Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Sunday 7:00 PM Oct 03, 1982 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
23 votes

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Episode Summary

A time traveller, Phineas Bogg, accidentally materializes outside the bedroom of a 12-year old orphan, Jeffrey Jones, in 1982.

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  • New York orphan Jeffrey Jones is accidentally yanked out of 1982 by a big, handsome lug of a time-traveler who likes to work alone. But that might just change....

    The pilot episode has everything that makes VOYAGERS! great. Meeno Peluce, playing Jeff, was pure curly-haired moppet, closely resembling his sister (Soleil Moon-Frye) in her famous big-eyed orphan role of Punky Brewster (in later episodes, Jeff is approaching puberty and--while always fun--not quite so Cute with a Capital C). Jon-Erik Hexum was allowed to be extra scruffy, with shaggy hair and a torn shirt, before network executives decided to neaten him up. The chemistry between the two stars is unmistakable, and goes a long way to make up for the occasional silly prop or historical gaffe. While VOYAGERS! was always supposed to be educational--a goal at which it only partly succeeded, since its youth orientation demanded major simplifications--what made it truly stand out were the characters.

    The pilot gives us character in spades! Jeff's strength, along with the intelligence he inherited from his history professor dad and his refusal to think of himself as a little guy (except when trying to manipulate someone with those big eyes), is his vulnerability. When we first see him, we learn that both his parents have recently died and he and his dog are living with an aunt who can't help resenting how her sudden inheritence of a little boy have limited her life. All this changes with the arrival of a big, shaggy-haired guy outside Jeff's highrise window. Jeff's dog leaps to the boy's defense and, in the ensuing struggle, Jeff is knocked out the window -- at which point our fearless intruder, Voyager Phineas Bogg, makes the first of what will be many foolhearted but BIGhearted leaps of rescue, right out the window... leaving the dog and, unfortunately, Bogg's handbook, behind.

    Thus begins our series set-up. Bogg's "omni" (his time-travel device) wasn't supposed to go as far as 1982, and thus he can't get Jeff back to his own time, OR return to retrieve his guidebook. Luckily for him, Jeff's a whiz for history and, after some suspicion of the whole time-travel concept, adapts with kid-like speed and proves himself surprisingly useful in Egypt (they meet baby Moses), World War I (they meet Eddie Rickenbacker and a barely-disguised Mary Pickford), and the USA in the early 20th century (where they seek out the Wright Brothers). Not that Bogg immediately sees Jeff's usefulness!

    It's easy to break Jeff and Bogg into a brains-and-brawn dynamic, and to some extent its true. But what has kept so many fans loyal to the show, even after 25 years, is that Bogg's real strength isn't his undeniable (and undeniably good looking) brawn. It's his HEART. When he's just being brawny guy, Mr. Adventure, Mr. I-Don't-Need-Anybody... that's when he's least likable, although the attitude is understandable. It's when he's holding Jeff while Jeff cries out the story of what happened to his parents, and how quickly he melts in the presence of a pretty girl, and how immediately he rushes to the rescue of people who need his help, no matter the danger to himself -- all those things are what makes us not just admire Bogg for his/Jon Erik Hexum's golden looks, but for his spirit. We see it when he first leaps out the window after Jeff, which is why we cut him some slack as Bogg works through his issues about working alone, and why his lack of historical details (he was distracted by a pretty girl in class) is endearing instead of annoying.

    So yes -- as an adventure/time-travel/educational show, the pilot episode of VOYAGERS! is definitely good. Where it's great is in its establishment of the tight relationship that begins to grow between Bogg and Jeff, and the fact that each needs the other in order to be their best selves. The pilot is the first episode in which Jeff, as a cover, introduces Bogg as his dad--a ploy Bogg immediately resists. Bogg later introduces Jeff as his nephew, and Jeff's expression makes it clear that he sees the demotion as a rejection. When, later, BOGG uses the cover of calling Jeff his son, the viewer knows that whatever happens, these two time travelers are going to stick together.

    I don't know about the rest of you, but that dynamic is the biggest reason I tuned in, episode after episode, throughout the series.

    It's a great start to a great friendship.moreless
  • Great show with potential but on a bad time slot.

    Great show that was really a kids show as well as

    I think would had been great potential had it

    Not been against 60 Minutes as it starred Jon Erik Hexum

    In his first tv series as a not too bright time traveller

    Who was more muscle than brain as Meeno Peluce starred as the brains of the bunch as if it was on a different night then it would had succeeded IMHO! Just a very educational show.moreless
Ed Begley Jr.

Ed Begley Jr.

Wilbur Wright

Guest Star

Donald Petrie

Donald Petrie

Orville Wright

Guest Star

Sondra Currie

Sondra Currie

Agnes Spence

Guest Star

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • (after helping Orville and Wilbur, Bogg looks at the Omni)
      Bogg: Green light, kid.
      Jeffrey: But we can't leave now. Not yet.
      Bogg: Got to.
      Jeffrey: But they're going to invent the airplane. We could be there, we could help.
      Bogg: We've helped enough already. Look, I know it's hard. I've been there, too. But whenever you feel this way, you gotta think of all the interesting people in front of you, who really need your help. Heck, we're Voyagers, kid. We got responsibilities. Besides, don't you wanna see what all this has done?
      Jeffrey: (smiles) Yeah!

    • Eddie: The only thing that's up in the air these days is zeppelins, and the Jerries are taking us to the cleaners with them.
      Jeffrey: You mean we're losing the war?
      Eddie: You better like sauerkraut.
      Jeffrey: But what about airplanes? You just go up in the air and shoot the zeppelins down.
      Eddie: Aeroplanes? Oh, kid, they can barely get those things off the ground. That Bleriot guy who invented them keeps landing in the English Channel.
      Jeffrey: Bleriot? But what about the Wright brothers?
      Eddie: Who?
      Jeffrey: Uh-oh.

    • Jeffrey: It's suicide!
      Bogg: I'm a Voyager, kid. Sometimes you gotta bite the bullet.

    • Jeffrey: And this whole thing's because of a girl?
      Bogg: Because of a girl? Kid, wars have been fought over women. One day, you'll understand. But I really don't blame Agnes. This is a case of three people being confused about what they really want. Agnes thinks she wants love when all she really cares about is romance. Orville and Wilbur think they want Agnes when all they really care about is flying.

    • Jeffrey: Who are you? What are you?
      Bogg: What am I? I'm a Voyager. You ever hear of one? 'Course not. No one has. We're the people that are plucked out of time and trained to travel through the ages to help history along. You know, uh, give it a shove where it's needed.

    • Bogg: Do you know what you've done? History's gonna change because you couldn't control your shaggy, little mutt. Empires are gonna fall. Wars are gonna rage! I'm gonna lose my job!
      Jeffrey: Your job? Who do you think you are? You break into my room, you knock me out a window, you bring me here, wherever I am. You deserve to lose your lousy job!
      Bogg: Yeah?!
      Jeffrey: Yeah!
      Bogg: Smart kids give me a pain.

  • NOTES (1)

    • CREW:

      Original Music by
      J.A.C. Redford (1983)

      Costume Design by
      Norma Brown

      Production Management
      Lorin Bennett Salob .... production manager
      Barry Stern .... production manager

      Art Department
      Tom Margozewitz .... assistant property master (uncredited)

      Sound Department
      Barney Cabral .... adr supervisor
      Mark Server .... boom operator

      Steve Kelso .... stunts

      Other crew
      Shawn Coulter .... photo double
      Shawn Coulter .... stand-in
      Aaron Hamilton .... stand-in
      Gregory B. Peña .... set costumer