THE TIME TUNNEL
THE WALLS OF JERICHO
Writer-Ellis St. Joseph
Dir-J. Juran (Nathan?)
We hear the Robot voice from LOST IN SPACE narrate as Anthony Newman and Douglas Phillips tumble in the time crystals and land in a dark place which is being pervaded by thunder and lightning and wind. Behind them is a tent. Ahead is a desert with palm like trees. There are torches. They look ahead but guards in strange dress hear them and see them from inside the tent. The guards come out, one grabs Doug back from behind. Tony sees this and fights the other guard. The battle goes into the tent. Tony uses a shield against the warrior. Doug vs. a swordsman warrior; Tony punches his attacker. After an exciting fight, both fall and end up on their backs, about to be run through. A bearded man walks in, wearing robes. He stops them from being killed and tells them he is Joshua, commander of the Israelites. Tony tells him, "We come from the future, Joshua." Joshua command the warriors to leave and says, "The Lord appeared onto Moses and me in a cloud of dust. After that all miracles are one miracle." What that last statement means is anyone's guess.
Ann and Kirk spar over the Bible story; Ann doesn't think it means they should take the story literally. When Kirk cites not only the Bible but the living proof on the tunnel, Ann claims it merely proves the existence of a man called Joshua. Kirk seems mystified (odd since he didn't believe in ghosts in GHOST OF NERO) while Ann doesn't really believe (odd since she did think about a ghost being real in GHOST OF NERO). Ann calls the story legend and poetry.
Ray comments to himself but out loud, "I always wanted to believe what I secretly doubted--at last, I'll know." (Odd since Ray doesn't believe, later, in MERLIN's powers.) Ann comments as well, "As a scientist I don't permit myself to believe." Kirk looks upset with her saying this and moves up, away from her. She talks a bit to herself too, "We'll see whether or not the walls came tumbling down."
Joshua questions Tony and Doug, wondering if the King of Jericho (who we never see!) has sent them. It is night. For five days Joshua's soldiers have marched around the city. Doug tells him, "We come from a time where your God is our God and everyone knows why." Tony tells him of an angel of the Lord and the plans--to march around the walls of Jericho seven times on the seventh day and then the priests will blow their horns, "An angel of the Lord came to you, he commanded your army march each day for 6 days and 7 times on the 7th day and then the priests should blow the rams' horns as a signal for all your men to raise a mighty shout and the walls will fall down before them." Joshua has revealed that to no one, not even his captains. He believes them and asks them if the people in Jericho will lose spirit or continue to fight them to the death. Tony answers, "We only know you'll send two spies into the city to find out." Joshua says, "Your coming is a sign--you are those two spies." Doug touches Tony's arm as Joshua calls his division of men to attack the south wall tonight. A voice calls, "Yes sir," and I am not sure this "Yes sir," is Biblically correct. While the army creates a southern wall distraction, Tony and Doug will go over the North wall. Doug tries to get out of it, "Our ignorance might endanger a mission of such consequences." Joshua insists, "The Lord will guide you." Tony looks at Doug.
There is a freeze frame on the torches carried by Joshua's army. Tony and Doug, in robes sneak over the north wall as the plan works--the captain and the army of Jericho is diverted to the south wall. Tony tells Doug that the Bible says Rahab helped the two spies. The old, fox like High Priest (an excellent villain played with cold heartedness) and the Captain talk. The High Priest Malek talked to the Oracle of Keemash--their god. He has told Malek their walls are impregnable. In the morning, an offering is to be made to Keemash. Tony and Doug, in robes, are there. Doug thinks the sacrifice will be a lamb or sheep. Malek prays to his false god for death to all the Israelites. They are bringing a girl (not as the synopsis in the promotional guide says-a procession of virgins) named Shala, sister of Rahab. Rahab and her slave girl servant Ahza are also in attendance. Shala is an unsoiled virgin (according to the High Priest not to me) and will now be made into the bride of Keemash. Rahab, her face covered by a veil says, "So young." Doug rushes out to help. Tony shoves a guard. Doug vs. the High Priest while Tony gets Shala off the altar, jumping over it. Tony fights with a sword against a guard. Doug throws the High Priest, who still has his knife which he was to use on Shala--the sacrifice. Doug hits a soldier and then grabs a gonger to hit another. He misses another and the gong rings (THE GONG SHOW?). While Rahab says her prayers for Shala are answered, Doug and Tony are overcome and held, called Israelites by the High Priest, defilers of the sacrificial virgin by Tony's touch, and spies. They are to be hung by their fingers outside the city walls as an example to the Israelites after interrogation and torture! Shala is given back--she is no longer of use as a sacrifice. Why didn't Malek just find and use another virgin to use? After all, this isn't Soddom and Gomorrah! Tony pulls free and hits a guard on his way out. He runs down an alley--a dead end. He looks at the doors, trying to find one that can open. Three guards come, then more. He hides by jugs and then at one of the doors. It opens and he falls back, inside. The guards leave the alley. Tony looks around yet another fantastic set piece. Rahab returns, Tony hides but then calls out her name, "Your name will be known by everyone for countless generations." Ahza returns and sees Tony, urging Rahab that Tony be given up to the guards. Rahab hands her a gold ring for her silence. Ahza tells her it isn't necessary for her to buy her silence but keeps the ring! Rahab tells Tony her house is built into the wall and from her window is a 30 foot drop to the ground--he can climb out at night. Tony must find his friend first. The dungeon Doug is in is beneath the palace. She tells Ahza to go to her father's house and bring him here. Tony asks why she is helping him. She doesn't believe in Keemash and knows the Lord has given the land to the Israelites, killed the two kings on the other side of the Jordan, and dried up the Red Sea. She calls Him the Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth below. Doug is on the rack (he usually ends up being tortured, doesn't he?). Malek taunts him and questions him, wanting to know Joshua's plans. Doug tells him he can't command the sun to stand still. Malek asks if God is in the ark the priests of the Israelites carry. Doug tells him about God--a spirit, is everywhere. Malek scoffs that if God helped Tony, why isn't God helping Doug now? The bald torturer is told by the High Priest to loosen Doug's tongue. The bald man slaps Doug. Ann wants to shift him now. Kirk tells her not to and talks of the Bible. Ann says, "We have no time for Bible stories, Doug's in danger now!" They lose the time lock. Ray looks at the screen, "He's gone."
Rahab and Tony watch Joshua's soldiers marching. It is the 6th day and they hear the marching of the feet--which she dreamt of. In the marketplace, the women used to throw mud at her. The same women's brutal husbands would come to her and she would pour their wine and wait on them. Hold on a moment--she was a prostitute and harlot but that isn't really stated here--but strongly implied as we will see later. Rahab used to pray the walls of Jericho would fall. Tony says he read it in a book called the Bible--a book of divine revelation, "Only did Rahab and her family escape, only Rahab did he spare-she was the only good woman." Ahza brings Rahab's father and leaving, spies on them from the door. The father is blind--blinded by the King after he finished the new palace so he would not reveal its secrets. He knows all about the passageways. Why didn't the King kill him or take out his tongue or something? Blinding him would only serve to make him angry so as to have him reveal that which the King would not!! The father feels Tony's face: the face of a thoughtful man but his thoughts are strange--ahead of his time. Rahab, the man's first born, has to sell her honor to support the family when the architect father was blinded. He tells this to Tony. He knows the secrets of the palace, one being that behind the statue of Keemash is a carved lotus symbol on the wall--turn it and a passage will lead one to the dungeon. On the roof, Ahza and Rahab watch soldiers--they want to see if Tony will make it. Her father warned her that the neighboring roofs are full of spying eyes. Soldiers walk the walls. The two women spread out the flax to dry--Rahab's idea to make it look like they are working. Tony kneels at the altar but slips behind the statue and turns the lotus. A small door opens. Water is thrown on Doug's face. Tony sneaks out from behind a concrete torture slab to the rack as the torturer prepares hot coals. Tony uses a stick of some kind to knock down the hot iron rod and fights the big man. The man gets a sword but Tony kicks the man down. Tony gets Doug off the rack and they go through the passage. We hear various BERNARD HERRMAN themes. Malek finds the torturer down and awakening and Doug gone. He orders his men to kill the torturer and one moves at the torturer with a sword drawn. Rahab sees soldiers at the altar and goes down to help. Ahza fears they will all be killed. Tony and Doug hide at the statue.
Ann tells Ray to try to get them back. The time tunnel has static on it and the fix drifts. Ray says it's never reacted this way before--but if he thinks isn't it always acting this way? Ray orders a 3.6 power increase. Ann feels this is no time for half measures and orders the power to maximum. Ray tells her that is too dangerous--it may short circuit and "blow us all up." We hear the music from THE LAST PATROL as they pick up Jericho and Joshua on the screen. Joshua tells his men before they shout, no voices or words must escape their lips. Ann watches but says, "We're losing it." Ray tells them to intensify the probe.
In red, Rahab passes the altar with "nice, ripe figs" to distract the guards. The captain eats one, "The figs have given me a taste for something more." Tony and Doug almost get away but then they do but we don't see them get away! The High Priest arrives just after they supposedly have gone. The captain wonders if Doug is a sorcerer, having escaped with seemingly no way to. Malek warns him not to spread this sorcerer idea--it will demoralize the army even more--they already fear the magic of the Israelites. He orders them to search the city house by house. The men move out.
Tony and Doug are in Rahab's home. She tells them the city people and army think they are sorcerers. Doug tells her, "We'll go." Tony suggests they climb down but she tells them it should be at night. Ahza watches from the door. Rahab takes the boys to hide--on the roof a soldier is on the wall marching back and forth. She hides them on the roof that is blocked from his view. But other soldiers come to check. The boys are behind the flax. The father sends Ahza to get Rahab, not to open the door yet. Rahab returns and lets them in and is cordial and calm. She tells the captain the spies were here but she sent them away. The captain asks the father, "Did you see them?" Rahab says, "My father's blind!"
Questions continue as there is music from LOST IN SPACE-A VISIT TO HADES which can also be heard in VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA-THE TERRIBLE TOYS. We also hear first season VOYAGE music and other stock music, all giving this an ancient feel (no pun intended). The captain uses sticks and his sword to attack the hay flax but cannot find the boys, Rahab intervened. He kicks the flax but she distracts him some more. He sends his men out and takes her behind some blinds to kiss her. He hugs her and she says, "Your men are waiting." He says, "Let them wait." Ahza is lighting the oracle in the house to Keemash when she overhears the king is offering 1000 pounds of silver for the capture of the spies. She leaves as the father asks her if it is dark yet. She gets a soldier, wanting the reward. Rahab gives Tony and Doug a rope as it is getting dark (that was fast!). Ahza returns and Rahab confronts her, "Why did you creep in like a cat!" She grabs the servant's arm--others beat their maids but she treated Ahza good, shared everything. Ahza wants her own things, not to be the servant of a harlot. Rahab locks her in another small room as she begs to be forgiven, not really meaning it. Tony and Doug go to a window and will tell Joshua about Rahab's helping of them. Tony sees a red sash hanging by the window and tells her to hang it out her window and to gather all her family under her roof. They will be spared. Doug climbs out but Tony is captured as the soldiers and the captain return. Rahab is also held. They let Ahza out and the captain tells her the reward is not her's--it is his! She will have only the jewels off Rahab--her beads and ear rings he pulls off and gives them to the irate Ahza, who drops them. He goes to pull off her dress but Tony yells, "Take your hands off her!" He breaks free to stop the captain from grabbing at her. They overpower him and take them away.
Tony and Rahab are hung up on the wall, their arms over their heads. Tony tells her not to be afraid. They are near the oracle. The High Priest Malek taunts them, "Where is your magic now, Israelite?" When Tony explains the army of Joshua is even now marching around the walls, the High Priest asks, "Can you see through walls?" Tony tells him, "I can read the future." The High Priest prays to the oracle calling Rahab a "traitorous harlot" and saying, "It is ordained they be stoned to death. Stone them!"
Ann makes a bid to shift Tony and Rahab but Ray holds her back. He claims if they do that they may lose Doug forever. Kirk says they better not trespass on Biblical history by taking Rahab out of her own time--she lived, it says so in Joshua 6:25 and her descendants live among them to this day. Ann argues, "General, don't you understand, something's gone wrong. What's happening to Tony and Rahab was never written. If you won't bring them back, I will!" Ann tries and Ray tries to stop her but the console bursts forth with a flash, sparks, and smoke, drawing them both back. Ray says they've lost all power to save them. Ann wonders what could have made that happen. Ray says, "Heaven knows." Kirk tells them, "The decision has been taken out of our hands."
Doug gets to Joshua while Ahza leads the citizens of Jericho in a stoning of Rahab and Tony. Some rocks hit Tony and Rahab but then the horns are blown. The men shout outside the walls. The walls begin to fall and one knocks the captain down and kills him. The tunnel people see a tornado building up in the desert and hear wind and torrent sounds (sounds used many times on VOYAGE for sea disturbances--see TURN BACK THE CLOCK for one and on LOST as radiation belt sounds-see THE FLAMING PLANET for one). While Kirk marvels as their witnessing a miracle, Ann tries to explain it away as a tornado being just a natural phenomena of a centrifical whirlpool of wind. Ray tells her, "Whatever creates faith is a miracle." Ann's face seems to finally get it but we don't find out what she thinks after this--one of the only bad points of this episode--did she change because of this?
Ahza is hit by stones from the wall and dies. Doug runs to Rahab's house where the father tells him all their family is here but not Rahab and Tony. He tells Doug where they are. The High Priest gets up from the ground and has his knife. He is hurt but moves at Tony and Rahab, meaning to kill them!
Doug arrives just in time and fights the High Priest Malek. He forces the knife out of his hand and tosses him. The High Priest ends up on the altar just as the wind (?) tips the statue over onto him, him yelling, "No Keemash!" Tony winces and Rahab looks away. Ray finds they now have the power and will try to retrieve--things seem to have cleared. The transfer circuits are operational. Tony tells Rahab to go to her father and family. She asks, "Will you be with me?" Tony holds her hands, "Yes, always." He vanishes with Doug just as he says this. Both of them still had their robes on.
CLIFFHANGER: Tony and Doug land in a patch in a jungle. They hear bird sounds--tropical sounds from DOCTOR DOLITTLE. They see a native crossbowed in the back by a captain and his man, dressed in what Doug and Tony figure are Spanish armor. The Spanish talk--they have killed 12 already and the captain figures this is enough of an example. The other natives will run for the hills. Tony checks the native--and finds the crossbow make this about the 16th century. Doug and he see Spanish marching across a desert of some kind with cactus. It might be Cortez Doug figures--and if it is this is one of the biggest bloodbaths in history. They see Spanish soldiers waving a torch around a man, his young son, and his heavy set wife, all natives, all tied up to trees. They threaten the woman with a torch if the old man doesn't talk about some kind of treasure. Doug runs out (again!) and he and Tony fight to save the woman. They are overpowered (again!) and the captain yells, "Kill them!"
NOTES: It is hard not to like THE WALLS OF JERICHO. Despite this being really a run, jump, chase, fight, and hide and seek episode with Rhodes Reason doing a good job as Joshua--but not given much air time--this is really a good effort to do a Bible story--the first and last TIME TUNNEL to do so. Many time travel stories don't do Bible tales. There is one classic tale which dealt with a man going back to save Jesus from death and the ramifications of that for the human race. But TV didn't do stuff like that or like THE WALLS OF JERICHO. The oracle was served up on LOST IN SPACE-FOLLOW THE LEADER and probably other episodes and appeared in DANIEL BOONE as an Incan god statue when Mrs. Boone was kidnapped (by Incan Mike Ansara!). While on the topic, DANIEL BOONE had these composers: Alexander Courage, Lyn Murray, Irving Gertz, Joseph Mullendore, Leigh Harline, Lionel Newman, Harry Sukman, Herman Stein, Leith Stevens, and Fred Steiner. All but Harline, Sukman, and Steiner were employed on Irwin Allen's four shows! DANIEL BOONE had over 165 episodes and was filmed at 20th Century Fox. The Ark of Covenant was involved in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and various movies about DAVID. Joshua was Moses' successor. Most scholars date the "conquest" of Canaan to the end of the late Bronze Age, beginning of the Iron Age (13th to 12th centuries BC). Of the 3 cities said to have been destroyed by Joshua--Jericho, Ai, and Hazor--the first two were abandoned or had only an insignificant population. Bethel and Lachish were also destroyed but other factors may have been involved. The lands of the Philistines, Avvites, and Sidonians still had to be taken by Israel. Jericho was situated on important trade routes and must have been wealthy. As the Israelite army moved across the Jordan, the river stopped flowing--but this happened after the spies left the city. When marching around the city, the ark was carried first. The city was burned to the ground while the citizens were put to the sword--a common phrase among the Old Testament. The Jordan valley lies on a major geological rift, subject to frequent earthquakes and mudslips could have dried up the river. This happened most recently in 1927. It is often stated that there is on archeological evidence of tumbled walls of Jericho. The dating of the event is around 1200 BC when Jericho was an insignificant settlement with no trace of walls. A recent reassessment of the conquest dates it around 1400 BC, arguing that Joshua confronted an earlier settlement! Jericho at that time had mighty walls and its destruction lead to signs of an earthquake. The first Jericho city was a mudbrick housed city surrounded by a stone wall and an impressive tower, enclosing 8 acres or more. In the later Neolithic Age, the city seems to have declined but recovered in the early Bronze Age (3000 BC) when huge mudbrick walls were built for defence. Mid Bronze Jericho was gutted by fire. Jericho only became important again in the time of the Maccabees. Jericho's greatest period seems to be during the Middle Bronze age (1850 BC to 1550 BC). Closely packed houses have been excavated. Outside there were Bronze Age tombs found which contained baskets and wooden furniture. They were preserved well considering they were buried some 3500 years ago. Subterranean gases leaked into the tombs and preserved everything inside. Joshua had placed a curse on Jericho---any man who would rebuild it would have to lay his first born on its foundations and offer up his youngest son under the gates! This, Hiel, a man of Bethel and of the time of King Ahab, did much later. The year 1200 BC puts it, oddly, at the same time of the fall of Troy somehow. This is strange, considering some of the similar aspects of both tales. This story and REVENGE OF THE GODS are sometimes confused with each other. Both have merit in trying something different and being brave enough to go that far back into time--of course handy dandy stock footage from various films helped!