Time Trax is an American/Australian co-produced science fiction television series that first aired in 1993. It is about a police officer who has been sent through time to track down and return convicted criminals who have escaped into the past. This was the last new production from Lorimar Television.
In the year 2193, over a hundred criminals became fugitives of law enforcement by travelling back in time two hundred years, using a time machine called Trax. Darien Lambert (Dale Midkiff) was a police detective of that period who was sent back to 1993 in order to apprehend as many of the fugitives as possible. He was assisted by the Specified Encapsulated Limitless Memory Archive, or SELMA (Elizabeth Alexander), an extremely small but very powerful computer (described as equivalent to a mainframe) disguised for the mission as an AT&T MasterCard and communicated through a holographic interface which took the visual form of a prim British nanny. Lambert was also equipped with an MPPT (Micro-Pellet Projection Tube) disguised as a keyless car alarm remote, which could stun the target or engulf the target in an energy field which would render him transportable to the future, at which point Selma would execute the transmission sequence to send the criminal on his way. Lambert's biggest enemy was Dr. Mordecai Sahmbi (Peter Donat), who was responsible for sending the fugitives to 1993, and who tried several times to kill him.
Captain Lambert, fearing the possible consequences of altering the timeline, did not actively attempt to interfere with the natural flow of history, although he frequently left messages for his colleagues in 2193 (via the 'personals' sections of assorted newspapers). The series made occasional allusions to a theory of parallel timelines as a way of skirting the issue of temporal paradox, impling that the time travellers went into an alternate past so that their actions there had no effect on the 2193 "present."
"It began in the future. A scientist turning to evil, a time machine called TRAX, criminals who vanish and a lawman with a mission. He has one weapon and a computer named SELMA."
SELMA: Good Morning Captain Lambert.
"With them he will travel to a time more innocent than his own. Now he is among us. A special breed of man, a hunter, traveling through our world searching for fugitives from his own, knowing he can not go home until he has found them all. His name is Darian Lambert and this is his story."
"It began in the future. A time machine called TRAX, criminals who vanish, and a lawman who must pursue into the past. Now he is among us, a special breed of man. He has one weapon and a computer called Selma. With her, he will travel through our world, searching for fugitives from his own, knowing he cannot go home until he has found them all. His name is Darien Lambert and this is his story."
~ Captain, Fugitive Retrieval Section
Pre-Series (pilot narration)
He was born on August 17, 2160, 8:05 AM, Monday. He was left at the Bradwell orphanage (#35 "Mother"). Unclaimed by his birth parents; he was raised in Enclave I-6 Middle City, the area known long before as Chicago Land. As was the custom, he was allowed to choose his own name. He chose Darien, hero of the Just War of 2129, and Lambert, the surname of the woman who bore him; who he called mother even though all he had of her was her photograph.
He grew up a normal child of his times: IQ 204, Speed Memorization rate 1.2 pages per second (slightly above average). He was a competent athlete. His best speed for the 100 meters was 8.6 seconds, and for the Mile Run - 3 minutes 38 seconds. He wondered how the Olympic Champion could ever have done it 20 seconds faster. His heartbeat was a normal 35 beats per minute. His life expectancy - 120 years. His lungs were average, capable of air storage up to 6 minutes. Beta wave training had given his generation mind control capabilities unavailable 50 years before his birth. One of these was the ability to slow down the speed of visual images reaching the brain, popularly called "time stalling". It demanded rigorous training.
He was a solitary child; he lived among his memories. He was also a patriot. He admitted this to no one, because it was out of fashion. But he had feelings for his native land, once called the United States, and knew every detail of her history. He admired her early Fugitive Retrieval Specialists, the U.S. Marshals, and wondered why in later times so many of her criminals went unpunished. This belief system took him on a career path: The International Police Academy at West Point on Hudson.
In the same year, Dr. Mordecai Sahmbi of MIT won the Nobel Prize for physics for his theoretical work in the teletransportation of particle mass. Halfway around the earth, Sahmbi is idolized by the brilliant young prodigy, Elyssa Channing-Knox (Mia Sara). About to be accepted at MIT, she is nine years old. By the time she is 17, she will have become his most gifted student. These 2 people will change Lambert's life forever.
At WestPoint, Lambert excels; he learns Mosh-T an occidental improvement of martial arts. He becomes expert with the Pellet Projection Tube, the standard police weapon of the day. He graduates first in his class and is commissioned a Detective, Junior Grade. He is a Marshall at last. The years that follow are turbulent to Lambert. He learns the eternal lesson of his trade; a policeman stands alone. Nor is his isolation made easier by being a member of a minority race. [The crowd chants 'blanco'.] It is the 22nd century's most abrasive racial slur. His experiences have made him strong, yet by decade's end, a series of events have begun to shake his confidence.
His arrest record declines sharply. Routine track-downs end in mysterious disappearances. Suspects vanish without a trace. He begins to doubt his ability. Then, one day in the summer of '92...... (leads into the series)
(Primary Source: Introduction First Episode of "Time Trax")
- Mother's name is Kathryn (#10 "Treasure of the Ages")
- Darien says that SELMA looks like the picture that he drew of his mother. (#22 "One on One")
- Kathryn "Kit" Lambert Logan traveled with her now "ex-husband" who is a fugitive to the past. Darien meets her in episode #35 "Mother"
- Danny Lambertson, Boxer (#08 "The Contender")
- Donald Lombardi, Police (#09 "Night of the Savage")
- Darien Lind, Special Investigator of International Thoroughbred Racing Association (#20 "Photo Finish")
- Dan Longstreet, Reporter (#30 "The Cure")
- Daniel Lang, Former Police (#37 Split Image)
- Lambert is a Chicago Cubs fan, and during several episodes, wore a vintage 2145 Cubs' hat, which was the last time the Cubs' won the pennant. (200 years after the actual 1945 pennant)
See also Technology: SELMA
Selma was Darien's link to his past (or is that his future?) Selma was a computer, but a computer that seemed like a real person to Darien most of the time. They fought with one another and worried about each other. By the end of the series, SELMA almost "mothered" Darien and, despite her programming, admitted a deep pride in him. By all appearances the feeling was mutual.
Dr. Mordecai Sahmbi
- Dr. Mordecai Sahmbi of MIT, won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his theoretical work in the teletransportation of particle mass in the same year that Darien is admitted to the Police Academy at West Point (estimated about 2178) (#1 "Stranger in Time")
- As a child, Sahmbi's father used to drink and would beat him for going to the library, while his mother went into deep denial. (#22 "One on One")
Charlie "C.L." Burke
- Committed Treason in 22nd century (#1 "Stranger in Time")
- A violent neo-Nazi racist. Attempted to establish a Fourth Reich. Is the only known survivor of more than two doses of TXP, which left him disfigured.
- Young prodigy, accepted to MIT at age 9 (#1 "Stranger in Time")
- By age 17, she is Dr. Sahmbi's most gifted student. (#1 "Stranger in Time")
Annie Knox (Mia Sara)
Fugitive Retrieval Sergeant
- Worked with Darien Lambert and the Chief (#1 "Stranger in Time") (#3 "To Kill A Billionaire")
Country singer Caitlin Carlisle (Kassie Wesley DePaiva)
- One of Lambert's favorite singers. (#19 "Beautiful Songbird")
- His favorite songs are: "Mystery Man," which as it turns out is about him, and "Lofty Pines on Misty Mountains"
- Lambert's favorite comedian who turns out to be one of the fugitives. (#39 "The Lottery")
COP Christopher Elliott
- Episode 7 Australian Actor Christopher Elliott the unsuspecting Cop gets blown away when he investigates a supposed Father and Son who are loitering around a bank in the early hours of the morning.
Terminology & Technology
APTUX (Anti-gravity Personal Transport Unit, Experimental) :A personal flying belt.Blanco :It is the 22nd Century's most abrasive racial slur. It is a reference to Caucasians
, who are now a minority, something which the writers of the series no doubt considered to be an incredibly witty social commentary.CINDI (Consumer Information Network and Data Interface) :Cheap knock off and ineffectual version of SELMA. Image is a stereotypical blonde whose image blinks a lot. First appearance in the episode, "The Perfect Pair."IRV (Integrated Reference Vortex) :Simple version of SELMA.LEHCTR (Laser-end Heart Cardiac Trauma Replicator) :An alternative for steroids. Expands lung capacity while simultaneously accelerating the heart-rate. Because it is administered by laser, it is medically undetectable. During the 2188 Olympics, the winner of the 2nd heat of the 100 meter dash succumbed to total cardiovascular disintegration due to two injections of the LEHCTR just prior to the race. Darien encounters this drug in the episode "Photo Finish" when he suspects its use in a horse race.Mosh-T :An occidental
improvement of martial arts (some sources list this as Mash-Ti
).Myriad :Originally developed as a medical device in 2187 and later made famous as a weapon by Cordon Fuller. Symptoms of death in victims were characterized by an imploded brain.PPT (Pellet Projection Tube):Standard police weapon of the 22nd century. Darien carries a miniaturized state-of-the-art version that is known as a MPPT
(Miniature PPT), which is also engineered to look like a car remote. Darien's MPPT has three types of pellets that can be fired: blue pellets knock a person out for 2 minutes, green pellets for 3 hours, red pellets contain a dose of TXP that induces coma until the person struck is sent into the future by Selma's transmission tone.PV-12 :Highly addictive drug, widely spread in the 22nd century. Created by Prof. Alistair Alwyn.SELMA (Specified Encapsulated Limitless Memory Archive) :Similar computers were issued to the top five Police Captains in 2193. SELMA was unique in that she was programmed specifically for Darien and his mission. She was designed to look like a credit card and the holographic image she projected was based on a picture of Darien's mother.
- * General order number six prohibits her from participating in any unlawful act.SFD (Spontaneous Freezing Device) :Freezing WeaponTime Stalling :Popular name for a form of Beta Wave training giving the ability to slow down the speed of visual images reaching the brain. It demanded rigorous training.TRAX Project (Transtime Research And eXperimentation):Created by Dr. Mordecai Sahmbi, a time machine that permitted matter to be transported AKA "temported" precisely 200 years into the past and back again. The relationship between the two worlds is unclear - though Sahmbi receives messages from his subjects via 20th century newspapers in the pilot episode, in "Out For Blood" SELMA states that the timelines are parallel, not perpendicular - changes in the past (such as the episode's antagonist murdering all the ancestors of the policeman who killed his lover) cannot affect the future.TXP : A substance used in coordination with the TRAX project. Without it, any exposure to the TRAX machine was instantly lethal - though the substance itself was so toxic that it was believed that more than two doses would kill the user. Also, the substance could be used to instantly return a user to the TRAX machine - even before one travels to the past.Veda Gamma Infusion :Developed as a tool for psychoanalysis, forming a school called ADT, for Accelerated Dream Therapy. Its results were deadly.
(Technology Information was gleaned from "Teri's Time Trax Directory", "TV Acres", and episodes of the show.)
- 2129 The "Just War"
- 2142 First Contact - transmission received from the Procardians.
- 2160 August 17 - Darien Lambert is born
- 2164 The "War of the Hemispheres"
- abt. 2169 - Elyssa Channing-Knox is born
- abt. 2178 - Darien is admitted to the International Police Academy at West Point.
- abt. 2178 - Dr. Mordicai Sahmbi of MIT, wins Nobel Prize for Physics for his theoretical work in the teletransportation of particle mass.
- 2193 Lambert jumps to the past
- 1993 June 15 - Darien Lambert arrives in the past
Find Time Trax
For Nintendo Super NES
Do you have the guts to step into the shoes of Fugitive Retrieval Officer, Darien Lambert? Travel from the future to today's criminal underworld in an attempt to capture some smart thugs from the 22nd Century. Of course, your weapons and fighting skills will be years ahead of their time, but then so will your enemies. Taking place in our nations capital, the game sends you out on a massive hunt for scientist Mordicai Sahmbi, an assassin known as Sepp Dietrich, and a host of other bad dudes. Intelligent enemies, awesome combat maneuvers, and richly varied missions mark this epic chase through the centuries.
- Released April 1994, (although some sources list December 1993) by Malibu Games
- Rated E for everyone - 1 or 2 playersBooks :There are no known Time Trax books, but there are a few fan fiction stories. For a directory of Time Trax fan fiction go to: "Teri's Time Trax Directory"
Sources of Information Used In the Above Article: