Soon, the new arrivals are secretly observed by what appears to be an Arawak, a Native American man...really Varian (Jared Martin). Eventually, Varian makes contact with the group and reveals that he is actually a (former) resident of the 23rd century. He reports that in his time, people use music to heal ("to restore balance to the emotions and to the mind") and that all the races of Earth have melded into one; one that has given up war. He describes humans as non-aggressive people, ones who "waste nothing." Unfortunately for Varian, his spaceship was pulled into the Bermuda Triangle, much like the Yonder, and he has been marooned on the strange island for some time.
In fact, one of the Jordans' group, Jill, is captured by Camden, forcing action on the part of Jordan. Varian offers to help retrieve her. But in keeping with his pacifist beliefs, Varian refuses to engage in violence or murder.
This new material involved footage of actor Gary Collins as Dar-L, a sinister representative from a neighboring time-zone, and character from the second episode, "Atlantium." Yet all this footage is inserted rather clumsily.
In terms of internal logistics and believability, it is also very hard to swallow that Paul Jordan -- a concerned father -- would simply leave behind his son, Paul, in the Bermuda Triangle, even if he believed wholly that Varian and Fred were good (temporary) wards. What father would leave behind his son on an incredible island of unknown dangers?
For the five minutes or so in which Varian explains the nature of his future paradise, The Fantastic Journey's "Vortex" truly soars. The episode -- or at least this segment of it -- possesses a real vision and world-view. Varian is a pacifist, a healer, a thinker and a humanitarian, and he is differentiated from the likes of Spock or Mark Harris (The Man From Atlantis) in the fact he is not an "other," meaning an alien. He is one of us...only a better version of our nature. The world Varian describes, incidentally, is also one that Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987 - 1994) sought to develop, showcasing how man in the future would not succumb to self-destructive urges but rather, improve himself as a species.
The first is the "invisible threshold" which separates time zones. When people cross through these thresholds, we see blobs of energy and light surrounding the travelers. This effect is utilized throughout the program to signal the transition to a new time and place.
And secondly, the episode introduces Varian's very handy, very cool all-purpose hand device, the "Sonic Energizer," which resembles an electronic tuning fork. It's part medical tricorder, part Sonic-screwdriver, and absolutely awesome I'd love to have a toy mock-up of the prop. As you might guess, in a show with wandering protagonists, no standing sets, and no "landing party" equipment, Varian's sonic energizer comes in handy.