“Look, I know it’s hard. I’ve been there too. Whenever you feel this way, you gotta think of all the interesting people in front of you that really need your help. Heck, we’re Voyagers, kid. We have responsibilities.” – Phineas Bogg.
First aired: 10/3/1982
Production Code: 83492
Writer: James D. Parriott
Director: James D. Parriott
Ed Begley Jr. (Wilbur Wright)
Bob Harks (Soldier)
Eli Joel Moskowitz (Baby Moses)
Donald Petrie (Orville Wright)
Sondra Currie (Agnes Spence)
Peter Frechette (Eddie Rickenbacker)
Faye Grant (Mary Murphy)
Jeanie Bradley (Aunt Elizabeth)
Terrence O’Hara (Tom)
Historical figures and Events
Baby Moses (The Biblical figure)
Pharaoh’s daughter (Seen in the distance with her bodyguards down the Nile River)
The Mongolian Army (In an earlier version of the script and the Voyagers! Junior Novel, Jeffrey recognizes Ghengis Khan.)
WWI Ground combat in the red-light Time Zone
Mary Murphy (a.k.a – Mary Pickford)
Doug Fairbanks (only mentioned by name.)
WWI Aerial Dogfight
The Red Baron (a.k.a. Manfred von Richthofen. In an airplane, not seen in person.)
1982 – New York, NY
1450 – BC Egypt
1918 – France
1903 – Kitty Hawk, NC
1903 – Dayton, OH
1918 – France
1066 – England
Jeffrey Jones is an 11-year-old orphan from New York City living with cruel relatives and his dog Ralph. One night, a strange man in pirate clothing drops onto his balcony and smashes through his window to escape the high winds. He demands to know where Christopher Columbus is. The man’s a time-traveler. His time-machine, the Omni, malfunctioned, landing him in 1982. The Omni’s circuits only go up to 1970.
Ralph protects Jeffrey and lunges at Bogg. They engage in a tug-of-war for a black book Bogg carried. Ralph knocks Jeffrey out the window. Bogg dives to save him while activating his Omni. They land in Egypt, 1450 BC.
When the Omni is red, it means history’s wrong, and Bogg doesn’t know why without his Voyager Guidebook. He argues with Jeffrey and blames him and his dog for losing it. They find a baby basket stuck in the reeds, and Jeffrey realizes they’re on the Nile River, and the baby is Moses. Bogg thinks the baby will drown if they push him out. But the Pharaoh’s daughter is meant to find Moses, according to Biblical history. Her camp is just downstream of them.
Jeffrey’s father was a history professor, and Jeffrey shares his love and in-depth knowledge of history. Jeffrey activates the Omni, and they tumble downhill into the path of a Mongolian invasion. Bogg quickly time-travels with him, and they land in France, 1918.
Bogg and Jeffrey help silent Hollywood film actress Mary Murphy and her wounded Pilot, WWI flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker, escape a dangerous gunfire battle. Rickenbacker tells Jeffrey that he’d never heard of the Wright Brothers or successful aviation. WWI is being fought entirely through ground combat.
Jeffrey insists they need to go back in time to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. However, no one had ever even heard of the Wright brothers. Bogg’s frustrated with all the history hopping and argues with Jeffrey, making a hurtful remark about his dead father. Jeffrey runs away and cries, and Bogg realizes he was wrong and comforts him. Jeffrey later tells Bogg how his parents died in a tragic camper fire. Bogg agrees to travel to Dayton, Ohio, to learn why the brothers gave up the airplane.
Orville and Wilbur Wright fancy the same coquettish woman named Agnes, and it’s causing a rift in their relationship. Agnes also flirts with Bogg at the brothers’ bicycle shop. The Voyagers walk into chaos just as Wilbur announces that Orville’s flying idea is crazy. They both almost destroy their test-glider.
That night Bogg repairs it while Jeffrey writes phony love letters to the Wrights and Agnes to all secretly meet at a cliff.
Despite Jeffrey’s fears, Bogg takes to flight with the repaired glider. The brothers are thrilled and forget all about the feud and Agnes. They eagerly walk off to continue improving their invention.
Bogg and Jeffrey return to France in 1918 and discover Eddie Rickenbacker had to make an emergency plane landing with Mary Murphy because he was injured. The famed Red Baron challenged him to an aerial dogfight. Bogg takes Eddie’s place, and Jeffrey insists on flying with him. During a dangerous air duel, Jeffrey shoots the Red Baron’s plane down, and the Red Baron escapes. The Voyagers hit the Omni just as their plane crashes.
Bogg and Jeffrey become partners in time!
1. The character Mary Murphy is meant to be actress Mary Pickford. Her estate at the time wouldn’t allow producers to use the Pickford name. On the Voyagers from the Unknown (1984) made-for-video film, Mary Pickford’s name appears on the VHS box. She’s also referred to as Mary Pickford in the Voyagers! Junior Novel.
2. Bogg’s hair is straight in the pilot episode and curlier for the rest of the series.
3. The set of Jeffrey’s Dream sequence is the same set used later in “World’s Apart” When Bogg is captured along with Lawrence of Arabia and held in the Arabian prison camp.
4. The beach scenes were shot by the rocky cliffs of Point Dume, a famous State beach in Malibu, California.
Jon-Erik’s mother, Gretha, spread her son’s ashes in the ocean near Point Dume.
5. When Phineas is flying on the Wright Brother’s glider, a jet contrail is visible above him.
6. As Jeffrey and Phineas walk along the Nile River banks, bamboo shoots in planters are visible.
7. The small model airplane Jeffrey picks up in the Wright brothers’ workshop is a bi-plane design. But, the Wright brothers haven’t realized they need an extra wing for added lift. They only discuss it after Bogg crashes the single-wing glider.
8. In “The Trial of Phineas Bogg,” four clips from this episode are shown.
9. Bogg’s original boots have zippers on them. It’s not clear if they are supposed to be authentic seventeenth-century footwear. Zippers weren’t introduced until 1851, and the modern zipper was invented in 1913 by Gideon Sundback.
10. Jeffrey’s red and white-striped Nike sneakers may be standard gear for time-travelers of the ’80s.
They are the same ones Marty McFly wears in Back to the Future (1985). However, Nike sneakers didn’t offer as much colorful variety in the early ’80s as they do today.
11. In the end tag of the opening credits, Bogg looks at his Omni and says, “Green-light, kid! We did it!” There’s a black and blue mark on his right thumb. His hand was healing from a wound after Meeno accidentally slammed it in a door off-camera.
12. Meeno Peluce’s stunt double (Possibly Bobby Porter for this scene) is wearing light blue jeans while shooting at the Red Baron from the bi-plane. Jeffrey was wearing dark red and orange knickers from the previous time-zone with the Wright Brothers.
13. Eddie Rickenbacker could not have been known as a top American flying ‘Ace’ in 1918. He’d only made his first flight mission on April 6, 1918. He didn’t achieve “Top American” status until May 30, after downing two German Fokkers in one day. By then, Richthofen (Red Baron) had already died. During that brief time between April and May, Rickenbacker flew circles with Richthofen, but he was not victorious in a dogfight until April 26, five days after Richthofen’s death. The Voyagers may have appeared sometime in April during one of those circle flights.
14. Five scenes from the Pilot appear in flashbacks during “The Trial of Phineas Bogg.”
15. If you look closely at Jeffrey’s book cover, it’s possibly a production image from the pirate dream sequence. Also noted, when Jeffrey walks to the bookshelf, he has the book in hand, not the photo of his parents, but the quick cut shows the book already in place as he’s setting his parent’s picture down.
16. According to the Voyagers! Junior Novel and an early script – the fierce battle they encountered after helping baby Moses involved Genghis Khan’s army. Jeffrey acknowledges the Mongolian Emperor, but there’s no time to stick around! On a side note, In Back to the Future III (1989), a similar stampede occurred when Marty McFly appeared in the middle of a Native American raid with the DeLorean in 1885 Old Hill Valley.