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Timeslip: The Complete Series [DVD] [Import]
Timeslip is a suspenseful, mysterious, brain-puzzling British serial from 1970 suitable for kids and adults. Told in four suites of stories, each comprised of six two-part episodes, Timeslip concerns the adventures of a pair of teenage friends, Liz (Cheryl Burfield) and Simon (Spencer Banks), who stumble across an invisible portal to the past and future at the edge of an old navy base. In their first experience, "The Wrong End of Time," Liz and Simon arrive inside the secure navy base as it was during World War II. There they are captured and interrogated by none other than Liz's future father, Frank (Derek Benfield), and his commander, an enigmatic physicist named Traynor (Denis Quilley). By coincidence--or not--the kids have turned up on the night the base was temporarily overtaken by Germans in search for the truth behind Traynor's alleged research into radar. Making things even more puzzling, Liz and Simon just happen to have found the portal on the same 1970 night when an older Traynor has appeared in town greatly curious to see how Liz and Simon make out on their visit to the past.
The second suite, "The Time of the Ice Box" is a much weirder story set in the kids' then-future: 1990. Traveling through the portal, Liz and Simon turn up by a research station at the South Pole, where they are mistaken for human guinea pigs set to participate in some extreme and top-secret bio-engineering experiments conducted by a barely human yet brilliant scientist. "The Year of the Burn Up" anticipates global warming in a tale finding Liz and Simon once again exploring the future and discovering that England is now a jungle. Just as strange is the appearance of a rather mad Traynor in this scenario, as well as an adult version of Simon--a man with a number for a name. (Liz meets her own grown-up self in "The Time of the Ice Box.") Finally, "The Day of the Clone" has Simon searching for a secret government research center five years in the past, where he encounters yet another variation on Traynor. Even in some of its sillier moments (characters standing around talking about taking action instead of actually taking it), Timeslip is irresistible good fun and hard to stop watching. It's a pleasure to set aside a day or two just to plow through it with minimal breaks, enjoying every time-travel paradox along the way. --Tom Keogh