ABC Announces Kevin Williamson Time-Travel Series ‘Time After Time’

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By Karen Valenzuela, @VictoriaNoir89

If you’ve seen the Scream films, Dawson’s Creek, Stalker, The Vampire Diaries, or The Following, you know Kevin Williamson’s work. He has created many staples in American television, and one of the most successful horror film franchises in the history of the genre.

Williamson is working on a new project that has officially been bought by ABC. He is now under a deal with a script commitment to create a series based off of Karl Alexander’s 1979 sci-fi novel Time After Time. In the novel, esteemed 19th century novelist and one of the forefathers of the sci-fi genre, H.G. Wells (The Time Machine, War of the Worlds), builds a time machine. Wells shows the invention to his dinner guests, not knowing that one of them is the famed serial killer, Jack the Ripper. Police discover evidence linking the guilty surgeon to the murders and he flees to the future using Wells’ time machine. Feeling responsible, Wells follows Jack the Ripper to 1979 in order to bring him back to his own time where he must face justice for his actions.

Williamson will write the script for the new series, and he will also be the executive producer of the series. His other writing credits include the films from both the Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer horror franchises. There was quite a bit of humor and satire filtered through those films, which makes one wonder how much of that will be in the Time After Time script, or if it will be strictly drama and horror. Only time will tell. (No pun intended.)

TIME AFTER TIME TNM PIC 1

Time After Time was made into a popular film directed by Nicholas Meyer in 1979, before Karl Alexander had even finished the novel, as a matter of fact. Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Tank Girl) portrayed H.G. Wells. David Warner (the bad guy scientist in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, because that will always be his most important role) played Leslie John Stevenson/Jack the Ripper. Mary Steenburgen (Back to the Future Part III, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?) played Amy, the modern woman who helps Wells capture Stevenson, becoming our hero’s romantic interest in the process.

There’s absolutely some humor and satire in the film. H.G. Wells’ expectations about the future of mankind are shattered repeatedly once he gets to 1979. There’s a scene where he follows a woman dressed in revealing clothing (those women in 1979 San Francisco were so liberated, oh my goodness) and documents his findings in his notebook. He’s almost run over by a car a few times. And he’s thoroughly weirded out by airplanes. Not to mention his surprise and disappointment when he discovers that there have been multiple world wars, and that crime still runs rampant. One of the best parts of the film is when Jack the Ripper says, “Ninety years ago, I was a freak. Now I’m an amateur.” Ouch, modern world. Very ouch.

TIME AFTER TIME TNM PIC 2
H.G. Wells and Jack the Ripper casually channel surfing.

No dates have been announced for the series as of yet, but we’ll keep you updated here, nerds! Let us know if you’re excited about this announcement in the comments!

Here’s the trailer that was released for the film back in 1979:


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