Sunday, March 15, 2015

Outré Intro: The Time Tunnel (1966)


In terms of prime-time survival, The Time Tunnel (1966) fared the worst of all Irwin Allen's fantasy sci-fi series of the sixties. It lasted for just one season, and then was canceled.  Despite this failure to thrive, the series is still remembered and appreciated by its fans.

The opening montage of The Time Tunnel -- typical of its mid-1960s historical context -- satisfies on a pure "pop art" level.  

The images are colorful and memorable, and they sell the idea of the series in an easily digestible and attractive way. 

Basically, the series concerns time itself, and two men lost forever in time's endless corridors. 

Accordingly, the montage commences with the time vortex opening and speeding toward us (not unlike the way hyperspace looks in Star Wars [1977] when first broached by the Millennium Falcon.). We become, through our viewership, riders through the tunnel of time.




Next the vortex seems to explode, or at least feature a definable center, in orange.  The orange then transforms to blue...and the blue circle is revealed to be the bottom of an hour glass: another manner by which to tell time.





Next, we see visual symbolism exploring the plight of the series' protagonists.  They are lost in time, and so we see a person trapped in the bottom of the hour glass, as the sands of time pour down upon him and buffet him.

This is a representation of a journey through the time tunnel. You are overcome by time, surrounded by its pathways, and there is no escape.







The sands of time literally bury our hero in the next shot,and he is unable to escape this trap.  Then, the series title comes up, backwards at first (as though we are viewing it from the inside of the hour glass).






Finally, we meet our cast members -- and creator (Irwin Allen) -- and the time vortex recedes, moving away from us. Prepare for another journey through the tunnel/vortex!








Below, you can see the colorful Time Tunnel montage in live action.

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