Time Trax – Film 94 – tape 2421

The tape starts with Time Trax already in progress. The opening scene has shades of Quantum Leap as our hero, Darien Lambert, is discovered in the women’s toilet after having just appeared there. Then we’re treated to the dullest exposition dump you could possibly imagine as we learn the life story of our hero in a voiceover montage that lasts almost five minutes. In it, we learn that “he’s a member of a despised minority” – yes, folks, in this dystopian future, white people are oppressed, and ‘blanco’ is a racial slur. Odd, then, that the first scene in our hero’s police squad room seems to be almost entirely white dudes, but I guess it’s quite possible they’re mostly hispanic actors.

Darien’s Boss (who definitely is hispanic – the reliable Henry Darrow) is frustrated that criminals seem to come to his district, then somehow they vanish without trace. He gives Darien ‘Selma’, the smallest mainframe ever produced. It’s the size of a credit card.

Selma

 

Darien tracks down an assassin and arrests him. He’s sent to ‘Old Washington Prison’ which looks familiar.

Old Washington Prison

Darien meets Mia Sara who plays a scientist working with the main bad guy on time travel. She seems not to have noticed all the bad stuff going on, despite him being the most lecherous creep this side of a 70s Disc Jockey. Having said that, it takes all of two minutes for Darien to do more or less the same thing, but hey, that’s OK because he’s not old and ugly.

 

This is the pilot for a show that ran for two seasons. It was co-created and written by genre stalwart Harve Bennett, who turns up as a newsreader.

Harve Bennett

 

The first half takes place in the future, then the second half sees Darien sent back to 1993 to track down all the criminals who have been sent back to seize power in our present society. Time travel is restricted to a single return trip, so he’s stuck there until he can track down all the criminals, thus setting the format for the rest of the series.

In 1993, Mia Sara turns up again as an ancestor of her future self (who died tragically to provide Darien with motivation). Here she plays an FBI agent.

The rest is a cut-price Quantum Leap. So cheap, in fact, that the lead doesn’t even travel in time any more. But he does have a holographic assistant, although Selma has far less personality than Quantum Leap’s Al, Dean Stockwell. A prim, victorian woman was a poor choice.

Following this, it’s over to BBC1 for Film 94. Barry Norman reviews:

Ken Loach talks about his latest film, Ladybird, Ladybird. Tom Brook looks at the success of The Lion King.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 19 September 1994 22.45

In the next episode, Barry looks at:

Barry talks to Tom Hanks about Forrest Gump. There’s also a look at the effects of the film.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 26 September 1994 22.40

Next, the films under review are:

Barry interviews director Shekhar Kapur about Bandit Queen. There’s a report about the special effects in Speed.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 3 October 1994 22.40

After this, there’s a break from Film 94 with an episode of The Late Show profiling the work of Alan Rickman.

Alan Rickman

It looks quite a bit at the production of Mesmer, Rickman’s first leading role. It’s interesting to see very slight hints at trouble in the production – he was excluded from the editing room, and suggested that the preview print didn’t fully reflect his work.

After this, there’s a trailer for Friday comedy.

Then there’s a trailer for Takin’ Over the Asylum – an early starring role for David Tennant.

Suzanne Charlton does the weather, then the beginning of Open University programmes with Opening the Single MarketBBC Two England, 4 October 1994 0.00

The tape ends shortly into this programme.

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