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maryann johanson | #BlackLivesMatter

Voyagers! The Complete Series (review)

It’s a cult favorite among Generation X, so I’m sure that plenty of folks my age have been eagerly awaiting the DVD release of this 1982-3 NBC fantasy series. I never watched it as a kid, though, and my first exposure to it on this new DVD set will gladly be my last. The mysterious time traveler Phineas Bogg (Jon-Erik Hexum) picks up an accidental hitchhiker in 12-year-old Jeffrey Jones (Meeno Peluce), and now they travel around history righting things where events go off track. But Phineas is no Doctor Who — I suspect that British series, which was gaining a cult audience of its own in the U.S. at the time, was a powerful inspiration for this one — and the Omni, Bogg’s time-traveling device, is no TARDIS. (The Omni looks like a pocket watch; one childhood friend of mine developed his fixation on pocket watches thanks to this show…) These goofy adventures were intended, perhaps, to encourage children’s interest in the past, but they’re so simplistic that they’re more coloring book than history book; the 90s series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles did the same job much better, and in a far more enduringly entertaining way. And as drama, these 20 episodes are downright laughable (see Quantum Leap for a far superior execution of a similar idea). Worst of all, it seems unlikely that fans will be overjoyed with this set: the now-rough image has not been remastered, and the sound remains resolutely 2.0 mono. And there aren’t even any extras in the set. [buy at Amazon]

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MPAA: not rated

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