THE TIME TUNNEL
THE LAST PATROL
Writers-Bob & Wanda Duncan
After the narration, which is accompanied by very quick music, the boys fly down. Tony seems to glide and tips head first over and over. As he recovers we hear second season VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA music. He finds himself in a forest with British soldiers firing rifles. He runs through the woods and finds a small camp sight. Equipment lies about but he takes some buckskins he finds and drinks some water the men who were at this camp had. Doug lands (quite a bit after Tony) on his back in some soft hay or grass. Tony runs from shots that rain about him (and now we hear first season VOYAGE music---the rest of the score is by Lyn Murray). Tony and Doug meet up and are glad to see each other. The actors do a good job in this scene and we feel their relief at seeing each other---in fact, the acting in this entire hour is top notch. The boys put on the buckskins. Tony tells Doug, "It looks like we've got ourselves caught in the middle of a battle." This wouldn't be the last time either. Doug wonders if it is southern United States. British soldiers chase them and Doug falls. When he turns over to get up, he is staring right at one of the British soldiers, who is behind a bush of some kind--pointing the rifle right at his head. (This is where the cliffhanger from the last episode-THE DAY THE SKY FELL IN ended). Doug rolls and the shot misses him. Tony, not realizing Doug fell, now looks back and comes running to Doug's aide. They are both caught and taken back to the British camp reigned over by a heavy set Colonel Southall. This is Carol O'Connor, who acts wonderfully as the Colonel. He tells his men he needs vital information from a Captain, who calls Tony and Doug spies. Doug tells them he and Tony are non-combatants. Southall explains, "You'll have every chance to say what you want at your trial--after which you'll be shot for the spies that you are."
The theme song has the narrator say, "THE TIME TUNNEL!" at the end of it. This is on most of the early episodes but not all of the episodes. Syndication may have taken out the narration for some of the shows or some of the shows may hot have had it.
We see men riding on horses. Southall is wearing a hat. His troops will move out at dawn tomorrow. He tells them the Americans are outnumbered, he must find their weak point and drive home at it. He tells the Captain Hotchkiss to court martial Tony and Doug. The British invading army brought leg irons as Tony and Doug find out when they are chained to a tree. Doug recalls Andrew Jackson won't be beat and that they must be in New Orleans where the British lost the last battle of the War of 1812. We hear bird sounds in the background, making this scene very outdoorsey. Doug comments, "It's gonna be a bloody one and a useless one." The Captain orders one of his men--a sergeant to undo their leg irons.
The tunnel personnel watch Scottish soldiers (?) which seem to be a part of the British troops. Ann is establishing a timelock when Kirk gets a call--a General Southall is cleared for entry into the complex--he is from the British Embassy and is one of the ancestors of Colonel Southall. When this man Philip (played with equal skill by O'Connor with gray hair and beard; wearing glasses) enters he looks around, "Incredible!" He is introduced to Ann and Ray. Amazed, he spots the 7th Royal Regiment. As an aside, the back area of the tunnel main room is intact as ever and looks good. Later on, the backdrop would be moved and covered by a strange looking wall of silver. Phil notes the blue facings on the red uniforms of the 7th. His ancestor, he notes, was called the Butcher. Ann tells him they can get a timelock on the boys of they are with people which they can place in a specific time. Kirk tells Phil their computers don't give them records on the 7th. Phil says, "Well, it's nice to know the human memory still has some use in the world." Ann smiles at this. Phil tells them the Butcher is called so since he lead his men right into slaughter on Jan. 7, 1815 in an attack at dawn. The 7th was completely destroyed. Southall could have attacked Jackson's weak area and outflanked him but didn't. We hear the clicks of the computers quite loudly in this episode. Phil comments, "If that's where your men are, I suggest you get them out." Kirk informs him, "The time tunnel is far from perfected." To move them now without an exact time fix could kill them. Phil states, "If they move with the 7th, they'll have no chance at all."
Doug and Tony are put on trial in Southall's cabin office. He prattles on about George the 3rd and Charles the first. Doug pleads not guilty and tells them their names--Southall believes they are doctors of medicine. Passes from Jackson's troops were found in their buckskins. Southall asks about them being in the forest behind enemy lines and wearing buckskins. Tony, straight faced, and quite funnily, states, "We're naturalists." Doug tells them they do not know about Andrew Jackson's plans. Southall finds them guilty and quickly denies Doug's appeal. Sentence: to be executed by firing squad to be carried out immediately. Doug overturns the table, Tony punches a guard but both are stopped.
Ann gasps, "General!" Kirk says, "Dr. Swain, we're going to try to bring them back." Kirk tells Ann to superimpose the boys' signals.
Doug asks Southall, "Is this what you call British justice?" Southall tells him he has no desire to kill either of them and asks them to cooperate. He then separates them, both tied up outside. Southall tells Doug there is no need for both to die and he tests Doug with a promise to trade Doug for one of his captured men. Southall implies he could have Tony killed before setting Doug free but Doug tells him to let Tony be traded. Hotchkiss asks Tony if he can do anything--notify his family. Tony sees through Hotchkiss's questioning, "You can't play us off against each other." Hotchkiss tells the Colonel he had them judged right--each will self sacrifice to help the other. The Colonel says, "Touching." The tunnel people are having time lock trouble. They watch the Colonel in his office, worrying about his eyebrows. Phil thinks it is amazing he is worrying about this when the battle will be fought tomorrow. Tony is brought to the Colonel's office in a chance, he tells Tony, to earn the lives of he and Doug. Hotchkiss will use Doug's buckskins as Tony will lead him through American lines, both to be back by dawn--if so, he and Doug will be set free. Sergeant brings Tony to Doug. Tony tells Doug what is happening, "I don't know the country either--it's a case of the blind leading the blind." He adds, "Don't do anything to get yourself killed."
Doug tells Tony, "Don't you try any heroics either."
Tony goes on, "This is the last battle of the war--nothing we can do will change the outcome. History will take its coarse--we'll be exchanged when it's over."
Doug makes Tony worry, "The trouble is--history doesn't always record everything--" they may still be executed and it would never have been known by historians. The Colonel shows Hotchkiss a map of the area and where the rocket signaling station is. Hotchkiss's rocket signal will give the colonel the line of march at the weak spot. Southall then adds that after the signal is shot off, they must eliminate all questionable elements that might lead to defeat and the Captain will simply carry out the order of execution for Tony and then Doug. They drink to this. "Cheers."
Act Two opens with Tony leading Captain Hotchkiss. To his suspicions of Tony's lead, Tony tells him that a straight on coarse would take them right into Jackson's pickets. The two argue. Three American soldiers come running into the area. One is to check out the river, the others "read out"? Hotchkiss tells Tony he will not play more games of fox and the hare and warns Tony not to try anything, telling him he killed a man in the Peninsula Campaign, a man who was riding a fast horse 100 yards away--with the very pistol he is using to cover Tony. Tony tells him he is only concerned with getting him back by dawn. Hotchkiss looks at the American soldiers and they find out Jackson is there. Hotchkiss lines up Jackson in his sights and hopes to kill him now. Tony calls this bluff--do that and their mission will fail. Hotchkiss wants to see the "running plug" ? defenses and won't go further is Tony feels the need to tell him about these. Tony sneers, "I wouldn't give you the time of day, captain." The two go through the woods and see two American soldiers pass. They see each other and Tony doesn't have the password even though he has the passes. The American Sergeant wants to take Tony and Hotchkiss with them back to camp to a Captain Jenkins. Tony turns the American gun aside and runs off, getting away. The Sergeant takes Hotchkiss to the wet faced Jenkins--both men seem to be sweating a great deal. A man in a fur hat---Davy Crockett?--Daniel Boone?---brings Hotchkiss to Jenkins. Hotchkiss won't confess but just keeps repeating his rank. He is put into a tent and tied up.
Tony punches a guard and goes to the tent, hits another down. He gets Hotchkiss free--the British man smirking that he wouldn't let Doug hang. He also insists Tony give him the musket the American lifted off one of the guards. Hotchkiss tells him he doesn't need Tony's help--the Colonel will take the right road what ever they do. (Huh?). Perhaps Hotchkiss is bluffing. Tony tosses the musket to him angrily. Hotchkiss stops Tony in the woods, meaning to kill him---despite what Southall told them. They do not bargain with the enemy as they believe Doug and Tony to be. He is under a sentence of death and Hotchkiss tells Tony to move behind a bush (does it matter where he shoots him?).
Act Three opens with Tony falling. Hotchkiss tells him there is no need to be nervous, we all have got to die sometime. Tony kicks a branch into Hotchkiss and this allows him to run off, followed by the irate British Captain. The tunnel staff are watching the Colonel, Phil wants to talk to him: he's had to answer for his mistakes. Kirk acknowledges it doesn't seem to have done Phil any harm. Phil tells him it made him work harder. He reveals he is here not under orders but on leave...terminal leave. He has no family so wants to go back. The viewers might take this to mean Phil is dying but it is underscored and not emphasized too much. Kirk tells him he doesn't have the authority (but he will later in PIRATES OF DEADMAN'S ISLAND). Phil asks who does. Kirk smiles, "Going over my head, eh?" Kirk tries to talk him out of it but he merely asks if the direct line to the Pentagon is open. We see a female technician in the background.
The Colonel talks to Doug who is wearing a red coat now. Doug can't help him. Southall points his sword at Doug and explains about the firing rocket which tells the British which way the attack will go. Doug tells Southall that he is lying, "Your intentions are to kill me..." Southall claims he will not detain him any longer and he can go but when he tells Doug of Tony's execution, Doug rushes at him, "Why you...!" Southall points his sword into Doug's stomach, holding back. The Leftenent (Reynerson-?) takes Doug to be shot away from camp. Rather quickly, they go to the rocket launcher sight.
Ray watches, alerting them that the tunnel is set for a superimposure--Doug will be killed if they try a single retrieve. Philip has General White on the phone for Kirk. Kirk gets off the phone and tells him White threw it in his lap. Phil appeals to Kirk: he knows the Colonel--spent a lifetime studying him. Kirk says, "I'd be risking your life on the chance of saving his (Doug's)." Phil says he himself is risking his own life--what is left of it--he is on terminal leave--he is dying. Kirk tells them to activate the tunnel and adds, "There are a couple of things you should know. We can send there in complete safety but it's doubtful we can ever get you back...and you can't change your ancestor...he's a part of history."
Phil makes an interesting point of his own, "...but killing Doug Phillips isn't a part of history...not yet at any rate." He shan't mind living back then. The consoles appear to placed more together than later in the series, at this time looking more like one large piece. Phil has been calling Kirk---Woody--but this is not the first time we hear his name said. The tunnel is green and clear, Ray and Ann report. Kirk instructs Phil, "Just walk straight into the tunnel and keep going." Bidding him good luck, Kirk watches as his friend walks in. The Tunnel lights up, changing colors in the stripes as the hum builds up. Ann does a countdown and Phil walks into the tunnel completely in a very effective sequence! Suddenly, and this is a rarity in later episodes---we see Philip flying through the time vortex just as Tony and Doug do. I must digress here---it seems that Tony and Doug's time passes with some kind of correspondence to the time that passes in the tunnel--if Tony and Doug spend one hour in 1815 (or wherever) than one hour passes in the year 1968 for Ann, Ray, and Kirk and everyone else on Earth. There would be no nipping back to stop Doug from ever being shot or killed (and in MERLIN it was Merlin who would revive Doug after Doug was killed--or was he just badly wounded?). In any case, the firing squad aims right at Doug.
Philip lands feet first (would have helped if Tony and Doug could have too but it isn't nearly as fun) near Doug. Doug takes this chance to run off and the Leftenent orders them to fire at him. They do but Brigadier Gen. Philip Southall introduces himself to the Leftenent (after a bit of a dazed adjustment), wanting to wash up and tidy himself. He then wants to see Col. Southall. The younger man seems to see some of the Colonel in Phil. Doug runs through the jungle, getting the ropes off his wrists. Capt. Hotchkiss is still hunting Tony in the woods and we hear some kind of jolly music---sort of inappropriate for this episode and scene. Hotchkiss falls into quicksand but before Tony will pull him out, the trapped man must give him the musket. He yells for help but Tony tells him there are British soldiers 100 miles or a yard away--they won't get to him in time. Tony will only help him because he needs him. He tries to pull Hotchkiss out using the musket. The Captain is still yelling and panicking. Tony gets a stick and pulls him out, the Leftenent arriving with his men. When the Captain says he'll kill Tony anyway, the Leftenent is amazed, "But he just saved your life!" He has the man move Tony out.
Col. Southall laughs loudly after Phil tells him the truth. "It's incredible! It's impossible! It's fantastic!" He thinks Phil must think him mad to believe such an impossible tale. Colonel intends to attack the weak side in accordance with the rocket signal. Phil tells him the East flank is Jackson's weak and the West side is the heavy one and the one which will be attacked by the Colonel. 500 Brits will die and there will be an official investigation. To prove he is telling the truth, Phil describes a memo Col. Southall just wrote to Gen. Packton (or Pakenham perhaps?) on Jan. 7, 1815 word for word. The memo requested more brigades to help Southall but there was no reply. Despite all this, the Colonel will still fight in accordance with the rocket (why would he?).
Doug sees the British rocket launcher area. They plan to set it to the east--Jackson's weak side. Doug jumps out as Hotchkiss intends to shoot Tony. Doug fights the soldiers; Tony vs. the Captain. A soldier tries to bayonet Doug but Doug kicks him. Leftenent lights the launcher but uses the torch to attack Doug. Tony punches the Capt. down and grabs a man off Doug and they both fight more men. Doug yells, "Let's get out of here!" Hotchkiss laments the rocket is pointed the wrong way.
The signal goes off and tells Col. Southall the weak side is the West flank. Phil sees it to be true--the rocket did indicate this (but if Tony and Doug weren't here, would it have? Were the real spies the ones who left the buckskins in the forest and Tony and Doug just took their place in history? If so, what happened to them? If not, who turned the rocket the wrong way? Or were Tony and Doug a part of this all the time????). Colonel Southall will let Phil march in the 2nd rank (who the hell would want to?).
Ray and Ann watch as on the image screen, Royal Scottish Highlanders march. Ann gets Phil Southall's signal. Ray informs them they are spreading themselves double thin already but Kirk orders him to stretch it some more. Kirk adds, "I don't intend to leave General Southall there!" Kirk asks if they can superimpose all three on each other. There is stock footage of Americans firing at Scottish men who walk right into the firing. Tony and Doug watch from a safe area. Tony comments, "It's gonna be a bloody one."
Doug tells Tony of Phil Southall and tells him they can't abandon him. Doug says, "We can't do it, Tony." Tony says, "If he's out there nothing can help him." There is more stock footage as Scottish go down. Americans shoot cannons, rockets are fired at the Americans. Ann tells Kirk and Ray she is losing the General Southall's signal--he's losing radiation as Kirk says. Ray says, "I think he's dying." They look on screen and see the last soldier dying, just stop moving. Tony and Doug are watched by the tunnel as they run to Gen. Southall. The man asks that just in case the chaps back there didn't see all this, to tell them the Colonel Southall wasn't a butcher...he made an honest error...he was mislead by the rocket signal. Phil is gravely injured and ready to die, telling them it was all worth it and he is past help. "It's not everyone who gets a chance to meet his own ancestor." He dies. Tony and Doug now stand up and move off. They stop and look around. It is obvious they are going to vanish again but this time, their own clothes pop onto themselves, the 1815 clothes vanish (this is not as good an effect as usual--and is really jarring--which is perhaps the reason they didn't always make the irregular clothes vanish and their own pop on later in the series). This is something that would happen a few of the times they wore other type clothes but not always. The music during this is strangely new and a bit whiny.
CLIFFHANGER: Tony and Doug fly through time. We see an island in the ocean...Pacific probably. As they flew through time we hear a nice crystal like sound in the music which makes this a neat landing sequence. Doug falls first this time. Tony sails through the air. They get up, their arrival having been witnessed by a native of some kind. Doug comments on their "nice, hospitable place." There are blasts of lightning, earth tremors, and blasts rising from a volcano. Tony smells sulfur and also feels they must be somewhere near the equator. The ground shakes and the two fall. Doug says there is a one hundred percent surety the volcano will blow and fairly soon--ten seconds or a few months. They hear the wild screams of a boy and rush to him. They see him being held by two natives, the half naked boy struggling to get free. The two other natives are trying to throw him into a volcano pit of lava (in what looks like stock footage from Irwin Allen's remake of THE LOST WORLD). This may be where the cliffhanger ends--it is where the Sci Fi channel ends the cliffhanger but doesn't show the usual wording of next time on the time tunnel. In any event, the boys try to stop the natives from tossing the short haired youth (really more a young man or an older teenager than a boy) into the pit of red hot lava. Doug asks Tony to translate the native leader (and also the man who saw the time travellers arrive). Tony believes it is Malayan language. The leader speaks English and tells them no one lives on this island anymore, he and the other men who are trying to appease the "gods" by sacrificing the boy, come from Sumatra. The two time travellers are told that only a human sacrifice will appease the fires. The leader calls them devils and that they already know all of this---he blames them for the volcano, "Now we shall make it stop!" He takes out his knife as other natives come and grab the boys. This might be the place for the cliffhanger but it is more likely the spot previously mentioned above.
NOTES: THE LAST PATROL could be sometimes too talky, a bit too militaristic for one's tastes, and even a bit too slow at times, however, it is still an enjoyable watch through. The sets are wonderful and there is something nice about an almost all outside episode. Carol O' Connor made this one much better. Hotchkiss is one of those irritating bad guys but Mike Pate plays him as very human and hateful. One thing I couldn't understand is why the British would depend on the rocket launcher? Also---it seems Tony, Hotchkiss, the Leftenent, and Philip get through the woods easily and back again---why not just go and tell Col. Southall (irritatingly he has no first name!) about the weak spot? And why did Hotchkiss tell Tony that Southall would probably find the weak spot without the rocket--it is possible this was a bluff. The rocket aspect, while interesting, seems implausible. Also---wouldn't the Americans see the rocket? Capt. Jenkins is only seen briefly. Kirk's heavy burden of sending Phil back in time and of saving Doug is seen here and used to mild but good effect. It would resurface in PIRATES OF DEADMAN'S ISLAND. Tony and Doug being separated would turn up more and more frequently in the series.
During the War of 1812 the British did use Congreve rockets, "mostly sound and fury and precious little explosion." This and the bayonets caused all in the American militia to flee in the summer of 1814 in Bladensburg. As an aside, American contractors in New England were selling tons of supplies to the British in Canada the autumn after the British set fire to the White House. Apparently the war ended on Jan. 30, 1815. The war actually was fought for six months after the Treaty of Ghent was signed on Christmas Eve of 1814! The British officer in New Orleans was a Gen. Edward Pakenham. British losses were at 2000 while American Jackson lost 13; 58 wounded. Most of Jackson's men were militia units from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Louisiana. But it was the cannoneers who saved the day with devastating fire. Pakenham could have attacked from the rear but chose a full frontal assault. Jackson had built up the breastworks of earth and sugar barrels for over a week. The British had occupied the Villere plantation on the north side of the Mississippi, five miles below the city of New Orleans. Jackson had only 5000 men to defend against the invasion force of 7500. 3500 troops were guarding the defenses. Pakenham threw more than 5000 of his men at the breastworks of sugar barrels, earth, and cotton bales behind which the artillerymen fired at the British. Two black battalions were positioned almost in the center of the fighting. 280 men from New Orleans made up one group; the other of about 150 Haitians. Gen. Jackson supposedly praised the efforts and contributions of these black men; many other black men fought in the war, most in an unofficial capacity, defending Washington and Philadelphia (2500 of the blacks organized themselves to build up the city defenses over two days). Ten percent of the crews of the American ships on the upper Great Lakes were black. They were said to be very courageous and brave.
General White-a General who tells Kirk (via direct line to the Pentagon) it is in his hands whether or not to send Philip Southall. Unseen but talked to in THE LAST PATROL.
Brigidier General Philip Southall-1968 descendant of "the Butcher of the last war in the War of 1812" Colonel Southall who lead 500 men to slaughter by attacking the Americans head on. Philip worked for the British Embassy and was a friend of Woody Kirk. He is the first in the series to use Woody's nickname. He goes back in time, convincing Woody to let him go because he only has months to live. He goes back and saves Doug from the firing squad. Kirk tells his friend he can't change his ancestor--he is a part of history. Doug tells Tony that history doesn't recall or record everything. Southall finds out his ancestor did not willingly lead the men into battle--it was a mistake made by the signal firing cannon--which had turned during a fight in the forest. THE LAST PATROL is a talky but well made episode, one of the first I've seen, and as such, as well as its straight forward atmosphere, is a much underrated episode. Carol O'Conner as both steals the show, acting rings around everyone. Doug and Tony don't have much to do and Tony is particularly dark (perhaps a left over of feelings from having seen his father die in the last story). It is also felt this episode is one of the best to portray a feeling of being in the past.
Captain Hotchkiss-he was just following orders but he was much colder than Col. Southall, telling Tony not to fret--"we all have to die sooner or later" as he wants to kill him, despite Southall's promise to free both he and Doug after this forced mission---a promise neither of the British men intend to keep to what they consider to be spies. Even when Tony saves his life from quicksand.
Col. Philip Southall-Seventh Royal Regiment leader who felt in times of war he had to be cruel, not keeping his word to what he felt to be spies, giving mock trial to Tony and Doug, who made one of the biggest blunders of time travel (it was early in their adventures so they learned never to put on others' clothes--especially when the clothes contain documents to be used as evidence against them). Jan. 7th, 1815 is the battle that the Colonel dies in. The descendant talks him out of killing Doug but also calls him a great egotist. Nevertheless, he wasn't a Butcher--he made an honest error.