One of my favorite movies from the late seventies is a film called ‘Time After Time’, which was a time travel fantasy in which HG Wells and his time machine come into play in order to hunt down Jack The Ripper, who has used time travel to go on a murderous rampage in modern day San Francisco.
The film was adapted from a book by Karl Alexander and was directed by Nicholas Meyer who went on to direct ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan’. The film starred Malcolm McDowell as HG Wells, David Warner as Jack The Ripper and Mary Steenburgen as Amy, who helps Wells put things right.
Yesterday it was revealed that ABC were going to create a television series based on Alexander’s book. The planned series is to be executive produced by Kevin Williamson who is best known for his work on ‘The Following’ and ‘Stalker’.
According to reports the plan is to use the 1979 movie as the television shows jumping off point. Which is an interesting decision given how the movie ended.
In the book and and in the feature the bestselling author of ‘The Time Machine’ and ‘War Of The Worlds’ — has invented a time machine. He shows the contraption to his friends, oblivious to the fact that one of them, surgeon Leslie John Stephenson, is in fact the infamous Jack the Ripper. When Scotland Yard detectives get on Stevenson’s trail, the murderer uses the time machine to flee to the future, getting transported to 1979 San Francisco. He is quickly followed by Wells who is trying to bring him to justice.
The movie was a fun and somewhat romantic adventure, which was also funny because Nicholas Meyer really played with the idea of Wells struggling with modern day technology. Another great aspect of the film was some of the commentary. Specifically some of the comments about society’s ills, but also the progress made being looked at through HG Wells Victorian perspective.
Obviously I’m a big fan of this movie and hope that an ABC TV series can keep all the best elements that we seen in the movie and keep it interesting.
Williamson will write the script and will executive produce Time After Time through his Outerbanks Entertainment and WBTV.