TBS' "The Timeshifters' explores what happens if you could turn back time. 

Time Warp

"The Timeshifters"
Sunday, Oct. 17
8 p.m. Who among us has not imagined what it would be like to travel through time — to go back in history or forward to the future? Some of the world's great novelists have pondered the possibilities. Mark Twain thought about it, and in 1889 he wrote "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court." H.G. Wells had similar thoughts and in 1895 wrote "The Time Machine." Filmmakers haven't been immune, either, to the fantasy of a quick trip through time. From "Berkeley Square" in 1933 to "The Final Countdown" in 1980 and even "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" in 1989, the prospect of living among our ancestors — or our descendants — has enchanted us. Of course, nobody much — except maybe Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking — has been able to conquer the big paradox of slipping a century or two into the past or the future. For example, if you traveled back through time to the moment your grandmother was born, and then you killed her, what would happen to you? In theory, you'd never be born, so you'd never have been able to travel through time, and thus your grandmother would live — thereby ensuring your existence and the possibility that you could travel back through time to kill her. It's a conundrum, all right — a mind-boggler of the first order. The enigmatic nature of time certainly didn't stop Gay Walch and Kurt Inderbitzin, who wrote the script for TBS' "The Timeshifters," a cunning little take on time-alteration that offers a twist not seen lately — that somewhere in our future, where the impossibilities of time travel have been mastered, there's an enterprising businessman selling tickets to tourists who want to vacation back in time to watch great disasters as they unfold. The adventure begins when a reporter who is researching history's great catastrophes notices that the same man appears in disaster-scene photographs spanning more than 100 years, from the sinking of the Titanic to Hurricane Hugo. For help in unraveling the mystery, he calls on Elizabeth Wintern, the librarian at the tabloid he works for, and the adventure begins. First the two discover that the mysterious man in the pictures is a futuristic tourist. Then they find a brochure that outlines the mystery man's special vacation itinerary — including the times, dates and places of several disasters that haven't happened yet. So there's nothing to be done except to put their own lives on the line in an attempt to prevent a couple of calamities that threaten them and their families. Casper Van Dien (who used to play Griffin Stone on "Beverly Hills 90210") stars as the reporter and Catherine Bell (Major McKenzie on "JAG") plays the research librarian. Both manage to make the dialogue and action credible and carry the audience along with them. And the writers even manage to add an unexpected time-shift or two to engage even the most jaded viewer. If you have an imagination that parallels Twain's or Wells' — or even Einstein's or Hawking's — you'll find "The Timeshifters" to be entertaining. Perhaps even as much as those macabre thoughts about your

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