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Film / Thrill Seekers

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Thrill Seekers, also known as The Time Shifters, is a 1999 made-for-TV sci-fi movie.

Tom Merrick (Casper Van Dien) is a former news reporter who quit his job after several of his colleagues were killed in a collapsing power plant.

While researching catastrophes, he notices that the same man somehow appears in different photographs of these events for over a century...

This film provides examples of:

  • Bad Future: After a reporter finds out that tourists from the future are visiting disasters in his own time, he actively seeks to prevent these events. Two agents travel back to stop him from changing anything else. Their boss at one point calls them up from the future which is now overpopulated, polluted, and had bad people get voted into power.
  • Cassandra Truth: Of course the FBI are not going to believe Tom's crazy story that time-traveling tourists from the future are the reason he hijacked a plane and forced the pilot to set it down. They just think he's a lunatic who's responsible for the disasters that he's actually trying to prevent.
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  • Contrived Coincidence: Merrick just happens to get on the same plane as the time-traveling tourist. The tourist is there because the plane is supposed to crash but Merrick's presence is pure coincidence, especially since he nearly crossed paths with the same tourist at the power plant.
  • Deadline News: Tom was doing live coverage of a fire at a power plant when a collapsing beam crushes both his colleagues. He later finds out that he was originally supposed to die there as well. It is only because a time traveling tourist from the future distracted him at the right moment that he survived in the first place.
  • Delayed Ripple Effect: Hand Waved in that the time agency is said to possess Applied Phlebotinum that allows for some degree of shielding to changes in the timeline, which is how they can go back and stop the hero from altering the future in the first place.
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  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: A former reporter gets his hands on information about several upcoming disasters thanks to a tourist agency in the future that uses Time Travel to send people to witness history's worst disasters. In fact, he himself should have died in a building fire had he not been distracted by a time traveling tourist. He uses the information to prevent a mid-air collision and a subway crash. This has major repercussions in the future, which is now a Bad Future due to overpopulation, pollution, and bad politics, as well as disasters related to fusion power plant meltdowns (there was no fusion power in the original future timeline, as its inventor was destined to die in the subway crash). The reporter fails to prevent the next major disaster, as he's being chased by agents from the future, determined to keep him from changing anything else. He uses a time traveling device to go back one day and succeeds this time. This creates a Stable Time Loop, as the device is then found by an FBI agent who's also an amateur inventor. A dying agent from the future recognizes him as the inventor of time travel (i.e. he "discovers" it by studying a device from the future which wouldn't exist without him).
  • Stable Time Loop: The movie avoids this trope for the most part, as time is shown to be subject to change. At the end, however, a dying man from the future recognizes one of the Feds, who likes to invent gadgets, as the future inventor of a temporal displacement device, which will open the door for time tourism. The Fed then notices an interesting device near the now-dead man and decides to hold on to it, not knowing it is a time machine.
  • Time Travel for Fun and Profit: The movie featured an agency which used time travel for tourists who wanted to witness various disasters from the past, such as the Titanic and Hindenburg. The plot kicks off when a TV reporter notices the same man in photographic records of these events set decades apart but looking exactly the same, and subsequently steals his technology to avert upcoming disasters.

Alternative Title(s): The Time Shifters