Who remembers the old '80s show "Voyagers"?
I don't know who in our household started watching it, but I can remember being 7 years old and sitting down every week to watch it and absolutely loving it. In fact, to this day when I hear the word "omni" I think if "Voyagers" first and the Book of Mormon second. It was a pretty great show.
Anyway, it's now out of DVD so Becky and I have been checking them out. Now keep in mind that I've dragged Becky along on these little strolls down memory lane before. You know, renting the shows you thought were brilliant as a kid to relive the childhood that's far into the past.
For every show that holds up to the test of time ("Greatest American Hero") there's 10 that simply suck on just about every possible level ("The Fall Guy" -- such a disappointment). So putting in "Voyagers" last week I didn't quite know what to expect. It could have been pretty bad.
I mean, the show is pretty high-concept for '80s television. Jeffrey, a 10-year-old orphan in 1983 finds Phineas Bogg, a guy in a vest and knee boots, who has just crashed through the window of his New York high-rise. Turns out he's a Voyager, a time traveller that goes around fixing history when it goes wrong. Using the omni device that flashes red or green depending on what needs fixed. Reluctantly, he takes the kid with him and off they go fixing history.
Well, the show has held up suprisingly well. And it's amazing what sticks out in your head 25 years on. Jeffrey's red and white striped shirt and white Nikes were instantly recognizable and the shot of Bogg and the kid flying through space when they time traveled was printed idelably on my memory. That image always stuck out. Wierd. And every episode ends with Jeffrey imploring the viewers to visit their local libraries and learn about the real history highlighted in the show. I'd totally forgotten about that but the second I heard it, it took straight back to being a kid. Crazy.
Anyway, as for the show itself, the acting is pretty bad and the producation values are understandably low, but the stories are a lot of fun -- not as predictable as you'd think -- and the chemistry between Bogg and the kid is surprisngly strong. It's been a lot of fun to watch. So, don't be afraid, go ahead and rent it. It shouldn't wreck any childhood memories.
Now on to something a little more current. Although, unintentionally this has something to do with time travel as well.
"Life on Mars." Ever heard of it? No? Well, that's about to change. It's a BBC 1 show that's getting an American remake for the upcoming television season. It ran earlier this year on BBC America.
Anyway, the show is absolute genius. It starts off in 2006 in Manchester. Sam Tyler, a hot-shot police detective is hot on the trail of serial killer when he gets hit by a car. When he wakes up it's 1973. The show's central mystery revolves around Tyler trying to figure out if he's in a coma in 2006 and just dreaming, has actually traveled back in time to 1973 or if he's just completely crazy.
It takes the tired old police procedural and completely turns the genre on its head. It's a lot of fun. Moreso because of Sam's boss in 1973, Gene Hunt. He just steals the show -- one of the most quotable characters in TV from the last 10 years. He's brilliant.
Anyway, I know what you're wondering. How can I see it? Producers have yet to release the show on DVD on the this side of the pond and it's completed its run on BBC America. Well, never fear. Thanks to YouTube, you can watch most of the show from start to finish. Like most British shows, it had a limited run -- two seasons. And each season is only eight episodes long. The guy that posted them all to YouTube gets lazy from time to time and you're left with only highlights of some episodes instead the whole thing. But most shows are intact and it's totally worth your time. But be warned. It's Brittish, which means the language can get a little rough. Although, they never drop the f-bomb. So that's something.
I'll get you started:
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