1976: Professor Paul Jordan and his son Scott are part of an oceanic expedition aboard a boat chartered from veteran sea captain Ben Wallace. Their expedition into the Caribbean takes on a sinister turn with the sighting of roiling green clouds on the horizon, even though no storms are expected. Ben tries to steer the boat clear of the raging, unearthly storm, but to no avail – the ship is lost. The survivors make it to shore, but they can’t tell where they are, or when. A loincloth-clad man named Varian appears without any explanation, healing Ben’s broken arm and trying to lead them to safety, but Professor Jordan is cautious about following him. Varian finally confides in Jordan’s son instead: Varian is from Earth in the 23rd century, just another traveler stranded in the Bermuda Triangle, which is an unpredictable gateway in time as well as space. Ben, Fred and one of the women from the expedition find themselves trapped by salty British sailors who became stranded in the Triangle in the 1500s, whose captain will do anything to escape the island. Professor Jordan makes plans to free his fellow survivors, and asks for Varian’s help, but the man from the future insists that he is a pacifist, acting only as a guide. Even if Jordan can recover all the members of his party, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to return to their own place or time.
teleplay by Michael Michaelian & Katharyn Michaelian Powers and Merwin Gerard
story by Merwin Gerard
directed by Andrew V. McLaglen
music by Robert Prince
Cast: Scott Thomas (Paul Jordan), Susan Howard (Eve), Jared Martin (Varian), Carl Franklin (Fred Walters), Karen Somerville (Jill), Ike Eisenmann (Scott Jordan), Leif Erickson (Ben Wallace), Scott Brady (Carl), Don Knight (Paget), Ian McShane (Sir James), Gary Collins (Dar-L), Mary Ann Mobley (Rhea), Jason Evers (Atar), Lynn Borden (Enid), Jack Stauffer (Andy), Byron Chung (George), Tom McCorry (Scar), Mike Road (voice of the Source)
Notes: The city of Atlantium scenes in this and the following episode were filmed at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, which had only just been built at the time of filming. Though the series premise was written with travelers from the future and the past in mind, and NBC found the show promising enough to merit a series order, the pilot sees the only instance of adversaries from the past, and over half of the cast was eliminated after the pilot episode. Extra scenes were added prior to broadcast to try to smooth the transition into the series proper, which would focus only on Varian, Scott and Fred, and Star Trek veteran D.C. Fontana and the show’s other writers had barely a month to get episodes written and into production in time for the series’ premiere in February 1977.
LogBook entry by Earl Green