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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

I have experienced tremendous ups and downs with this little episode (no pun intended).

For the past 30 years, I’ve had wonderful recurring dreams that had something to do with two actors I like (Ike Eisenmann and Roddy McDowall) in some fantastic journey type of situation.  I seemed to recall something about an island, and some tuning-fork-shaped magic tool, and spacey special effects.  For the longest time I thought I was crazy, though I knew Ike Eisenmann very well from watching Escape To/ Return From Witch Mountain movies a million times on Disney, and knew Roddy McDowell from many things, like one of my favorite moves of all time Cat From Outer Space, and of course the Planet of the Apes series.  I just figured I melded them somehow into my dreams.

Then I actually do some IMDB looking and it turns out – there WAS a short-lived series related to this whole mess o’ memories!  I’m in heaven again!  There was this show called “The Fantastic Journey“.  This show was on for about 4 months in 1977 and was cancelled or some such.  All I know is that I’m positive I saw an episode or two back then, when I was 6 years old. 

I read the summary about the show and am increasingly elated…

A scientific expedition in the Atlantic Ocean headed by Dr. Paul Jordan becomes lost in the Bermuda Triangle and washes up on an uncharted island.   In the pilot episode they meet Varian, a man from the 23rd century who tells them about a place to the East called Evailand where they can find a doorway back to their own time.

Most of the group either dead of made it home leaving Varian, Fred Walters and Paul’s 13 yr old son Scott to make their way east.  Along the way they meet up with travelers from other times, planets and dimensions who have also become trapped.  Liana, a woman with an alient mother and an Atlantium fater with her cat Sil-l, is the first to join them.  Then Jonathan Willoway, a scientist from the 60’s is invited to join.  Together they travel through portals from one dimension to the next hoping to find the one that leads home.

And IMDB lists this narration from the opening sequence.

Lost in the Devil’s Triangle, trapped in a dimension with beings from the future and other worlds, a party of adventurers journey through zones of time back to their own time. Varian, a man from the 23rd century, possessing awesome powers; from 1977; Fred, a young doctor just out of medical school; Scott Jordan, the thirteen-year-old son of a famous scientist; Liana, daughter of an Atlantean father and an extraterrestrial mother; and Jonathan Willaway, a rebel scientist from the 1960s. Together they face the frightening unknown on… The Fantastic Journey.

I’m all aquiver with excitement as I actually find a place to order the DVD set.  A month or so goes by, and nothing.  I contact the distributor and he said he’s sorry, he sent it late.  Now I’m worried that maybe I’ve been “had,” but a day later, the DVD set shows up.  (note: I have since learned that this series has not been released on DVD, so I’ll assume I’m dealing with a fake/bootleg.  I did a little more research and there is a petition to get it released on DVD, so help a bruthah out and vote! I was vote #301.)

DVD Cover of The Fantastic Journey

On the cover are some pictures that make it even more real – I recognize some of this!  Some of the faces, costumes, settings, and even the names (ie, Scott Jordan) are firing off long-forgotten neurons in the back of my brain.  I’m starting to get more excited, knowing that I can just pop this thing in and relive some of the emotions, awe, wonder, and fill in the blanks that my dreams haven’t been able to. 

Then I find some pictures – the cloud on the horizon and the glowing “tuning fork” magic thingy – this is bringing back some real vivid dreams!

The Horizon Cloud from The Fantastic Journey   The magic tuning fork thingy from Fantastic Journey

I pop it in and it starts.  The audio is choppy, almost stuttering, like a badly encoded mp3 file.  The video is “ok” – I mean, it is 70’s TV and it’s old so I’m not expecting Pixar-type HD or anything.  But then the audio gets worse and worse. I get 11 minutes into it and it’s completely un-watchable.  It was just getting good, too – their ship was about to go into this inexplicably greenish and menacing storm cloud that suddenly appeared on the horizon while they were in the Burmuda Triangle.  They heard all these ship’s bells, clangs, getting louder and louder, and then the whole DVD just panics and tries to keep up, skipping the audio and video, pausing, jumping,

AAAHAGHGHGHAHGHAHGHAGHAHGHGH!

This is so cruel!

So I try skipping a few chapters, same thing.  The 2nd DVD, same thing.  The 3rd DVD, same thing.

AGHAHGAHHAGHAGHHAGHAHGHAHGHGHHH!

I’m so depressed now.  My dreams, my hopes for completing the installment placed so firmly in my mind – put on hold.

But I did find the opening sequence on youtube:

At least I’m getting some confirmation of these thoughts and memories.  Now I have to contact this “distributor” and demand that these DVD’s be fixed/replaced.  Now that I know this stuff is there, I HAVE TO WATCH IT!

And don’t forget:

Sign the petition to release Fantastic Journey on DVD

 

And lo, the people did comment thus:

13 Comments

  1. sourpuss says:

    Wow. I had completely forgotten about that & the huge crush I used to have on Ike Eisenmann. Thanks for bringing back some fun memories!

  2. whall says:

    Most welcome, sourpuss.

    Update: I *am* able to watch the DVD on my laptop, in a different DVD reader. My Philips DVD player doesn’t work well, my Panasonic doesn’t work well… the Wii won’t recognize it at all, and my PS2 plays it for a while and then skips like crazy. The distributor guy said it was probably the paper label he put ON the dvd, and I guess I can see that, but still.

    So now I plan on watching it through!

  3. Michelle says:

    Let’s see if my gravatar works. If it doesn’t, then I am a tard.

  4. Michelle says:

    damnit, how do I make my gravatar work???

  5. whall says:

    Your gravatar has to be approved and rated by the gravatar folks, and then it’ll show up. I have my gravatar display set to something pretty low, either G or PG I think. I also think my site caches what it “knows” about people’s gravatars, so now mine is displaying the default “blank” one, which evidently is broken. I think I’ll make me a gravatar logo to stick there.

    ok, I just checked and I have my rating limit set to PG.
    I’m going to try and do yours manually here:

  6. whall says:

    ok, well I guess the manual way of doing gravatars works in posts, but not in comments.

    I’ve now created a custom “blank_gravatar.png” and put it in the right place, so now instead of a broken image link, it should have the following graphic:
    Default gravatar for whall.org

  7. Michelle says:

    Mine is set to G-rated.

  8. whall says:

    If I recall correctly, I remember it took a while for mine to start working. I remember first seeing it at blogography.com and was pretty impatient those first few days cuz I was tired of being an anonymous poster sans gravatar.

  9. Varian4Ever says:

    Hey, thanks so much for your cool post, and for joining us in the quest for the TFJ DVD!!! I hope you were able to finally watch it. I posted tons of scenes on youtube, check them out. Thanks again for your signature at the petition, and feel free to stop by my Fantastic Journey Blog, if you haven’t already. (Sorry, I made up an email here, if you need to contact me, leave a comment at my blog. Thanks)

  10. whall says:

    Varian4Ever, hey, no problem! I’ll check out the blog. To continue my inability to watch the DVD story, I contacted the distributor and he said it might be the paper sticky labels he attached the DVD’s and sure enough, when I *carefully* removed one of the labels, it played a lot better in the DVD player. What I ended up doing is putting it in my computer and could watch the first two without issue. I think I’ll end up making NEW DVD’s from these on some regular DVD’s. I keep the DVD case in my laptop bag for when I get a chance to watch the last 3 DVD’s.

    The last one I watched had the lady who could turn into a cat, and that again brought back some memories.

  11. Varian4Ever says:

    OMG! You haven’t seen all yet? You’re in for a treat!!! Who’s your fave character? (I bet you can guess mine! LOL!) After Vortex, I love Riddles, and The Innocent Prey, which I’m uploading on youtube. You have to see the cool scene from Funhouse, type “cool scene” + Jared Martin + Roddy McDowall and it should bring it up. Funhouse is creepy, I posted a blog on the alternate titles I gave TFJ, that one is “30 yrs later, I’m still shaking in my boots!”

  12. facebook_roger.christenson says:

    Good luck with the petition. I signed it.

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