UCLA Library Collection~Irwin Allen Archive/W.B.~Part 1

Just got back from a most wonderful and inspiring 2 day getaway, our trip involved a visit to the Performing Arts Archives to see “The Irwin Allen Papers”…as well as a tour of Warner Bros. studio…first up, was an appointment with the UCLA library to go through about five boxes of material covering Irwin Allen’s big four, we went through a ton of paper! and found a lot of very interesting info.

Our first box, was Land of the Giants “The Crash”, and we discovered a lot of interesting little facts about the production costs, script revisions, miniatures/Bill Abbott and much more!

An interesting note to Bill Abbott, for the sequence with the Spindrift in space, it mentions to have the space ship travel from left to right, don’t lurch it, then do lurch it. Use big half planet cut out with fog for approach.

Gary Conway’s Steve Burton profile was mentioned also,-Dark, Handsome, Affable, reasonably modest six footer in his late twenties.

Apparently, Nathan Juran was contracted to direct episode 1 and 3 of LIS and LOTG as of June ’67, but Irwin changed the contract to direct himself…also, storyboard sketches had a giant cat claw through the rear cabin of the Spindrift, as well as Steve battling a giant Tarantula!

Budget overages, pointed out, that shooting went over by 10 days due to script revisions, materials, and stenographic labor increased. Lots of very interesting story boards, pre-production art, wages, and notes were in the file.

A final shot in the pilot shows Major Kagen’s tape recorder on the ground, a note states to get the actor’s voice on tape. This was bumped, because they decided to move “The Weird World” episode (the second one filmed) until several episodes later.

We were amazed at the effort that went into this pilot, but it really shows well…amazing special effects, gorgeous sets, great action, effective Directing by Irwin Allen (with very interesting camera angles) and all around perfect “Mood” setting, (you really had the feeling of SCOPE) it really felt like a GIANT and alien world, the characters were all solid, along with a good script…what a ride!

Time Tunnel “Rendezvous with Yesterday” was next, and quite interesting to say the least, production sketches showing the opening sequences were very interesting…filmed out in Coyote Dry Lake in Barstow, the scene in which the Senator and Robert Colbert (en route to The Time Tunnel) drive through the desert and disappear down below the surface is actually a hole/ramp dug in the desert! (miniatures were considered) but Irwin knew what he wanted!

Another very interesting notation was characters that were considerations, for “Ann” Joan Marshall and Barbara Bain were runner ups, as well as Barry Atwater for “Dr. Swain”, and for “Althea”, Juliet Mills or Samantha Egar, for the part of “Senator Clark”, Carol O’Connor, Henry Jones and J.D. Cannon were all considerations.

The elaborate sets for the Titanic had a budget of $10,000, and was very well executed, the pilot really plays more like a movie, than a T.V. show, beautifully produced and photographed and excellent Directing by Irwin Allen.

Some of the story ideas noted 1956, 1927, 1863, 200,000 B.C….and under the “Standards and Practices” caution was noted, that the prehistoric Reptile might cause nightmares in “next weeks Adventure”

Perhaps the most interesting find was several Polaroid Pictures, for continuity purposes, among them were shots of Dennis Hopper (Actually in the pilot, but cut due to running over time) he played the part of a masquerading woman, who tries to get aboard a life boat.

Another fun piece of trivia was the hotel Irwin and the crew stayed at, “The Desert Inn” in Barstow for the filming of the opening…Irwin’s room was Suite 23…as a side note we checked around on the internet and found that it’s still there!

Part 2 will cover LOST IN SPACE & VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA…

Lars & Cynthia

3 thoughts on “UCLA Library Collection~Irwin Allen Archive/W.B.~Part 1

  1. Jupiter-2

    Cool!

    Look forward to Part II and the “Lost In Space” materials you looked at.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. Jeffrey Talbot

    Where were the outdoor desert exterior scenes shot for THE TIME TUNNEL (ABC 1966-67) episodes “Night of the Long Knives” (16/12/1966) and “Raiders from Outer Space” (31/03/1967)?

    Are there more detailed guest supporting players listing for each individual episode of THE TIME TUNNEL tv series?

    Jeff T.

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