We would like to make it clear that, although we are fans, we are not the obsessive types who know every episode off by heart or who have taped every episode. Most of the information below comes from memory and may therefore contain errors. We would appreciate any constructive contributions (e-mail to webmaster) which will be credited appropriately.
One difficulty with this format is that Tony and Doug often start off in danger, but reach safety by the end of the episode, at which point the Tunnel crew move them on to a different place. Why do they do this? Surely it would be more sensible to wait for precise location information, a better fix, or more power, and make a proper attempt to retrieve Tony and Doug. Of course, this would make it a very short series!
The regular loss of signal from Tony and Doug neatly prevents the Tunnel crew from learning too much about the events in the future. It seems odd to us that the Tunnel crew place greater faith in their 1960s computer than the computer on the 1970s spacecraft (although, as it turns out, they are right!).
Our favourite line is the oft-repeated "It's not the end of the world!". We think it would have been a neat plot twist if the influence of the Tunnel drew the comet off-course at the last minute. The extra two-minute teaser at the end of the episode is a nice treat.
The apparent paradox of meeting oneself is neatly handled, with Tony unable to recall clearly his actions as a child.
We paticularly like the sub-plot involving the time-warp.
Several odd things happen. General Kirk's idea of sending a bag of grenades and a machine gun to help Tony seems a bit heavy-handed. The objective of the Time Tunnel project - to send a man into Time and bring him back unharmed - is achieved by Jiggs in this episode (but only just). Ray claims that the Tunnel "extends to infinity" - no wonder it cost so much to build! As with several other episodes, we see that Tony and Doug appear back in their original clothes just before being transferred (a useful continuity device) - does this imply that they are returned to their original states? If so, why is this effect be limited to their clothes - shouldn't their memories be erased, and shouldn't it even be possible to bring them back to life if they are killed?
General Kirk states that it's possible to send a person through the tunnel in complete safety. Is he forgetting the piece of equipment which was vaporised in "The End of the World"?
When the prisoner is returned to the island after being accidentally retrieved by the Tunnel, he just re-materialises on his feet. Previously, people sent through the Tunnel "fall" out of limbo. Did he travel first-class?
It's a good thing that General Kirk's ring vanishes at the end of the episode. Otherwise, there is a danger of a logical circularity - Kirk obtains the ring from France and sends it back in time to its beginning in France - so nobody needed to make it in the first place!
When the attempt to retrieve Tony and Doug in the Time Capsule fails, Ray claims that they are stuck in limbo at a time of "point 9 recurring". Mathematically, "point 9 recurring" can be shown to be exactly equal to one. We think it's another example of Ray resorting to technobabble when he doesn't know what's going on.
When the boy is accidentally retrieved with the bomb, no-one is allowed to go into the Tunnel to help him disarm the bomb due to the residual radiation. So how were the Tunnel crew planning to disarm the bomb on its own? Perhaps the level of danger depends on the mass transferred. In "Revenge of the Gods", General Kirk was worried about the radiation bath setting off grenades, so this business of putting explosives in the Tunnel (see also "The Day the Sky Fell Down") seems very risky.
In this episode, Ray states that there is no chance whatsoever of carrying out a triple transfer. If this is true, then why did he not say anything when the Tunnel crew prepare to transfer three people at the end of "Massacre". Also, in "Chase Through Time", five people are transferred - have they improved their equipment by then?
We were glad to see these aliens beaten. Firstly, they seem unduly smug - unimpressed by Tony and Doug's arrival on their spaceship, they do a vanishing trick to show off their teleportation technology. However, they show no ability to travel in time - a point reinforced by the appearance of the present-day aliens at the end of the episode. Secondly, we find it amazing that they should come all the way to Earth with only a single "projector" on which all of their power depends.
When the Tunnel crew attempt to send Nero's ghost back in time, we observe that the Tunnel appears to be able to lock onto any time period, regardless of whether anyone has been sent there. This would have been a useful trick to demonstrate to the US government official in "Rendezvous with Yesterday" - it might have secured quite a bit more funding for the project!
We find it surprising that General Kirk doesn't attempt to double-cross the "expert" who cons his way into the complex - once Kirk has the location information that he needs, surely he can ignore the demands and concentrate on bringing back Tony and Doug.
General Kirk's confidence in the unchangeability of history takes a nasty dent when Doug appears to kill Billy the Kid prematurely. Perhaps Kirk shouldn't have sent those grenades and that machine gun back to the Trojan War after all!
Why is General Kirk so sure that the pirate captain can't be killed when he is brought back through the Tunnel? If Tony and Doug can be harmed outside their own time, why shouldn't this also apply to anyone else picked up by the Tunnel? It seems most unlikely that the death of the pirate captain in his own time would have been recorded by history.
This is one of our favourite episodes - probably because it doesn't follow the normal predictable format. We also like the recurring "bee" theme and the satisfying way in which the saboteur gets his come-uppance.
As for "Pirates of Dead Man's Island", we don't fully understand why it isn't possible for Machiavelli to be harmed in 1863, although at least in this case we know that his death was recorded in 1527.
General Kirk clearly hasn't learnt from his nasty shock in "Billy the Kid". As in "Revenge of the Gods", he shows scant regard for the integrity of history by despatching percussion detonators to Tony and Doug at a time when he could just have transferred them.
We think it's a bit rich of General Kirk to say that his job is to make sure that history turns out right, considering his willingness to send grenades and a machine gun to the plains of Troy (in "Revenge of the Gods") and percussion detonators to Mongolia (in "Attack of the Barbarians").
As in "Secret Weapon", this episode leads us to believe that the Tunnel can send Tony and Doug to precise time/space co-ordinates. If so, then why can't they just set the precise time/space co-ordinates for the Tunnel complex in the present day? Or would that be cheating?
No wonder this was the last episode - the script writers must have run out of storylines involving aliens!