Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel
A 2009 comedy science-fiction film about time-travel starring Chris O'Dowd and made by the BBC.
Ray, a science-fiction "imagineer"
has just been fired from his job as an entertainer at a theme park. He goes to their local that night with his friends, fellow nerd, Toby, and Pete, who is less than enthused about the concept of Sci-Fi. Ray happens to run into a lady named Cassie, who claims to be a time-traveller from the future. Pete tops this story, however, when he returns from the bathroom having seen the entire pub massacred at some point in the near future. From this point, the three friends have a mighty misadventure going in and out of the time-rift gents, landing them 30 minutes in the past, then in peril, then substantially less peril, then life-threatening peril.
This film provides examples of:
- Anachronism Stew: The trio dressed like hobos in the distant future, also discussed by Ray and Cassie in regards to the mechanics of Time Travel itself.
- Bad Future: The year 2094 seems to be this, complete with ash covered ruined buildings and giant Ants, though it is never mentioned what caused it. As the trio was reading the expiration date off of a bag of possibly-expired crisps the year may be even later, depending on advances in preservatives in the 84 years in between.
- Pete implies that the far-future has terrible things in it that only come out at night. He admits it might have been the past, but if it was, those things definitely weren't in the fossil record.
- Bait and Switch: When in the far future, the trio hear a unnerving noise that sounds like giant insects approaching. They flee, only for the noise to be from a man pushing a rusty shopping trolley... and then he gets his head bitten off by a giant ant.
- Brief Accent Imitation: In the opening scene, Ray does a decent American accent (albeit with a bit of Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping).
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Cassie, who's despite being a Time Agent, needs Ray to explain certain aspects of time travel to her.
- Subverted with Ray, who's tendency to get too in-character as a Space Marine gets him fired from his job.
- Butterfly of Doom: Mentioned by Ray several times, though never actually seems to happen until the end, where changing history seems to have created an Alternate Universe.
- Future Loser: Played straight with Pete, who becomes a nervous wreck after traveling randomly through time for two months.
- Future Shadowing: Used several times, firstly when Pete briefly sees the massacred pub in the future, but we don't realize it's because a Time Traveller was trying to kill Ray, Pete and Toby until the very end where such a thing happens, nor do we see why they become famous in the future. A very subtle one is also used when the Trio first travel in time, a disguised Ray from further still in the future is seen standing next to Present Ray for a moment, but it's not revealed until later.
- Grandfather Paradox: Referenced by name by Ray.
- "Don't fuck anyone! Or you might end up being your own Grandfather."
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Pete is Shakespeare!
- Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: Both discussed and played straight, in that killing famous people from history is a 'Time Crime'.
- Leading to the amusing revelation that Paris Hilton either wasn't remembered in the future, or at some point was wiped from history and no-one noticed, cared, or wanted to change things back.
- Our Time Machine Is Different: The Time Travelers have their machines built into their very bones, allowing them to Time Travel at will.
- Out of Time, Out of Mind: Averted. Pete disappears for what looks like two seconds to Ray, Toby and the viewer, but to him it was at least two months, and he's lost his mind in the meantime. For the rest of the movie he's a little bit off.
- Shout Out: Many many Time Travel Tropes are mentioned.
- The Slow Path: After getting stuck half an hour in the past, the Trio opt to get back to their own time by way of hiding in a cupboard for half an hour.
- Terminator Twosome: Cassie and Millie.
- Time Travel: Pretty self explanatory from the title.
- Timey Wimey Ball: Averted for most of the movie, all the Trio's time traveling antics don't change time, for example a Future Ray is seen in the red hoodie before we see him put it on and travel back, until the ending where destroying the note that makes the Trio famous reverses time and creates an Alternate Universe.
- The Unreveal: The audience never learns what the great idea that made them famous was.