Monday, May 23, 2011

I Know It's Only Sci-Fi TV, But...

Not that I'm totally backward, computer-wise, but I recently learned how I can watch old TV shows on my computer. Stuff that you don't find on cable.
My pet rock, Seymour, is enamored of it. And more than that: he is convinced that one episode of a two season series from 45 years ago, settled an argument about Homer's Iliad as fact, and not fiction.
Seymour says that the saga of the siege of Troy is historical fact. Because not only was he once a part of the walls of Troy; but because he sez he saw most of it as it originally happened, and could therefore swear that what he saw on TV, was pretty much how it happened on The Time Tunnel.
Deluded rock, cave in.
"Am NOT!!!"
Of course, I'm old enough to remember when The Time Tunnel was a brand new show, and one -- like Star Trek (TOS) -- I didn't miss an episode of. Special effects then were...well, what they were. Good enough for me at that age. And with my love of history -- if my rather weak grasp of it then -- I bought as plausible, the presentations of the episodes as they related to Custer's Last Stand, Pearl Harbor, the Alamo, the Titanic, the Battle of New Orleans, D Day....but I didn't know anything, at that time, of The Iliad.
Annoyed by my natural skepticism, Seymour invited me to watch, once more, The Time Tunnel, Season One, Episode 7, and defied me to deny what we were seeing on screen.
This is gonna be like shooting fish on a sidewalk.
"Is NOT!!!"

As we watched the 51 minute-long episode (the rest was commercials, opening/closing credits), I took a few relevant notes, while Seymour frowned. Then I dug up my own book with a historical timeline from the era of The Iliad to about 800 AD, for some fact-checking. Of no surprise to me, I found all kinds of Hollyweird TV script 'liberties' being taken ("were NOT!!"). For instance:

- In the TV episode, Helen of Troy was kidnapped by Paris against her will, and she resisted him for the entire 10 year siege of Troy; according to the Iliad, Helen came away with Paris voluntarily, only gradually coming to despise him as time went on and his character flaws were revealed.

- in the episode, Odysseus/Ulysses was the overall Greek army commander; *BUZZZER*. Agamemnon was the actual overall commander, while Odysseus/Ulysses was the commander of the Greek Ithaca contingent, under Agamemnon.

- both Drs Newman and Phillips (in the episode) make reference to a prophecy -- allegedly first shared by Paris' sister, Cassandra -- that Paris would be slain by the sword of Odysseus/Ulysses, and thus it was in the episode, inside the palace within the walls of Troy that this happened; *BUZZZZER*. In the Iliad, Paris was killed in battle, outside the walls of Troy, by Achilles. If Cassandra existed and made such a prediction, she was merely an early version of Ms Cleo.

- in the episode, Dr. Phillips was being tortured in the dungeon of the palace of Troy, on a rack; *BUZZZZER*. The torture device known as the rack did not come into being until sometime around or after 600 AD or so.

And of course, there were a few other, uh, minor 'inconsistencies' that cropped up:

- how was it that Odysseus/Ulysses, Paris, Helen, and all the other Greeks and Trojans, spoke perfect English, in 1200 BC?

- how come the Time Tunnel could send a Schmeisser machine pistol, bag of grenades, and --inadvertently -- Jiggs (Time Tunnel security chief), back to 1200 BC and retrieve them (uh, less the bag of grenades, that just kinda disappeared from both 1200 BC and 1968), but not Drs Newman and Phillips?

- for that matter, how come they could retrieve a Trojan warrior to the Time Tunnel, have him fight with security, and get him to know when to run back in the Tunnel to send him back to 1200 BC, and STILL not be able to retrieve Drs Newman and Phillips?

Me: So, to comment on those points?

Seymour: Phffffffffft. I'm not watching any more Time Tunnel episodes with you!

Yeah, I am kind of a stick in the TV sci-fi mud, aren't I?

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Blogger Sandee said...

You can do anything on television or in the movies. Didn't you know that? And Seymour who thinks it's all what he's a pet rock for God's sake.

Have a terrific day. My best to my buddy Seymour. :)

23 May, 2011 09:31  
Blogger Unknown said...

I was not at all familiar with the series The Time Tunnel. Guess I missed it completely.

23 May, 2011 09:46  
Blogger Right Truth said...

I watched Time Tunnel and the original Star Trek.

The thing about Star Trek is they were so far ahead of time. Think about their 'communicators', and those 'tablets' that they used rather than paper and pencil. Remind you of cellphones and ipads? Yep. They were way ahead scientifically also on many things.

Right Truth

23 May, 2011 14:28  
Blogger Serena said...

I don't remember ever seeing that show, but I know that a lot of shows and movies are just filled with anachronisms. So, is Seymour still sulking? How does one pacify a pet rock?:)

23 May, 2011 17:32  

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