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THE TIME TUNNEL-The Walls of Jericho, Idol of Death


Chase - Posted on 17 August 2009

THE TIME TUNNEL

THE WALLS OF JERICHO

Writer-Ellis St. Joseph

Dir-J. Juran (Nathan?)

 

We hear the Robot voice from LOST IN SPACE narrate as Anthony Newman and Douglas Phillips tumble in the time crystals and land in a dark place which is being pervaded by thunder and lightning and wind. Behind them is a tent. Ahead is a desert with palm like trees. There are torches. They look ahead but guards in strange dress hear them and see them from inside the tent. The guards come out, one grabs Doug back from behind. Tony sees this and fights the other guard. The battle goes into the tent. Tony uses a shield against the warrior. Doug vs. a swordsman warrior; Tony punches his attacker. After an exciting fight, both fall and end up on their backs, about to be run through. A bearded man walks in, wearing robes. He stops them from being killed and tells them he is Joshua, commander of the Israelites. Tony tells him, "We come from the future, Joshua." Joshua command the warriors to leave and says, "The Lord appeared onto Moses and me in a cloud of dust. After that all miracles are one miracle." What that last statement means is anyone's guess.

 

Ann and Kirk spar over the Bible story; Ann doesn't think it means they should take the story literally. When Kirk cites not only the Bible but the living proof on the tunnel, Ann claims it merely proves the existence of a man called Joshua. Kirk seems mystified (odd since he didn't believe in ghosts in GHOST OF NERO) while Ann doesn't really believe (odd since she did think about a ghost being real in GHOST OF NERO). Ann calls the story legend and poetry.

 

Ray comments to himself but out loud, "I always wanted to believe what I secretly doubted--at last, I'll know."  (Odd since Ray doesn't believe, later, in MERLIN's powers.)  Ann comments as well, "As a scientist I don't permit myself to believe."  Kirk looks upset with her saying this and moves up, away from her. She talks a bit to herself too, "We'll see whether or not the walls came tumbling down."

 

Joshua questions Tony and Doug, wondering if the King of Jericho (who we never see!) has sent them. It is night. For five days Joshua's soldiers have marched around the city. Doug tells him, "We come from a time where your God is our God and everyone knows why."  Tony tells him of an angel of the Lord and the plans--to march around the walls of Jericho seven times on the seventh day and then the priests will blow their horns, "An angel of the Lord came to you, he commanded your army march each day for 6 days and 7 times on the 7th day and then the priests should blow the rams' horns as a signal for all your men to raise a mighty shout and the walls will fall down before them."   Joshua has revealed that to no one, not even his captains. He believes them and asks them if the people in Jericho will lose spirit or continue to fight them to the death. Tony answers, "We only know you'll send two spies into the city to find out."  Joshua says, "Your coming is a sign--you are those two spies."   Doug touches Tony's arm as Joshua calls his division of men to attack the south wall tonight. A voice calls, "Yes sir,"  and I am not sure this "Yes sir,"  is Biblically correct. While the army creates a southern wall distraction, Tony and Doug will go over the North wall. Doug tries to get out of it, "Our ignorance might endanger a mission of such consequences."   Joshua insists, "The Lord will guide you."  Tony looks at Doug. 

 

ACT ONE

There is a freeze frame on the torches carried by Joshua's army. Tony and Doug, in robes sneak over the north wall as the plan works--the captain and the army of Jericho is diverted to the south wall. Tony tells Doug that the Bible says Rahab helped the two spies. The old, fox like High Priest (an excellent villain played with cold heartedness) and the Captain talk. The High Priest Malek talked to the Oracle of Keemash--their god. He has told Malek their walls are impregnable. In the morning, an offering is to be made to Keemash. Tony and Doug, in robes, are there. Doug thinks the sacrifice will be a lamb or sheep. Malek prays to his false god for death to all the Israelites. They are bringing a girl (not as the synopsis in the promotional guide says-a procession of virgins) named Shala, sister of Rahab. Rahab and her slave girl servant Ahza are also in attendance. Shala is an unsoiled virgin (according to the High Priest not to me) and will now be made into the bride of Keemash. Rahab, her face covered by a veil says, "So young."  Doug rushes out to help. Tony shoves a guard. Doug vs. the High Priest while Tony gets Shala off the altar, jumping over it. Tony fights with a sword against a guard. Doug throws the High Priest, who still has his knife which he was to use on Shala--the sacrifice. Doug hits a soldier and then grabs a gonger to hit another. He misses another and the gong rings (THE GONG SHOW?). While Rahab says her prayers for Shala are answered, Doug and Tony are overcome and held, called Israelites by the High Priest, defilers of the sacrificial virgin by Tony's touch, and spies. They are to be hung by their fingers outside the city walls as an example to the Israelites after interrogation and torture! Shala is given back--she is no longer of use as a sacrifice. Why didn't Malek just find and use another virgin to use? After all, this isn't Soddom and Gomorrah! Tony pulls free and hits a guard on his way out. He runs down an alley--a dead end. He looks at the doors, trying to find one that can open. Three guards come, then more. He hides by jugs and then at one of the doors. It opens and he falls back, inside. The guards leave the alley. Tony looks around yet another fantastic set piece. Rahab returns, Tony hides but then calls out her name, "Your name will be known by everyone for countless generations."  Ahza returns and sees Tony, urging Rahab that Tony be given up to the guards. Rahab hands her a gold ring for her silence. Ahza tells her it isn't necessary for her to buy her silence but keeps the ring! Rahab tells Tony her house is built into the wall and from her window is  a 30 foot drop to the ground--he can climb out at night. Tony must find his friend first. The dungeon Doug is in is beneath the palace. She tells Ahza to go to her father's house and bring him here. Tony asks why she is helping him. She doesn't believe in Keemash and knows the Lord has given the land to the Israelites, killed the two kings on the other side of the Jordan, and dried up the Red Sea. She calls Him the Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth below. Doug is on the rack (he usually ends up being tortured, doesn't he?). Malek taunts him and questions him, wanting to know Joshua's plans. Doug tells him he can't command the sun to stand still. Malek asks if God is in the ark the priests of the Israelites carry. Doug tells him about God--a spirit, is everywhere. Malek scoffs that if God helped Tony, why isn't God helping Doug now? The bald torturer is told by the High Priest to loosen Doug's tongue. The bald man slaps Doug. Ann wants to shift him now. Kirk tells her not to and talks of the Bible. Ann says, "We have no time for Bible stories, Doug's in danger now!"  They lose the time lock. Ray looks at the screen, "He's gone."

 

ACT TWO

Rahab and Tony watch Joshua's soldiers marching. It is the 6th day and they hear the marching of the feet--which she dreamt of. In the marketplace, the women used to throw mud at her. The same women's brutal husbands would come to her and she would pour their wine and wait on them. Hold on a moment--she was a prostitute and harlot but that isn't really stated here--but strongly implied as we will see  later. Rahab used to pray the walls of Jericho would fall. Tony says he read it in a book called the Bible--a book of divine revelation, "Only did Rahab and her family escape, only Rahab did he spare-she was the only good woman."  Ahza brings Rahab's father and leaving, spies on them from the door. The father is blind--blinded by the King after he finished the new palace so he would not reveal its secrets. He knows all about the passageways. Why didn't the King kill him or take out his tongue or something? Blinding him would only serve to make him angry so as to have him reveal that which the King would not!! The father feels Tony's face: the face of a thoughtful man but his thoughts are strange--ahead of his time. Rahab, the man's first born, has to sell her honor to support the family when the architect father was blinded. He tells this to Tony. He knows the secrets of the palace, one being that behind the statue of Keemash is a carved lotus symbol on the wall--turn it and a passage will lead one to the dungeon. On the roof, Ahza and Rahab watch soldiers--they want to see if Tony will make it. Her father warned her that the neighboring roofs are full of spying eyes. Soldiers walk the walls. The two women spread out the flax to dry--Rahab's idea to make it look like they are working. Tony kneels at the altar but slips behind the statue and turns the lotus. A small door opens. Water is thrown on Doug's face. Tony sneaks out from behind a concrete torture slab to the rack as the torturer prepares hot coals. Tony uses a stick of some kind to knock down the hot iron rod and fights the big man. The man gets a sword but Tony kicks the man down. Tony gets Doug off the rack and they go through the passage. We hear various BERNARD HERRMAN themes. Malek finds the torturer down and awakening and Doug gone. He orders his men to kill the torturer and one moves at the torturer with a sword drawn. Rahab sees soldiers at the altar and goes down to help. Ahza fears they will all be killed. Tony and Doug hide at the statue.

 

Ann tells Ray to try to get them back. The time tunnel has static on it and the fix drifts. Ray says it's never reacted this way before--but if he thinks isn't it always acting this way? Ray orders a 3.6 power increase. Ann feels this is no time for half measures and orders the power to maximum. Ray tells her that is too dangerous--it may short circuit and "blow us all up." We hear the music from THE LAST PATROL as they pick up Jericho and Joshua on the screen. Joshua tells his men before they shout, no voices or words must escape their lips. Ann watches but says, "We're losing it."  Ray tells them to intensify the probe.

 

In red, Rahab passes the altar with "nice, ripe figs"  to distract the guards. The captain eats one, "The figs have given me a taste for something more."  Tony and Doug almost get away but then they do but we don't see them get away! The High Priest arrives just after they supposedly have gone. The captain wonders if Doug is a sorcerer, having escaped with seemingly no way to. Malek warns him not to spread this sorcerer idea--it will demoralize the army even more--they already fear the magic of the Israelites. He orders them to search the city house by house. The men move out.

 

ACT THREE

Tony and Doug are in Rahab's home. She tells them the city people and army think they are sorcerers. Doug tells her, "We'll go."  Tony suggests they climb down but she tells them it should be at night. Ahza watches from the door. Rahab takes the boys to hide--on the roof a soldier is on the wall marching back and forth. She hides them on the roof that is blocked from his view. But other soldiers come to check. The boys are behind the flax. The father sends Ahza to get Rahab, not to open the door yet. Rahab returns and lets them in and is cordial and calm. She tells the captain the spies were here but she sent them away. The captain asks the father, "Did you see them?"   Rahab says, "My father's blind!"

 

Questions continue as there is music from LOST IN SPACE-A VISIT TO HADES which can also be heard in VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA-THE TERRIBLE TOYS. We also hear first season VOYAGE music and other stock music, all giving this an ancient feel (no pun intended). The captain uses sticks and his sword to attack the hay flax but cannot find the boys, Rahab intervened. He kicks the flax but she distracts him some more. He sends his men out and takes her behind some blinds to kiss her. He hugs her and she says, "Your men are waiting."  He says, "Let them wait."   Ahza is lighting the oracle in the house to Keemash when she overhears the king is offering 1000 pounds of silver for the capture of the spies. She leaves as the father asks her if it is dark yet. She gets a soldier, wanting the reward. Rahab gives Tony and Doug a rope as it is getting dark (that was fast!). Ahza returns and Rahab confronts her, "Why did you creep in like a cat!"  She grabs the servant's arm--others beat their maids but she treated Ahza good, shared everything. Ahza wants her own things, not to be the servant of a harlot. Rahab locks her in another small room as she begs to be forgiven, not really meaning it. Tony and Doug go to a window and will tell Joshua about Rahab's helping of them. Tony sees a red sash hanging by the window and tells her to hang it out her window and to gather all her family under her roof. They will be spared. Doug climbs out but Tony is captured as the soldiers and the captain return. Rahab is also held. They let Ahza out and the captain tells her the reward is not her's--it is his! She will have only the jewels off Rahab--her beads and ear rings he pulls off and gives them to the irate Ahza, who drops them. He goes to pull off her dress but Tony yells, "Take your hands off her!"  He breaks free to stop the captain from grabbing at her. They overpower him and take them away.

 

ACT FOUR

Tony and Rahab are hung up on the wall, their arms over their heads. Tony tells her not to be afraid. They are near the oracle. The High Priest Malek taunts them, "Where is your magic now, Israelite?"  When Tony explains the army of Joshua is even now marching around the walls, the High Priest asks, "Can you see through walls?"     Tony tells him, "I can read the future."       The High Priest prays to the oracle calling Rahab a "traitorous harlot"  and saying, "It is ordained they be stoned to death. Stone them!"        

 

Ann makes a bid to shift Tony and Rahab but Ray holds her back. He claims if they do that they may lose Doug forever. Kirk says they better not trespass on Biblical history by taking Rahab out of her own time--she lived, it says so in Joshua 6:25 and her descendants live among them to this day. Ann argues, "General, don't you understand, something's gone wrong. What's happening to Tony and Rahab was never written. If you won't bring them back, I will!"  Ann tries and Ray tries to stop her but the console bursts forth with a flash, sparks, and smoke, drawing them both back. Ray says they've lost all power to save them. Ann wonders what could have made that happen. Ray says, "Heaven knows."  Kirk tells them, "The decision has been taken out of our hands."

 

Doug gets to Joshua while Ahza leads the citizens of Jericho in a stoning of Rahab and Tony. Some rocks hit Tony and Rahab but then the horns are blown. The men shout outside the walls. The walls begin to fall and one knocks the captain down and kills him. The tunnel people see a tornado building up in the desert and hear wind and torrent sounds (sounds used many times on VOYAGE for sea disturbances--see TURN BACK THE CLOCK for one and on LOST as radiation belt sounds-see THE FLAMING PLANET for one). While Kirk marvels as their witnessing a miracle, Ann tries to explain it away as a tornado being just a natural phenomena of a centrifical whirlpool of wind. Ray tells her, "Whatever creates faith is a miracle."  Ann's face seems to finally get it but we don't find out what she thinks after this--one of the only bad points of this episode--did she change because of this?

 

Ahza is hit by stones from the wall and dies. Doug runs to Rahab's house where the father tells him all their family is here but not Rahab and Tony. He tells Doug where they are. The High Priest gets up from the ground and has his knife. He is hurt but moves at Tony and Rahab, meaning to kill them!

 

TAG

Doug arrives just in time and fights the High Priest Malek. He forces the knife out of his hand and tosses him. The High Priest ends up on the altar just as the wind (?) tips the statue over onto him, him yelling, "No Keemash!"  Tony winces and Rahab looks away. Ray finds they now have the power and will try to retrieve--things seem to have cleared. The transfer circuits are operational. Tony tells Rahab to go to her father and family. She asks, "Will you be with me?"  Tony holds her hands, "Yes, always."  He vanishes with Doug just as he says this. Both of them still had their robes on.

 

CLIFFHANGER: Tony and Doug land in a patch in a jungle. They hear bird sounds--tropical sounds from DOCTOR DOLITTLE. They see a native crossbowed in the back by a captain and his man, dressed in what Doug and Tony figure are Spanish armor. The Spanish talk--they have killed 12 already and the captain figures this is enough of an example. The other natives will run for the hills. Tony checks the native--and finds the crossbow make this about the 16th century. Doug and he see Spanish marching across a desert of some kind with cactus. It might be Cortez Doug figures--and if it is this is one of the biggest bloodbaths in history. They see Spanish soldiers waving a torch around a man, his young son, and his heavy set wife, all natives, all tied up to trees. They threaten the woman with a torch if the old man doesn't talk about some kind of treasure. Doug runs out (again!) and he and Tony fight to save the woman. They are overpowered (again!) and the captain yells, "Kill them!"       

 

NOTES: It is hard not to like THE WALLS OF JERICHO. Despite this being really a run, jump, chase, fight, and hide and seek episode with Rhodes Reason doing a good job as Joshua--but not given much air time--this is really a good effort to do a Bible story--the first and last TIME TUNNEL to do so. Many time travel stories don't do Bible tales. There is one classic tale which dealt with a man going back to save Jesus from death and the ramifications of that for the human race. But TV didn't do stuff like that or like THE WALLS OF JERICHO. The oracle was served up on LOST IN SPACE-FOLLOW THE LEADER and probably other episodes and appeared in DANIEL BOONE as an Incan god statue when Mrs. Boone was kidnapped (by Incan Mike Ansara!). While on the topic, DANIEL BOONE had these composers: Alexander Courage, Lyn Murray, Irving Gertz, Joseph Mullendore, Leigh Harline, Lionel Newman, Harry Sukman, Herman Stein, Leith Stevens, and Fred Steiner. All but Harline, Sukman, and Steiner were employed on Irwin Allen's four shows! DANIEL BOONE had over 165 episodes and was filmed at 20th Century Fox. The Ark of Covenant was involved in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and various movies about DAVID. Joshua was Moses' successor. Most scholars date the "conquest"  of Canaan to the end of the late Bronze Age, beginning of the Iron Age (13th to 12th centuries BC). Of the 3 cities said to have been destroyed by Joshua--Jericho, Ai, and Hazor--the first two were abandoned or had only an insignificant population. Bethel and Lachish were also destroyed but other factors may have been involved. The lands of the Philistines, Avvites, and Sidonians still had to be taken by Israel. Jericho was situated on important trade routes and must have been wealthy. As the Israelite army moved across the Jordan, the river stopped flowing--but this happened after the spies left the city. When marching around the city, the ark was carried first. The city was burned to the ground while the citizens were put to the sword--a common phrase among the Old Testament. The Jordan valley lies on a major geological rift, subject to frequent earthquakes and mudslips could have dried up the river. This happened most recently in 1927. It is often stated that there is on archeological evidence of tumbled walls of Jericho. The dating of the event is around 1200 BC when Jericho was an insignificant settlement with no trace of walls. A recent reassessment of the conquest dates it around 1400 BC, arguing that Joshua confronted an earlier settlement! Jericho at that time had mighty walls and its destruction lead to signs of an earthquake. The first Jericho city was a mudbrick housed city surrounded by a stone wall and an impressive tower, enclosing 8 acres or more. In the later Neolithic Age, the city seems to have declined but recovered in the early Bronze Age (3000 BC) when huge mudbrick walls were built for defence. Mid Bronze Jericho was gutted by fire. Jericho only became important again in the time of the Maccabees. Jericho's greatest period seems to be during the Middle Bronze age (1850 BC to 1550 BC). Closely packed houses have been excavated. Outside there were Bronze Age tombs found which contained baskets and wooden furniture. They were preserved well considering they were buried some 3500 years ago. Subterranean gases leaked into the tombs and preserved everything inside. Joshua had placed a curse on Jericho---any man who would rebuild it would have to lay his first born on its foundations and offer up his youngest son under the gates! This, Hiel, a man of Bethel and of the time of King Ahab, did much later. The year 1200 BC puts it, oddly, at the same time of the fall of Troy somehow. This is strange, considering some of the similar aspects of both tales. This story and REVENGE OF THE GODS are sometimes confused with each other. Both have merit in trying something different and being brave enough to go that far back into time--of course handy dandy stock footage from various films helped!

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        

 

 

 

THE TIME TUNNEL

IDOL OF DEATH

Writers-Bob and Wanda Duncan

Director-Sobey Martin

 

After the opening narration, Tony and Doug fall into a dense jungle. Two Spanish conquistadors chase and one shoots a crossbow into an old Indian man's back. They talk about killing 12 natives. Tony and Doug, after the men leave, check the Native, Tony noting he didn't even try to fight. They figure they are in South or Central America (Doug) in about the 16th century (Tony). They see Spanish soldiers crossing a river on horseback and foot. Doug tells Tony they are in the middle of the biggest bloodbaths in history--Cortez's army will loot and kill the tribes of the area. Tony figures the Spanish are their only chance of getting out of the jungle. He and Doug walk through the jungle which looks thick and very like a jungle (we hear VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA music and the familiar stock music that was also used in THE LOST CIVILIZATION episode of LOST IN SPACE--it was also used in many VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA episodes). They spy a Spanish soldier with a torch--Alvarado--moving it toward an old woman tied to a tree. Doug runs out, Tony follows and they fight and as usual, are overpowered, their arms held back. Alvarado yells, "Kill them!"

 

In act one, a freeze frame shows us Tony and Doug being held while some music from a period piece movie--Spain against the Aztecs and quite possibly from KINGS OF THE SUN. Hernando Cortez arrives and calls them the governor's spies--Governor Velasquez (who really did exist)--and wants to question the pair. First, he tells his soldiers that the Indian men are hard as iron but the women are not. He tells the old woman, whose husband and son he also has tied up to trees, that he wants the Golden Mask---it will make his job of enslaving or killing off the other tribes easier. It will be his symbol of authority. When she once more refuses, Cortez shoves the torch into the old man's face, the woman screams, and tells them what they want to know--about the signs of how to find the mask. Alvarado, although he promised to free the family of three if they told him what he wanted to know, has his bowmen shoot the two adults, telling Tony that a promise to an Indian means nothing. Tony calls Cortez a butcher. Tony tells Alvarado and Cortez they are here by accident. We also hear the those same jungle sound effects that grace the first few LAND OF THE GIANTS episodes made (THE WEIRD WORLD, THE TRAP, THE BOUNTY HUNTER and others) and also grace many other Fox productions such as DOCTOR DOLITTLE and a WWII war movie (with a very young Robert Wagner).

 

The tunnel people have a fix. Ray says it is Oct. 1, 1519--no place yet. Ann comes back from the computer with printouts (quite a contrast to BILLY THE KID where she looks through seemingly dusty old library books!): Cortez was in Yucatan around March 1519, founded Vera Cruz and the Indians are what sounds like Ilxytians but must be the Tlaxcalans---more on this later. Kirk orders Ann to get the Mexican Embassy and contact someone who can pinpoint the exact locations they are seeing over the tunnel image projector. Cortez thinks the fleet brought Tony and Doug, that someone in Cuba (Valesquez was there and founded Cuba) and/or Spain is against him--more on this later, too. Alvarado reports that Gomez reported dissension among the ranks of their men. Tony grabs a sword and holds it on Cortez, who calmly tells Alvarado never to underestimate the enemy. Tony tries to make him free Doug and the indian boy (whose name we never really hear in the episode or see in the credits but in the press kit seems to be Qexcotl--a curious choice for a name as this is the Aztec serpant "god"  that they believed in). Before Tony can make good this advantage, Alvarado regains the sword; Cortez will have Tony and Doug executed in front of his men to discourage mutiny; and the indian tribes will become slaves or die. Doug tells Tony that Cortez soon will burn his ships. In some references, Cortez dismantled his ships in 1519 but in others, he did, indeed burn his ships behind him! He did do this on the beach in Vera Cruz as well as hanging a couple of men and cut off the feet of another who conspired to return to Cuba.

 

In the episode, Cortes does burn his ships (stock footage I am sure) and while this occurs, an old man, the Retainer, the servant of the boy, frees him as well as Tony and Doug. Doug takes some of the gun powder and threatens Cortes and his men as they return; Alvarado orders his men to drop their weapons and they do. He orders Tony to get a keg of gunpowder and a torch and take off with the two indians. Doug counters Alvarado's threats by telling him that if Cortez dies, the men under his command will be reduced to anarchy and turn on him. Doug tells Cortez, "I can't just sit back and watch one of the worst butchers in history without doing anything."  Cortez tells him it is destiny that he do this and Doug admits he cannot argue about that and realizes he can't fight his whole army. Other men would do the same thing if he, Cortez, did not. Cobert is quite good in this scene, real gutsy and very believeable and even fallible, even if making a mistake, he has to fight this evil. His acting in this scene is quite good and makes one route for Doug all the way. He lights the gun powder but a soldier puts it out as Doug runs off. Cortez orders Alvarado off with three others (hold on here! If the mask were so important to him, why didn't he go himself with many men? And even if he didn't want to do this--why not send a lot of men with Alvarado?). He tells his Captain to kill all of them if he has to but to get that golden mask--the one Doug told him he knows he will never find! By this time, I was getting sick of hearing, "Kill them"  or "kill them all!"

 

Act two opens with Tony calling Doug to himself and the two indians, who finally speak! Tony wonders why the boy--a teenager really and one who looks quite up there in age--possibly 18 or 19--wants to run and that he, Doug, and the Spanish are not gods at all. The boy tells Tony that his father had three sons--the first one was taught the ways of battle, the second the art of raising crops and storing them--both died when the Spanish gods invaded their land. He, the third son, was taught nothing. He asks Tony what to do, Tony mad that the boy saw his parents killed and doesn't want to fight. A bit militaristic here---Tony seems almost like CONAN THE BARBARIAN or some other revenge seeking action hero of the 90s (Stallone, Arnold, Willis, and uh, ho, Segal!) wanting to kill violently while returning an eye for an eye---in your own left hand! The boy knows the marker signs to find the location of the cave where the golden mask is hidden. The first sign is in some ruins.

 

As they watch on the screen, Ray tells Kirk that it is foolishness for Doug and Tony to fight the Spaniards. Kirk asks him if he would do anything different and Ray admits probably not. Ann returns and tells them that someone is coming that will help them.

 

At the ruins, Doug tests the gunpowder but it is useless, they need compression for it to be of any good. They find the marking signs--the fish and the water--the cliff by the beach must have a cave with the golden mask in it. Doug finds potassium nitrate which Tony also recognizes. With this they can make the powder more potent and try to collapse the wall on the Spanish when they come. This makes little sense--why wait for them to follow? Why not get to the cave first--they seemed to have quite a lead on them. Security calls Kirk--someone with the name that sounds like Castellano and alternately called Cassiano or something close to that---is here. He knows Vera Cruz and when he enters he tells Kirk, matter of factly, and without shock (unbelievably) that he knows they do some kind of time travel here. He is more stunned to see the image on the screen through the tunnel spirals, at first thinking it a picture or a film. Kirk tells him the Indian he sees on the screen is really there and that he is looking at the living past. When one of the Spanish soldiers finds the ruins, the Indian boy, given a knife by the Retainer to attack the soldier, cannot do it. The older Indian takes the knife from the boy and raises it from behind to kill the soldier.

 

Act three opens with the old man killing the Spanish one. Tony gives the Indian boy another pep talk about killing, "You forget quickly--you have no stomach for revenge--it was your place to kill--to do what had to be done, to be chief."   The old man is sent to watch for any others. He sees birds fly out of the trees and a Spanish soldier fires a crossbow into his chest, killing him. The soldier whoops a signal for the others. Alvarado and two men move in to the ruins. Tony and Doug set the trap and hide at a fallen statue. As Alvarado plots, one of his men says, "Does it not bother you, capitan, that so many people must die for the glory of Spain?"  This quote is a rare insight into a different point of view--the Spanish in this episode aren't all presented as just villainous murderers. Perhaps this is a good thing, however, it may also be just saying that only two men are responsible for the entire massacre--Cortez and Alvarado--this is not acceptable as we know for such a thing to take place--many warriors, soldiers, what have you had to follow orders. It wasn't the work of two isolated madmen (if they were named Jason and Freddie I'd might say okay) but the work of many against many--and in reality, there were many Indians who helped Cortez and Alvarado kill other Indians---but, yes, more on this later. Alvarado answers, "You call these savages people?"  The explosion doesn't kill the three enemies and Alvarado calls Tony and Doug inglese and tells them of the dead indian man. He taunts them to come out and fight--three vs. three. The teen native wants to go out and kill them but Doug stops him---it is not the right time.

 

Kirk fills Castellano in about the golden mask. Ann calls Kirk over, discreetly (?) while she is on the phone with security. Their new helper has had trouble with various South American countries--he's removed ancient artifacts illegally. Kirk tells the phone that he'll take full responsibility, then confronts Castellano, who warned them about their laxity. He wants the golden mask and openly admits this--he's known about it all along. He has all the other tribal masks but Kirk tells him time is of the essence (too bad with a something as powerful as the time tunnel, they couldn't use it to give them more time! They seem to be able to move the fix ahead or back somewhat--at least they moved it ahead in REIGN OF TERROR). What is really very silly is that after Castellano openly admits he has been after the mask, Kirk, stupidly, returns to Ann and Ray and says, "I think he's playing games with us. If I only knew what he was after."  Whaaa? Why can't Kirk realize what Castellano wants!!!!

 

Alvarado orders one man to go north to the cliffs to kill them all (again, Bullwinkle!) without warning if he meets the others on the way. In the jungle, the indian boy tells Tony and Doug that a fast runner could get to the cave via the beach. Tony insists they split up even though he says, "Then we're in even worse trouble,"  when Doug wonders what they'll do if all three Spanish soldiers went via the beach. Tony looks around the jungle and finds a crossbow and shoots at Alvarado, missing. Wild boars ran out of (stock footage I am sure) the jungle, alerting Tony to Alvarado's presence. The crossbow breaks but he hides and knocks out the other soldier. Alvarado tells they soldier, "Weaponless, it'll be like hunting pig, only much more interesting."  We hear a great deal of what sounds like VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA second season music. The boy goes into the cave and is immediately knocked down by the already waiting Spanish soldier--the one who seemed to think about why so many have to die for Spain's glory. As Tony and Doug meet up outside the cave on a nice set which actually may be an outdoor one, Alvarado and his man arrive. They move up the cliff but the man inside comes out, tells them the boy has a wounded skull (in the only really bad, fake Spanish accent in the entire hour) and points a crossbow at the two of them!

 

Act Four begins as Alvarado makes Doug and Tony go into the cave. It is a typical Irwin Allen affair...and an adequate set at that. Kirk tells the others they may decide to kill their men at any moment--Castellano must help them. He wants them to bring the mask back--a request he says. Kirk counters that he was paid a considerable fee to come here...but he will gamble with the lives of two men as Kirk says. Ray tells Kirk they have the power but not the time (why not for Pete's sake!?! They are working with a time tunnel!). They will try to move the mask first. Castellano pinpoints the cliff which is at an inlet.

 

Alvarado tells the captives that it is only fitting they see the treasure before he kills them and he takes down the curtain. The mask is not the only thing that is there (and it really looks more like a statue and an idol---one of death?---than any kind of mask!!!). There are riches beyond belief--and this marks the beginning of the end of Alvarado's sanity. He moves the mask to an altar but the boy attacks him. This gives Tony and Doug time to fight the Spanish and a chance for us to hear some really good fight action music. Tony sword fights with Alvarado and loses. The sword ends up at his neck, making the Spanish captain call Doug and the Indian boy into line. He will makes the trio carry out all the riches on their backs.

 

As the tunnel power builds up to full, Ray gets a critical focus, telling them that the energy to get the mask could bring the cave roof down. Kirk tells him to bring the power up in stages, Ray suggests they could always reverse it. The cave shakes, dropping rocks on those inside. The mask glows reddish (the first time we see something like this). The boy says, "It is the vengeance of the gods," just before the mask vanishes (with that clever bell like bit of music used for popping out and in, mostly on THE TIME TUNNEL).

 

The mask arrives as the power increases more but the cave roof collapses! Ann yells for them to send it back but as they try, Castellano goes mad and attacks the controls. Guards finally pull him off the console. Ann yells that Tony and Doug will be buried alive so Kirk snaps an order, "Freeze everything in time!"  They do this and everything is still in the cave. No one can move. There is some type of time lock. Castellano gets one of the guard's guns and holds them off of him, making the other drop his gun. Ray gets behind Ann and holds her arms--this seems to be a protective gesture but it looks as if he is pushing her to be the first one to die ala Dr. Smith pushing Will in front of him on LIS! Kirk tries to reason with Castellano. He picks up the mask out of the tunnel and will allow them to go back to work once he leaves with it. He's lived in the jungle for 20 years, hunting it. Ray whispers to Kirk that without the mask they can't reverse the impulse, nor unfreeze the time lock--Tony, Doug, and everyone else in the cave will remain frozen in time, perhaps forever. The other alternative, Ann tells Kirk, is to place something of the same atomic structure and form into the cave. Kirk figures they just have to get the mask back and figures it should only take a few minutes. Ann complains they haven't been able to focus the fix on Tony and Doug for more than a few minutes (what show has she been watching? We've seen them hold the image for a long time--or at least it seems that way). Kirk wants four minutes; Ray orders three. They break for the madman and he shoots.

 

A word here about what I saw. It seemed that Castellano shot and perhaps killed one of the guards---it appears, if you look closely, that a guard falls flat on his back---you can see his shoes lying flat out just after the shot. Then, it is as if no one was shot. Perhaps the production crew didn't want even more death in this, for in the next action filled sequence, the two guards and Kirk gun battle it out with Castellano who yells at Kirk that he broke his word (and he did! It seems he would do anything to keep Tony and Doug alive). The music is the fantastic fast beat tempo from THE DEATH TRAP again and it is used to full extent. However, a real complaint here: the action breaks down totally as Kirk asks Castellano to be reasonable (?) and then in the middle of the gun battle, the two guards and Kirk run off toward Ray and Ann, who are ducked behind the console--allowing Castellano (who is raving, "It is mine, mine, mine," over and over) to just walk in front of the tunnel, holding the mask up. Then, for some unknown reason, also ineptly, Castellano tosses the mask into the tunnel--just what Ann, Ray, and Kirk wanted him to do!?!!? Why did he do this? He certainly didn't have a conscience. What happened to what started out as a good sequence? Really bad direction here. Ray also told Kirk that the mask must not be hit since they need the exact mass of it and Ann warned that they were the focus was drifting from the cave.

 

In any event, they take Castellano away, under arrest (and let's hope they lock him up forever). The time lock is unfrozen as the mask reappears in the cave in 1519. Doug and the others plop onto the floor of the cave and he assumes, "We must have been caught in a time warp."  For a time tunnel show, at least they featured one or two time warps. But this really didn't constitute a time warp but then again, what is a time warp and who can really tell if a time warp is really a time warp? Gosh, it's getting late.

 

Another shake from the cave allows Alvarado to knock the soldier over the back. He and the two scientists from 1968 run out of the area. Alvarado runs his sword through the recovering guard in a most violent scene since the man wouldn't follow his orders to get the riches out. The boy returns for the mask, telling Doug he has to go alone. He wants to fight Alvarado, he cannot kill an unarmed man who will not defend himself: Alvarado tells him this is no time for fighting, not now. He wants only the treasure. The boy raises a sword to kill Alvarado but cannot kill the man who is taken with a blind greed. The boy takes the mask and leaves, just before the cave roof caves in on the Spanish killer. The Indian boy cannot figure out what it is about the yellow metal that made him so sick. Tony tells him he is ready to lead his people now and Doug adds, "Now you are a true chief."  The boy leaves the cave and Tony and Doug vanish.

 

CLIFFHANGER: Tony and Doug fly through time and land on hay in a night town in what seems to be the West. Shots ring out from a gang riding through the street. Doug and Tony run into an office where a happy sheriff sits and shaves. He tells them the gang is just the Triple X (triple X???) boys riding in on Saturday night just having fun. He tells them they are in Lincoln, the pride of Lincoln County, New Mexico. Five men break in, one of them named Wilson, who soaps up the sheriff, making fun of him being prettying up, and pushes his chair at the bars of the jail cell. Inside, a young cowboy gets the sheriff's razor and puts it to his neck, forcing him to give him the keys so he can let himself out. The twenty something year old--21--?--gets out, and sits on a desk, then shoots the sheriff dead, despite Tony's grab to divert the gunshot. The youth asks if Tony was a friend of his but Tony has never seen him before. The youth tells Tony his name, "William Bonny."   Tony gasps, "Billy the kid."   Billy smiles, "The same."

 

NEXT WEEK...SEE THIS FANTASTIC ADVENTURE IN THE TIME TUNNEL.                     

As for IDOL OF DEATH, it was better when I was younger. It is very dark and grim, with more deaths than most other Allen series had. VOYAGE comes close but this episode presents danger and lots of it as grisly deaths occur in every act. Of course, no blood is shown, if any is in any TIME TUNNEL, it is shown as a small cut on someone's mouth or head. What is odd is that the Indians are not really looked into much, if at all. They might be the Tlaxcalans, an independent city-state whose people hated the Aztecs. These were some of the first natives to fight against Cortez (1519), to be defeated by his warriors in 1519 (just barely--they almost won), and then, ironically, to become allies to the Spanish Cortez, helping him and his followers conquer other native tribes including the Aztecs and Aztec subject states. By the end of 1519 or even as early as November, the Tlaxcalans were friends and allies to Cortes which makes a mockery of THE TIME TUNNEL version.

 

A Mayan girl named Malinal was Cortez's mistress (she was first given to one of his Lts) and even bore him a son but he later married her off to one of his captains--Don Juan Xamarillo. There was a Pedro del Alvarado but he was blond and handsome, chattery, edgy, covetous, and vicious. The last four fit THE TIME TUNNEL Alvarado. He committed heinous crimes against the Maya (hanging women and hanging their children from their legs among these). He had already married one of the Tlaxcala women before his crimes against the Maya. The real Alvarado had to be saved from the Aztec capital. Cortez had already won the city but then left Alvarado in charge. Cortez went to deal with Panfilo de Narvaez--a man sent by Valezques to capture or kill Hernan Cortes (the correct spelling). The stupid Alvarado decided to attack the Aztecs while they danced at a feast of Huitzilopochtli. Narvaez lost an eye and was apparently later killed in another battle. The Aztecs regarded gold of little value. Cortes was supposed to be very religious and credit all of his successes to God. There was also some dissension among Cortes's men and they tried to sail back to Cuba, many were executed, and just after Cortes ordered his ships burned or dismantled.

 

Of course, there are other versions of all these events but Alvarado seemed to have survived 1519. It may have been a misunderstanding that lead to his attacking the Aztecs at their feast since they dressed as warriors and acted out attacks--which the Spanish may have thought were real. Alvarado went on to ruthlessly and bloodthirstily nearly wipe out the Mayans.

In the later battle (July 1520), Moctezuma was killed as he tried to calm his people from fighting the Spanish. Some claim the Aztecs, his own people, killed him. Others blame the Spanish who had to flee the city, only to return again in December of 1520. The Mayan conquest began in 1527 and the natives repelled the Spanish until 1535.

 

The highland cities of Utatlan and Iximche fell as early as 1524 with Alvarado using in house bickering between Mayan highlanders against them. Thus, the Alvarado that seemed to be buried and seemed to die in IDOL OF DEATH may not have been Alvarado OR it may be that the writers didn't care about real history and just did what they wanted to.

 

Ixtapalapa is an Aztec town that greeted Cortez in 1519 and seemed to be allies from day one. It is doubtful the indians in IDOL OF DEATH are these. It is possible the writers simply made up a tribe or it could be they are supposed to be the early Tlaxcalans. Either way there is much to the story of the conquest of Mexico by Spain and Cuba, Cortes, the Aztecs and other natives. It was all very complex with a great deal of politics, personal hatreds, greed, etc. Of these IDOL OF DEATH only succeeds in portraying the greed. As history, it is fairly non descript and at its worst, it is very bad historical action. With so much to chose from, I wonder why the writers and production team didn't follow, as closely as possible, the real events and name the tribe more clearly and define the Indian characters more. It was a missed opportunity to focus on a really turbulent time of history--which if done properly would be entertaining. To tell the entire story of the Spanish conquest or just Cortes, it would probably take a mini series!             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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