Time Tunnel (mechanism)


Built (original)
Built (U. S. version)
Time travel experiments


The United States version of the Time Tunnel was built in 1958. ("Rendezvous with Yesterday") One of the lead scientists of the project, Dr. Doug Phillips, first envisioned that the Time Tunnel would have a capsule developed and work in conjunction with the Tunnel, which housed up to two time travelers so they could be transported to another place and time. However, the capsule turned out to be a failure (and fatal), which it was replaced by a radiation bath that people must pass through first in order to travel through time. ("Secret Weapon")

During its first 10 years in existence, only a few animals (mostly monkeys) had been sent through the Time Tunnel during tests, although no concrete evidence could prove that they made it to a different time period, much less survive, as the Time Tunnel was not stable, so it was unknown where any individuals could end up in time if they were to enter it. In 1968, a senator traveled to the complex, as he was advised to either bring back proof of the Tunnel’s worth (as it had cost $7.5 billion U. S. at that point with little to show for it) or he would recommend upon returning to Washington for the project to be shut down. ("Rendezvous with Yesterday")


Time Tunnel in viewing mode

Not appreciating the sudden deadline—as he felt Project Tic-Toc (the codename/complex for the secret project) was so “close” to a breakthrough—the other lead scientist of the project, Dr. Tony Newman, activated the Time Tunnel later that night and ran through it. As Project Tic-Toc personnel worked to try to locate where in time he had ended up, it was shown that the Tunnel could double as a viewer, as anyone in the present day at Project Tic-Toc could watch any events that occurred with whoever entered the Tunnel (as long as the Project Tic-Toc team had a lock on them and there wasn’t too much interference from various circumstances). They would later see for themselves that Newman ended up landing on the Titanic, the cruise ship that sunk during its maiden voyage several decades before. ("Rendezvous with Yesterday")

Project Tic-Toc/The Time Tunnel complex is located near the Nevada/Arizona border. No exact location for the site was given. ("The Death Merchant") The Time Tunnel is physically only a few dozen meters long, although once it is activated for time travel its length actually becomes infinite then. ("Revenge of the Gods")

Travel preparations and after effectsEdit

Whenever someone enters the Time Tunnel to be sent to another time period and place, they must first pass through a radiation bath. ("Rendezvous with Yesterday") People can become disoriented after traveling through time, although the effect is usually temporary. ("Devil's Island") It is also difficult for Project Tic-Toc to keep tabs on whoever passes through the Tunnel, as it would become a regular pattern for them to lose contact with Newman and Phillips for a few hours with them after being shifted to every new time period. ("Billy the Kid") It was also stated at one point that Project Tic-Toc had only nine hours to move Newman and Phillips away from the Alamo (where they ended up at one point) before the historic slaughter took place in the 1800s, showing how complicated and time-consuming time travel is indeed. ("The Alamo")

Also, in case of an emergency, whoever was sent to another place could be “frozen” in time for a few seconds before being sent to another time and location if need be. But, if that person (or persons) are left frozen for more than just a few seconds they would be killed. ("Rendezvous with Yesterday") This time freeze technique would be improved upon later though. Also, Newman and Phillips would have to stay in the same place for a while for Project Tic-Toc to get a lock on them and move them to another time period, which was difficult to do if the two were constantly moving. ("Kill Two by Two")

New techniques were also constantly being created in order to try to help the two scientists though, such as sending objects through the Tunnel so Project Tic-Toc could get a better lock on the two. ("Reign of Terror") Probes were also sent that, once they melted, not only was there no trace of them left behind, but also a written message would be revealed as well if Project Tic-Toc needed to send an urgent message to the scientists. Phillips (along with fellow scientist Dr. Raymond Swain) developed this technique. ("Secret Weapon") A homing post was also created that, when sent to a time period and activated, anyone who touched it would be brought back to Project Tic-Toc, although by the time Newman and Phillips found it at one point the post was no longer functioning. ("The Revenge of Robin Hood")

At one point after a time switch, contact was totally lost with Newman and Phillips. Project Tic-Toc repeatedly checked all their instruments, figuring one possibility was they could not regain viewer contact with the scientists was due to either Newman and/or Phillips being dead. The breaker system was bypassed and a concentrated power surge was sent into the Tunnel in hopes of regaining contact, which restored full power to the Time Tunnel’s viewing system and proved that Newman and Phillips were indeed still alive. ("Night of the Long Knives")

Also during one situation in particular, a power surge in the form of one million volts was sent from Project Tic-Toc through the Time Tunnel to try to rid Newman and Phillips of the ghost of Nero. ("The Ghost of Nero")


  • The Time Tunnel has “channels”, as Swain ordered maintenance at one point to run a check on channels “one hundred” through “infinity”. ("Merlin the Magician")
  • During one adventure in particular, Project Tic-Toc personnel were ordered to restore full power to the Time Tunnel to try to transport Newman and Phillips out of an area, or it could end up killing the two. It is unknown if this was just in regards to this episode or if this was always the case where they were in that much danger from being transported. ("The Walls of Jericho")
  • The secret location of Project Tic-Toc/the Time Tunnel (near the Nevada/Arizona border) was not only never exactly pinpointed, but it was also never mentioned until the 25th episode when Lt. General Heywood Kirk ordered power to be tapped from Hoover Dam, which sits on the Nevada/Arizona border. ("The Death Merchant")

The original Time Tunnel?Edit

When Newman and Phillips were transported to Russia in 1956 at one point, after receiving a message from a probe stating to meet someone named Alexis, they assumed new identities from him, were taken to a secret location later, and were surprised to find another Time Tunnel that looked identical to theirs that would be built two years later in the United States. ("Secret Weapon")

Although not explained for sure in the series (since it would be canceled after only one season), it is unlikely for governments on two different continents to create a time travel device that was physically exactly the same (although the United States’ Time Tunnel did not have an extended capsule module, as it was replaced by a radiation bath). If someone did indeed create both Time Tunnels (which would have to be even more top secret than ever, since neither Time Tunnel complex personnel seemed to know of the other’s existence), their identity was not revealed. However, a professor by the name of Anton Biraki was present in the Russian complex in 1956, as well as Project Tic-Toc in 1968, who did suspiciously have knowledge of Project Tic-Toc. ("Secret Weapon") Also, since the U. S. version of the Time Tunnel had taken 10 years after the time it was built before any humans could be sent through it, the Russian version could have been built well before 1956 as well.

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