Classic TV shows: Voyagers!

Broadcast in the first half of the 80s, Voyagers! was above all an educational show, full of History and sci-fi before it was cool.


Instead of games, in this first post on Memória BIT I decided to remember an old TV show (no, I'm not going to talk about the damn Jaspion!, at least for now), which aired in Brazil in the first half of the 80s: Voyagers!

Flying Voyagers stars
The Voyagers travelling by time towards some new adventure.

Many adults today certainly enjoyed this show, which, despite its short run, left a lasting impression. Produced by the American network NBC between 1982 and 1983, Voyagers! mixed the genres of science fiction and fantasy, telling the story of two adventurers who, thanks to a special artifact, travel through time fighting to prevent history from being changed.

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The show was created by James D. Parriott, an important name in TV fiction with a resume that includes The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman and the best-known version in Brazil of The Incredible Hulk, which featured Bill Bixby as Dr. Banner and was also shown during that period.

All of these TV shows were big in the 1980s.

Dynamic duo

Voyagers - Omni
Red light on the Omni: something is off the rails. Bogg's Omni often malfunctions, sending the traveler to unexpected places and causing confusion.

The heroes of the day are an adult and a boy. Phineas Bogg, the adult (played by Jon-Erik Hexum) is a member of a society of time travelers known as the Voyagers.

The plot begins when Bogg, the typical conquering and clumsy hero (with a touch of Jack Sparrow and even the story tells he was also a pirate), accidentally ends up in New York in the year 1982. To help them in their tasks, the Voyagers had as a tool the Omni, a strange mix of compass and pocket watch, able to control and trigger the trips.

They also had a manual – a history book, which, when printed in the future, served as a reference for the Voyager to carry out his mission of keeping everything in its proper place at the time they were visiting. If history was being modified, the Omni would show a red light. If everything was okay, it would show a green light, and the traveler had accomplished the mission.

After falling into the wrong time due to a defect in his Omni, Bogg involves a local boy, the orphan Jeffrey Jones, played by Meeno Peluce, in the mess. When he makes a mistake on his trip, Bogg appears inside the apartment of Jeffrey's uncles, where the boy lives (against their will, since he became an orphan).

Friends by accident

Ralph - Manual
Ralph comes into possession of Bogg's history book in 1982, paving the way for the duo's adventures.

Bogg is attacked by Ralph, the dog. While trying to calm it, Jeffrey falls out of the apartment window and to save him, Bogg jumps in and grabs the boy in mid-air, activating the Omni, so they can escape alive, but towards some random point in time.

To make matters worse, Bogg's history textbook stays behind, in the dog's mouth in 1982. With the Omni not working properly and without much knowledge of the subjects – he was a terrible student – ​​he will count on the help of Jeffrey, a studious and great connoisseur of the subject. This is the beginning of many adventures for the duo, who, among others, help Thomas Edison invent the light bulb and the Wright brothers create the airplane.

Despite Bogg's romantic adventures (in each era they visited, there was always a beautiful woman to be conquered), the show had a high educational content, with numerous historical facts forming the basis of the plots.

Other travelers appeared regularly, such as Drake, Susan and Olivia. Their role was almost always to get the main characters out of trouble. At the beginning of each episode, the unforgettable phrase was repeated:

We travel through time to help history along... give it a push where it's needed. When the Omni's red, it means history's wrong. Our job is to get everything back on track.
Voyagers - episódio Worlds Apart
Defective Omni putting the duo in cold situations...

As the show unfolds, details such as Bogg and Jeffrey's past are revealed. It is discovered that the death of his parents was not entirely by chance and that in fact, his destiny was exactly that: to become a Voyager.


The show was well-received in the United States and also in Brazil. Broadcast by SBT at early night (if I'm not mistaken), children eagerly awaited to watch the time-traveling adventures and some even played Voyager. Any junk, such as a stone or a broken clock, became an Omni and a book or notebook was the history manual. Yes, I played Voyager.

But despite the educational side, Voyagers! was not tolerated by American TV content control agencies. It was accused of showing violent scenes; there were indeed some sword fights, shootings and fights. Nothing too strong or appealing.

Voyagers - Omni fechado
Voyagers' logo on the Omni.

Since NBC wanted to put a variety show in its place, Voyagers! was canceled after only 20 episodes. Furthermore, even though it may seem a bit poor when you watch it today, the costs were high for the time, both in terms of special effects and production. Recreating historical settings, costumes and all that ambiance was expensive.

The special effects were poor by today's standards. When they traveled through time, the duo appeared on a chroma key space set, flying towards strange luminous geometric shapes. Only a little better than Chavo Del Ocho when Florinda kicks Don Ramon and he flies into the air, or  when Chapolin shrinks. But it was fun, kids loved it.

Where is the cast?

Jon-Erik Hexum died tragically at the age of 26, while filming the show Cover Up. The actor played a prank with one of the prop guns, placing it on his temple and firing it – without knowing that its plastic and paper contents could be fatal if fired at close range. He suffered a severe head injury, with brain damage that led to his death five days later, on October 12, 1984.

Meeno Peluce, who played Jeffrey, appeared in several classic 80s' shows, such as The A-Team, Starsky and Hutch, Arnold and Punky. In adulthood, he worked in films and became a photographer of some renown.

voyagers phineas jeffrey

Voyagers! was released in a 5-DVD collection, dubbed and remastered. If you liked the show and want to relive the memories, look for it, definitely worth the price.

Great memories!

Revised in 2021.

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