[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Time_Changer_1407.jpg]]

->''"Someone has just blasphemed the name of the Lord!"''

Russell Carlisle, a liberal theologian at a seminary in the late 1800s, has written a book on morality. The oldest preacher on the campus is warning him that the book is wrong, but he's been acting crazy for a while. Others at the seminary want it out so much that they are changing the rules of the seminary from unanimous to majority vote so it can get a seal of approval from the place.

It turns out that the oldest preacher on the campus has invented a time machine and seen the future; it's only since then that he's seemed crazy. He offers to send our protagonist forward. The rules are, the time traveler and his things can travel forward, but nothing from the future can travel back. Oh, and don't look up your own future (it's never spelled out why). There is a sending unit right there; after a set amount of time, he'll be retrieved.

So our protagonist is sent forward to NextSundayAD, figuratively speaking--specifically, 1999. He deals well enough with most of the technology, but the culture throws him--[[FridgeBrilliance he's isolated even relative to his own culture, remember!]] Dress codes, the lack of respect for elders, and films and TV throw him. Even the Christians of his era find him a bit kooky...

This film includes what may be the most creative way of showing corruption in film without ''showing'' it: church group enters theater; HardCut to protagonist running out shouting the page quote. You have to have an idea what blaspheming is, but if you do...

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!!Tropes:

* AnachronismStew: Unless the main character was so cloistered that he [[CultureBlind didn't know anything]] about his own society, (which is implied to be the case), his comments about the ubiquitousness of prostitution or the starving children on every street corner in the future ring false, since in his time they were ''worse''.
* AntiquatedLinguistics
* AuthorFilibuster
* CensorshipBureau: Moral codes, especially man-made moral codes, are a major theme of this film.
* CharacterFilibuster: Frequently. At least some of them are literal sermons.
* CorruptChurch
* CultureBlind: The protagonist appears to be blissfully unaware of how society really works in both in the past and the future.
* DeusExMachina (perhaps literally)
* DiscretionShot
* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop: Russell's original manuscript was actually rather progressive ([[TheFundamentalist for him]]), as it advocated being a good person and doing good deeds because it's the morally right thing to do, rather than doing so because of your religious faith. In the end, he's convinced by the "evil" future where people actually follow this and have become more non-secular as a result, that you can ''only'' be a good person if you accept the Lord.
* FishOutOfTemporalWater
* TheFundamentalist: The protagonist often comes across as one.
* TheFutureIsShocking: The entire purpose of the film is to have its protagonist, a 19th century theology professor, be shocked at how immoral the present day is.
* HeyItsThatGuy:
** Jennifer O'Neill from ''RioLobo'' and ''SummerOf42'' as a 21st century librarian.
** [[Series/TheMaryTylerMooreShow Gavin]] [[TheLoveBoat MacLeod]] as Norris Anderson.
** [[Series/BarneyMiller Hal Linden]] as the dean.
*** Producer Rich Christiano apparently likes casting [=MacLeod=] opposite another late-1970s Creator/{{ABC}} star. In his most recent film, ''TheSecretsOfJonathanSperry'', [=MacLeod=] is teamed with [[{{Soap}} Robert]] [[SportsNight Guillaume]].
* InsistentTerminology[=/=]SingleIssueWonk: the reason Russell's book couldn't get unanimous approval was that it advocated good morality but didn't insist that Jesus Christ be connected to it. To Anderson, this is worse than nothing because Jesus is the authority behind the moral code.
* MadScientist -- he's mad by the time we meet him, anyway.
* {{Masquerade}} -- Russell Carlisle is told not to let anyone know when he's from.
* MoralDissonance: this is a film about, among other things, the evil of films and TV in general.
** Indeed, it's an example of TheMoralSubstitute. It was offered for purchase on televangelist Jack Van Impe's show, as are similar low-budget faith-based films. They're sold to viewers through mail order, screened for church groups, and/or aired on channels like Trinity Broadcasting Network rather than given wide theatrical release.
* MundaneFantastic: it's a time travel film, but the time travel is the only SciFi element there.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone
* NextSundayAD
* NewMediaAreEvil: The decline of civilization is blamed on UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode in films, because it made films seem okay when they weren't.
* SchizoTech (solar-powered time machine)
* SelectiveObliviousness: When the question is "will you try out the secret time machine?" Anderson simply will not take "no" for an answer.
* SeriousBusiness: Seminary approval. The book would have been published either way, but getting the approval is considered so critical that Carlisle doesn't want to send the manuscript in without it.
* TakeOurWordForIt: if it is evil and it can be shown entirely visually, it will ''not'' be shown -- even when that requires creative filming.
* TheThemeParkVersion: Because a fundamentalist Christian film ''can't'' show the full reality of modern (im)morality.
* TimeMachine: Solar-powered!
* TimeTravel
* ValuesDissonance: The point of the trip through time, even InUniverse.
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