The ’70s Sci-Fi Serial Killer Time Travel Classic Needs Rescue And Restoration

By Christopher Isaac | Updated

As films continue their inevitable shift fully towards streaming, movies as a piece of physical media appear to be on the verge of being a thing of the past. However, unlike previous technology shifts, like VHS to DVD, this new format of movies is difficult to call a straight upgrade.

That is because of increasing fears that relying on streaming platforms makes movies subject to potentially being lost forever if no platform is interested in carrying that movie. Many great films are currently in that boat, including the time travel classic, Time After Time.

Time After Time

Time After Time stars Malcolm McDowell, known for such classics as A Clockwork Orange. In this movie he portrays famous real life writer H. G. Wells, but this is certainly no factually accurate biopic.

Here Wells is in possession of a time machine that winds up being stolen by Jack the Ripper, who uses it to elude his captors and plans to continue his killing spree in other eras. Wells pursues Jack the Ripper nearly 100 years into the future, where he learns the killer is actually one of his close friends who he must race to apprehend.

Spin On The Serial Killer Drama

Time After Time is a quirky, unique spin on a serial killer drama that is definitely worth a watch. However, your ways to watch the movie are unfortunately becoming increasingly limited.

Released in 1979, the movie is currently only available on VOD, with no streaming platforms currently carrying the movie.

Needs A Major Update

time after time

And while Time After Time did have a physical release, as a 1979 movie, that release was long ago. The physically available version does not match the standards capable of a modern TV where you would want to be watching in 4K for the best experience.

And with physical media in the midst of its last breaths due to retailers phasing it out, it is highly unlikely that there will be a new physical release any time soon. That means if the movie winds up being removed from VOD services, it will be extremely difficult to find a way to watch this classic anymore.

Long-Term Preservation Of Movies

time after time

This leads to a much bigger conversation that extends beyond just Time After Time. Many movie lovers are fearful of how readily available their favorite films might be in the near future as digital access to movies becomes the only way to enjoy them.

Many new films are now already skipping having physical releases altogether, meaning they are completely subject to whatever streaming platforms decide to carry them. That was the case for the popular horror movie Barbarian.

This is causing a great deal of worry about the long-term preservation of movies. Some films are already the victim of simply being totally unavailable via any digital means.

Fewer And Fewer Options

time after time

For now, movie fans have the ability to still buy old physical copies of movies on DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K. But as the years continue to pass, that option will not be available for current day releases.

And even these older movies that are available via physical means are not going to continue receiving optimization.

More 4K Releases

time after time

Time After Time cannot be watched looking its best due to not ever getting a 4K release. It has created a big push for movies to continue getting updated physical releases, even with streaming being viewed as the more convenient alternative currently.

As it stands, owning a movie physically is the only surefire method to guarantee it does not become lost to the void should it ever stop being available digitally.