The Time Traveller

It has been four years since Andrea Johnson lost her husband in an accident, now raising her young son Tim alone on the Greek island of Mykonos, a small fishing village on the rocky coast which could not be more removed from her former life as the wife of an astronaut, quiet, safe and anonymous, until one day a storm brings lightning and angry seas and a strange man, naked, unconscious, amnesiac, with a tattoo on his right shoulder, the number 01313-1.

Taking him in, clothing and feeding him, the man takes the name Glenn and is intensely curious, speaking English fluently but often with little understanding of the words and no memory of his past, carrying only the knowledge that he has travelled far until realising in a flash of insight that he has come from the future, Timmy immediately believing his fantastic story while Andrea is less convinced.

A director best known for horror, thrillers, action movies and general exploitation flicks such as Island of Death, The Wind, Nightmare at Noon and Bloodstone, often set among the islands of his homeland, The Time Traveller is a departure for Nico Mastorakis, slow paced and philosophical as the newcomer explores his new condition, though presented more with a childish inquisitiveness than a questing intellect and soporific rather than thoughtful.

Starring The Fog’s Adrienne Barbeau as Andrea and 2001: A Space Odyssey’s Keir Dullea as Glenn, he had recently worked with Mastorakis on Blind Date, also released in 1984, and would soon reprise his role as David Bowman on 2010, and there is a sense that both were cast for their associations with science fiction and the fantastic in order to make the film more marketable, a desire emphasised by Timmy (Jeremy Licht) being an avowed Star Wars fan with posters and a dog named Artoo.

Titled The Next One in some territories, The Time Traveller’s science fiction credentials are entirely superficial, less The Man Who Fell to Earth and more a man who walks the shores leaving footprints in the sand as he seeks meaning, a product of the emergence of new age consciousness and mysticism through the seventies and Mastorakis’ clumsy attempt to tie it with more traditional religion, the locals of the Greek island devout in their faith and the tragedy which drives the finale occurring at Easter.

A morality play of contrived dilemmas, the scorned man who out of rage sabotages Glenn’s boat, the children who live by the sea yet none of them learned to swim, the scorned woman who blackmails a murderer into marriage, The Time Traveller exists in an intellectual and dramatic vacuum, failing to engage the heart or mind despite the genuine warmth of Dullea and Barbeau, trite when it should be challenging, dull when it should be daring; Jésus de Montréal it’s not.

The Time Traveller will be available on the Arrow platform from Friday 21st June



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