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For All Time

For All Time title card

Year - 2000
Studio - CBS
Stars - Mark Harmon, Mary McDonnell, Catherine Hicks, David Lereaney, Philip Casnoff, Bill Cobbs
Director - Steven Schacter
Writing Credits - Rod Serling (Twilight Zone episode "A Stop at Willoughby"), Vivienne Radkoff (teleplay)
Music - Mader

Synopsis

Charles Lattimer (Mark Harmon) is an artist in an advertising firm, but finds his work unfulfilling and meaningless. His restlessness causes his marriage to Kristen (Catherine Hicks) to be shaky as well. Wandering in the city on his lunch hour, he discovers a newly opened antique store, and buys an old railroad pocket watch from the proprietor (Bill Cobbs), who explains that it's for those who "understand the intricacies of time".

As he travels on his commuter train, holding the watch, the conductor announces, "Next stop, Somerville", a location not previously on that commute. From the train window, he sees what appears to be a Victorian era town, with residents in period clothing. The conductor (who was the antique shop proprietor) asks if he's getting off, Charles declines. But when the same thing happens on his next commute, he decides to investigate Somerville, and discovers that he has been transported to the 1890s. He meets Laura Brown, who is the editor of the local newspaper. She is a widow, struggling to compete in a male dominated society. Charles suggests she add cartoons to the newspaper, and draws one as an example.

For All Time poster

Later, back in the present, Charles finds a picture of Laura in a history book, holding a newspaper, which shows the cartoon he had created. He returns to Somerville and, despite his love for her, confesses to Laura that he is married. She angrily tells him to get back on the train and return to his home.

Charles quits his job with the ad agency, and he and Kristen mutually decide to separate. When he shows her the picture of Laura in the old book, the text now states that she was killed in a gas explosion at a rally for Presidential candidate McKinley. He rushes back to Somerville, just in time to warn the residents of the impending explosion.

Years later, in the present, the child of Kristen and her new husband is researching the history of journalism, and shows his mother an old photograph which pictures Laura and Charles, co-owners of the Somerville newspaper.

Show Spoilers

In The Twilight Zone episode upon which For All Time was based, the town was Willoughby. In that story, the protagonist's body was found by the side of the railroad tracks at the conclusion. As the hearse pulled away, the name on it, Willoughby & Sons, was revealed.