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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Friday, September 30, 2022

Time Travelers (1976)

I miss T.V. Guide
Dr. Earnshaw is trying to save lives as there is an outbreak of a deadly disease in New Orleans. While checking in on his lates patient he is told that Washington has sent help. He goes and meets Adams, who announces that he isn’t a doctor but that he can help. He is being very cryptic and at first Earnshaw is hesitant to go with him. But he has a plane from Washington and was sent by the president.

While flying off the pair have a conversation where it is explained that a doctor had seemingly cured this disease over a hundred years before, but that the cure had been lost to time. Specifically, the great Chicago fire where he and his notes were lost. If you haven’t figured out yet the government has a time machine and is sending both Earnshaw and Adams back to get the cure and save the country from a pandemic. Of course, it doesn’t go as planned and there are some shenanigans that complicate things. But it ends well… unless you wanted this made for television movie to become a series. Yeah, I think that this was supposed to serve as a pilot for a new show but never made it.

How did I never see this before? This would have been right up my alley and was released just as I was getting into science fiction. The plot is adapted from a story by Rod Serling, of The Twilight Zone, and it was produced by Irwin Allen who made Lost in Space and The Land of the Giants. So, there are some familiar names attached. The movie itself clocks in at a tight seventy-eight minutes and wastes no time setting up the scenario and getting to the good stuff. If you have seen any time travel movies the complications will seem familiar and in typical fashion, there is a doomed love story as well. But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to be entertaining if you execute it well, and they do.

The cast includes Richard Basehart (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, another Allen show), Sam Groom (The Time Tunnel, yet another Allen production), and Tom Halick who I remember from Hanger 18. You might not recognize these names but trust me this was an A+ cast for a television movie in the mid-seventies. Heck the love interest is played by Trish Stewart who was in my favorite Andy Griffith show Salvage 1! Seriously that is a great show.

It was ambitious of them to go for such an epic story as the Chicago Fire on a relatively small budget, but using old footage tinted to sort of fit with the new stuff and some old school tricks they manage to do it. Though I wonder if that played into this not getting turned into a series as this would have been a regular struggle in telling time travel stories. Being a made for television project Time Travelers has no gore or really much violence at all. I mean someone does get bonked on the head. But that is about it.

I found this on YouTube and hope that it stays up there. Most of these old television movies are treated with disdain and are impossible to find legitimately anywhere so I don’t feel bad about pointing you towards someone’s channel to watch it. This one is worth your time, and I highly recommend that you do just that.


© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

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