INTO THE LABYRINTH (1981) was a British children’s fantasy centering on a time-travel McGuffin hunt: Three kids have to jump to different times to reclaim the talisman the villainous sorcerous hid from the once-mighty Rothgo (Ron Moody). The adventures are stock and the budget is dispiritingly low (Rothgo’s time labyrinth looks more like a rock garden). “Back to work citizens—we must make powder for the guns of the revolution!”
SKY (1975)was a more imaginative series, in which a time traveler materializes in the present—not his target destination—and enlists three teens to help him find a stone circle and re-enter the time stream before Earth, treating him like an alien infection, destroys him. Sky himself isn’t great (a very stock kind of alien) but it’s an effective series. All rights to image with current holder. “You do not reach the stars with rockets, any more than you invent radio by shouting at the sky.”
THE MASK OF ZEGUY (1993) is one of those two-episode promotional anime Japan sometimes creates. In this case, a young girl is drawn into an alien dimension where she and two travelers fight to protect the title McGuffin from the Evil Queen. Pleasant enough but the time travel element is so slight, this goes in the appendix.
I only caught a couple of episodes of THE PETER POTAMUS SHOW but that confirmed Peter—a hippo explorer traveling the world in his balloon—could indeed travel in time as well as through the air. In “America or Bust,” for instance, he and his monkey sidekick So-So escapes a thunderstorm by jumping back to Columbus’ time, where they’re press-ganged into helping Columbus quell a mutiny, discover America and make peace with the natives (the Native American cliches are winceable). So it’s in.
Now, movies …I mistakenly thought I’d already entered ONE MAGIC CHRISTMAS (1985) in the book, but no, so I rewatched the story of Mary Steenburgen having the Darkest Christmas Ever as a path to recovering her own childhood joy.Like the last time I rewatched, I find the transition from the gritty mundane world of unemployment, burnout and minimum-wage jobs to the happy ending unsuccessful, and the hell angel Harry Dean Stanton puts Steenbergen through made me think of Chasing Christmas‘ line about the “annual guilt trip.” “If one more person says anything about Christmas to me, I’m throwing something at them!”
My non-time travel entry: rewatching ST. ELMO’S FIRE (1985) for the first time in years, my overriding reaction to the story—about a group of twentysomethings adjusting to their post-college lives—was how insanely young everyone looks (it’s almost like they haven’t aged since I saw it!). The second reaction was to be creeped out by some of the relationships—Judd Nelson as Ally Sheedy’s cheating manipulative boyfriend, and particularly Emilio Estevez obsessing over Andi McDowell. While I could see Estevez was an idiot back when I first watched this, he’s also an obsessive stalker (even given that rom-coms often equate stalking with love he’s too much). Overall, this doesn’t hold up as well as Breakfast Club but it’s still reasonably entertaining. “Why is my sexual status so important to you?”