Film (1964). Dobil/AIP. Directed by Ib Melchior. Written by Melchior, from a story by Melchior and David Hewitt. Cast includes Merry Anders, Philip Carey, Preston Foster and John Hoyt. 85 minutes. Colour.
Melchior is best known as a screenwriter – e.g., Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964), Terrore Nello Spazio (1965) and Death Race 2000 (1975). This is one of his few films as director. A group of scientists travel through a time portal (see Time Gate) 107 years into the future, where they find a world a little like an updated version of that in H G Wells's The Time Machine (1895) – indeed, the film was conceived as a sequel to the film The Time Machine (1960). After the Holocaust a human society living Underground battles against Mutants on the surface, while using their Android associates to help them build a spaceship for their escape from Earth. This uneven but vigorous Post-Holocaust film is inventive (Matter Transmission, hydroponics, all sorts of incidental sf tropes), not least in the final trapping of the scientists in a deterministic Time Loop, unable to influence events. David Hewitt's special effects are sometimes good (nicely displeasing androids), but it is unclear why he went on to direct the unnecessary remake, Journey to the Center of Time (1967), only three years later. Irwin Allen was clearly influenced by The Time Travelers to make the television series The Time Tunnel (1966-1967). [PN]
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