Do You Remember TIME EXPRESS? - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Do You Remember TIME EXPRESS?

In which we take a time traveling trip on the 'spooky train'.

Vincent Price left behind an mightily impressive catalogue of work. He is, of course, best known for his performances in horror films, although his career spanned other genres, including film noir, drama, mystery, thriller, and comedy. He appeared on radio and stage too, and from as early as 1949 frequently graced the television screen with his talent. He guest starred on so many different shows, from Columbo to The Brady Bunch, from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea. And who can forget his turn as Egghead on the 1960's Batman series? But this is the thing, he was always the guest star, one or two episodes and done. Sure he fronted 130 episodes of the kids series The Hilarious House Of Frightenstein, but this was just an introduction role (as himself) and he filmed all of his nearly 400 segments in just four days!

Thirty years after Vincent Price made his small screen debut, the only ongoing drama series he actually starred in debuted. It was a show called Time Express. A show I'd completely forgotten about but once prompted remembered quite vividly. Mainly for the image of this spooky train almost hovering over the blue mist...

Time Express aired in the Spring of 1979 on CBS, I remember it being broadcast on the BBC possibly later that year or in the early 1980s. It starred Price and his wife, Coral Browne. They played Jason & Margaret Winters, the mysterious hosts of the Time Express, a fantastic train which allowed its passengers to travel back in time to relive a crucial point in their lives. Think of it as The Twilight Zone meets The Love Boat and Fantasy Island, all rolled into one and set on a time traveling train!

Accompanying the Winters on the Time Express were James Reynolds as Conductor R.J. Walker, Woodrow Parfrey as the Ticket Clerk and William Phipps as Engineer Callahan. It was hinted at that they were not human! Their previous train "went down into that gulley with no chance of ever coming back".

Every week the special guest stars would board the Time Express and return to an event that had changed their life for the worse, they basically got a second chance to fix things. It might be a grief stricken man returning to the time before a plane crash had killed his wife, or a rodeo rider returning to the day he was injured when thrown from a horse, or maybe just a passenger looking for a second chance at a romance. Some of the guest stars I remember include Jerry Stiller, Morgan Fairchild, Steve Kanaly and a very young John De Lancie (that's Q to all you Star Trek fans)...

It's quite surprising that I do remember Time Express as it only lasted 4 episodes before it was cancelled, and Price turned his back on live-action TV for good (only being heard on the small screen again as the voice of a couple of animated characters in shows like Scooby Doo). I'm not sure why the show was cancelled because I think it had quite a lot of potential - for its time of course. It's not available on DVD, it was never released on video but I still remember that spooky train.

Do you?

Previous 'Do You Remember...?' Articles
The Red Hand Gang
Galactica 1980
The Adventure Game
It's Your Move
Big John, Little John

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