In movies and specific episodes of TV shows not built around the idea of time travel, things always seem to wind up breaking bad down a road pocked with paradox. The great thing about TV shows that are actually about time travel every time it comes on is that those space-time continuum pests rarely take a bite out of fun. And if you think you know every single TV show about time travel, you are probably in for a surprise.
The Time Tunnel
Okay, let’s get the obvious out of the way. “The Time Tunnel” was a 1960s science fiction show about a secret government-funded time tunnel being built in Arizona. Alas for the two scientists at the center of the show, the tunnel was not fully functional before they got lost in time during testing. First up on deck: the deck of the Titanic on its maiden voyage. Our heroes also found themselves at Little Big Horn, at the walls of Jericho just before Joshua fit de battle there and even meet up with a king named Arthur before he had that Round Table built.
Almost twenty years before “The Time Tunnel” there was “Space Patrol.” In the 30th century, time travel will be no big deal. Duh! Commander Buzz Corey (is there any space show from early TV where at least one character isn’t named Buzz?) and his space patrol often travel through time to take up battle against assorted galactic villains in the name of the United Planets of the Universe. “Space Patrol” was a ridiculously low-budget affair geared toward kids, but must surely rank as one of the first TV series to ever regularly incorporate time travel.
Some thirty years after “Space Patrol” it was very easy to see just how far TV shows about time travel geared toward children had come. “Voyagers” was about a traveling through time to help along certain people at certain important points in history. As a result, the time travelers had to save Teddy Roosevelt from being killed by Billy the Kid, prevent George Washington from joining the British army and save the Mona Lisa from sinking with the Titanic.
Not to be confused with the movie “Fantastic Voyage” this was a 1977 TV show that began with a team of scientists looking for an explanation behind the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle. What you or I might call an island, they termed a “land mass” that was actually neither: it was the power source for a warp through time and space. The use of time travel in “Fantastic Journey” was a bit different than on other shows. For one thing, no Titanic! For another, one episode had them coming across a renowned scientist from the 1960s and for another they visited an unknown future more often than a known past.
It’s About Time
They start off in a space capsule blasting off into space, but their crash landing plops them down in caveman time. “It’s About Time” was less about time travel than the inability to travel back to the future after accidentally traveling through the past. When the astronauts finally do make their way back to their present time, they unwitting pack along some Stone Age stowaways who now must adapt their primitive ways to the hustle and bustle of the 20th century.