FAQ & Trivia
Ten Things People Remember About
Things People Remember About TIMESLIP
Like The Tomorrow People, Ace of Wands, Freewheelers, Children
of the Stones and certain other children's drama series from the
70s, TIMESLIP has a special hold on the memories of those who
saw it. However, its lack of visibility over the years since its
last screening back in 1974 means that it remains a vague but
still firm memory outside television enthusiast circles. As such,
there are many aspects of the show that are constantly brought
out in TV nostalgia conversations when memories are jogged and
the subject of TIMESLIP is brought up.
These are some of them...
1. The kid with the glasses....
Simon Randall is the swotty kid with the glasses who's
curiosity about all things science get him into trouble
beyond the time barrier whilst his clever deductive powers
allow him to solve the mystery of the clones in the final
Spencer Banks, who played Simon, did not wear glasses in
real life. They were given to him to make the character
look more studious. Very often Spencer would be caught without
them before (and occasionally during) takes...
Take a look at some of the rehearsal shots from Time of
the Ice Box and you'll see what I mean. Interestingly, Spencer
himself now wears glasses in real life! He also still has
the prop glasses...
2. The girl
with the pigtails...
Liz Skinner was the girl in the first serial with the sensible
clothes - cardigan, pleated skirt and the obligatory pigtails...
Unfortunately this was all put to shame by the time the
third serial came along.
Here, her clothes of choice were a tied-off white blouse,
tight pink shorts and plenty of sweat... (well, the Earth
WAS burning up!!) It can safely be assumed that many a young
juvenile male discovered something wonderful about himself
during the course of The Year of the Burn Up...
3. The scary Commander
Commander Charles Traynor was played by the rising star
of Denis Quilley but who was Traynor really??? Throughout
the course of the series, Quilley found himself having to
play no less than four VERY different Traynors... The basic
Traynor first appears in at St. Oswald seeking the truth
behind the disappearance of a young girl. As Liz and Simon's
adventures beyond the time barrier become more and more
intriguing, so this Traynor is seen to become more and more
obsessed with their discoveries in the future until we later
learn his real reason for this fascination... He is, in
fact, A CLONE with his own personal agenda for the future!
Then there's the Commander Traynor that Liz and Simon meet
at the naval station in 1940: a jolly but firm man of science
who spars verbally on an intellectual level with the German
Gottfried. A nice bloke and the sort of gentleman naval
officer that inhabits boy's own adventure stories. Then
there's the loopy Traynor who betrays everyone in the future
world of 1990 during the burn up. Nutty as a fruitcake,
babbling about light and dark, we later learn the reason
for this... He's a faulty clone! Then finally, in (aptly)
the final story we finally get to meet the final piece in
the final puzzle that is Timeslip. The REAL Commander Traynor...
He's been locked in a room in Dr. Frazer's office for five
or so years whilst the clone Traynor was made and took his
place. This Traynor is a broken man but still has the strength
to confront his doppelganger... All in all, a unique role
for any actor and one that the young Denis Quilley in the
early stages of his career, grasped by the horns...
4. The time barrier
Back in the seventies, every kid had a time barrier near
to them... Like Doctor Who's Police Box in the sixties,
concrete fence posts were everywhere... and if they had
chain link fence attached to them then the simple action
of borrowing your Dad's wire cutters ensured that you had
a hole with which to "travel through the time barrier
with." Of course, we could not condone such action
5. The theme music...
The deeply dramatic and overpoweringly menacing theme music
performed by a huge orchestra with very loud instruments...
It was once used during an eighties radio phone-ins "Guess
the TV theme..." competition. Such off the mark guesses
by listeners as Superman, Tarzan and Sherlock Holmes only
served to emphasise the fact that this was real music for
6. The death of Edith
This was the talk of the playground... The jolly Dr. Edith
Joynton - aged to death in The Time of the Ice Box (after
her dose of the longevity drug is mis-prescribed) in glorious
close-up scaring all the parents but mesmerising all the
kids. The TV Times published a picture of the actress Peggy
Thorpe-Bates unrecognisable under heavy make up. Kids took
the magazine to school and bandied it around the playground
telling their friends they had a picture of a "dead
old woman." And all the girls were horrified...
7. The end of the world...
It happened during the commercial break in part six of
'The Year of the Burn Up'. A strange electronic warble filled
the air and one of the Alpha clone secretaries gazed up
into the night sky over London to witness the stars and
planets growing larger... Well, it scared the proverbial
out of me!
||8. The Nazis...
Everyone remembers the Nazis were part of Timeslip... but
most people who haven't seen the series since it first aired
are hard pressed to work what they actually had to do with
a serial famous for its tackling of issues like global warming
and cloning. A force of three German-speaking Nazis (and a
handful of silent extras) invaded the St. Oswald naval base
in 1940... How they got to Rutland from the coast wearing
full German naval uniforms is anyone's guess but it probably
had something to do with the traitor at the pub. (Ooops! Given
that one away!) There was also Gottfried, their Capitan! Played
with a depth of character by the late Sandor Eles. His verbal
sparing with the avuncular Commander Traynor of the 1940s
is a highlight of the series often ignored in the wake of
the scientific histrionics of the later episodes...
9. Poor Frank Skinner...
Poor Frank... He never did anything to anyone (except disagree
with anyone that wasn't his daughter...!) He loves his wife
and daughter dearly yet... he can't help attracting the
wrong sort of luck! Whilst guarding the naval station at
St. Oswald's during the Second World War, he is stunned
into catatonia by an experimental laser and spends the next
five episodes stumbling in and out of an amnesiac delirium.
When the kids find themselves at the futuristic Ice Box,
he's found to be a frozen "corpse" having run
into debts with his business ventures and "sold"
himself off as a human guinea pig. Even when he's revived,
he can do little more than mumble and moan before the whole
ice box freezes over and he's forced into drinking Dr. Bukov's
anti freeze to survive. Heaven alone knows what became of
the poor man during the future of the burn up... Possibly
the victim (along with his migraine suffering wife) of a
Logan's Run-style population control brought in by the Technocrats
to euthanise the over forties... And to cap it all, he shares
his name with an over-rated, over-paid brummy comedian who
plagued the real 1990s... and beyond!
10. The Ice Box...
The Ice Box proved that 1990 would be a groovy place to
be at! Blue polo neck zip-up body stockings and silver PVC
girdles... and that was just the men!!!
Virtual reality entertainment, a compact music system with
not a CD insight and an e-mail style print-out of a tailor
made newspaper showed everyone what to expect of the REAL
future... They also had those neat reel-to-reel computers
with the cool flashing lights that SHADO used to fight the
Aliens in Gerry Anderson's U.F.O. No wonder they wanted
to live forever! And they did, thanks to HA57!!
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