me.


Sent to Custer as an emissary from Sitting Bull, Tony loses patience within ten seconds, and resorts to insults. I can see his point, but that's not really a great way to deliver an important message.


Horsemanship. A required part of every doctorate.


Tony and Doug watch as Custer's men are wiped out.


Then it's back into the thick of things again. No rest for the wicked.

Coming up next, the tunnel goes all French, with guillotines and dodgy accents galore.







Vive la next episode! Or something like that.

Comments

( 5 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
ladygretchen
Jun. 20th, 2011 08:55 pm (UTC)
I almost thought this was all one episode. How many did you manage to skewer in this blog post? lol. No ladies?? Ugh, can't stand when it's all the boys club for too long. Love the screen caps and captions. :D I will eventually get to this series. Still on The Fugitive and now I've been taken to watching Beauty and the Beast. I love that show! I asked my dad about the invaders, he remembers it, said it was good, but he felt that it went on for too long. lol. I'll have to see it to understand what he means.
swordznsorcery
Jun. 20th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
It did go on too long, but only because they changed the set up. Season one was David Vincent on his own against the world, but in season two they introduced an annoying gang helping him. I don't know of anybody who liked that idea! There are still some good episodes in season two, though.

As for women, there's one in the team back at Time Tunnel HQ who is a very competent physicist, and an important part of the storyline back there. It's just that I tend to ignore that side of things, as it annoys me! To be fair to the writers, I don't think it's intentional that there's no women in Doug and Tony's adventuring. There didn't tend to be too many women fighting alongside Odysseus and Custer, though. :p Anyway, it helps keep the annoying romances to a minimum!

I think it's been three episodes per post so far, by the way. That'll change in the next one, though. Just the two, probably, as they share a theme.
eandh99
Jun. 21st, 2011 04:30 am (UTC)
man, the slash writes itself, doesn't it? especially with the love of costumes and bondage. Rainy Saturday afternoons, this reminds me of - It used to be on right before or right after Voyage to the Bottom of the Seas.
swordznsorcery
Jun. 21st, 2011 06:23 pm (UTC)
Are costumes a theme in slash, then?

If it was on now the slash would be everywhere, I'm sure. The Greek episode alone would have spawned an internet full of it! As it is, it's mostly escaped the fiction brigade. I leave it up to you to decide whether or not that's a good thing. ;)
eandh99
Jun. 21st, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC)
Dressing up like greek or roman soldiers? very, very slashy
( 5 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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