Back to the Future for Richard Thomas
Investigative journalist Richard Kerm (Kaj-Erik Eriksen) left his hometown of Glenville to make it in the big city, the trouble is that every time the going gets tough he gets going and he leaves his job. It is why more than a decade after leaving Glenville and breaking promises he returns home after an investigative piece he wrote caused a death. But being back in Glenville leads to a strange occurrence when he meets Dick (Richard Thomas) who much to his shock is actually him from 25 years in the future having shown up in the present to prevent Richard making a mistake. That mistake involves his engaged high school sweetheart Jackie (Christine Chatelain) who he is still fond of and a big store which Jackie, as the mayor, is backing coming to Glenville but Dick knows will end up spoiling the charm of Glenville and putting small shops out of business.
"Time after Time" really needs a third time in the title because there are three things going on here and combines two TV movie cliches in the process. The first one is that old chestnut of the guy returning to his hometown and of course seeing the one that got away, the high school sweetheart who he regrets not making things work with when he left town all those years ago. Time after time I have come across that cliche in a Hallmark movie and as you would expect you now what to expect the minute it presents itself in this movie.
But then you have that next thing and "Time after Time" is another made for TV movie which highlights the plight of small town America which on one hand could do with the injection of cash which comes from big business but at the same time are under threat from those big businesses as little businesses suffer as they can't compete. I am not going to say that for a minute "Time after Time" does a good job of exploring this catch 22 situation but at least it doesn't ignore a true dilemma affecting towns.
And then there is that third cliche which sees Richard Thomas travelling back in time and getting the chance to prevent the younger version of himself from making some mistakes. The thing is that usually this cliche would be the focus of the movie but here it is reversed and so rather than "Time after Time" being told from the view point of the older character it is told from the younger perspective. And do you know what it works but what would have also worked is they should have made two movies at the same time, this one from the perspective of Richard and a second from the perspective of the older Dick.
Now with "Time after Time" being told from the young Richard's point of view it is Kaj-Erik Eriksen who is the star and he plays this typical Hallmark role in a typically solid fashion, nothing overly remarkable but nothing off putting either. But then you have Richard Thomas who for fans of "The Waltons" will get a kick out of him playing a journalist here although trust me not one like John Boy. In fact Richard Thomas brings a lot of comedy to "Time after Time" and seems to be having a lot of fun getting to be over the top.
What this all boils down to is that "Time after Time" isn't anything new, it is just some TV movie cliches effectively packaged together. But for the intended TV movie loving crowd it works, especially those who enjoy seeing Richard Thomas on their screens.