End of Time - Review by David Convery
The very fact that Timeslip has been released on
DVD means that it was always going to be good, especially with
the modern advances in broadcast technology and restoration techniques.
(Maybe the Technocrats have a case to answer after all???)
The initial opening is in colour, the Timeslip TV Theme hits
you straight away as you watch the various scenes from the TWEOT
story in its background and a very good image of Liz Skinner for
all of the CB enthusiasts compliments this opening. The majority
of fonts are in keeping with the original typeface all except
the story title itself but in general this does not detract from
the overall initial presentation.
There are 4 menu choices on this disc namely: Play All, Episode
Index, Introduction to Timeslip, Subtitles.
The "Introduction to Timeslip" was written by Andy
Thompson and gives a very good overview including the concept,
characters, writers and merchandise. (Editor's note: This was
actually a heavily abbreviated version of several individual pieces
that were originally written for specific topics as per other
Carlton cult television releases. The biggest casualty of editing
was, obviously, the character/actor biographies.)
The series starts with an introduction by Peter Fairley who was
the ITN space correspondent at that time and he gives a brief
introduction by way of a poser scenario. The titles and credits
have not been tampered with.
The initial scenes of the now derelict Naval Station are very
good especially the pauses on certain shots like the concealed
skirting board in Commander Traynor's office that will later become
important. I particularly liked the attention to detail for example,
wind and birdsong on scenes filmed in studio, the fact the trees
were still moving on the right hand shots of the Time Barrier
rather than a static photo inserted in to create the invisible
The Skinner family, Frank, Jean and daughter Liz who also have
charge of Simon Randall are staying at a pub/hotel as is Traynor.
Liz and Simon enter the field in daylight and pass through the
Time Barrier into the night of 1940 into the grounds of the Naval
Station. They see a group of German officers approaching the station
and are taken away by a Naval guard. Inside the base, Simon sees
early experiments on RADAR and both are introduced to the Stations
commanding Officer...Charles Traynor.
A beautifully written piece comes where Simon tries to work out
Traynor from the hotel and this Traynor who denies any knowledge
of them. The somewhat confused expressions by Simon Randall again
give credit to the Script writing and actors. The guard who caught
them turns out to be Liz's future father, Frank. The Germans take
over the Station and their leader Helmut Gottfried tries to find
out the nature of the Naval Station's work. Traynor and Gottfried
become re-acquainted through a previous science paper before the
Another wonderfully written piece here depicting the conflicts
in loyalties, science, wanting to help but cant due to war, fighting
for Germany not for Hitler and both actors (Denis Quilley and
Sandor Eles) are truly convincing.
And so Jean finds a gateway into the past through her pre-cognisance
ability and is able to see what Liz and Simon are doing. We learn
about the accident that affected Frank's mind.
One of my favourite scenes is when Liz, Simon and Traynor are
in the games room and she sees her Father and Traynor approaching
the Naval Station. They run outside and confront them. Here we
see two pairs of actors with simultaneous dialogue... excellent!
Time for Gottfried and party to leave with Traynor back to Germany
having received more signalling information. Traynor pulls a gun
on Gottfried and the pain on Traynor's face as he once against
battles with his conscience and cant bring himself to shoot Gottfried.
And so we discover the signalling apparatus on the shelf behind
the bar and with the rapid departure of Bradley (the non-competent)
from behind the bar, we discover that he was a traitor. Traynor
reminds Bradley that they would almost bring back hanging just
to oblige him. Liz and Simon leave but not before Frank takes
another bad turn and clearly Liz's affection for her future father
is so natural. Liz and Simon then cross the barrier into the freezing
The clarity and sound on the DVD is excellent. There were some
occasional diagonal lines across the screen when the night scenes
were shown but these are more than acceptable. There are breaks
in each episode thus preserving the integrity of how the original
programme was shown on TV and some episodes have the ATV and ITC
logos at the end.
On a personal view only ("...and why not?" as Barry
Norman would say), I would have liked a "Dedicated to the
memory of...." included. Many people also ask about the Timeslip
theme and this would have been an ideal opportunity to have the
complete theme set in the background of the trailers/menus.
Having said that this story paves the way for the others. Even
today I am still speechless as to the creative visions depicted,
not just in this story but the entire series. The various sets
were realistic even by today's standard. The interiors of the
pub, the naval station offices (both derelict and thirty years
previous), the casting of the actors... In short, everything was
right. They don't make them like that anymore and the truth is,
they couldn't even if they tried.
For those involved in Timeslip both past and present, those that
have sadly departed and by no means least to Carlton...
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