THE TIME TRAVELERS
The other interesting name on the credits of The Time Travelers is that of Rod Serling. It stretches the mind to think of Irwin Allen and Rod Serling collaborating on a project. It is almost impossible to think of two names so diametrically opposed in approach as Irwin Allen and Rod Serling when it comes to televised science-fiction. Rod Serling emerged as a writer in the days of live television where he won a number of Emmy Awards, but will always be remembered as the creator of tvs The Twilight Zone (1959-64). Where Irwin Allen specialized in science-fiction involving ridiculous rubber monsters and where high concept for Allen amounted to no more than having plots involving Nazi ghosts, interstellar cowboys and mermaids, Rod Serling specialized in a type of twist ending that subtly undermined prejudices and expectations. Like Irwin Allen, Rod Serling moved from tv work to feature films but where Allens subsequent feature film work is driven by spectacle and the arraigning of star power, Serlings feature film works, which includes scripts for the likes of Seven Days in May (1964), Planet of the Apes (1968) and The Man (1972), is driven by often thoughtful liberal political message.
Expectedly, Rod Serlings input raises The Time Travelers above the level of the typical Irwin Allen scenario and circumvents the usual bad plotting, bad science, illogical premises and ludicrous clichés that permeated Allens other tv work. Clearly, Irwin Allen construed The Time Travelers as being another variation on The Time Tunnel. With Rod Serlings input, we at least get a passable time travel story. However, in all other regards, The Time Travelers represents life as usual for Irwin Allen. The film is typically stolidly directed and acted. As with The Time Tunnel and some of Irwin Allens earlier films most notedly the notoriously bad historical epic The Story of Mankind Allen put the film together out of scrounged stock footage, in this case from 20th Century Foxs In Old Chicago (1937), which was naturally enough about the Chicago Fire.
Irwin Allen also managed to recycle his casts between productions. Of the two lead actors here, Sam Groom had played a supporting role as a technician in The Time Tunnel, while Tom Hallick went on to become one of the heroes in The Return of Captain Nemo/The Amazing Captain Nemo. Alas, Groom and Hallick make forgettable leads. More memorable is Richard Basehart, Admiral Nelson in Allens Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, who plays with entertainingly scenery-chewing regard as the 19th Century doctor.
The Time Travelers should not be confused with the early B movie The Time Travelers (1964).
Full film available online here:-