Andy's Anachronisms
Time Travel Film Reviews

Grand Tour: Disaster in Time (1992)
also known as Timescape

Directed by David N Twohy


Before Innkeeper Ben Wilson (Jeff Daniels) and his young daughter Hillary can complete renovations to their new Inn, they are visited by a tour guide who insists on booking her group into the Inn for three days.

Wilson quickly becomes suspicious of his new guests and discovers they are time travellers that have come to his village of Greenglenn with a ghoulish motive. Wilsonís attempts to thwart the travellers plans, becomes even more crucial when life of his daughter is put at stake.


Initially intended as a theatrical release Grand Tour: Disaster in Time was aired as TV movie on HBO. As indicated earlier the film goes by a number of alternate names. I rented this movie under the name of TIMESCAPE, but has been aired on cable TV as Grand Tour: Disaster in Time. Based on the novella Vintage Season by Lawrence O'Donnell and C.L.Moore which may have provided the film with a good foundation to work from.

The film contains a number of plot twists sufficient to keep the audience entertained and intrigured. The film proved to be more entertaining than I had initially anticipated, due in large part to the writing and Jeff Daniels performance as Ben Wilson. The production values on this movie however, clearly places it in the realm of TV movie.

The portrayal of the time-travellers was a weak spot in the film for me, as they stood out too much what with their good looks and odd names. I realize that this was meant Surely a pre-requist for any sort of tourism to the past would be the ability to fit in without being noticed.

I appreciated the pacing of this movie. After the first disaster strikes at just about the half way point in the film, I wasn't sure what they were going to do for the remainder of the film.

Jeff Daniels turns in a great performance, not unlike his performance in Pleasantville (1998). I personally appreciate Daniels in these more dramatic roles than his recent trend of being cast as the goofy sidekick, a la Dumb and Dumber and My Favourite Martian.

This film also scores points in my books for coining a few new phrases to add to the Time Travel genre. The travellers refer to people not of their own time as By-goners since they are long dead. The travellers also refer to the disasters as spectacales which I thought helped emphasize the detatchment of the travellers from the impact of the events on the by-goners.

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