A TIE–IN, DIRECT–TO–VIDEO FEATURE FROM 1984.
Voyager From The Unknown is a direct-to-video movie which combined the Pilot and "Voyagers of the Titanic." I was critical of this film in the past because it's simply two edited episodes and the continuity between them fails. Bogg's physique is suddenly more muscular, he has darker hair with a shorter cut, and Jeffrey had a growth spurt within the span of one voyage.
Some new elements made Voyager From The Unknown stand out:
It featured a Control computer with a female voice making snide comments about Bogg. It's like the predecessor of "Ziggy" the female computer with an ego on Quantum Leap. The scenes when Bogg and Jeffrey time travel cut away to a gigantic processor with zooming lights powering on and off. There's random inserts of early 80's computer tech calculating time travel with equations from Einstein's theory of relativity.
The voyage through the cosmos featured shiny blue wormholes and green and yellow flashes of lightning with a metallic sound. Bogg and Jeffrey literally fly in never before seen clips. The flying shots were deleted footage from the original Pilot and "Voyagers of the Titanic" episode.
This is a very rare VHS Dummy sheet featuring original cover artwork for Voyager From the Unknown. Below was a more common VHS cover found in Video stores throughout the Country.
"Far out in the cosmos there exists a planet known as Voyager, where the mystery of travel into space and through time has been solved. It is inhabited by a race who call themselves Voyagers. Their purpose is to keep constant surveillance on history. These people have a time machine device, the Omni, which will take them into the past, present or future. As each Voyager graduates he is given an omni and a guidebook. One such graduate Phineas Bogg, who was assigned as a field worker to operate in certain time zones."
At first, this quote didn't make sense since Phineas Bogg explains in the Pilot – "We're the people that are plucked out of time and trained to travel through the ages..."
In "Old Hickory and the Pirate," Bogg reveals that he was once a pirate, not a native of Planet Voyager. From the Pilot it's obvious by his outfit. Phineas is simply a field worker plucked out of time and trained for the work. On Planet Voyager, a ruling race of people have discovered the secrets of Time and space manipulation. These Voyagers appointed themselves, or were appointed, as authorities over Earth's history. Fans of Doctor Who are reminded of the Time Lords.
Planet Voyager's backstory is narrated in Voyager from the Unknown, we never actually see them. However, on the show we meet a Tribunal of judges, Garth, Brindle, and Kane, they were also formerly Phineas' Academy Professors.
The Voyager Council must decide who to pick for their ranks after scouring the time zones for candidates. People like Phineas Bogg go through a rigorous training and education process at the Academy to get brought up to speed with Earth's history. We could've gotten more world-building of Planet Voyager and its goals if Voyagers! had a longer run on television.
In Voyager From the Unknown Bogg tells Jeffrey:
"Where's Columbus kid? Where am I? What'd I do wrong?"
"It was Control Computer's idea to come into Dayton!"
Those are new lines of dialogue. The downside was that Meeno hit puberty. So his voice-over dubs were too deep compared to his pre-pubescent voice. It was a shame they couldn't have produced 2 new adventures. Or one movie to tie up loose ends from the show. But Jon-Erik had already moved on to Cover Up and less than a month later had his tragic accident.
Because Voyagers! lasted 1 season, memorabilia tie-ins were hard to find. No Bogg and Jeffrey action figures, play-sets, and toy omnis, no coloring books or snazzy tin lunch-boxes. There's only ONE single tie-in book published by Scholastic Inc., yet its the company that co-produced Voyagers! There should've been a few more written. The book didn't even have pictures, save for the cover. Usually those 70's & 80's Tie-ins had a middle section for them. Scholastic produced one illustrated poster with history activities to promote Voyagers! in schools.
Between 1982 and '83, the Scholastic Weekly Readers Newsletters given out in schools made mention of Voyagers!, but those are hard to come by.
Where was the love and support? Jon-Erik tried to save the show making appearances and guest spots on the radio across the country. Meeno appeared at conventions, James Parriott and his team did their best to create interesting episodes. A lot of money was pumped into advertising "Cleo and the Babe," produced in honor of the World Series, but that game proved to be the show's downfall when Voyagers! was pre-empted and the budget dropped.
The most fascinating aspect of Voyager From the Unknown is the beautiful artwork by Jerry "Jaroslav" Gebr seen in the opening and closing credits. It envisions Planet Voyager as a vast, unexplored wasteland with a futuristic complex designed to house the Academy.
VOYAGER FROM THE UNKNOWN
Screen Captures of the new scenes and original artwork