Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series follows the last Gunslinger, Roland (Idris Elba), who has been locked in an eternal battle with the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), and is determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower which holds the universe together. Roland reluctantly helps earthborn Jake (Tom Taylor) who has unimaginable power that the Man in Black wants to exploit, and in doing so both Roland and Jake are transported in to worlds unknown to them. To celebrate the film adaptation of The Dark Tower arriving on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download on December 11th we take a look at other great characters who have seemed out their depth in a new place and time.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Perhaps an obvious choice, but Marty McFly’s adventures in the Back to the Future series are the most notable when thinking of a classic fish out of water scenario. Although Marty is familiar with his surroundings of Hill Valley, California, he is completely overwhelmed when he is transported from 1985 to 1955 via DeLorean in a time travel experiment gone wrong by his eccentric pal Doc Brown. Marty’s only hope to get back to his own time is to find a younger Doc and get his help for an invention he hasn’t created yet, all while navigating his parents love story, the local bully and trying not to erase his future in the process. Great Scott!
In one of the more unique entries in this list, Pleasantville sees teens David and Jennifer transported in to a greyscale fictional TV show of the same name by an over-enthusiastic TV Repairman. David, a mega fan of the show, fits in immediately as he knows the storylines he is supposed to follow. Jennifer on the other hand rebels, and through every misstep causes slight changes to the world of Pleasantville. As the changes affect the residents of the town, more people start to act out with bigger consequences, and only David and Jennifer can fix the town, all while trying to find a way back home.
BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE
In another 80s classic, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, we go on a trip with the titular duo to various points in history and pick up major figures to help them ace their final history presentation, thus stopping Ted being sent to military school. The pair are introduced as slackers, more interested in music than their studies, but this proves important as they are helped in their time-travelling ventures by Rufus who informs them that their band has a massive impact on the future. With Rufus’ help, Bill and Ted recruit the likes of Napoleon, Billy the Kid, Socrates and Genghis Khan to wow the crowd at their history presentation, with plenty of mishaps along the way!
A bit of a different fish out of water to the rest is Fry from Futurama, a pizza delivery boy who is accidentally frozen for 1000 years and wakes up in a completely new world. Unlike others on the list, Fry has no chance of going home so has to make the most of his new situation, finding his (very!) distant nephew who sets him up with a job on his delivery spaceship. Fry quickly adapts and fits in with the ragtag crew, who include one-eyed Captain Leela, foul-mouthed robot Bender and lobster-alien Dr Zoidberg. While technically their job is just to deliver packages to neighbouring planets, often this doesn’t go to plan and the team find themselves in the middle of hare-brained schemes and alien adventures.
On the complete other end of the TV spectrum you will find WW2 nurse Claire Randall from Outlander. Based on the wildly popular novels by Diana Gabaldron, Outlander follows Claire’s story, who is thrown from her life in 1945 to 1743 while honeymooning in Scotland. In a completely new place and time, Claire must use her wits to fit in and stay alive – no mean feat when you are transported directly in to a battle between the redcoats and rebel highlanders. Claire’s skills in medicine serve her well and she is taken in by the Scots where she proceeds to fall in love with the very handsome and rugged rebel Jamie, making her doubt whether she wants to return to her own time at all.
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
In Woody Allen’s Parisian comedy, we see frustrated American Gil travel back in time each night at midnight to the roaring 20s, a time when he believes Paris was at it’s best. He encounters many historical figures of note, such as Ernest Hemingway, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald and Salvador Dali, but none are as compelling to Gil as the enigmatic Adriana. When life in the present gets too much for Gil, with an overbearing fiancée and in-laws, he escapes each night to the past and strikes up an impossible relationship with Adriana. However, all is not perfect with his new love in the past longing for what she believes to be the golden age of Paris, in the late 1800s. The film’s themes deal with nostalgia and longing for a better time and reflects on personal opinions on when the elusive ‘golden age’ actually was.
The Dark Tower is out on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download on December 11th http://amzn.to/2i30Tem