THE TIME TUNNEL
KILL TWO BY TWO
Writer-Wanda and Bob Duncan
Dr.s Newman and Phillips are propelled through time as we hear the narration. We see some of the lights as always as they land. There is a large island they head at and land in a dense jungle. Tony thinks his ankle may be broken, Doug hopes it is just a pulled tendon. We hear the jungle sounds used in DOCTOR DOLITTLE and later in the first few LAND OF THE GIANTS episodes. Doug helps Tony up but they hear hammering and some cries. Doug moves ahead to see a beach below the land they are on. Japanese forces withdrawing. Tony figures maybe they are in the South Pacific, WWII. Bombs go off and they get down. They are in line with the target of whoever is shooting. Tony tells Doug to go on without him but Doug's answer is, "Nothing doing!" They move out but more bombs hit. Tony implores Doug to go on alone but he says, "Are you kidding?" They go to a safer area and see a hut of some kind. Doug tells Tony to stay down, he will check it out. Tony tells him, "Watch it. It may be booby trapped." Doug hides at the side of the hut and looks into a window. Hearing a rustling sound, he turns. A Japanese soldier is coming from behind small bushes and aims a rifle at him and fires! (The cliffhanger ended here.) The Japanese man fires again, seeing the bullet hit the wall just behind Doug's head. The gun jams so Doug knocks him down and gets the gun, ready to hit him with the butt of it. Doug sees it is an older man and tells him he isn't going to kill him. He speaks some English and tells them he is alone and will help Tony. He tells them he once helped a sick soldier. They go into the hut. The old man tells Tony his ankle is merely sprained, not broken. "You wish I tape?" Doug stops him before he can take something out but it is only bandages. The soldiers are leaving since the arrival of the big ship in the harbor. Doug wonders why the Japanese didn't come back. The main compound left when the ship came close. The old man is a spotter to report when ships are moving. He seems nicer. Tony can operate a Japanese radio. As their backs are turned, another, younger Japanese man comes in, sneaking through the door quietly. "Don't move, Joe, or you have a hole through you." He used a wooden stick in Doug's back to make him think it was a gun. He belittles them and Americans in general--telling them Americans use too much imagination. "We're going to have some interesting times together before I kill you."
The young Japanese smokes a cigarette, making the Sergeant light it up for him. He is prejudice in the extreme, hating all Americans and mocking them to Tony and Doug. He starts by calling them Joe--all Americans are Joe to him he tells Tony later. He also says all Americans carry cigarettes for adults and chocolate bars for the children. There is a freeze frame and we see the titles. Ann says, "We can't leave them there with that sadist." They are 700 miles Southeast of Tokyo, on one of 20 islands--but which one? It is early Jan to March in 1945. They view the American fleet. Kirk notices the Missouri and the Illinois and sends Ann to the computer for a list of when the two ships were together in the Pacific. The young man mocks the Sergeant to Tony and Doug since the old man has to have some touch of beauty--a single flower--but to me it looks like a whole vase full of flowers. Doug tells the young man, "We're non-combatants here, Lt. We're scientists." The Lt. laughs and tells them to tell him they are missionaries--he might have believed that. Tony is tired of the taunting, "Look, if you're going to shoot us go ahead and do it." He shoots near Tony and tells him he has good reflexes and nerves, calling him Joe again. Tony tells him, "My name's not Joe." He laughs that all Americans look alike to him and he calls them all Joe. He makes Tony stand up and then Doug help Tony outside. The Sergeant is ordered to shoot them if they try to run away. Doug refuses Tony's plan to jump the younger man. Tony says, "He's a psychopath." Doug admits he is full of bitterness. The Lt. says he knows Kendo, was once on the Kendo team at Stanford in the United States but not for long. He broke a man's arm. Doug knows kendo is a Japanese sport. The Lt. wants to fight Tony. Doug is mad and wants him to try him. The Lt mocks the Sergeant, telling them he is not much. Tony asks the rules of his little tournament--to which the madman answers, "No rules, you try to break my head in and I try to break yours." Tony flips him and they fight long and hard--it is a well choreographed fight sequence and is not dull as some of the other fight scenes in other episodes can be (REVENGE OF ROBIN HOOD for one). The Lt wins but Doug talks him out of using the pointed staff to kill Tony. Lt tells them he was educated in their country and wants Doug to beg eventually. The Lt tells them they and he might think he is soft for being educated in the US. Tony tells him to try him without the sticks but the Lt likes the advantage--it makes him feel good and secure enough. He wants to make them mad enough to kill him.
"We're all alone on this island, the four of us, the odds about even, he has a bad foot, I have an old man. It's about war...you against us."
Doug says, "We don't play with death." He insists they must this time and they must play his game his way. This reeks of THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME, which is a movie taken from a short story about a man hunting a new animal--human beings. The first film in 1933 is a classic. It was remade several times, one remake was called RUN FOR THE SUN. In addition, several TV series have used this premise--GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, GET SMART, LOST IN SPACE-HUNTER'S MOON, CHARLIE'S ANGELS, HART TO HART (more than once--including the new two hour movie version), THE INCREDIBLE HULK, and many others. The premise of the fight to the death is very similar to it--the story which many TV shows and movies based their versions of this are the same as the hunt premise: STAR TREK-THE ARENA, THE OUTER LIMITS-FUN AND GAMES, SPACE: 1999-THE RULES OF LUTON, and others. Among the best of all of these is KILL TWO BY TWO. It adds more dimension to it by changing the motivations of the stalker...and characterization was very strong in this episode, more so than in all the above mentioned versions.
The Lt tells them they are on the smallest island of the 20 islands. Tony tells them that if the Americans want it, they will take it, just as they will with Iwo Jima. The Lt tells them to make the game more interesting they should want his radio as the prize if they win: a massive aerial attack will meet the American forces when they land. He will give them one hour and then come after them. If they win: they get the radio. They will not be given any weapons but the jungle is full of makeshift weapons to kill a man. The Lt calls this payback and tells them, "And you're right...I'm going to kill you both this time."
Doug wants to circle around and go back to the radio shack for some weapons or for the radio to warn the American fleet. We hear music that is used in LOST IN SPACE-KIDNAPPED IN SPACE later. Tony tells Doug, "Whatever happened on this island is already a part of history. We can't change it."
Doug snaps, "We don't know what happened on this island and even if we did..it wouldn't make any difference." Tony notices, "He really got to you, didn't he?" Doug doesn't like running, even if on his own terms, which this isn't. He tells Tony he doesn't care if he sits this one out---he should. Tony looks at him, "What happens to one of us, happens to both of us."
Ray, watching, comments to Kirk, "Senseless is what it is. They should stay holed up somewhere...stay put until we can get a fix."
Kirk smiles, "They've gotten involved, that's what's happened--they're two young men who can't back away."
Ray adds, "Well, we've got to help them. Neither of them has had experience in jungle fighting."
Ann returns with a map. From it she ascertains they are on either Kita Iwo or the southern most island Manmi Iwo and it is Feb 19, 1945. Records of the campaigns of the Japanese were destroyed but there might be some survivors of the campaigns who can help them. As he has Ann call the Pentagon for such a survivor, Kirk assumes they are on Manmi Iwo--he has to gamble. Tony and Doug watch the hut. Doug warns Tony not to engage in any false heroics, no matter what happens. He hides behind boxes as the Lt comes past. Doug gets inside the hut (we hear VOYAGE music from the first season), using a knife to open the supply house door. He looks around and opening a crate, finds rifles. He has to hide at the sacks as the two Japanese men come in. Lt asks the Sergeant if he speaks English and the Sergeant says he can speak a little if it is necessary--if his commanding officer wishes him to. The Lt tells the old man that way of thinking is of the old school and that the Sergeant obeys all authority without question. Lt, drinking, asks the Sergeant if he knows who he is and the Sergeant admits he does. Lt asks him why he won't kill him. Sergeant tells him it is not his place to do this...he must do it himself. A horrid, large spider is crawling up Doug's leg and up to his upper torso. Only when they leave can he knock it off himself. He gets grenades and a machete but accidentally kicks over boxes, bringing the two back. Doug runs out and to Tony undercover. The Lt thanks them--they could use a grenade but they can't risk destroying the radio. Tony stops Doug from throwing a grenade--it is what the younger man wants him to do. Tony says, "We'll fight him when he's not expecting it." They move off but the younger man starts shooting indiscriminately.
Watching on the tunnel screen, Ann notices, "He wants them to kill him." Ray agrees. The Navy Dept told them the Missouri and the Illinois were at Manmi Iwo and shelled it on Feb. 14, 1945. The Japanese consulate is flying a man in by military jet. Ray hopes he can pinpoint markings on the island.
Tony sees two trees which he wants to string something between to make a trap. Doug finds a vine and tells Tony the old man has been here a long time and probably knows the jungle well. They set the vine one inch off the ground and will put a grenade on it.
Dr. Nakamura comes to the complex and tells them he cannot help. While the time tunnel, he says, is interesting, he cannot help them. He wanted to tell them this in person---he lead the Imperial forces and it was a bitter time for him. Kirk explains the lives of two men are at stake. Dr. Nakamura tells him it is not a government matter for him...it is a personal matter and a painful one but if lives are at stake, he will help them. He meets Dr. MacGregor and Dr. Swain. They tell him he is looking at the afternoon of Feb. 17, 1945. His commanding forces withdrew on the 17th. When they see the Sergeant at the hut, Nakamura claims to have known him well--he is Sergeant Itsugi. They ask him to try to identify the other officer and the Lt comes out of the hut. The Doctor, a diplomat now, says, "Impossible, he was dead. He was dead. He is alive, he is not dead."
Kirk looks at him, "You know this man?"
"Yes, he's my son!" Nakamura passes out and almost passes over but Ray and General Kirk grab him and hold him.
A black doctor of Project Tic Toc, nameless, is checking on Nakamura who is sitting in a chair and bringing him around. He was in shock. Ann gets Doug and Tony's signal (she almost always mentions Doug's name first when talking about the boys). Tony sets up a grenade to the vine trap. Doug holds the pin, Tony tells him to get back but he doesn't seem to listen. They fix it and then Tony tells Doug they need to advertise to get him out to the trap. They hide at a log as the Sergeant comes. Doug throws a grenade away from him. The Lt comes and finds the trap, telling Itsugi they have class, style. He calls out to the two, "Clever, Joe, clever." He takes the grenade off and throws it, then fires at the log with his rifle. There is a closeup on the next bomb Doug tosses. They only have two more and the Lt knows this. Lt figures Itsugi does not like to kill to which the old man answers, "If necessary, I kill." The old man doesn't like it though. The Lt tells him to go back to the hut. He wants to stay but the Lt, angry, says something in Japanese to him and he goes.
Kirk questions Dr. Nakamura about Lt. Nakamura, his son. The younger was Kamakaze pilot and lead an attack on the Cheyenne but at the last moment he couldn't do it and crashed in the ocean. His father's men pulled him ashore. He dishonored us, the father tells Kirk and he couldn't help his own son. He left him behind on the island. Kirk moves up and looks discomforted, "To commit hari kari?" Seppuku would be the proper term. The father explains the son spent too much time in the US and forgot the teachings of his childhood.
Tony and Doug see the ocean and part of the island--a mountainous part. They hide behind rocky sandy area. Tony doesn't think the Lt was telling the truth about the planes attacking. But he and Doug now see two planes which Doug thinks are Japanese. Tony tells him he is very sure they are. The Lt was telling the truth. Doug thinks their best chance is to be picked up by the fleet. He will divert the Lt and tells Tony to get to the radio. "You're better with radios than I am," he tells Tony. They continue to discuss what to do. Tony takes a grenade and goes. Doug runs among the rocks as the Lt shoots at him and follows him up the rock face. The Lt is near the water---and tells "Joe" he has picked a bad spot to hide. Doug runs into a cave (one I am sure I have seen before in LOST IN SPACE, other episodes of THE TIME TUNNEL, and VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA). Lt continues to shoot at the cave face as Doug comes out. The Lt asks about where Tony is. Doug throws a grenade in return and hurts the Lt's leg. The Japanese man wraps it up. "Bad shot, Joe, your friend's not going to make it. You're all washed up, Joe." Doug looks out and watches him.
Tony looks up and sees planes. Doug bluffs the Lt--telling him he can't move out, asking him if he is a deserter. Doug asks, "What will killing each other prove...we both want to live to go home." The Lt yells he can't go home--"I don't have any home any more!" He shoots at the cave, "Kill me!" When Doug is nearly hit and falls back into the cave, the Lt thinks it is a trick at first but then thinks Doug is dead inside--but stupidly he doesn't check. Doug is out of grenades. Lt says, "You're not to supposed to die without killing me first." Dr. Nakamura watches and admits he was wrong, he should have never left his son, "I should never have abandoned him. I accepted the fact that he was dead. But you have brought him back to me. I will not watch him die a second time." He asks if they can save all 3 men but they cannot. They can only save two and he demands his son be one of the men they bring back. Otherwise, he won't identify the map markings for them on the screen or the map. Ann asks, "Can we get someone else to help us?" Kirk admits to her there isn't time. Ray wonders if he is bluffing. Ann says, "A man doesn't bluff when the life of his son is at stake." Kirk tells them to make their primary fix on the Lt and to take either Tony or Doug...whichever one of them is closest to the Lt. Kirk asks the doctor to reconsider. Bringing back his son will create insurmountable psychological problems for the son...there will be a 23 year gap in his life, a void. Dr. Nakamura says, "The only insurmountable thing in this world is death." He will not reconsider but will look at their map now.
The Lt leaves Doug's area to go after Tony. Doug comes out. Tony is in the jungle but runs to the hut. He hides and we hear more LOST IN SPACE-A VISIT TO HADES & VOYAGE-TERRIBLE TOYS music. Tony gets into the hut but Itsugi jumps in and shoots the radio apart. Tony drops down and throws a chair at the Sergeant, then fights him down. The tunnel image screen shows planes leaving the destroyers of American ships. They see the American landing force. The staff switch to the radio shack to view the Lt. Tony takes Itsugi outside with a rifle. The Lt shoots at him, Tony knocks Itsugi down and runs; Doug moves in. Tony tosses a grenade, lobbing it at the feet of the Lt. The Lt looks down at it.
The grenade is a dud so the Lt, angry, kicks it away, then laughs insanely. We hear VOYAGE second season music. Amid the laughing Lt, Doug is called to by Tony. Tony tells him, "He's lost his mind." Doug takes the rifle and calls out to the Lt. The Sergeant wakes up. Doug says, "Lt, surrender and I'll see to it you're treated properly n the hands of the Americans." Itsugi tells young Nakamura he must decide now--die properly or live in shame. The Lt thinks it over. One thing--can Doug really fulfill his promise? He must realize the tunnel can pull him from this time at any moment so why make the promise? He really cannot keep his word on this--how would he know the Americans would treat the Lt fairly and how would he insure this?
Ann says the signals on Tony and Doug are the same: both are strong, neither more than the other. She wants to take all three but Ray tells her that would kill all three for sure. As they watch young Nakamura prepare himself, his father says, "He has finally realized who he is. I won't take that from him. Leave him there." They reset the focus. The son is putting on full kimono and head band inside the hut. Lt comes out with a rifle and points it at Doug and Tony, "You have to do it. I'm not giving any choices."
Doug points from the bushes but claims, "I can't do it." The Lt points at them but is shot from the other side by Americans. Two come running and then a third joins them. Two cover the Sergeant. Tony yells, "Don't shoot, we're Americans!" as he and Doug show themselves. Doug asks the dying young Nakamura why he didn't just give up when he had the chance. The Lt says, "I'm Japanese, Joe, I forgot that, but only for awhile." The American Sergeant tells them he made a perfect target wearing all white, then asks who Tony and Doug are. Tony tells him it is a long story. He asks who the dead man is. Doug says, "He was a man fighting his own private war and I think he's found his victory." Tony and Doug vanish and we hear the familiar pop sound-musical vanishing.
CLIFFHANGER: Tony and Doug fly through time. They come down onto a hard floor of an alien room. They stand up and do not say anything. Suddenly, two aliens appear (silver suited and...you get the idea) from thin air. Doug and Tony turn and see them--a different edit of the next week's teaser. The aliens talk backward. Tony and Doug go to them and ask, "Who are you? What is this place?" The aliens move them over to a translation circuit board--which has a silly looking robotic shape etched into it against the wall. The aliens find out Tony and Doug are intruders from another dimension. Tony tells them they are from Earth. The aliens tell him they are under orders of leader Lentos and will raid planet 1-6, the first advance against the planet. When the boys ask to see what the planet is they will attack and steal all materials from, the aliens show them Earth on a device near the far wall (and it looks more like a globe or globe map with no clouds and only lines like a map--very unreal when we find out what the Earth really looks like from space). The music is a bit different from the version of this segment which we will see in Act One of the next episode, not the teaser of the episode. Doug moves at the aliens, despite Tony's warnings they cannot do anything against them. They shoot a strange gun-like device at him and he falls. Tony checks him. The alien walks toward them and, in what builds to be an extreme close up, coldly says, "When we leave the Earth...we will leave no life on it...it will be a dead planet." END OF CLIFFHANGER and an eerie one it is at that...very atmospheric even if the rest of the next episode didn't live up to that. The teaser for the next episode was not covered in the cliffhanger!?!
NOTES: Regardless of what you think about this episode's theme of Japanese having to honor themselves by killing themselves, this episode stands out among the later half of the series. It has some riveting performances from all involved (Mako is terrific), a controversial subject matter, less fights than other episodes, and characterization, even from Tony and Doug. Iwo Jima was 750 miles from Japan and an air base there was acquired after terrible losses on both sides. This happened in 1945. Rather than go into the terrible aspects of that battle, I can mention the Volcanic Islands (Kazan-Retto) do exist: there is a Kita Iwo island and a Minami island with Iwo between the two. I must note that my research lead me to a book called PRISONERS OF THE JAPANESE: POWs OF WORLD WAR II IN THE PACIFIC by Gavin Daws. The forced march Death March in Bataan and the use of POW slave labor in the construction of the Burma Siam railroads; the random killing of prisoners, both American and Filipino prisoners; killing of the wounded, old, young, and female; and cruelty unmatched by the Nazis in Germany (only 4 percent of their American POWs died---but 27 percent of the Japanese military's American POWs died) and the Ancient Romans in the far past, make me rethink just how awful the Japanese people really were in this time. Yes, America did stop trading with Japan before the bombing of Pearl Harbor; yes, FDR probably did know about the bombing of Pearl Harbor almost to the hour; yes, the Nazis were butchering monsters; yes, they and the Japanese had their reasons for what they were doing but the book itself reveals such inhumane treatment, mutilation, torture, downright sadism, that is hard to forget what these people did to other people under the guise of war. Like their butchering German allies, the butchering Japanese also did experiments on people. While the Nazi Germans were unequaled in what they did to children in their torturous and demented experiments...the Japanese did experiments on POWs, cutting them to bits, pouring salt water into veins and removing the blood, timing forced heart convulsions, etc. I once firmly thought that propaganda and slanted history twisted many minds of us in the US and the free world but having seen this book, I must truly say the Japanese are unparalleled in their horrid treatment of prisoners and people in general and they probably would have fought very hard before any surrender, had not the awful Atomic Bomb been used...twice! The Atomic Bomb was a disaster for humankind but it ended a brutal and bloody war. The Japanese culture changed radically...thank God!