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THE TIME TUNNEL-Revenge of the Gods, Massacre
THE TIME TUNNEL
REVENGE OF THE GODS
Writer-William R Woodland
Music-Leith Stevens--contains fight music which is sometimes combined with fight music from the later episode THE DEATH TRAP (see fights in PIRATES OF DEADMAN'S ISLAND, CHASE THROUGH TIME, TOWN OF TERROR, ATTACK OF THE BARBARIANS, and others).
Tony and Doug fly in time as we hear the familiar narration. The boys land on sand amid dead soldiers in red skirts and tunics, silver armor, helmets and swords. Doug lands on his back first, then Tony a few seconds later. One asks the other if he is all right as the tunnel people watch them get up, "You all right?" Kirk wants Ann to narrow down the time fix from, "...sometime before 100 BC...before 500 BC." Doug looks at Trojans and Greeks...part of two opposing armies readying to face off at each other. He says, "We're right in the middle of No Man's Land." Tony looks, "They'll cut us to ribbons." The pair hide behind rocks strewn among a major rocky area. The tunnel people watch Greeks holding out their spears. Ann continues to get the time fix, "600 BC...700, 800, 1000, 1200 BC is the final time fix stabilized." Ray tells the spatial coordinates--389-58---where Greece and Turkey meet. Men lie down with shields and other men on horses ride over them. Men on horses fight other men on horses and some on foot. Tony and Doug watch the fierce battle. Many men on both sides are stabbed by spears, swords, and arrows. As Tony and Doug watch, they are taken unaware--behind them comes a Greek warrior, his sword upraised high, "Die Trojan!" They react and the sword is raised above both men, closer to Doug! The music used is somewhat different sounding to the music used in the same scenes from last week's cliffhanger (shown at the end of CRACK OF DOOM). There is also very little time between the end of the cliffhanger and the beginning of the theme music credits---which means very little time from the end of the cliffhanger to the end of the teaser, in fact, here, it is a matter of mere seconds. Where the cliffhanger ended in CRACK OF DOOM---the sword being raised---and where the teaser ends---the sword being dropped at Doug and Tony---and clanging against the rocks the boys were near--and they both fall---is a matter of mere seconds.
On their backs, the two time travelers try to explain they were visiting cities in the area. They stand up and see the city of Troy. The soldier takes them to Ulysses who is in a camp of tents. It is then we see the titles over the stock footage of battles: spearmen, chariots crush footmen and run over them, other men fight. At the tent camp, Sardis yells at Ulysses, "Those plains are red with Greek blood!" Ulysses here is a sorry figure, not at all like the version with Kirk Douglas. He is supposed to be older after ten years of war but I felt someone else would have made a stronger Ulysses. A guard brings Tony and Doug in. Kevin Hagen played the Greek that attacked Tony and Doug and it is difficult to tell if he is in any of the rest of this episode--it was quite a small part (pun not intended--well, maybe) for someone of Hagen's skill and caliber, not to mention major past and future efforts in Allen's VOYAGE (THE SHAPE OF DOOM, ATTACK) and LOST IN SPACE (HIS MAJESTY SMITH). He is, of course, best known as Inspector Kobick in 12 episodes of LAND OF THE GIANTS. Ulysses examines Tony's shirt and Doug's sleeve and jacket front. Doug tells him, "We're from a faraway place and time. Sardis takes out his sword to kill them but Ulysses stops him and asks if they are from west of Troy, the Aegean, Delphi, North of Palenosi or some such nonsense. Doug says, "Let's just say we come from a place and time without end, past and future." Ulysses takes them to be gods from Mt. Olympus and bids them to sit. He gives them wine which Doug drinks but Tony is not seen drinking. The leader asks of the future. Tony tells him he will be victorious and Doug tells him he will not breech the walls of Troy. Sardis and Ulysses argue: Sardis yells that they are just men and will be tested. He tosses a sword over to Tony to test him. Doug says, "Let me do it." Tony says, "He tossed it to me." Tony and Sardis have a well developed fight sequence between them, Tony using karate against Sardis, who also makes use of his shield against Tony. At the tunnel complex, the image switches and they see Tony kicking Sardis in the middle of the fight (and for once it seems as if they backtracked on what we see earlier--i.e. a part of the fight that we already saw). The music used during the fight and most of the other music used is used extensively in later episodes (the fight music is used a great deal with the action music in THE DEATH TRAP and both are quite good, especially together--frankly one of the best bits of music, action or otherwise, from THE TIME TUNNEL). Leith Stevens does a good job with the entire score.
Tony puts the sword to Sardis but doesn't kill him. Tony moves away but only a warning from Doug saves him from a spear thrown at his back by Sardis. Tony ducks; Ulysses slaps Sardis (oh, that really hurt). After continuing to call Tony and Doug, "...not Gods," Sardis mocks Ulysses some more, "Ten years of military blunders on this forsaken coast!" He leaves while Ulysses ponders on the time Achilles left, who would not listen to him similar to Sardis's leaving now. Ulysses tells them Sardis is a man of force; he will test them now with questions. Why? He should be capturing Sardis. Questions concern about the Messenger to the Oracle of Delphi and what was the answer, what did Apollo advise. Doug and Tony tell about Paras who stole Helen, Cassandra who was the Messenger, and answer questions about the start of the war. It began when a contest was suggested as to who was the prettiest--Venus, Juno, or Minerva. Jupiter was too wise to act as judge (wasn't Jupiter the Roman name for the Greek god Zeus?). Are we mixing or tenses? Paras gave a golden arrow to Venus and Venus gave him the ability to kidnap Helen. Minerva and Juno are on Ulysses side. Who are they? Are they alien "gods"? Helen, tells Paras that someone of something made her go with him--and questions Paras if it were poison (?) of some kind--and asks if it was poison similar to the poison he used to kill Achilles (in the heel?). This seems to indicate that some form of real magic or alien beings may have been involved. Ulysses asks for Tony and Doug to have proper attire and calls them friends from Mt. Olympus.
Sardis goes to a soldier at Troy's walls, telling him he wants to be taken to Paras. Paras, in an excellent set (which looks like an ATLANTIS THE LOST CONTINENT set), is looking out the balcony. Helen comes in and as he brags, she puts him in his place. She tells him she saw the battle from the parapet. Paras has a skirt on and curly blond-ish hair (Paul Carr looking slightly comical and effeminate). Helen tells him she will hate him forever. Sardis comes in to join them and betray Ulysses, Sparta, and Helen. Helen slaps him (oh, that also hurt). She leaves. Sardis tells her before she does so, "The rule of war is one side must lose and one must win." Paras is upset over the two "gods" that came into Ulysses's camp. Sardis tells him Ulysses is fighting on plains where Greeks cannot win. Paras asks him to get the two gods and tells a guard to go with him and kill him if he betrays them. Sardis wants to use the uniforms of the dead Greeks on the battle field to dress up 25 Trojan warriors as Greeks. Tony and Doug talk in the camp's main tent, both dressed in Greek uniforms. The gods were drafted into the army (actually they started the whole mess) but Doug says it doesn't matter, as soon as the Greeks are all asleep--he and Tony get out of here. Tony wants to find out about the Greek horse first and goes to talk to Ulysses for only a minute. Trojans cross the river in Greek uniforms--night and stock footage providing cover. Epeios, an older man--cautious, is conferring with Ulysses who tells him 100 men at first worked on the horse but now 200 men are on it. Tony knows of this plan already, making his lie of being a god all the more strong. Ulysses tells him the gods are on the side of those who win (actually they were on both sides!). He tells the old man Tony, "looks down on us from the future." Sardis and men attack the camp using fires. There are brief fights; Sardis gets Doug, and the Trojans, with Doug, get away!
Sardis's men recross the water. Sardis has Doug taken to Paras, "He claims to know the future." Paras smiles, "Let's test him on the past." He asks Doug of Cassandra. Doug tells him she has a gift from Apollo--gift of prophecy. When Helen speaks the truth (according to Helen) Paras almost whips her; Doug jumps in front of her; Sardis takes out his sword to kill Doug but Helen quick talks Paras into stopping this, telling him that to kill one god is to offend them all. Paras, afraid it would seem, gives Doug the freedom of the house. Sardis talks to Paras about Ulysses's mind--to attack at dawn will cost the Greek his best men. Tony, wearing a helmet that looks too big for him and looks kind of silly at first, but grows on you (?), is with Ulysses who saw Sardis's betrayal but ignored it. Tony wants to go to Troy. Ulysses will let him fight with them. Trojans elite guard come out of the city. Ulysses has a few surprises for them, especially if Paras follows Sardis's advice. There is an overturned chariot in the background. Ulysses orders his men to wait until the Trojans get close and then fall back. Greeks use spears. They are to shoot fire into the straw and cut off the Trojans. The stock and the plot here become confusing as ever. Near the fire, a Trojan brutally stabs a Greek soldier down. The battle outside the rocks (inside being the new material, outside being the more heavily crowded crowd scenes of close quarter fighting) becomes more close quarter fighting with swords, spears, and arrows. Tony goes to fire the fire at the straw which will cut off the Trojans. Tunnel staff watch the sword fighting, see Tony battling two Trojans. They cannot find Doug. Kirk wants to help in some other way, if they cannot switch him and Doug. He orders Jiggs to get grenades and a sub machine gun. Men with shields block the growing fire after Tony shot it into the straw and it grows. Many of the men are killed--the shields not effective against the fire, which seems carried by the wind. Tony stabs one of the two Trojans he is fighting down--to death. Two more attack, Ann screams as one nearly kills Tony. The music here and following begins to sound a great deal like Steven's for LOST IN SPACE-BLAST OFF INTO SPACE. This is fine as it is wonderful---both BLAST OFF and REVENGE OF THE GODS should be on any future soundtrack of Irwin Allen's shows--if there are any more. The tunnel sounds up (sounds like the Jupiter II taking off) and the blasts occur but the weapons don't go (very irresponsible of Kirk to send weapons back in time, I think). The radiation could detonate grenades, so Jiggs goes into the tunnel mouth to get them. He vanishes. Ann wonders, "Where's Jiggs?" Ray says, "Transmitted...to the plains of Troy."
The battle goes on and I really don't like seeing too much violence but I think battles where many commit violence but no one is shown dying, is really not fair either---if violence is to be shown--it must be shown as it is--awful and terrible. Here, the film that the stock is taken from--doesn't show much death, only battles, not the consequences of the violence. REVENGE's new material at least shows some deaths but not the implications (if Tony killed someone in the battle that didn't die the first time around--how might that effect time and history?--OR was Tony always a part of this battle and always did kill each and every one he did kill now?). Tony gets a Trojan down on a rock and stabs him in his chest. More arrive to fight him. Jiggs flies down and lands on his hands and knees. He shoots the machine gun at four more Trojans and Tony stabs one as he goes down. A Trojan jumps off a rock cliff onto Jiggs just as Tony spots him. Tony pulls the Trojan off Jiggs just as the soldier was trying to put his sword into Jigg's face or neck. Tunnel is locked on Jiggs and can get him back. They activate the power and the tunnel bursts again. The probe says Jiggs must be in the tunnel. When Kirk questions this, "Why because the instruments say so?" Ann answers, "Dr. Swain must be right, the tunnel goes to infinity." Kirk answers back, "I'm interested in a flesh and blood man, not a man in infinity." Unfortunately, this potentially excellent scene is marred by the simple fact that we, the viewers don't really have enough interest in the man ourselves. Jiggs, if anything, was the total cliche of every bad writer and critic who ever criticized Irwin Allen's shows for bad characterization. Normally, these critics are very wrong--all four Allen shows had excellent characters, actors to bring them to life and give them warmth, and believeable, likeable characters in an overwhelming majority of instances. Jiggs, however, is one wooden cardboard character with no likeable qualities at all---at least none that we are given. The actor who plays him is very bad...and here, it adds to the strange surroundings when he calls out from the tunnel in a stilted voice--fitting to the situation--but not good acting. We never get to know Jiggs much at all...he must have had some kind of personality but we've only seen him muttering orders and information, usually only to General Kirk and underlings. Jerry, on the other hand, would have been a great character to continue in all the episodes (he is not in all of them; Jiggs is not in all of them either). Jerry was a character with true potential as he added a bit of spice and conflict to the other three main staff people. Ann, Ray, and Kirk could always disagree with each other but not to the point where they wouldn't follow orders--Jerry sometimes did not follow orders and in his last episode--NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES--he goes right against them. Again, the potential of the situation--Jerry perhaps being caught and court martialed or something---is missed--totally ignored. Jerry also had a personality and some humor behind him when intermingled with Ann, Kirk, and especially Ray. He was sadly under used.
Jiggs is not visible to the staff...nor to us (even when we can see him--get it?). Ray wants to repeat the retrieve procedure as if they were still locked onto him, same coordinates. Blasts occur again and the smoke doesn't clear this time. They hear Jigg's voice, which sounds odd and stilted, strange, "I'm trying--it's hard (!), it seems so far," Jiggs chants. He stalks out slowly, bent over--an old man! Ann looks, "What have we done to him?" They tell him to go back into the tunnel to transmission point. We hear that Music that sounds like BLAST OFF INTO SPACE again. Jiggs goes in and Ray orders a retrieve from the same coordinates using reverse polarity (shades of DOCTOR WHO). There are more blasts and we see a light bridge---a walkway which goes into the tunnel---the circular rings merely opened without the walkway. Without it there, people would fall through the rings! It doesn't always appear that way throughout the series. Jiggs comes back out all right. Ann, Ray, and Kirk run down to greet him. More bursts and Ray looks, "I must have left the retractor on automatic." They run back to the console. Another larger blast and a Trojan soldier comes out of the tunnel! Kirk orders Jiggs not to kill him. They synchronize the time differential--whatever that means. Many guards force the soldier back into the tunnel. He runs in and throws his sword at them from the light bridge (silly that they duck as it cannot really reach them from that far). The soldier is sent back. Jiggs looks down at his sword.
Ann, Kirk, and Ray take it and look at it. Ann says, "The sword...from the siege of Troy." Ray says this is positive proof that it was not a myth. Kirk, almost hypnotically, says, "Ulysses, Helen, Paras, Achilles...they really did live..."
Ray corrects him, "Not did live, General, they're living now..somewhere at the end of the tunnel."
Ulysses tells Tony he did well and Tony adds that all his men did well. Tony, Ulysses and Epeious discuss the horse plan. Ulysses says, "The gods not only read the future but also the thoughts in the minds of men." Tony asks he be among those hiding in the horse which is a gift to Minerva. Ulysses asks him if it is to ensure the safety of the one he came with (Doug). I am not sure about all this: if Ulysses sees Doug and Tony as gods, how can he believe that Tony is worried Doug will die? We hear some really good music as Doug goes to Helen in Troy. She reports Ulysses is retreating--going home. Doug says, "He won't leave without you." Sardis comes in and mocks Doug. Paras takes Helen and Doug to the balcony and they see Helen's 1000 ships leaving, returning to Greece. Paras says, "Now you are Helen of Troy." He orders his guards to ,"...take the god to the dungeon and put him on the rack." He claims Doug is a false god. Doug tells Paras he will die on the sword of Ulysses and that Apollo gave Cassandra here gift of prophecy but along with that was a flip side: no one would believe her. Paras has Doug taken away to the dungeon.
Troy celebrates. Helen knocks a goblet from Paras's hand as he orders her to be his queen. A guard comes in and tells of a gift. Sardis says, "I fear the Greeks even when offering gifts (wait, although at this point, he is evil---isn't he one of the only ones not lying here and also isn't he one of the only ones who is smart and correct about Tony, Doug, and the Greeks--and while we are on it--isn't he Greek himself?)." Paras says famous last words, "We Trojans are not afraid of wooden horses." He orders it brought in. There is some nice stock footage of the horse coming inside the gates of Troy and the shouting citizens, the horse being pulled by Trojan men and some soldiers. Sardis tells Paras to destroy the horse. Paras goes on being stupid, "You Greeks (see, Sardis is Greek and they just reaffirmed it for us) and your superstitions, you amuse me." Now, hold on once more--isn't Paras also superstitious--doesn't he believe in the gods and Cassandra's prophecy and to offend one is to offend them all...oh well. The horse is paraded through town. Helen won't let Paras burn it, acting like what Paras says is his wife. She seems to have a more stern, regal streak to her now--has she accepted him? Naw, she's just trying to play along. Night arrives: Tony opens the door under the horse's belly and he and the men climb out using rope in what is yet another neat special effect---but also probably stock. The men have swords and crossbows. They sneak up the steps. Crossbows hit guards who are stationed on the tower. They get hit in the chest and stomach. Sardis yells that the Greeks are attacking and no one seems to care. Tony fights Sardis and wins, asking him where Doug is. The music here is very exciting and like almost all of the music used in this episode, is used again later in the series. Tony leaves Sardis alone and some Greeks come and shoot a crossbow into his heart. He dies. Tony waves over the parapet to Ulysses and he brings his men toward Troy. The Greeks open the doors for the rest of the army and the army comes in and begins to sack Troy. A guard tells Paras. Helen says, "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts..."
Ulysses comes in and stabs the guard right through his stomach and out his back. He asks Paras to fight him, "I have no desire to butcher you." They fight and Paras begs to live as they cross swords. Ulysses stabs him in the stomach. As brutal as this sounds (and it is), other versions of Troy's destruction are even worse: one version had a Greek soldier cornering a Trojan family--stabbing the man, then stabbing the woman--who was holding a baby. Mother and baby fell to the stone floor below--to be trampled on. Other versions also show it from the side of the Trojans...and they are the good guys.
Helen tells Ulysses she never lost faith; however I find it difficult to believe in ten years she couldn't have escaped if she wanted to. Helen tells Ulysses of Doug on the rack. The rack is stretching Doug as Tony runs down and cuts the rope. Tony gets him down. Outside there is more stock of Trojans being massacred. Some were bare chested since they were asleep. All are killed. Doug and Tony find Ulysses and Helen. The climax here is a bit lackluster. Aforementioned versions all have much better sacks of Troy with much more fighting and better choreographed sequences...and they last longer. But as with CRACK OF DOOM, not many series, even in the 1990s would even try to present the events (HERCULES and SLIDERS might, XENA has). Ann gets Tony and Doug's image on the screen. Ray orders her to refine the focus. Helen asks of Greece's future. Before Tony and Doug can answer, their own clothes zap onto them, the armor and uniforms of Greece vanish. Ulysses gasps, "the ways of the gods are indeed strange." So is this man's brain. Tony and Doug, without saying anything, vanish. We don't get to see Helen and Ulysses's reactions to that.
CLIFFHANGER: It is day as Tony and Doug tumble out of the vortex. They see many dead soldiers in what appear to be Civil War uniforms. Doug realizes this is not the South nor Eastern US. He checks one of the dead men's ID: a private Augus Schmidt, enlisted 1868 in St. Louis, Missouri. Doug says they are right in the middle of nowhere. He spots three Indians riding horses at them. The pair run but the Indians give chase, dismounting when the chase enters a more forestry area. Crazy Horse, Yellow Elk, and Knife are the three pursuers. Tony and Doug hear some kind of signal. Just as Tony thinks they've given them the slip, he literally runs right into them! Doug fights and Tony is stopped from behind, one of the Indians putting a knife to his throat. As they fight, one of the Indians, Crazy Horse it seems, puts a knife right at Doug's stomach.
REVENGE OF THE GODS (this ending was also tagged onto repeats of THE LAST PATROL for some repeating episodes out of order--as if cliffhangers don't cause enough confusion but they're FUN!)-Tony and Doug land in the desert in what looks like the West but they see so many dead men in Civil War Calvary uniforms. Doug checks a dead man Private Augus Shmidt, enlisted: St. Louis Missouri, 1868--after the Civil War. They hear running horses and rush off into the forests, hearing strange bird calls, signals by American Indians. The three American Indians have dismounted and grab them, knives pointed at Doug's stomach! (This is picked up in MASSACRE as Tony tries to tell the Indians, one who understands English that they are not soldiers and have no weapons; one Indian tells him they will die: end of teaser).
The end theme song has after it, the narrator, saying, "THE TIME TUNNEL!"
HISTORY LESSON: In 1873 the mound of Hissarlik near the Dardanelles was excavated by Heinrich Schliemann (who began in 1870 at the Aegean Sea in Asia Minor). Not one but nine or ten cities of Troy were found (with 16-foot thick walls!). Troy VIIa was destroyed in about 1250 BC, the traditional date of the Trojan War. The city commanded the anchorage of ships waiting to pass through the Dardanelles and it is possible the Greeks wished to destroy this stranglehold on the Black Sea trade. Heinrich was used to shady dealings and destroyed many important layers of finds to prove his point, without knowing he was doing so. He also may have stolen some of the treasures of Troy and Helen that he found--or he may have lied about this. Many of the events described in Homer's version of Troy's fall were quite correct historically and archaeologists have found much to support some of it actually happening. Other sources say in 1225 BC raiders destroyed one of the cities of Troy. Archaeologists are not sure the attackers were Greek! Some evidence suggests one of the Troy cities was devastated 50 years before its final destruction. The evidence of final destruction indicates an earthquake (and the mythic time--indicates the Heracles's raid on Troy during the time of King Laomedon). Troy may have been in the region of Illion. In the 19th century, before Schliemann's seven level discovery, scholars suggested the sight of the real Troy was Hisarlik mound. There was a city on the site some 3000 years, well into Roman times; the site was important and the odd sacking did not destroy it completely. When the harbor silted up, the city may have been abandoned. Schliemann's find of 7 levels corresponded to seven towns he labeled Troy. Troy I through Troy VII. He thought Troy III was the one Homer wrote of. Later archaeologists identified nine of more levels and believed Troy VI was the Troy of the War. Troy I and Troy II were destroyed by fire (Troy II in about 2300 BC)---1000 years before Homer's Troy. Homer's tale was written down in between the 8th and 5th century BC. Troy VI, the accepted Troy of the myth, was a city with Mycenaean style architecture; its rulers may have been Mycenaean conquerors. It was destroyed in 1260 BC and replaced with Troy VII, an impoverished place in which earlier stately mansions were replaced with hovels. This city was burned and abandoned around 1180 BC. The site was occupied yet again and much of the mound which had built up on the site was leveled when Troy IX, the Roman city, was built. The actual site is rather small (much as it was in the XENA episode of the 1990s): it is a fortified palace rather than a proper city (and THE TIME TUNNEL seems to have gotten some of that right at least in part). Most people probably lived outside the walls of Troy. Later digs added to Schliemann's activities and made a mess of the area. The sea, which in Trojan times was a bay, has long receded and the only the wind remains (wind which Homer mentions often in his tale). The original city was built in 3600 BC in what is now modern Turkey. It was rebuilt as least 8 times. There is no proof there was a war between Greeks and Trojans involving a beautiful queen named Helen and a wooden horse. There are vases with wooden giant horses that have been found but these may have been based on Homer's story. Greeks and Trojans did fight each other. Tradition had it that Helen was the daughter of Zeus and was hatched from a swan's egg--but there is no proof she ever really existed, myth or not. Just because a few true characters appear in a poem or story, doesn't mean the entire story is true. Nothing found at the site ever proved the possible existence of a wooden horse inside Troy. It is not also proven that a man named Homer ever even existed!
MYTH LESSON: The mythic story of Troy claims the survivors of Troy and the Latin inhabitants of the peninsula founded Rome (and more than one good Steve Reeves movie from Italy dealt with this). According to archeological research Rome, the city state, was founded somewhere between 800 BC and 700 BC. Romulus and Remus, the mythic founders of Rome, were born 12 generations after the rise of the house of Aeneas, the man who escaped with the survivors of Troy. After many battles and much travel, Aeneas had a son and the son, Ascanius founded a new city called Alba Longa. Of the actual story myth, the Trojan War, there is a long tale, which could fill an entire season of THE TIME TUNNEL, HERACLES, XENA, and SLIDERS all put together! The Greeks turned to oracles and that did nothing; finally they relied on their own ingenuity and that provided the means to sack Troy. In THE TIME TUNNEL, they rely on Tony only a little bit but still had the plan in place--it was almost as if Tony and Doug need not have been in the story to begin with! The story of Achilles was also made into at least two very well done movies. Paris's story alone would take quite some time. He was left to die after a premonition-nightmare made his mother dream the child would destroy Troy. King Priam and Queen Hecuba set the child out to die in the cold on Mount Ida but a she-bear raised him. Paris took the nymph Oenone as a lover. Strife, at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis threw a golden apple at Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite--who all claimed the apple as it was for who was the fairest. Zeus refused to judge. The trio approached Paris and each bribed him. Aphrodite offered Paris the love of Helen; he abandoned his Oenone and set sail for Sparta. There, he seduced Helen and took her back to Troy (some say with help from Aphrodite but it seems as if she went of her own accord--again, many ill-historical but good action films have made much of this). Apollo, spurned by Cassandra--the sister of Paris--made her gift of prophecy a curse: no one would believe her. Priam locked her away. Menelaus's wife Helen was gone and he set out to conquer Troy. Agamemnon, brother of Menelaus lead. An oracle told Odyessus (Ulysses) he would be 20 years away from home if he left. He faked madness so he wouldn't have to go but Palamedes exposed him. Achilles' mother Thetis dipped him in the River Styx at birth, making him invincible--over all his body except for the heel of his foot where she held him from. His mother disguised him in women's clothing at the Scyrian court, for they knew he would probably die there. Ulysses tricked him into revealing himself and he too would now go. There is much, much more and it reads like an exciting soap opera with many characters and many magical events and gods and godesses. There were many on both sides, both human and inhuman. Among these, Apollo and Ares favored Aeneas and Hector (who was slain by Achilles and dragged about on the end of his chariot--but Achilles later repented of this and returned the warrior's body). Achilles revenged Patroclus, his friend, who was speared "low in the belly" by Hector after Apollo knocked off Achilles' armor from Patroclus. As I've written, there is lots more but you get the idea.
NOTES: The writers of REVENGE OF THE GODS, or at least Doug, seem to have gotten the Roman names for some of the gods mixed in with the Greek names for the gods. Actually the episode uses mostly Roman names for the gods, whereas Apollo was Apollo in both Greek and Roman myths. Venus is Aphrodite. Juno is Hera. Jupiter was Zeus. Mars was Ares. For some reason, they used mostly Roman names---Ulysses probably wouldn't have known these names and probably have killed Doug and Tony...or have Sardis do it! Kevin Hagen's role was very small...too bad. An episode with merit but it could have been so much better. THE TIME TUNNEL tends to stay realistic in REVENGE OF THE GODS, not having any supernatural or magical beings make any kind of appearance, although Helen does mention some power Paris used to make her come with him...poison maybe. While we're on the subject, just which two gods were Tony and Doug supposed to be? We're never told and I doubt Ulysses or the writers knew either! Helen was portrayed as far too innocent for me. I'd rather think she was as plotting as Paris, Doug, Tony, and Ulysses were. Again, the climax could have made a rousing actioner but alas, that is the one place this story falls short. Doug and Tony were at their most devious here, just trying to stay alive justifies their lies and trickery (not really just sarcasm here), not to mention Tony's stabbing of several enemies. This, fight or die, kill to survive theme would run throughout the entire series as they kill again (mostly Tony does). The music used here (did I mention it three other times already?) is very good and used elsewhere in many future episodes (see CHASE THROUGH TIME). DOCTOR WHO did a farcical telling of this tale in THE MYTH MAKERS. XENA did a more serious version--if it can be believed!
THE TIME TUNNEL
It is day as Tony and Doug tumble out of the vortex after we hear the opening narration. They see many dead soldiers in what appear to be Civil War uniforms. Doug realizes this is not the South nor Eastern US. He checks one of the dead men's ID: a private Augus Schmidt, enlisted 1868 in St. Louis, Missouri. Doug says they are right in the middle of nowhere. He spots three Indians riding horses at them. The pair run but the Indians give chase, dismounting when the chase enters a more forestry area. Crazy Horse, Yellow Elk, and Knife are the three pursuers. Tony and Doug hear some kind of signal. Just as Tony thinks they've given them the slip, he literally runs right into them! Doug fights and Tony is stopped from behind, one of the Indians putting a knife to his throat. As they fight, one of the Indians, Crazy Horse it seems, puts a knife right at Doug's stomach. This ends the cliffhanger (that was tagged onto REVENGE OF THE GODS) which makes it appear that the Indian is stabbing Doug. The teaser continues on from here. Doug tells them they are not soldiers; Tony explains they have no weapons. The pair are taken to the dead soldiers. One of the Indians is a bit flabby, being shirtless. This is not really very believeable--if Indians were supposed to be outdoor people, especially the Sioux---then they would hardly be flabby. I suppose some might have been but it just looks wrong. Crazy Horse questions them a bit but seems already convinced that they are soldiers or spies, even so they are white and he says, "You will die," to them and orders the other two Indians to tie them up. The music that tops off this teaser ends with one long group of notes or one long note.
Act Two has the tunnel crew watching the US Cavalry. Kirk places the uniforms and mounted soldiers at somewhere between 1868 and 1890. This amazes Ann as he realized they only had mounted Dragoons in the Civil War, this mounted soldier leading them is not a Dragoon. He wonders what the song is they are whistling. They have a time fix but no location in space. Kirk calls the Indian Bureau and asks the History Dept. to send someone who knows the Indian war period. The year comes in as 1876 but the image is lost, much to Anne's annoyance. At night, Crazy Horse introduces himself to Tony and Doug, talks of a Yellow Hair, and questions them at length. They don't understand who Yellow Hair is (why not? Doesn't everyone know about Custer?). Shots ring out and distract the three Indians away. A young soldier named Tim McGinnis (who is supposed to be 15?!), the only survivor of his outfit--they were the dead men Tony and Doug saw, cuts Doug free and cuts the ropes around Tony's feet. Tony urges them to go ahead while he gets free but as they do, the Indians recapture him. Tim tells Doug he is from the B Troop of the 3rd Cavalry on dispatch from a General Kirk (?!), telling Doug the Indians will want to show Tony off at their camp. He informs Doug they can bring help from the 7th Cavalry--a one day walk to them. Doug refuses, getting an idea to cut that time down. He starts to go off, Tim wants to go with him and Doug smiles and lets him, patting his head. Doug and the young soldier sneak up on the three camping Indians (wait, aren't Indians, at least in these movies, supposed to be real sensitive to what is out in the woods and sounds and all that?). The pair steal two horses after Doug knocks one Indian down; Tony sensing it is Doug and Tim, uses his body to block the other two. Tim and Doug ride off.
Dr. Charles Whitebird, a pure blood Sioux, from the state university was contacted by the Indian Bureau and he arrives at the tunnel complex, an unassuming but big man. He looks out at the tunnel image screen and sees various tribes on a government reservation: Arapaho, Santee, Blackfoot, Sioux, Hunkpapa (a branch of the Sioux), Grand Teton (western division of the Dakotas and the Sioux). He comments that these are the best films he's ever seen on Indians. Ray says, "Those aren't films..that is the living past." Kirk goes on to tell him that the technique and engineering are classified. They get an image of Tony trying to get out of the tippee he is in at the Indian's large camp during the bright morning now. When Sitting Bull, very old at this point, and Crazy Horse catch him, he tells Sitting Bull, "The land belongs to all of us, it's my land as well as yours." This sickening short speech, the first of many by Tony, who suddenly seems American Indian himself (is that what they were implying?), is something that shames the show and this particular episode. This first one sounds like some kind of song Tony should be singing, "This land was made for you and me!!!" Sitting Bull tells Crazy Horse he has the killing fever in his blood but Crazy Horse mentions Tony's snake tongue. Both agree he is a strange white man. Tony doesn't know who Yellow Hair is but Sitting Bull insists everyone knows Yellow Hair. The Indians embarrassingly talk in mono syllables, incorrect usage, and Tarzan like non-sentences---as in many, many movies from the 50s and earlier, even a few in the early to late 60s. I often wondered how Tony and Doug could understand the languages of everyone they encountered in the past--I chalked it up to something the tunnel does--some kind of language translator but in MASSACRE the Indian talk is really cliche and quite prejudiced against the Indians being anything but ignorant. The episode is kinder to them in other ways though. Sitting Bull makes Tony a prisoner of Crazy Horse who makes an Indian puts wood on the stakes for a fire to kill Tony. Tony calls Sitting Bull brother and tells him he will show him how to die, takes his place on the stake, and stands there as Crazy Horse starts the fire...ready to burn Tony to death.
In Act Two, Sitting Bull stops the burning at the stake. Ann gets an image of mid summer June 25th, 1876 and then they see George Armstrong Custer who is thinking of the Presidency while talking to one of his majors named Tom Custer. George Armstrong Custer was a Brigadier at the age of 21 he says because he's stretched his orders. Company Commander Reno and Capt. Benteen disagree with Custer about attacking the Indians--they were not to attack until Gibbons and Cook arrive--that is the order from Major Terry. Reno is report to General Terry---Custer calls him a coward. He claims revelry is at three thirty, boots and saddles at five. They have 100 rounds of ammo. Doug and Tim ride in to the camp. Custer goes over his plans--he is Yellow Hair--well, duh! Cook's unit was attacked and wiped out...only Tim survived. They were ambushed. Custer thinks Doug is a newspaper man who can give him glory but when Doug explains he needs help for Tony, Custer tells him he cannot do this right away...even if Tony isn't already dead. When Doug informs him that the army is to help civilians, Custer has him arrested--he can't chance that he will talk of where the camp is. June 24th, 1876, Whitebird recalls is when Custer first set up camp near Muddy Creek. They are trying to get a spatial (Ray explains, "That is a geographical fix.") fix. Tim cuts Doug out of the tent, telling him he is going against his oath as an officer. He diverts the sentry, asking him for tobacco to chew, "it gets a fellow done not having a mouth full of tobacco." Although, Charles has made a lifetime study of the area, it is too big for him to immediately make out where it is. Tony is told he must fight--win and he will be adopted, lose and he will die. Weapons include a tomahawk and a knife. Yellow Elk fights Tony.
In act three, Tony bests Yellow Elk in the fight, throwing his knife and tomahawk away quickly. Tony uses karate and this may explain why he wins. This is a plus for the show since Indians almost always lose in movies and TV shows, despite the fact that (erroneously) that almost all of their tribes are supposed to have these fights to the death as part of their heritage! A book called THE CELLUOID INDIAN mentions MASSACRE as being partly okay in its portrayal of the American Indians since it was somewhat sympathetic to them and their plight, however, also mentioning (correctly so) that the way the Indians were portrayed was stilted and unrealistic, making them both noble savages and bloodthirsty villains at the same time. This is partly true. MASSACRE, however tried--more on this later.
Anyway, Tony wins and it is very silly that he puts the knife to Yellow Elk's throat and then buries it in the sand...although perhaps he was overcome by the fight and at first wanted to kill. This type of ending is more akin to a Capt. Kirk fight in STAR TREK. Tony eulogizes that brother should not kill brother (see IDOL OF DEATH for more Tony sermons on killing...some of which don't seem to match up with his ways here). Sitting Bull tells him, "Truly, you are a brother." The tunnel staff see Doug trying to get away from the Calvary. Kirk has told them Custer was tough on anyone who crossed him but Whitebird admits not as tough as the Indians would be--his brothers (this is hogwash--there have been plenty of stories of Indians not hurting captives as much as of them killing, torturing them,....and each other but it was the white man who brought scalping to the New World...and white man who also tortured and killed).
Benteen catches up with Doug and tells him the Indians would be tougher on Doug than Custer was. Benteen is calmer than most others who have come up against Tony and Doug in the past (and the future, ha, ha, ha). Charles locates a familiar rock underpass from the tunnel complex--called Indian Arch. This is the route that Custer took to Little Big Horn and if they get some kind of surveillance maps he could probably locate it. They lose Doug's image, get it again, then get Tony's image. Tony tells Indians about the future and urges them to talk, don't fight. The council comes to an end. One thing about this council--it is a council of three apparently. There should have been more chiefs and indians present! And certainly Tony wouldn't have been one of the main speakers at the council (even if it was allowed!).
Stock footage of the Custer army camp is used to good effect again, as Doug returns to Custer. Custer tells him he would have him court martialed and shot if he was a soldier. He adds, "I've half a mind to do it anyway." Doug explains to Custer about the future. Doug tries to get Custer to let Tim stay behind but he'll use him as his trumpeter and messenger (sad music here, sounding like Herman Stein from THE DERELICT via LOST IN SPACE--). Tim protested Doug's request. Doug and Benteen talk--he has a 7 year old son. Doug asks Benteen to do him a favor--get Tim assigned to Reno. He calls Custer daft and Benteen agrees. Whitebird wants another look at the Indian camp, perhaps he can recognize something. The braves are getting ready for battle. Sitting Bull doesn't listen to Tony. This seems to be in spite of the council and what they would do from out of it...very improbable. They most likely decided at the council what Sitting Bull now reveals. They talk more. Sitting Bull will send Tony to Yellow Hair (who? Oh, Custer.) with a message of peace offering from him. Charles explains to Kirk that Sitting Bull didn't take part in the battle---apparently he waited in his tippee for a reply of some kind...but no peace offering was ever before recorded in history. If Custer was not going to attack, the natives would have given peace; if he attacked, they would kill him and the others under his command.
At this point, Kirk asks, "Who is the savage and who is the civilized man?" This is more a statement than a question, Kirk reflecting on how the native Sitting Bull was offering a peace plan to Custer--who doesn't listen---and Kirk's statement and he are presented as sympathetic and sensitive to the Native Americans. Whitebird, even more thoughtfully, counters with, "There were savages on both sides." This short scene, at least for me, countered all those negative, unrealistic portrayals (including in part, this one) of American Natives I have ever seen and sent me wondering what they were really like. For that, MASSACRE is owed a great deal. Crazy Horse tells Sitting Bull it was a mistake to send a white man to Custer. Outside, as if to prove Whitebird's statement, Crazy Horse sends Yellow Elk with a tomahawk---after Tony--to kill him.
Act Four starts as Ann cannot hold the image as Tony rides to an arch and Ann misses an estimation of when he was riding past the arch...the screen went blank and they couldn't see the exact moment Tony went under it. They have the spatial setting for that arch. Kirk tells Ann to reverse her field---I won't comment. Instead of Tony, they pick up Yellow Elk, who was chasing Tony. Elk exits the tunnel and runs at the consoles, tomahawk raised. Guards grab him; Kirk allows them to let him go as Charles Whitebird wants to talk to him. He tells Elk the truth. He is in a place of great mystery, a place beyond the sunrise. He goes on to tell Elk that it is better to live and if the new ways are good, then they should learn them. He tells him that Sitting Bull will teach them how to and so will men like Tony and Doug. Yellow Elk gives him his tomahawk and goes back into the tunnel. Ann has a timelock for Yellow Elk and sends him back to the exact time and place. He appears and the familiar time tunnel popping musical sound doesn't occur (and it will not occur when ultimately Tony and Doug pop out at the very end). Ann and Ray look at Whitebird. Perry Lopez does a wonderfully subdued acting job here and for once we do not have a madman expert or a killer of some kind (see IDOL OF DEATH, ONE WAY TO THE MOON) or some expert that has a very direct bearing on the events in the past (see KILL TWO BY TWO). He was just an expert trying to help. It is odd that Lopez wasn't given credit for this role in the press kit.
As we hear the cavalry march music (which sets up the mood very nicely) and see some stock footage of soldiers, we also see several outdoor medium shots of riders that cannot be stock: Doug, Custer, and Tim among others are on horseback. All of it fits nicely. Tim calls the officers to set up camp. Custer tells Tom he has a premonition--he never has before--Tom reminds him he doesn't believe in such things. Custer explains luck has carried him this far and wonders if he has used it all up, "Is this the day the luck runs out?" He thinks about going back to Fort Lincoln after the battle. Benteen couldn't help Tim get transferred to Reno. Doug asks him to keep trying. Tim overhears and gets mad at Doug, asking him if he is trying to ruin his military career.
Oddly enough, Tim, who up to now was a somewhat likeable character tells Doug to stay out of his business and if he, "...can just kill a couple of Indians or three," he will do well in the military. It depends, he goes on, on what eyes see him in action---in front of the proper eyes he can go to trooper to corporal striper, to sergeancy, to....Doug finishes for him, somewhat distraught, "General, right?"
Tony arrives and Doug and he reunite (one of many reunitings during the series). Tony tells Custer that Sitting Bull will stay in his tippee and wait for Custer to come to him to talk peace (in reality, Sitting Bull watched the battle sitting on his horse but did not take part). Tony tells Custer that a wise man would listen to Sitting Bull and talk peace but adds, "I know you won't," telling Custer he is not a wise man. This was the first good job in this episode from Darren. I liked the way he handled Custer. Despite this, Custer declares them both renegades, suspicious of how Tony got out of the Indian camp with his scalp (ironically enough, Custer was not scalped in the massacre--one of the only ones who wasn't). He orders Benteen to kill them if they try to get away again. Later he will have them tried and hung. Doug tells Tony to forget Custer, "He's lost in his dream of glory." Smoke signals alert other Indians to begin the attack ride. More stock of Indians. Reno's trumpeter is sick and Custer suggests brandy and hot water will cure him. Custer, in one of his only smart moves in this episode, tells Tim he must go with Reno even though Tim declares he'd rather go with Custer. Custer tells him he must obey orders. Tony and Doug ride at the rear of the column and we hear an appropriate score from what appears to be a western movie but Joe Mullendore did most of the score for this episode, evident when Whitebird first recognized the Indian Arch.
Sitting Bull tells Crazy Horse, "War brings war, peace brings peace--I will stay in my tippee."
Tim rides to Tony and Doug, he will stretch his orders just as Custer has done from time to time (and earlier in the episode when he first appears Custer has admitted this to Tom). He will ride with Custer! Doug fakes that something is wrong with his horse. He and Tony punch the guards down. Tim yells at them--they should not be fighting each other but fighting the Indians---he just doesn't get it, does he? In all, he is a soldier. Doug orders him to come with them but he claims he doesn't take orders from him---Doug yells at him louder, "Well, you do now!" The two men and Tim ride off---and I wonder why none of the rest of the soldiers see them do so. Despite this, this scene is well done and I like the fact that Doug is protective of Tim (something Tony will be in THE DEATH MERCHANT).
From a vantage point on a hill, the trio see Reno's men attacked by hundreds and thousands of Indians (stock footage and if you look closely during either this or the battle with Custer's men, you can see a stunt man rider fall off a horse and either his horse or another horse steps on him on his back or side but not his backside! This didn't look staged and may have been an accident but it is difficult to tell--if it was faked then it is the most realistic Cavalry vs. Indians fight footage I've seen). Tony thinks it is lucky that Reno and some men got away at all. Oddly enough, he never questions why Sitting Bull sent out the attackers and how Sitting Bull knew Custer and Reno were going to attack. Tim wants to go join Reno (?) but it appears the worst is over for his men--the Indians are now concentrating on Custer's forces. Doug tells him he hopes Tim will make the sergeancy. As Tim leaves, several Indians grab Tony and Doug!
In the tag, Yellow Elk comes to them and speaks to them of the Great Tunnel in the Sky with Lights Like Fire. Tony asks, "What kind of tunnel?" Duh! Figure it out, Tony! The Indians let them go at Yellow Elk's insistence and he tells them they must hurry off at once.
In a subdued, well filmed scene, Tony and Doug walk among the dead of Custer's forces--and see Custer. Oddly enough there is no blood, thankfully enough too! It must have been quite a bloodbath in reality. Custer was shot in the chest and the head in reality. There is no dialogue. Tony and Doug just stare and look around, sad. Then they vanish--and without the usual popping sound, it makes this scene all the more surreal and gritty at the same time. Very odd.
I really like this episode for some reason. It has many flaws---many pointed out above but it is a more straight forward adventure than some others. Tony and Doug have their routine separation, captures, chases, fights, etc. but here it seems somehow relevant to the issues of prejudice and cruelty in warfare and in what the white man has done to the Native Americans. Tony's splattering of platitudes and pop counseling really gets on one's nerves here but there is plenty of good scenes with Doug, Tim, Benteen, Custer, Tom, Whitebird (and again, as an adult, I can appreciate the tunnel complex sequences more than the action ones in the past time), and Kirk to more than make up for Tony's silliness. The Indian scenes could have been more historically and socially accurate but this was TV in 1966 after all. To get even a partial sensitive Indian story was a gem.
Of the truth, only a horse called Comanche survived the real massacre and returned to a fort. Captain Marcus Reno was able to retreat though he lost about 100 men (I am guessing that Tim was not one of them since Reno seemed to be retreating as the episode ended). Six of Custer's men survived but were taken to the Indian camp and killed there. Crazy Horse was rumored to have been homosexual; Sitting Bull's real name is Tatanaka Yotanka. The episode is also quite remiss in that it fails to mention the massacre of the innocent women and children (about 200) by a one Colonel Chivington. His soldiers were having too much fun to stop even though Black Kettle had put up an American flag and a white flag! This was but one of the many surprise attacks on the Native Americans, butchering by the soldiers and whites. Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull were hounded as they fled to Canada with all their people, believing it was the only way for them to be safe. Crazy Horse was put under arrest on September 7, 1877. It is said that he tried to escape and was shot---another report claimed he was stabbed, gutted. Reports vary and state only that the full story has not been told---most versions mention that it was doubtful he tried to escape at that point. 1879: Sitting Bull was killed in the process of being placed under arrest. Wounded Knee followed. It is said Sitting Bull was one of the most able, honest, and idealistic statesmen in Indian history. Settlers of England, France, Holland, and Spain as well as the governments of those countries, were responsible for the spreading of the act of scalping, sometimes leaving the victim alive to be returned to his people. In the early days only the Iroquois scalped and not among the New England and Atlantic Coast tribes. Some say Custer shot himself rather than be taken by the Indians rather been face mutilation by the Sioux. It was said he was the last one alive but this is not true--there six other men alive who were killed later by the Indians at their camp. Little Bighorn River is in Montana.
Since REVENGE OF THE GODS, Tony and Doug would be separated many times, usually captured, only to be reunited just before "the big event" of the climax. NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES and ATTACK OF THE BARBARIANS seem almost virtual remakes of MASSACRE with NIGHT faring better than BARBARIANS, which is possibly the worst historical episode.
CLIFFHANGER: Doug and Tony, our hapless pair, land on a beach just as two men, resembling them (one named Marcel Duvechar or something and the other named Andre Demire or something) jump into the water to escape. Tony and Doug are believed to be them and are captured by officers of some prison. They are not listened to and are taken with other prisoners to see a guillotine. The Commandant smiles wryly, "Gentlemen, welcome to Devil's Island." This is where the cliffhanger tagged onto the end of MASSACRE ended. The teaser to the next episode-DEVIL'S ISLAND would go on from there.
NOTE: This is one of several times we see various other technicians in the background, even at times (THE KIDNAPPERS) at one of the front consoles. HOWEVER, this time we see a blond female technician, similarly unglamourous looking as Ann with hair up, big black glasses, and long white coat. But at least she was working and looking like she was doing something important. She is with a man in a red suit which looks like Kowalski's on VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.