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From Here to There and Back: TV Time Travel Devices. (Jerome A. Holst © 2002)

Continued from Page 1

The Do-It-Yourself Devices

Crime Traveller Time Machine
- On the short-lived but exciting sci-fi series CRIME TRAVELLERS/BBC/1997, police science officer Holly Turner (Chloe Annett) and maverick police detective Jeff Slade traveled back in time to find evidence to solve crimes. They took their excursion via a time machine created by Holly's father, Frederick Turner, an eccentric quantum physics professor. Unfortunately, he disappeared in a loop of infinity and Holly took up her father's research in hope of retrieving him from his temporal purgatory. Holly kept her father's invention a secret until one day she revealed its existence to fellow police officer Jeff Slade. Holly had traveled back in time to prove Slade innocent of false charges that were about to destroy his career. Grateful and curious as to how Holly got the evidence that exonerated him, Slade pushed Holly to explain how she could be at two places at once. Reluctantly, Holly agreed to show Jeff the Time Machine. Holly's time machine was nothing grand in the sci-fi tradition but rather a jumble of wires, circuitry, crystals and DIY technology that cluttered Holly's apartment. The secrets to the invention were a watch that synchronized with the machine's temporal fields and a set of time rules that could not be broken. Holly's machine generates a tachyon bombardment that creates a wormhole and thus allowed travelers to enter the past.

Crime Travellers' Time Machine
Jeff & Holly in front of the Crime Traveler Machine

Time Helmet - On episode No. 78 "Once Upon a Time" (12/15/61) on the sci-fi anthology TWILIGHT ZONE, Buster Keaton starred as William Mulligan, a clumsy janitor living in the 1890s town of Harmony. Upset with all the noise, Mulligan seeks some peace and quiet. When he sees a "Time Machine" in the form of a helmet created by a local scientist, Mulligan puts it on his head and suddenly appears in the middle of a 1960s traffic-filled street. When Mulligan tries to return to the past, a supposed "Good" Samaritan steals it and tries to travel back in time without Mulligan. Thinking quickly, Mulligan jumps into the time wake created by the helmet, and both he and the Good Samaritan return to the past. While Mulligan was glad to be back home, the man from the 1960s complained about the lack of modern conveniences like TV dinners, electric blankets or girls in bikinis. To shut the man up and get some peace and quiet, Mulligan placed the time helmet on the man's head and sent him back to the future. Moral: The grass isn't always the Twilight Zone.

The Phone Booths

Circuits of Time Phone Booth - On the science fiction fantasy BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURES/FOX/1992, teenage rock musicians William "Bill" Preston (Evan Richards) and his pal Theodore "Ted" Logan (Christopher Kennedy) traveled through time in a specially designed phone booth called the "Circuits of Time Phone Booth." When they wanted to transport themselves somewhere in the past or future they entered the booth, closed the door and dialed the number 7560. When they arrived at their destination, they placed an "Out of Order" sign on the booth to protect it. The "Circuits of Time Phone Booth" was the invention of a futuristic society based in the year 2692 founded on the philosophies of the "The Wyld Stallyns" [Bill & Ted's 20th century rock group]. To protect the Bill & Ted [a.k.a. "the Holy Ones,"] the regular "Holy Ones" from the future assigned Rufus (Rick Overton) to safeguard Bill & Ted and thus preserve the peace and harmony of the future. As revered "Holy Ones," Bill & Ted's perks included access to the Circuits of Time Phone Booth in which they had many "most excellent" adventures.

T.A.R.D.I.S. - Blue Police Call Box that can travel to any planet, or to any time in history on the British sci-fi series DOCTOR WHO/BBC/1963-89. The TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimensions in Space) carried Time Lord Doctor Who about the universe as he explored strange new species and battled evil. Its piloting system is controlled by a six-sided central console panel that includes such gadgets as the Dematerialization Panel, the Master Control Panel, the Exterior Monitor Panel, the Navigational Control Panel, Auxiliary Systems Panel, and the Informational Controls Panel. The Ship's time rotor (a transparent cylindrical column that rises and falls during each flight) is located at the center of the control console. Above the control console is the power octagon that links with its power source. While traveling through time and space, the Doctor uses a scanner located behind the control console to view the world that exists outside of the TARDIS. See also ALIENS: "Dr. Who"

So there you have it, the methods of time travel are varied. Besides the methods mentioned above, you can travel through time in a starship, fall a sleep (shades of Rip Van Winkle) like Lister, a crewman of the spacecraft Red Dwarf who awoke out of stasis three million years later, and/or by the twitch of a nose or the blink of an eye as in Samantha the Witch on BEWITCHED or Jeannie the Genie of I DREAM OF JEANNIE.

But no matter how you get there, the big question is what are you going to do when you arrive in the past or future. Just go sightseeing? Or change history? Do I see the makings of a good Time Travel plot in the makings? Lets hope so. Time Travel is fun to speculate about and even nicer to experience, if only through the eyes of such intrepid time explorers as Bill and Ted, Dr. Who and the likes.

Gotta go now. Time waits for man. Unless, of course, he's got the right equipment. "I'll be back!"

for a complete list of devices and Time Travelers see TIME MACHINES

NOTE: This article may be linked for distribution to other Internet publications. Please credit the article to the author, Jerome A. Holst and mention its URL.

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