Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Time Tunnel: Watch the Classic Episodes

You can watch full episodes (and the pilot) of Irwin Allen's The Time Tunnel at Hulu for free. It is not in the public domain, but it remains a fun source of inspiration and nostalgia for those who grew up watching Irwin Allen's various explodo-crazy - ultra-surreal - monster-ific series (even in re-runs), and for some of us, The Time Tunnel remains the best TV series Irwin Allen ever produced.

There's something really quite remarkable about Irwin Allen's stuff--past the explosions, cornball antics, cheese and camp--a real focus on very human characters that makes even the wildest or weirdest scenarios accessible and relatable. Yes, he very often descends into a cartoonish-ness, but it remains fun first and foremost.

RPGs can sometime spiral past the heavy, ponderous Literary pretentiousness and Creator-esque seriousness that kills all the fun. Sometimes it's better to take a deep breathe, ease back from the table a bit and realize that what you're engaged in is very, very silly after all--lighten up and have some fun. RPGs are a mechanism of surreal expression, a socially-interactive form of gaming that should embrace the gonzo spirit of Irwin Allen as well as the deep, very literary inspirations of Tolkien, or whomever is currently in vogue. Take a good look at Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars novels--they were one of the earliest inspirations for Gygax and are mentioned right up front in the three Little Brown Books that started it all. Burroughs is a lot like the literary Irwin Allen of his day, and I say that with a good deal of respect and enjoyment of both their work.

It's a game, first and foremost. It should be fun. And to be fun, there needs to be a shared frame of reference, as in a mystery--the clues need to be appreciable as clues. More recent iterations of the world's most popular RPG have adopted the convention of using references to movies as one of the sources of inspiration and a sort of imaginal common ground. But old TV series like Irwin Allen's The Time Tunnel likewise serve as wonderful touchstones and referents as well. You might not want to run a full-out Irwin Allen-esque campaign, even for a Time Travel game like say the newly resurrected Timemaster RPG that shall be returning to the tables via Goblinoid Games, but it could serve as a wonderful way to get thigns started, and it can always be a fall-back for those times when something isn't fully scripted or prepped. You could do worse than follow the lead of a guy who won an Oscar...

Plus, we intend to expand upon our previous post where we explored the Irwin Allen/Time Tunnel - Mythos - Forbidden Planet - Megadungeon connections...so having a handy and accessible reference like this will be essential. and yes, The Time Travelers wasn't the last, nor the least of the Time Travel stuff we intend to cover or provide in the coming weeks. In the meantime, why not atch an episode or two of The Time Tunnel?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Heavy Metal -- War of the Worlds: Goliath

So...we've been side-lined a little bit with a crashed hard-drive and a bout of illness, both of which have been addressed and dispensed with, so we're getting back up to speed. We've been digging around and rooting about in Mr. Well's fiction for a bit now, in order to better deliver some of our own unique takes on Morlocks and such. But by no means have we been alone in this effort. There is an amazingly cool-looking new animated feature on the way that details a second invasion from Mars -- War of the Worlds: Goliath. This looks impressive. It should be loads of fun. RPGs need more Tripods!

Here's the Trailer: