Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Timeslip: The Wrong End of Time Episode 1

Mitchell Hadley has kindly paid me the accolade that there's a good chance of reading about


shows he's never heard of here. This is of course setting the bar very high and I hope I can live up to it. Mitchell, I hope you've never heard of Timeslip or at least are prepared to pretend you haven't!

It's a show I have fought shy of writing about here for several reasons. The first is that I find it confusing. This is mainly because despite being an apparently straightforward series of four adventures in total, it seems to come in a bewildering array of different box sets. The one I have is the blue box with the girl in a yellow and red picture holding her arms up, and appears to be complete.

The second reason is that I personally tend to find time travel stories confusing so please bear that in mind as you read this post.

I must confess something else, which is that I have a real weakness for this show. In fact for several children's TV shows of the early 1970s because they embody a probably imagined time before I was born. Is there any likelihood that children could stray into an abandoned Ministry of Defence station now? Not on your nelly. Nor is it likely that kids these days would be taken in by the time trap which merely required some fence posts, a lot of acting and some basic camera tricks.

Nonetheless the show speaks ironically of a different time when it is supposed children had greater freedom to rove around than they do now. Nor is this a country/city difference - a friend grew up in Aston on the other side of the city centre in the seventies and remembers people leaving their doors unlocked. Any apparent danger to the kids is subsumed into the character of the baddies.

In this case the baddies are Germans, because the children are taken back to 1940. In the manner of the time, the enemy is very clear, they're usually foreign and we know exactly who they are. 

I love this series and recommend it almost unreservedly, but for the proviso that in the second adventure the show goes forward in time to 1990, and really shows never get the going forward in time thing right. It is very much of its time, both in production and in the paranormal and environmental concerns which were all the rage at the time. I think it is best approached as fantasy so that the ride can be enjoyed.

Oh as a final note, I think one of the reasons I haven't got round to writing about this show yet is that because it was wildly popular at the time it has been extensively covered however I just couldn't get into the official site and I love shows which aren't chewed to death 😃

4 comments:

G.G. said...

You know, of all the British programs that I read about and wondered about in the early nineties, curious whether I'd ever get a chance to see, I think Timeslip was the only one I never gave a fair chance when I finally landed it around 1996 or so. The actress playing Liz was like nails on a chalkboard, and after I finished the initial adventure, I never asked my VHS tape-trading contact for the other three. But it's been a long, long time, and I should probably give it another try.

John said...

I honestly think that is the case for cult shows (and this one has a real following) - you love or loathe them. Yes why not - I have recently found myself able to watch 1970s Michael Caine films without screaming so there's hope for us all.

Mitchell Hadley said...

You've done it again, John! I've not heard of Timeslip, or at least not so that I would identify it by the description. I'm going to have to quiz you about vintage series I should invest in, to go along with my region-free player.

John said...

Hooray I'm so glad. I think that feeling when you discover a new series is the best thing going.
Just to name a few - Public Eye? Spitting Image (which has recently had a revival)? Mr Rose? All shows I haven't written about much here but have definitely mentioned.