Timeline (film)

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German title timeline
Original title timeline
Country of production United States
original language English , French
Publishing year 2003
length 116 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Richard Donner
script Jeff Maguire ,
George Nolfi
production Richard Donner,
Lauren Shuler Donner ,
Jim Van Wyck
music Brian Tyler
camera Caleb Deschanel
cut Richard Marks

Timeline is an American science fiction film directed by Richard Donner from 2003 . It is a film adaptation of the novel Timeline by Michael Crichton from 1999, but differs in essential points of the plot from the novel.


A group of archaeologists led by Professor E. A. Johnston is excavating the medieval fortress of La Roque and the nearby monastery ruins in France . His son Chris visits him there, although he doesn't really care about history, but he has feelings for Kate Ericson, an assistant to his father, who does not reciprocate, although she considers him a friend. While Kate is working on a staircase in the monastery, André Marek is excavating a sarcophagus on which a one-eared knight is depicted with his lady. Shortly after Chris' arrival, Professor Johnston travels to the United States to ask questions to his financier, Robert Doniger, who provides unusually precise information about La Roque. Three days later, after a ceiling collapse, Kate and André found a 600-year-old parchment in a cloister vault that had been sealed up until then, on which the professor asked for help in a marginal note.

It turns out that the company ITC, which sponsors the work, is conducting experiments in the field of time travel . ITC boss Robert Doniger reports that the professor traveled to 1357 and disappeared there. Then Chris, Kate and André, accompanied by ITC security chief Frank Gordon, two other ITC employees, Gomez and Baretto, and Francois, a friend of Kate and Andrés, who is supposed to act as an interpreter, travel back in time on a rescue mission. Each of them receives a special pendant, called a marker, that allows them to return to the present as soon as they activate it.

Shortly after their arrival in France in 1357, however, they are surprised by English soldiers in a forest. Gomez is stabbed to death by Sir de Kere, and three arrows hit Baretto in the chest. Despite the ban on using modern weapons, Baretto has a grenade and tries to use it. Dying he escapes back to the present, where the time machine is destroyed by the exploding grenade. It must first be repaired before the time travelers can return. A race against time begins, because the wormhole that enables time travel only remains open for a limited time.

However, the others managed to escape thanks to the help of a young woman. It takes them to the village of Castelgard near the fortress of La Roque. Once there, they discover that they landed on the eve of the legendary Battle of La Roque, in which the French conquered the impregnable fortress after the death of a single woman, the French Lady Claire, in just one night. The time travelers try to mingle with the people, but attract attention, are arrested and brought before Lord Oliver, the English commander. They pose as Scots who are looking for their master - the professor. Lord Oliver has Francois, whom he believes is a spy, killed.

The group finds the professor imprisoned by Lord Oliver in their prison again, who tells them that he is only alive because he has promised Lord Oliver a secret weapon, Greek fire , unknown in Europe in the Middle Ages, and thus changed the course of history. Kate can escape through the thatched roof and free the others. André decides to free the young woman, who was also captured, and is discovered by Sir de Kere, who blows up the escape. André loses the others and flees with the young woman. On the run from the English they come across French knights, whom they join. It turns out that the young woman is Lady Claire, whose later gruesome death accelerated the La Roques case considerably. This knowledge throws Marek into a crisis of conscience, as he has now also changed history, especially since he feels drawn to Lady Claire. Lord Arnaut, the French commander and Claire's brother, is grateful to André and reluctantly lets him go when he announces that he has to help his friends. In fact, shortly afterwards André is captured by English soldiers under Sir de Kere on the way to Castlegard.

In the meantime the professor and Frank Gordon have also been captured again by the English and have to march with the entourage up to the fortress. On the way, Sir de Kere meets the prisoners and identifies himself as a former ITC employee William Dekker, who also went missing in the past and has now found a new home in Lord Oliver's entourage. He kills Gordon because he blames him for his fate and also survived several attempts by Donigers and Gordons to have him killed. He also explains to Chris and the professor about the "transcription errors" that occur during time travel, which increase with each trip and eventually end fatally. Sir de Kere has already traveled so many times that he would not survive another. This is another reason why it remains in the past.

Meanwhile, Chris and Kate, who narrowly escaped capture, try to save the professor and get into the fortress. Since this is not possible in the normal way, Kate wants to find the legendary tunnel up to the fortress, which, according to stories, begins in the monastery at the foot of the fortress mountain. They find the tunnel and Kate sends one of the visibly confused monks to look for Lord Arnaut. Meanwhile the siege of La Roque begins, in which the French and English fight bloody battles. The secret weapon was first “used for demonstration”, whereby a French tribok was set on fire and destroyed with one shot.

Shortly afterwards, Lord Arnaut learns of the discovery of the tunnel and sets off to infiltrate the fortress through this tunnel with his knights. Meanwhile, Chris and Kate have reached the end of the tunnel, which ends in a cul-de-sac, which enrages Arnaut, who joins them some time later, because he thinks he has been lured into a trap. In the fortress, meanwhile, the events come thick and fast - Professor Johnston produced large quantities of the extremely flammable Greek fire when Lord Oliver had Lady Claire, who was also captured again, taken to the battlements and announced that - as historically handed down - she would be bound to the battlements, to get her brother to give up. André concludes that "history will change tonight" and threatened Lord Oliver, the dungeon , the stocks are in the Greek spirit on fire to blow up, Lady Claire should not come free. When Sir de Kere prepares to attack him, André lights the Greek fire, the explosion throws the English soldiers from the battlements and the French take advantage of the confusion and attack with all their might. In addition, the blocked tunnel exit will be exposed, allowing Lord Arnaut and his soldiers access to the fortress.

In the following fight Kate and the professor open the gates of the fortress, which makes the case of La Roques possible, Lord Oliver is slain by Arnaut and Andrè fights with Sir de Kere, in which he loses an ear. André reveals the historical meaning and with the words "It's me!" He struck down Sir de Kere. Immediately afterwards, Claire, who has long since fallen in love with him, falls into his arms. When Chris calls him and asks him to come with them, since they only have minutes left to return, André tells him to go without him because "he is at home". With the last remaining marker (the others were lost or destroyed), Chris, Kate and the professor manage to start the retrieval sequence.

In the meantime, the machine has been repaired, but the coils are only working with limited power. Doniger thinks a transit with the repaired coils is too dangerous and wants to shut down the machine to save the project. When he is on the platform, the machine is activated and Doniger is sent back to the past, where he is killed immediately upon his arrival. At the same time, the three remaining time travelers return.

Some time later, after returning to the excavation site, Kate exposes the sarcophagus and they realize that the story can only be changed in nuances, but not in general, and that everything has happened as it should, with the exception of a small change: on that one An inscription is attached to the sarcophagus, stating that André Marek, lord of La Roque, father of three children, rests with his beloved wife, Lady Claire, in this sarcophagus. Chris notices that André lived his life and he and Kate, with whom he did meet during the time travel, hold hands.


The film was in the Canadian Harrington , Mascouche , Terrebonne and Montreal , in Los Angeles and Las Vegas as well as in Prague rotated. Filming began on April 8, 2002 and ended in July 2002. Production costs were approximately $ 80 million. The original plan was to release the film in autumn 2002, but in April 2003 at the latest. However, due to poor results in test screenings, the film was initially recut several times. The film finally celebrated its premiere on November 19, 2003 in the USA. The film opened in US cinemas on November 27, 2003. The film was released in German cinemas on March 11, 2004. In Switzerland, the film was shown in cinemas from March 18, 2004. The film was shown in Austrian cinemas on April 30, 2004. The box office earnings in US cinemas were just under $ 19.5 million. In Italy 2.2 million euros were made, in Spain 1.47 million euros. Worldwide revenues amounted to the equivalent of over 43.9 million US dollars.

Although the Battle of Castlegard does not follow historical events, the film crew visited several European castles from the late 14th century in order to portray the castle and the surrounding villages as realistically as possible. For the fight scenes, amateur actors from the Middle Ages were used. In two scenes the coat of arms of Québec can be seen on the shield of a French knight , as these scenes, like all other scenes that take place in the 14th century, were filmed in Canada. Although Germany was not involved in the Hundred Years War between England and France, British knights can be seen with shields bearing a German eagle coat of arms.

David Thewlis and Anna Friel met on the set of the film and were a couple until 2010. Pierce Brosnan turned down the role of André Marek before it was awarded to Gerard Butler .


The film composer Jerry Goldsmith was hired for the soundtrack. After the film was cut several times and the music had to be adapted again and again, Goldsmith dropped out for health reasons before the final version and was replaced by Brian Tyler . Goldsmith's music is available on CD.

The soundtrack was released on March 8, 2004 and contains 20 tracks with a total playing time of 45:29 minutes.

No. Interpreter title Duration
1 Brian Tyler Main Title From Timeline 2:14
2 The Hollywood Studio Symphony Galvanize The Troops 0:45
3 The Hollywood Studio Symphony Battle Of La Roque 4:15
4th The Hollywood Studio Symphony Troops In The Fog 1:39
5 The Hollywood Studio Symphony Battalion 0:48
6th Brian Tyler 1357 France 2:54
7th Brian Tyler Enter the wormhole 2:49
8th Brian Tyler timeline 1:29
9 Brian Tyler Lady Claire & Marek 1:39
10 east Night Arrows 2:52
11 The Hollywood Studio Symphony Transcription Errors 2:05
12 Brian Tyler Storming The Castle 4:12
13 The Hollywood Studio Symphony Battlefield Revealed 1:07
14th The Hollywood Studio Symphony Interruptus 2:52
15th east Mysterioso 2:47
16 The Hollywood Studio Symphony Eternal 2:25
17th Brian Tyler Village Burned 1:18
18th The Hollywood Studio Symphony Descent 2:44
19th east History Will Change 2:12
20th The Hollywood Studio Symphony Past & Present 2:23

German dubbed version

actor German speaker role
Paul Walker David Nathan Chris Johnston
Frances O'Connor Ulrike Stürzbecher Kate Ericson
Gerard Butler Nicolas Boell Andre Marek
Billy Connolly Reinhard Kuhnert Prof. EA Johnston
David Thewlis Udo Schenk Robert Doniger
Neal McDonough Peter Flechtner Frank Gordon
Matt Craven Hans-Jürgen Dittberner Steven Kramer
Ethan Embry Markus Pfeiffer Josh Stern
Michael Sheen Torsten Michaelis King Oliver
Rossif Sutherland Aloysius Itoka François Dontelle
Patrick Sabongui Sebastian Christoph Jacob Jimmy Gomez
Lambert Wilson Jeff Bay Lord Arnaut
Danny Blanco Hall Olaf Reichmann sheriff
Marton Csokas Engelbert von Nordhausen Sir William De Kere / William Decker


Ed Park wrote in the Village Voice on November 26, 2003 that the script was "crudely" written. He also criticized the representations.

Michael Wilmington wrote in the Chicago Tribune that watching the film was fun most of the time.

The lexicon of the international film judged: "Pale actors, empty dialogues, a plot reduced to external movement and battle scenes and a lack of internal logic characterize the disappointing time travel and war spectacle."


Individual evidence

  1. Internet Movie Database : Filming Locations
  2. a b c d e budget and box office results
  3. a b c d e f g h i Internet Movie Database : Background information
  4. a b c d e Internet Movie Database : Start Dates
  5. Timeline. In: synchronkartei.de. German synchronous index , accessed on July 16, 2013 .
  6. Ed Park: If I Could Turn Back Time: Crichton Warp Is Déjà Vu All Over . The Village Voice. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  7. Michael Wilmington: Movie review: 'Timeline' . November 24, 2003. Archived from the original on March 8, 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2009.
  8. Timeline. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed December 19, 2019 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 

Web links