This Warner Archive release is a Manufacture-On-Demand (MOD) DVD. It is made to be played in “play only” DVD devices, and may not play in some DVD recorders or PC drives. This DVD set, however, played with no problems in the Toshiba DVD recorder used for this review, as well as in a Gateway laptop DVD drive. This title is available directy from WBShop.com by clicking here.
In 2193, a time machine allows over one hundred criminals to escape and hide 200 years in the past. Captain Darien Lambert of the Fugitive Retrieval Section (Dale Midkiff) is sent after them to hunt them down.
The six disc set for Season Two of Time Trax includes the following episodes: “Return of the Yakuza,” “Missing,” “To Live and Die in Docker Flats,” “A Close Encounter,” “The Gravity of It All,” “Happy Valley,” “Lethal Weapons,” “The Cure,” “Perfect Pair,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “The Dream Team,” “Almost Human,” “Mother,” “The Last M.I.A.,” “Split Image,” “Cool Hand Darien,” “The Lottery,” “Out for Blood,” “The Scarlet Koala,” “Optic Nerve,” “The Crash,” and Forgotten Tomorrows.” Each disc contains four episodes, except for disc six, which contains only two. Menus do not include chapter searches for each episode, but episodes do include chapter stops.
Time Trax was a short-lived but entertaining show that aired for two seasons on the Prime Time Entertainment Network (the forerunner to the UPN and WB networks) from 1993 to 1994. The show is co-created and developed by Harve Bennett, the man who wrote Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (as well as Star Trek III, IV, and V) and executive produced the TV classics The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. His touch for character-driven sci-fi is evident here, even if Time Trax didn’t seem to have a biggest budget.
Rather than rely on special effects, Time Trax is built on the shoulders of Dale Midkiff (Pet Sematary, Elvis and Me) who does a good job in the leading role as Lambert, a detective from the 23rd century who has come back in time to hunt down various criminals who used a time machine called Trax to hide out (and wreak havoc) in the past. Lambert is assisted by a hologram/computer named SELMA (played by Elizabeth Alexander) who is disguised as an AT&T Universal Mastercard credit card. It makes for some easy product placement, but it at least creates an entertaining episode in which criminals steal the card from Lambert, who needs it to eventually return to the future.
The episodic format of the show means the stories are self-contained, and even if the storylines are a bit formulaic, the episodes are quite entertaining. Because of budget limitations, many episodes play out more like a police procedural or mystery rather than straight-up sci-fi. It really doesn’t matter, as the mix of action/adventure, decent acting, and interesting plots make it all watchable. As season two was the show’s last, it’s too bad the show didn’t get more attention or a bigger following; one wonders what future seasons (and a bigger budget) might have brought.
A number of guest stars appear in season two, including Ralph Waite (The Waltons), JerI Ryan (before she lit up Star trek: Voyager), and Ronny Cox (Robocop). John Schuck (Star Trek VI) appears in my particular favorite episode from the season, in which he plays a scientist who creates a “gravity belt” that allows the wearer to fly around. Of course, bad guys want the belt, and it’s Lambert to the rescue.
For those looking for a little 90s nostalgia, Time Trax offers a nice fix. It reminds me of the Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman show from the same time. It’s a straightforward, entertaining show that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It never achieves classic TV show status, but it is a fun little slice of sci-fi lite. It isn’t as dark or serious as similar shows are today, which is part of the charm.
VIDEO AND AUDIO
The video image is good, but not great, with each episode having a bit of the look that it came off of a video master. However, colors are solid, even if detail is lacking. Sound is a Dolby Digital 2.0 mix that sounds fairly good, with a decent balance between dialogue and music.
THE BOTTOM LINE: BUY IT OR NETFLIX IT?
Ratings (1-10 scale)
Overall score: 4.5
Time Trax is a fun little diversion, with enough 90’s nostalgia to keep it interesting. The video and audio are good, but not great, and unfortunately, there are no extras for fans of the show. Still, if you enjoyed this show back in the day, it is worth a pick-up to see the final adventures of Darien Lambert, even if his storyline was never fully resolved.
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Rating: Not rated
Running time: 973 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Special features: None
Label: Warner Archive