For All Time
This romantic fantasy centers on a man who falls in love with a woman he meets when, through a tunnel in time, he travels back to 1896. “For All Time” airs on CBS, Wednesday, 10/18/00 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT).
Charles Lassiter (Mark Harmon) is a successful executive married to Kristen (Catherine Hicks), an ambitious venture capital associate. His life on the surface seems fine, but in his heart is a wish for a simpler life, a yearning that sees a glimmer of fulfillment when, on a train trip to a nearby city, he is magically transported to Somerville, a small town that existed in the late 1800s.
Frightened at first, Charles steps into the antique world of a life gone by and meets Laura (Mary McDonnell), a widow who runs the town newspaper. Charles is immediately attracted to Laura and the time and place in which she lives. Charles makes several trips to Somerville and is torn between the past to which he is undeniably drawn and an unrewarding present that he feels a responsibility toward. Charles struggles to make the right decision.
Based on an episode of “The Twilight Zone” written by Rod Serling entitled “A Stop at Willoughby,” this is an exceptionally well-written allegory about finding what’s really important in life and hanging on to it. “For All Time” serves to remind us of the creativity that was evidenced almost weekly on Serling’s sci-fi anthology. Offbeat, and displaying ironic twists, “The Twilight Zone” always left the viewer pondering an idea.
With well-rounded characters and a lead that feels a moral responsibility for others, this is an entertaining fantasy. The technical achievements are outstanding, as is the script, which compares the changes in mankind’s thinking within a short span of time. Harmon and Hicks are serviceable, but McDonnell stands out as a strong-minded and compassionate editor of a small town newspaper at the turn of the 20th century.