Darren's 'Time Tunnel' Takes Viewers Back on DVDBy Michelle
January 30, 2006 - 8:56 PM
Actor-singer James Darren very nearly turned down two roles for which he is fondly remembered by modern audiences: Vic Fontaine on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Tony Newman on The Time Tunnel, the latter of which is now out on DVD.
"It would have been nice if we'd ended up on a farm eating breakfast," joked Darren to The Houston Chronicle of The Time Tunnel, objecting that instead they were always reliving things like the Titanic or the Alamo. He said that producer Irwin Allen had recruited him, explaining, "He could be very persuasive. And I never regretted it. I loved Irwin, a great guy who became a very dear friend."
Darren's television experience also includes William Shatner (Kirk)'s T.J. Hooker, but when he was offered the role on Deep Space Nine, "I turned that down three times...I didn't want to play a singer, which I felt was too on the nose. But once I read it, I fell in love with it." Darren added that he prefers acting to singing, though these days his voice is in the best shape it's ever been.
On The Time Tunnel, he added, "There were some episodes I did not like. When we went into the future, it got like Lost in Space. But the majority were really good."
"It doesn’t hold up that well nearly 40 years later," wrote a reviewer at NWAnews.com of the show that was the original Star Trek's contemporary, while Now Playing says that the series - which was imitated by such shows as John Rhys-Davies (Da Vinci)'s Sliders and Scott Bakula (Archer)'s Quantum Leap - starts out strongly but soon drifts into a predictable formula.
The new DVD set, available from Amazon.com, contains the first fifteen episodes, considered by fans to be some of the show's best. More information on The Time Tunnel is available at the Internet Movie Database.