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"Two American scientists are lost in the swirling maze of past and future ages during the first experiments on America's greatest and most secret project, the Time Tunnel. Tony Newman and Doug Phillips now tumble helplessly toward a new fantastic adventure somewhere along the infinite corridors of time."
Irwin Allen, the man behind Lost in Space and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, also gave us this Sci-Fi series. The premise? Two Sixties guys, who don't care beans about temporal causality, travel through time, encountering a lot of Stock Footage and never quite grasping that You Can't Fight Fate. Meanwhile in the Future, their contemporaries watch and try to decide when things are going badly enough for our heroes that it wouldn't hurt to just send them off to yet another random date.
- Adventure Towns
- Cassandra Truth: Time-Traveler's Tip #47: Don't tell anyone you meet in the past that you're from the future. C'mon, do you really expect them to believe you?
- Chronoscope: One of the Tunnel's functions.
- Cliff Hanger
- Cliffhanger Copout: Sometimes the context in which a cliffhanger took place would change details at the beginning of the next episode. For example, you find that the heroes weren't in as much danger as you thought they were, or, at least, that it was a different kind of danger than you thought.
- Cool Gate: The Time Tunnel itself.
- Cut Short: Canceled after one season; the stranded time-travelers never made it home.
- Elaborate Underground Base: The base for Project Tic-Toc (the government organization that created and operated the Time Tunnel) was hidden beneath the Arizona desert.
- Eternal English: Ever person in every time period speaks perfect 20th Century English, no matter how far into the past or future the travelers go or what country they are visiting. Sometimes foreign characters will have stupid accents when the travelers end up in a place like France or Germany, but that's as far as it goes.
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: A major part of the premise.
- Genre Blindness: Doug and Tony's continual failure to grasp the fact that You Can't Fight Fate.
- Historical Domain Character: Doug and Tony met plenty of them.
- The Homeward Journey
- Hot Scientist: Dr. Ann MacGregor.
- Meanwhile in the Future
- Mistaken for Spies/Time Travelers Are Spies
- Next Sunday AD : The show was produced in 1966-67, but used 1968 as the present year.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Senator Leroy Clark in the pilot.
- Penal Colony ("Devil's Island")
- Professor Guinea Pig: Dr. Tony Newman.
- Punishment Box ("Devil's Island")
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Lt. Gen. Heywood Kirk.
- Reign of Terror: The title of an episode about The French Revolution.
- Revival: A pilot for a reimagined Time Tunnel, complete with Tony Newman recast as a woman named Toni Newman, was made in 2002 but never broadcast; it's available as an extra on the second DVD set. The Sci Fi Channel announced another revival attempt a few years later, but it never got out of Development Hell.
- San Dimas Time
- Shout-Out: Part of the unsold Revival pilot takes places in Nazi Germany. Two of the heroes masquerade as German soldiers named Colonel Klink and Sergeant Schultz.
- Snap Back: Tony and Doug inexplicably always end up back in the clothes they were wearing when they went into the tunnel, regardless of whatever period clothes they had on when they left.
- Stock Footage: About 30% of the show was stock footage from various Twentieth Century Fox films. Naturally leading to...
- Tick Tock Tune: John Williams' theme music.
- Time Travel
- Twenty Minutes Into the Future: You all remember that manned mission to Mars in 1978, right?
- World War Two: In both the original series and the Revival.
- You Can't Fight Fate
- You Have to Believe Me