Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

TV REVIEW : 'Time Trax' Suitably Silly Fare for the Kiddie Contingent

January 20, 1993|CHRIS WILLMAN

The new syndicated series "Time Trax" follows in the well-worn time-travel tracks of the "Terminator" movies and assorted antecedents, with good guys and baddies jetting between centuries to track each other down and plot or avert world-domination schemes. No one says, "I'll be back," but the scenario does lead to exchanges of dialogue like: "You are two hours late!" "Yes, but 200 years early!"

The show itself, meanwhile, is at least two or three decades too late for any of this to seem even slightly clever to science-fiction buffs. But under the direction of Lewis Teague, tonight's two-hour premiere (at 8 on KCOP-TV Channel 13) moves through its predictable paces with enough unsmirkingly silly, old-time Saturday-matinee panache to be a creditable entertainment for fairly recent arrivals to our era, anyway--i.e., kids.

The setup has "fugitive retrieval" officer Darien Lambert (Dale Midkiff), the best cop alive in 2193, suffering the loss of a love at the hands of sinister scientist Dr. Mordicai Sahmbi (Peter Donat). Rather than work through his grief like a sensitive 20th-Century guy, the highly evolutionized Lambert resolves to send himself back to primitive 1993, where he can not only track down the escaped time-travel pioneer Sahmbi but also all the myriad criminals that the bad doctor shipped back in time ahead of his own sorry carcass.

The genial tone here is less akin to the "Terminators" than to the time-traveling escapades of, say, "Star Trek IV," whose producer, Harve Bennett, developed this series. Veteran Trekkers will likely find Bennett's latest beneath them, but the juves might not mind.

Unfortunately, Lambert is not a normal guy of the future but more like a trillion-dollar offspring of Bennett's good old "Six Million Dollar Man," with an IQ over 200, super strength and the kind of enhanced senses that allow him to dodge bullets. Not only that, but he's accompanied on his treks by the omniscient Selma, a credit-card-sized computer that speaks to him in the form of an irascibly schoolmarmish hologram (Elizabeth Alexander). The odds are so in our superhero's favor that it hardly seems like a fair fight.

Incidentally, if you think you're seeing double (or triple) tonight, fret not: Mia Sara, who plays two roles in tonight's premiere, also stars in "Blindsided," a TV movie debuting in a competing time slot on the USA cable network. Sara's the best thing about "Time Trax," but apparently she's just a guest star.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|