Sunday, April 28, 2013

Paperback 635: The Time Tunnel / Murray Leinster (Pyramid R-1522)

Paperback 635: Pyramid R-1522 (1st ptg, 1967)

Title: The Time Tunnel
Author: Murray Leinster
Cover artist: Jack Gaughan

Yours for: $9


Best things about this cover:
  • Y'know ... it's pretty standard TV tie-in fair. Network logo. TV title font. A tunnel (presumably of the "time" variety).
  • I actually love the tunnel. Diminishing people descending into diminishing non-concentric circles. Simple and cool.
  • Wikipedia tells me that Murray Leinster wrote a novel with this title in 1964, the plot of which was quite different. He then wrote this novelization of the TV series three years later, and then a later, final "Time Tunnel" novel called Timeslip: Time Tunnel Adventure #2. There were also two "Time Tunnel" Gold Key comics put out in '66-'67.
  • Complete TV series is on Hulu Plus. I'm gonna check it out.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Whoa, the "real" tunnel is an op-art nightmare.
  • The Scientist Wore Shapeless Chinos (That Made His Ass Look Fat and Flat).
  • Who could forget James Darren and Robert Colbert!? (A: everyone)
  • "And it's produced by Irwin Allen, so you know it's top-of-the-line TV fare."—something someone somewhere must've thought at some time.

Page 123~

"I'm talking about the time traveller Kirk's assembled," said Doug urgently. "In the Tunnel chamber!" He said apprehensively: "We may be stuck here for always! Tony! The whole Project may turn out a failure!"

Tony roused. 

As terse, momentous sentences go, "Tony roused" is up there with "Jesus wept."


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Unknown said...

Kirk assembled a time traveler? Wow! That's even more impressive than assembling the time tunnel itself!

The Sage of Altadena said...

I watched this show when I was a little guy, and yes, the tunnel was an op-art nightmare. James Darren had a bit of a pop singing career, but always traveled in time wearing a turtleneck. Robert Colbert .... uh, I got nothin'. But the staff in the control booth included Whit Bissell and Lee Meriwether, so that should count for something.

DemetriosX said...

I never knew Leinster did any media tie-ins. He was a terrific SF writer, though sadly largely forgotten today. The excerpt here is a far cry from his usual work. Makes me think he knocked this out on a Sunday afternoon for a quick paycheck, so he could go back to writing the real stuff.

And, yeah, "An Irwin Allen Production" actually was something of a draw in the mid-60s. It wasn't like the Quinn-Martin detective shows of the 70s, but you knew what you were getting: exploding panels and cheesy monsters.

Anonymous said...

IIRC, Leinster also did three paperback novels based on Irwin Allen's "Land of the Giants."

Benzadmiral said...

From what I understand, Leinster was one of the first SF writers to come up with the alternate time-track idea, or the first to do something major with it. There had been forward in time stories, and back in time stories; so he wrote one called "Sidewise in Time" (I think that was the title), featuring travel to alternate time tracks.