Monday, February 26, 2007
Similar, but Different...
It's been commented on my post with the Time Tunnel TV Comics cover that Quantum Leap was similar to TT. Yeah, similar is probably an accurate term... but QL was as similar to TT as Voyagers! was to either of those shows. They all featured time travel, and all featured some touches with history (although TT and Voyagers! had more interaction with famous historical events), but that's really about it.
Well, Voyagers! and QL both had something that needed to be fixed before the episode was ended... but Voyagers! was fixing history to be correct, and match our history books, QL's changes tended not to fix major history, but more personal history.
I love all three shows, actually (I wish Voyagers! was available in a complete series DVD)... I'm a sucker for time travel tales, especially entertaining ones. And especially when they offer a twist to make them different.
Honestly, I don't recall all that much about the specifics in Time Tunnel... I know that they'd have adventures in history, and their knowledge of historical events would help them, but I think they'd pretty much get in trouble, and then have to find a way out of being in trouble... although given that the Time Tunnel would pull them back into the timestream at the end of each episode (and not, if I recall, with any rhyme or reason... it just did), I'm not sure why they'd be that worried, unless they were facing execution or something like that.
Sam Beckett, on the other hand, HAD to put right what once went wrong, with the help of Al and Ziggy, before he could Leap out of when he was, and go on to his next mission. I don't think they had any episodes where he screwed up somehow, and then had to do something else to fix his error, but it's been a long time since I've watched the show. The biggest historical meet-ups in QL were in the last season, which I think were done in desperation to keep the show from being cancelled, but I'm not sure those were great ideas (especially the Lee Harvey Oswald episode).
Voyagers! basically had the lead adult character (Fogg?) who was a time traveler, and he was accompanied by a kid who knew history better than the adult did, and would help him interpret what had been changed in history, and how to fix it. Their time travel device would show them the altered history, then they'd go back further to find out how it got changed and put it right again, until their device said everything was fine. This show was much more educational in nature (it was on Sundays at 7 p.m., if I recall correctly) and was at least co-produced by Scholastic Books.
I wouldn't mind seeing all three of these shows return in some form or another, although I think in the case of QL, it may have to wait a while longer so that they could recast it... I know the leads (Scott Bakula, at least) has said many times that he would be happy to play Sam again, but it's almost been too long since the show ended for him to take the role again (unless, say, it was done in animation, so he could simply voice the part). I was kind of hoping that when Enterprise ended, the Sci Fi Channel would bring the show back themselves, but that didn't happen (and I haven't heard any news about a possible revival in well over 10 years).