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Time Machines

Time Helmet - Time device featured on episode No. 78 "Once Upon a Time" (12/15/61) on the sci-fi anthology TWILIGHT ZONE.

Buster Keaton as William Mulligan with Good Samaritan - THE TWILIGHT ZONE

Buster Keaton starred as William Mulligan, a clumsy janitor living in the 1890s town of Harmony who sought some peace and quiet from all the noise of modern day life.

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.

Almost hit by a car, Mulligan loses his time helmet when the protruding arm of a car driver snags the helmet off his head. Running after the car, Mulligan retrieves the helmet but just then a kid on a skateboard picks up the helmet and skates away. Mulligan again retrieves the helmet but discovers it broken.

Suddenly, a Good Samaritan directs Mulligan to a fix-it shop where the helmet gets repaired. However, the 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 greener...in the Twilight Zone.

TRIVIA NOTE: The time helmet resembled a football helmet with a series of thin iron shafts rising vertically from each side. On the side of the helmet was a dial that tracked the time periods from the 1890s to the 1960s. When activated, the tips of the helmet's iron spikes began to smoke, sizzle and spark. The length of each time trip was limited to 30 minutes.


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