Weird old title sequences: The Fantastic Journey (1977)

The Fantastic Journey

Why do all those boats and planes keep disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle? Is it storms and poor weather conditions? A simple coincidence? Urban myth, and actually the Bermuda Triangle is no worse than any other arbitrary piece of near-coastal tropical water?

No, you great silly, it’s because of a time rift. If you’d bothered to watch 70s TV show The Fantastic Journey, you’d have known that.

The basic plot was this: a group of people, most of them related, one of them Ike Eisenmann from Race to Witch Mountain, go out into the Caribbean on a boat. Spooky green mist comes down and before you know it they’ve disappeared and wound up on an island, which has gone all weird thanks to bits of it being in different time zones. So there’s futuristic cities, bits stuck in the past and so on, and you have to find invisible gateways to cross from one zone to another – something that usually happened at the end of each episode for easy syndication purposes.

As the group explores the island, it crosses into different zones and meets different people from different times and even different worlds, most notably Jared Martin of War of the Worlds, who plays a sort of futuristic hippie-musician-pacifist (aka ‘loser’) from the 23rd century. He, with his suspiciously phallic magic pan pipe instrument (which, as with Kung Fu, isn’t to be used for violence but somehow ends up being used as a weapon each episode), soon takes charge and tries to help them and himself get off the island.

This turned out to be a bit dull, so after the pilot, three characters got dropped and a new “Doctor Smith from Lost in Space“-type character called Willaway – played by Roddie McDowall – turned up to try to spice things up. If that wasn’t spicy enough, they got a girl from outer space in a mini-skirt with super-strength to help out, too.

Unfortunately, even with the power of the mini-skirted, outer space, super girl and one of the monkeys from Planet of the Apes, The Fantastic Journey was up against the even greater power of The Waltons, so got cancelled after 10 episodes, so that poor little family never did get off the island.

Enjoy its weird old title sequence and groovy theme tune.

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