Review: ‘Time Trax Return of the Yakuza’

The splendid premise for "Time Trax" has its hero, Capt. Darien Lambert, Fugitive Retrieval Section, in 2193 A.D., using a vertical time slide to pick up villains and returning to home base with his aide, computer-generated Selma. Trouble is, Lambert and Selma in the first opus of the series' second season romp around in a venture as guileless, transparent and formulaic as a kids' Western serial.

The splendid premise for “Time Trax” has its hero, Capt. Darien Lambert, Fugitive Retrieval Section, in 2193 A.D., using a vertical time slide to pick up villains and returning to home base with his aide, computer-generated Selma. Trouble is, Lambert and Selma in the first opus of the series’ second season romp around in a venture as guileless, transparent and formulaic as a kids’ Western serial.

Lambert, played with uncomplicated certainty by Dale Midkiff, is attacked by a pair of Japanese warriors outside Washington, D.C. Seems a Japanese clan leader, Hiroshi, whom Lambert once parked in the pokey, has escaped and wants his revenge. The lawman heads for Tokyo to confront Hiroshi (played firmly by Philip Moon) and is helped by a lovely cabaret hostess, Toshi (Tamlyn Tomita), who isn’t what she seems to be.

Not just one chase, but three good ones play with they-went-thataway enthusiasm, while Hiroshi’s enforcer and his aides plot traditional, uninventive ways to nail Lambert.

Selma (charmingly played by Aussie actress Elizabeth Alexander) appears periodically to help Lambert, but the future-world aspects are only touched on — there’s a whole missing dimension of the series.

Rob Stewart’s direction of Ruel Fischmann’s unsurprising teleplay is routine, as is most of the thesping. Tomita sparks the program, as do Stewart Burnside’s production design and Barry M. Wilson’s camerawork.

Time Trax Return of the Yakuza

(Mon.(24), 8-9 p.m., KCOP)

Production

Filmed at Warner Roadshow Movie World Studios in Queensland, Australia, by Gary Nardino Prods. and Warner Bros. TV. Exec producers, Harv Bennett, Jeffrey Hayes, Gary Nardino, Grant Rosenberg; co-producer, Dean Barnes; director, Rob Stewart; writer, Ruel Fischmann; creators, Bennett, Hayes, Rosenberg; developer, Bennett.

Crew

Camera, Barry M. Wilson; editor, Ronald La Vine; art director, Eugene Intas; sound, Paul Brincat; music, Garry McDonald, Laurie Stone; production designer, Stewart Burnside.

Cast

Cast: Dale Midkiff, Elizabeth Alexander, Tamlyn Tomita, Philip Moon, Soon-Teck Oh, Byron Mann, Ken Senga, Toshi Shimobo, Akira Yoshikawa, Aya Nakamura, Hiro Asari, Jason Chong, David Cordingley, Yuki Nishiyama.
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