Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Favorites: Voyagers!


Recommended For: All Ages

Rating: NR

Jeffrey Jones is an ordinary orphan living with his aunt and uncle in New York City...until the day a man accidentally lands outside his room. When Jeffrey falls out his bedroom window, he finds himself transported back in time. The man, whose name is Bogg, explains to him that he is a Voyager. "We travel through time to help history along," he explains. "Give it a push where it's needed." Despite Bogg's early misgivings, Jeffery turns out to be a valuable asset, easily replacing his missing guidebook with his extensive knowledge of history. Whether they are helping Harriet Tubman escape, inspiring Babe Ruth to begin pitching, or fighting the Red Baron, Jeffery and Bogg never lack for adventure, and the experiences they share will last a lifetime.

Voyagers! is one of those little known old TV shows that I really wish more people knew about. I first saw it on MeTV, and when they changed their schedule, we got the DVDs from Netflix and watched every single episode. It may possibly be my favorite old TV show. I definitely like it better than Gilligan's Island, I'm pretty sure it rates above Andy Griffith, and I don't count Doctor Who since, though there was a gap between Classic and New, it's still going.

I love history, and I love time travel stories. Voyagers! really fits the bill for both. Yes, sometimes they get the history wrong, but it's generally right enough not to bug me too much. Well, sometimes it's way off, like when FDR became a screenwriter and when the Confederates won the Civil War, or the time when we were losing World War I because the airplane had never been invented. Oh, wait. Those were times when the omni was red. The omni is a Voyager's time travel device. It's somewhat incorporated into the cover up there, except where Jeffrey and Bogg are is actually where the globe is on the omni. When the omni's red, it means history's wrong. Jeffrey and Bogg go fix history, so the omni will be green, and history will be the way it's supposed to be.

Unfortunately, Voyagers! only ran for one season. It was on at the same time as 60 Minutes, and so they decided it didn't have high enough ratings to continue. I wish they had continued. It was really setting up well for a second season. But at least we have twenty episodes rather than none.

My favorite episodes would probably be "The Trial of Phineas Bogg" and "Jack's Back." Both give insight into the Voyagers, explaining Bogg's job further, and showing other Voyagers. They have to be watched in their chronological places, though, since both those episodes, especially "The Trial of Phineas Bogg," reference previous episodes. I also like, well, all of them, but "Voyagers of the Titanic," "Pursuit," and "The Day the Rebs Took Lincoln" are really good. Probably about half of those titles are self explanatory, but "Jack's Back" involves Arthur Conan Doyle, and "Pursuit" is about Wernher von Braun escaping from Germany. There's also stuff about Cleopatra, George Washington, Alexander Graham Bell, Buffalo Bill, Billy the Kid, Marco Polo, the Salem Witch Trials, and much, much more.

And Voyagers! is family-friendly. The only caution I would give is that Bogg does kiss quite a few girls, but when Jeffery's there, he usually turns his back and rolls his eyes, saying "Bogg," in an annoyed, drawn out tone. And if he doesn't, I do. :) But it's a great show. I love it, and I want more people to love it too. It's one of the few good shows/movies that came out of the 80's.

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