The Time Tunnel

Watch The Time Tunnel

  • TV-PG
  • 1966
  • 1 Season
  • 7.5  (4,156)

The Time Tunnel, an American science-fiction television series, premiered on ABC in September 1966 and ran for one season, finally concluding in April 1967. Created by Irwin Allen, the series gained attention for its peculiar storyline, engaging performances, and impressive visual effects. The show follows two scientists, Dr. Tony Newman (James Darren) and Dr. Doug Phillips (Robert Colbert), as they embark on a time travel experiment gone awry, and get trapped in a series of dangerous adventures that take them to different eras in history.

The premise of the show is simple but creative, with the scientists exploring the vast expanse of time through a machine called "the time tunnel." While each episode is set in a different era, the overarching goal of the scientists is to find a way back to the present. While the scientific accuracy of the show is questionable, it does not detract from the enjoyment of the series.

The lead actors, James Darren and Robert Colbert, give convincing performances as scientists trapped in different historical times. Their portrayal of the scientists is authentic and believable, adding a layer of sophistication to the show. Supporting actors, including Whit Bissell, John Zaremba, and Lee Meriwether, also deliver impressive performances, adding depth and dimension to the plot. Their characters, who run the time tunnel project, provide essential exposition and plot development, often creating the catalyst that maroons the scientists in a new time and place.

One of the most commendable aspects of The Time Tunnel is the show's attention to historical detail. Each episode is carefully crafted to reflect a particular era in history, including its scientific advancements, visual elements, and societal customs. The set designs are impressive, recreating famous locations and landmarks from history with painstaking accuracy. The show is a treat for history buffs who appreciate the authenticity of the sets and costumes, often giving a sense of being present in the period portrayed.

The show's special effects are also noteworthy, especially considering the time period in which it aired. The time tunnel itself is a marvel of visual design, created through a combination of animation and live-action footage. The show's use of chroma key, a technique that allowed the actors to interact with manipulated footage, is also impressive. The effects do feel dated by modern standards, but they are still impressive for their time and do not detract from the overall enjoyment of the show.

While The Time Tunnel did receive positive reviews at the time of its release, the series' short run could be attributed to its limited appeal. The show's complicated script can detract from its accessibility, at times making it difficult to follow. Additionally, the show's serialized nature made it difficult to pick up mid-season, as missing an episode could leave viewers confused about the overarching plot. Finally, the show's focus on historical accuracy and scientific concepts may not have appealed to a wider audience, making it difficult to retain a loyal fan base.

In conclusion, The Time Tunnel is a classic science-fiction series that deserves recognition for its ambition, impressive visuals, and attention to historical detail. While the show did not generate the kind of popularity enjoyed by other sci-fi shows of the era, such as Star Trek, it remains an enjoyable watch for fans of the genre, and for those who enjoy historical dramas. The show's legacy can still be seen in modern sci-fi, where time travel remains a popular storytelling device.

The Time Tunnel is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (30 episodes). The series first aired on September 9, 1966.

The Time Tunnel
Filter by Source

Town of Terror
30. Town of Terror
April 7, 1967
From the Mahdist War of 1883 Doug and Tony hurtle to the seaside town of Cliffport, Maine in September 10, 1978 - a full ten years in the future. They appear in a basement packed with strange scientific gear. Upstairs is a chemical laboratory. The door out of that leads to a hotel whose kindly owner has no idea she even has a cellar! The travelers show her the door to the chemical lab. When she opens it, it leads to a pantry! The travelers follow her inside and show her the door to her basement. Then she taps each man on the head, instantly paralyzing him. Seconds later she transforms into a black robed and purple skinned alien! What sort of trouble have the time traveling pair uncovered this time?
Raiders From Outer Space
29. Raiders From Outer Space
March 31, 1967
No sooner are the travelers freed from the clutches of the Curator in the far future than they're in trouble again - they land in the middle of the Mahdist War near Khartoum, April 2, 1883. They no sooner evade skirmishing Sudanese Muslims and British troops than they encounter... aliens? Doug and Tony must help British troops defend their fort against the Mahdists, and then they have to learn what the aliens want and figure out what to do about it. And the aliens seem capable of influencing the operation of the Time Tunnel itself.
The Kidnappers
28. The Kidnappers
March 24, 1967
Before Arthur can enlist them in the Knights of the Round Table the time travelers vanish back into the time stream - and a time traveler from the future appears at Project Tic Toc! This sinister silver clad figure stuns and kills his way through the guards, seizes Dr. Ann McGregor, and vanishes. The only clue he leaves is a data card made of strange metal but readable by the Project Tic Toc computers. From the card the Project team learns where Dr. McGregor has been taken and sends Doug and Tony there to rescue her. They arrive on a planet orbiting Canopus in 1910 - that planet's year 1910, which is 8433AD! There they learn Ann's abduction was a lure to draw them to the planet!
Merlin the Magician
27. Merlin the Magician
March 17, 1967
Doug and Tony vanish from ancient China into the time stream - and freeze there. The scientists of Project Tic Toc attempt to correct the problem but a commanding voice cries "No!" A man standing on the computer towers freezes the entire control room and pulls Doug and Tony into the present! He compels them obey his commands and sends them hurtling into the past, to the time of Arthur Pendragon in 544AD. For this is Merlin the Magician and he needs Doug and Tony to help ensure the reign of King Arthur by helping the young king expel hordes of vicious Vikings from Cornwall!
Attack of the Barbarians
26. Attack of the Barbarians
March 10, 1967
From the Barbary Pirates the pair hurtle backwards to Mongolian China in 1287. Genghis Khan has tried and failed to conquer the world but there are those inspired by his ideas. One such is Batu, who recovers the travelers. Convinced they know how he can break the fortress that stands between him and his goal, he puts Tony on the rack. With Doug's help Tony escapes. The travelers must seek the only shelter they can find - that fortress and its commander, Marco Polo. But the Mongol hordes remain. And Tony may just be falling in love with Princess Sarit, daughter of Kublai Khan!
The Death Merchant
25. The Death Merchant
March 3, 1967
Having narrowly escaped death in one million AD and one million BC, Doug and Tony land in the middle of one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in July of 1863. Artillery fire knocks out Tony and robs him of his memory; Confederate forces find him and assume he belongs with them. Meanwhile, Union forces essentially draft Doug into their army! Both sides are looking for a large cache of gunpowder under the control of an enigmatic man named Michaels. When Doug finds out who Michaels really is, he realizes his problems have only begun!
Chase Through Time
24. Chase Through Time
February 24, 1967
Doug and Tony transit during a rare off-shift period. As the scientist on duty watches them, a man sneaks up behind him and murders him! Then the man replaces a component in one of the time tunnel consoles. But when the dead scientist fails to check in, security is dispatched to the control room and the man is forced to flee... through the Time Tunnel! Now Doug and Tony are trapped in time with a murderer. Worse, instructions decoded from the man's quarters reveal that he has planted a powerful atomic bomb somewhere inside Project Tic Toc! Doug and Tony must chase the man through time to learn where the device is, before the Project is destroyed and they are stranded!
Pirates of Deadman's Island
23. Pirates of Deadman's Island
February 17, 1967
From Wild West New Mexico the chrononauts move backward to an island off the Barbary Coast in North Africa, April of 1805. There they run afoul of pirate captain Beal. When Beal learns they're not seamen and command no ransom, he orders them killed. The arrival of Stephen Decatur's naval detachment earns them an impromptu stay of execution, but as is so often the case, the pair is between hammer and tongs: the pirates on one side and Decatur's pirate killers on the other. Matters worsen when an accident translates Beal forward to Project Tic Toc, where he causes all kinds of problems...
Billy the Kid
22. Billy the Kid
February 10, 1967
The tunnel carries Doug and Tony forward over three centuries from Aztec Mexico to Lincoln, New Mexico early in 1881. There they meet William Bonney - the notorious outlaw Billy the Kid. Impulse and confusion soon have the pair on the wrong side of both Billy and the law in Lincoln! Worse, it will be hours until the Time Tunnel charges sufficiently to attempt another shift. Doug must keep Billy from killing him while Tony keeps his neck out of the noose until Project Tic Toc can help them...
Idol of Death
21. Idol of Death
February 3, 1967
From ancient Jericho to Mexico, 1519. Doug and Tony find themselves caught between Hern'án Cortés and a golden mask he wants very much. The mask conveys an authority that will permit the conquistador to overwhelm the tribes easily. Now Doug, Tony, and two Aztecs must outrace a group of Spaniards determined to kill them and reach the mask first!
The Walls Of Jericho
20. The Walls Of Jericho
January 27, 1967
The temporal castaways hurtle from 1915 Italy to Old Testament Jericho, days before Joshua's attack. Joshua's men circle the city and he believes two spies will sneak into the city to learn whether the population is losing heart. Joshua believes Doug and Tony are the spies, and sends them into the heart of a city that will kill them if they're discovered! They must remember enough Biblical lore to find their ally and escape the sinister priest of Kemosh and the city before it falls!
The Ghost of Nero
19. The Ghost of Nero
January 20, 1967
From aliens to ghosts! Tony and Doug disappear from 1885 Arizona when the aliens leave, only to find themselves three decades later in 1915 Italy during The Great War. They land in a villa owned by Count Galba. In a crypt below lies the tomb of Nero, legendary emperor of ancient Rome. The shelling has disturbed the tomb and perhaps freed the ghost of the emperor - who wishes to kill Count Galba and anyone who aids him. The time travelers face an angry ghost on one side and angry Germans on the other in a villa soon to be leveled by artillery fire!
Visitors From Beyond the Stars
18. Visitors From Beyond the Stars
January 13, 1967
Doug and Tony hurtle from a Pacific Island in 1945 to a futuristic scene - a control complex at least three hundred years beyond their own technology. Then they discover they're on an alien ship whose crew intends to extract all the protein from a nearby primitive planet, leaving it a dead world. On the view screen Doug sees an image of that primitive planet - Earth in 1885! The duo must thwart the alien plan since humans cannot begin to defend themselves!
Kill Two by Two
17. Kill Two by Two
January 6, 1967
From Medieval England the duo catapults forward to the early months of 1945, where they land in a tiny island near Iwo Jima, days before a United States Marine landing force will occupy the group of islands. From a Japanese soldier left behind they learn that the Japanese Air Force plans to spring a trap on the Marines! They must defeat the Japanese lieutenant at his sadistic games and capture his radio before the landing, or else they'll have ringside seats to a slaughter - maybe their own!
The Revenge of Robin Hood
16. The Revenge of Robin Hood
December 30, 1966
Doug materializes outside King John's throne room in England, 1215. The Earl of Huntington tries to persuade John to sign the Magna Carta but the King will have none of it and orders the Earl seized. Huntington almost makes good his escape, but runs into Doug in the next room, giving his pursuers the opportunity to grab both men! Tony manages to free Doug but not the Earl. Now the rebels and the king's agents both threaten the two time travelers!
15. Invasion
December 23, 1966
Once again catapulted into trouble, this adventure finds the pair in France's Cherbourg Peninsula a day before the massive Allied attack on D-Day. It is the beginning of the end for Germany's occupation of Europe, but there remain enough Nazis to capture Doug and Tony! Tony manages a quick escape but Doug ends up in the hands of a sinister Nazi experimenter who brainwashes him into believing he is a German officer!
Night of the Long Knives
14. Night of the Long Knives
December 16, 1966
Doug and Tony arrive near the Khyber Pass in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Doug is quickly overpowered and captured by a tribe that wishes to overthrow British colonial rule, while Tony is found by a young Rudyard Kipling and returned to a nearby British fort. The men must reunite without dying in the inevitable battle between the tribesmen and British forces.
The Alamo
13. The Alamo
December 9, 1966
From 1861 to 1836 near what would later be known as San Antonio, Texas. Doug and Tony find themselves attacked by Mexican soldiers. They escape to a nearby mission only to learn that it is the Alamo, and the siege is just beginning. When they try to convince him Mexicans will overrun the mission, Colonel Bill Travis imprisons them on suspicion of espionage!
The Death Trap
12. The Death Trap
December 2, 1966
From the Russia of 1956 the duo chronoports backward nearly a hundred years to the outskirts of Baltimore, 1861. There they chance across several abolitionists who plan to murder Lincoln, four years before Booth will do so! They hope this will plunge the country into a war that will ultimately force an end to slavery. Jeremiah, leader of the abolitionist faction, has devised a large clock operated bomb that he plans to place on the President's train. Doug and Tony must persuade Allan Pinkerton of the President's peril or find and disarm the bomb before Jeremiah and his men change history...
Secret Weapon
11. Secret Weapon
November 25, 1966
So close! The duo finds itself in 1956 Russia. Project Tic Toc tries to contact them by sending F5 probes back, but these prove dangerous. The last probe contains a note instructing Doug and Tony to meet a contact named Alexis and through him to learn whatever they can about project A-13. Project A-13 proves extremely familiar and yet dangerously wrong, and now the duo faces death. And in the future, Project A-13 mastermind Biracki offers his services to the Pentagon...
Reign of Terror
10. Reign of Terror
November 18, 1966
In 1793 Paris agents of Robespierre's Committee for Public Safety capture Doug. Assigned quotas of people to bring in for execution, the agents are sometimes less than scrupulous in verifying their captives' guilt. Tony manages to free Doug but the pair then find themselves drawn into a plot to free Marie Antoinette from imprisonment. General Kirk sends back a radioactive ring for the duo to find, in hopes Project Tic Toc will be able to lock onto them and return them home. Unfortunately, Kirk has an ancestor in the past who intercepts the ring and who has sinister plans of his own for the time travelers and the former Queen.
Devil's Island
9. Devil's Island
November 11, 1966
Only a short jaunt forward to 1895, but the destination is the hellishly unpleasant French penal colony called Devil's Island. Doug and Tony must deal with the sinister commander and his sadistic henchman Lescaux and with a plot by the inmates to help wrongly convicted French artillery officer Alfred Dreyfus.
8. Massacre
October 28, 1966
Nearly 3000 years forward this time, to the eastern Montana territory in late June of 1876. There Doug encounters General George Armstrong Custer, while Tony is captured by Lakota tribesmen. Tony finally persudes Chief Sitting Bull that he is an honorable man and tries to avert what he sees as a victory that will lead to defeat. Doug, meanwhile, tries to dissuade Custer from his ruinous course of action.
Revenge of the Gods
7. Revenge of the Gods
October 21, 1966
Far into the past: 1200BC and the siege of Troy! The Greeks seek the return of their princess, Helen, spirited off by Paris to be his wife. The pair are thought to be gods thanks to their unique insights. But when a traitor captures Doug, Tony must find a way inside Troy to free him. Fortunately, a Greek engineer may just have an answer - a horse of a different kind...
Crack of Doom
6. Crack of Doom
October 14, 1966
From 1815 New Orleans, Doug and Tony move forward nearly 70 years to the Indonesian Island of Krakatoa in 1883. Dr. Everett Holland assures them it will be decades before the volcano explodes again, but has the scientist deliberately misled everyone around him? Doug and Tony know they have only days until the volcano erupts with a blast literally felt round the world - and then they learn it's even later than they think...
The Last Patrol
5. The Last Patrol
October 7, 1966
From Pearl Harbor backwards 126 years to the outskirts of New Orleans before a final, fateful battle of the War of 1812. Doug and Tony encounter 'The Butcher' Southall, and the team in 1968 calls in his descendant, a general in the British Army for advice. Doug and Tony hope to escape The Butcher and his descendant hopes to learn why he made a horrific tactical error in attacking Stonewall Jackson's fortifications on their strongest side!
The Day the Sky Fell In
4. The Day the Sky Fell In
September 30, 1966
From the West of 1910, the duo travel forward thirty one years, to December 6, 1941. They've landed near the Pearl Harbor Naval Base hours before a Japanese attack will sink most of the Pacific Fleet. Among the officers stationed on the base: Lieutenant Commander Tony Newman, Senior! Can Tony find out what happened to his father, whose body was never found, on that fateful day? Or will Japanese agents put an end to the duo's chronoportation?
End of the World
3. End of the World
September 23, 1966
Snatched from the moon, Doug and Tony find themselves in the west of 1910. Halley's Comet is making a close approach and doomsayers are everywhere. Professor Ainsley has predicted the end of civilization and even Doug cannot disprove his calculations! To compound the problem, a large group of miners have been trapped in a cave-in, and no one is available to rescue them.
One Way to the Moon
2. One Way to the Moon
September 16, 1966
Doug and Tony materialize in a rocket bound for Mars, ten years in their future. Their extra weight almost scuttles the mission, but the commander figures a way to continue it by stopping at a fuel depot on the moon. Then things get worse: the radio mysteriously fails and the two stowaways are accused of sabotage!
Rendezvous with Yesterday
1. Rendezvous with Yesterday
September 9, 1966
Congress has been pouring billions - seven of them, to be exact - into a hole in the desert and now Senator Clark wants to see what they've bought. He visits the massive complex of Project Tic Toc but is unimpressed when he learns their centerpiece, a "Time Tunnel" that can transfer matter and energy into the past or future, is not quite operational. He plans to leave and pull the plug. Desperate to save the project, scientist Tony Newman operates the not yet perfected Time Tunnel and transfers himself back in time, arriving on... The Deck of the Titanic, hours before her rendezvous with an iceberg. Colleague Doug Phillips, desperate to rescue his young protege, employs the device. Now both men are trapped in the past and dependent on a largely untested prototype time machine to return home!
Where to Watch The Time Tunnel
The Time Tunnel is available for streaming on the ABC website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Time Tunnel on demand at Amazon and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    September 9, 1966
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (4,156)