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"Town of Terror"

Townof.jpg

TTT episode
1.30/30th of 30 aired
First aired
Written by
Irwin Allen, Carey Wilber
Directed by
Herschel Daugherty
Previous episode
Next Episode
none; followed by Aliens from Another Planet


Summary[]

Tony Newman and Doug Phillips tumble out of the time vortex into the cellar of a hotel located in Cliffport, Maine in the year 1978. The room is full of advanced technology, and as they explore, the time travelers are attacked by a workman with a wrench who they quickly overpower. The pair are horrified to discover that a very slight blow seems to have killed the man. But as Tony and Doug make to exit the room, the man miraculously revives, touches a control panel and disappears in an explosion of light and smoke.

Doug and Tony examine their attacker and are shocked to find that he is dead. But is there more going on than meets the eye?

Baffled, Tony and Doug start to explore the building they are in. Upstairs from the cellar, they enter a lab before making their way to a perfectly ordinary hotel lobby. A woman appears after being summoned by a bell and asks if they need rooms. When Tony and Doug ask her about the odd equipment in the basement, she claims to have no knowledge of such things. Humoring them, the woman accompanies the time travelers through the door they just came in by, only to find the room has totally changed and is no longer a lab. As Tony and Doug turn to question her, the woman touches them on their foreheads, freezing them, before changing back to her true form - that of an alien android.

Meanwhile, Project Tic-Toc personnel are concerned after hearing about the androids' plan to steal all of Earth’s oxygen, especially since a force field is interfering with trying to switch out Tony and Doug. Lt. General Heywood Kirk orders them to be switched anyway, ascertaining that, even if they are only moved a few feet, they will be freed of their paralysis, which they were indeed. Upon being alerted to them being free, the androids start sapping away the oxygen from the room they are in, which they manage to break a window and escape.

As Tony and Doug are moving about the town, a young couple, Joan and Pete, spy them and wonder if they might be real people, and not the androids taking on human form (especially since they realize the scientists are being pursued). They meet up and stick together for a while. Back at Project Tic-Toc an android appears on the base and takes over the body of a technician to insert a disc into a computer panel, which has the effect that oxygen starts draining out of the control room through the Tunnel.

Tony and Doug rescue Joan from the androids.

Tony and Doug try to initiate voice contact with Project Tic-Toc but this alarms Joan and Pete who then run away. The young couple run into an android and Pete is taken over. The time travelers head back to the hotel and succeed in destroying the alien command center in the basement. As Joan and the real Pete are reunited, Tony and Doug vanish into the vortex of time.

Trivia/background information[]

  • This was the last original episode ever of The Time Tunnel. The series was initially renewed for a second season but the renewal was later rescinded after a change of management. Reportedly, Irwin Allen was given the choice of another year of the series if he trimmed the budget, which he refused, so the show was cancelled. Promotional material does exist for a second season.
  • We will never know what became of Tony and Doug. The last few minutes of Town of Terror showed a montage of footage from the pilot episode. Some have taken this to mean that Tony and Doug were warped back to the Titanic again in a loop, although it was most likely a trailer for a rerun of the pilot (after all, why would the team back at Tic-Toc be stuck in the same loop?). It was a common practice for Irwin Allen to have a last episode show footage from earlier ones for the upcoming summer rerun season, such as with Lost in Space.
  • Heather Young went on to be a regular cast member of Irwin Allen's next Science Fiction series, Land of the Giants, in which she played stewardess Betty Hamilton.
  • In 1982, five feature-length television films were assembled from ten individual episodes of the TV series with scenes from "Rendezvous with Yesterday" as introductory material. Aliens from Another Planet, was produced using episodes "Chase Through Time" and "Visitors from Beyond the Stars". Revenge of the Gods was a compilation of "Revenge of the Gods" and "The Walls of Jericho." Old Legends Never Die edited together "Merlin the Magician" and "The Revenge of Robin Hood". Kill or Be Killed comprised "The Day the Sky Fell In" and "Kill Two by Two." Raiders from Outer Space was compiled from "The Kidnappers" and "One Way to the Moon" (though, strangely, not the episode actually titled "Raiders from Outer Space").
  • The Time Tunnel may have been a one season wonder but it sold well around the world and was especially popular in the U.K. The British Time Tunnel Appreciation Society was formed in 1974, publishing the 'Project Tic-Toc Newsletter' until the club's demise in 1978.

    The Project Tic-Toc Newsletter, a fanzine published in the UK between 1974 and 1978.


Cast[]

Links[]

The episode can be viewed at Hulu.com at The Time Tunnel channel

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