The Ghost of Nero (TTT episode)
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Summary [ ]
Tony Newman and Doug Phillips materialize in the Italian Alps where they see armed German troops swarming the area. The unfortunate time travelers realize that they have arrived during World War I.
When bombs start exploding around them, the pair take shelter in the basement of a nearby villa; however falling debris from a nearby bomb knocks them unconscious. The explosion also opens a hidden crypt belonging to the Roman emperor Nero. A sword emerges from the tomb, though its owner is unseen.
Once Newman and Phillips awaken, they hear the voices of German troops approaching and hide from a soldier who enters the basement. However, upon entering Nero’s tomb, the sword runs the soldier through.
Knowing that they will be blamed for the inexplicable death, Newman and Phillips seek a way to escape. They stumble upon a secret passage that leads up into the villa, where they are confronted by the owner, Count Enrico Galba. The villa is right in the middle of the German and Italian armies, which is why the Germans want to use the villa as a stronghold.
Dr. Steinholtz advises Lt. General Kirk on the paranormal.
Meanwhile, the team at Project Tic-Toc are baffled by a powerful life-force reading from the villa that is also interfering with their instruments. The team enlist the aid of Dr. Steinholtz, an expert on the paranormal, as they ascertain that the ghost of Nero is all too real and poses a serious threat - first by possessing one of the German guards, then Newman .
Character actor Eduardo Cianelli, guest-starring as Count Galba, reflects the anguish created by Nero’s spirit in “The Ghost of Nero” segment of “The Time Tunnel.”
Newman , Phillips and Galba must find a way to escape the villa before it is destroyed and before they are killed by Nero’s ghost or the Germans.
Background information/trivia [ ]
- Having dealt with UFOs in the previous episode, this was the first time during the series that a paranormal element was brought into the show, showing a move away from straight historical drama to more far-fetched storytelling.
- A concentrated power surge in the form of one million volts is sent from Project Tic-Toc through the Time Tunnel to try to rid Newman of the spirit that is possessing him.
- Project Tic-Toc soldiers have access to flame-guns as a weapon, as we see when Lt. General Heywood Kirk orders them to use the guns to drive Nero’s ghost back into the Time Tunnel .
- The lights dim at Project Tic-Toc when the “unseen force” (i.e. the ghost of Nero), is brought into the Tunnel. On popular entertainment shows featuring so-called 'ghost hunters,' the equipment they use (digital recorders, K2 meters, camcorders, etc.) are often drained of power, even with either brand new or freshly charged batteries (though, of course, none of these offerings should be treated with any degree of seriousness).
- Whether deliberate or coincidental, the villa's drawing room is remarkably similar to the Collinwood set on the popular ABC TV soap opera Dark Shadows , which was in production at the same time.
- James Darren as Dr. Tony Newman
- Robert Colbert as Dr. Doug Phillips
- Lee Meriwether as Dr. Ann MacGregor
- John Zaremba as Dr. Raymond Swain
- Whit Bissell as Lt. General Heywood Kirk
- Eduardo Ciannelli as Count Enrico Galba
- Gunnar Hellström as Major Neistadt
- John Hoyt as Dr. Steinholtz
- Richard Jaeckel as Sgt. Mueller
The episode can be seen at hulu.com on The Time Tunnel channel
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The Ghost of Nero
The time tunnel.
- During an encounter between the Germans and the Italians in World War I, Doug and Tony land in a villa that is haunted by the ghost of the Roman Emperor Nero.
- Doug and Tony are transported to 1915, in Italy, during a German bombardment of the villa of Count Enrico Galba. The time travelers seek shelter in the cellar which caves in and exposes the grave of the Roman Emperor, Nero. When a German soldier comes to the cellar, he is stabbed by a mysterious force. Doug and Tony escape from the German soldiers and find a secret passage behind a wall which leads them to the manor of Count Galba. They are imprisoned in a room and there they discover that the ghost of Nero is seeking revenge against Count Galba, who is the descendant of an enemy of Nero. Meanwhile the Time Tunnel personnel tries to help Tony, who is possessed by the ghost of Nero, and the ghost travels to the presents days, jeopardizing the facility. — Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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