The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1990

   Time Barbarians
by Joseph John Barmettler (Barmetler, director)
First release: 1990

In an ancient world of swords, sorcery, loin cloths, and jeweled bikinis, an evil thief kills King Deran’s queen before escaping to modern-day Los Angeles. Since the thief also took a magic amulet with him, a loinclothless wizardess sends Deran after him to retrieve the amulet and avenge the queen’s brutal death.

 The man you seek is in this world no longer. You must travel to another time to find him. 

[Sep 2015]

   12:01 P.M.
by Richard Lupoff, Stephen Tolkin and Jonathan Heap (Heap, director)
First release: 1990 (27 minute short film)

Kurtwood Smith brings Myron Castleman’s 59 minutes to life.

 You see, it’s like . . . it’s like we’re stuck. You know, like a . . . like a needle on a scratched record. It all starts at 12:01, and everything goes along fine until one o’clock and then Bam! the whole world snaps back to 12:01 again. 

[Dec 2011]

   Kappatoo
created by Ben Steed
First episode: 20 Jan 1990

In an amusing twist on The Prince and the Pauper, Kappatoo 70934 swaps places with his twentieth century lookalike, Simon, in this one-season series and its follow-up, Kappatoo II, in 1992. I like that Simon in the future had a computer as his foil, whereas back in our time, Kappatoo has a cat. The vintage 1990 PCs are also fun.

 Not where, when. When did I come from? Which happens to be the year 2270. 

[Jun 2016]

   Eternity Comics’ The Time Machine
adapted by Bill Spangler and John Ross
First publication: Apr 1990

This three-issue black-and-white adaptation has some creative twists such as when it occurs to the traveller how to use the machine to destroy the Morlocks. In 1991, the three issues were issued as a single graphic novel in trade paperback size.

 I was elated! I gripped the starting lever with both hands and went off with a thud. 

[Jan 2012]

   Back to the Future III
by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale (Zemeckis, director)
First release: 25 May 1990

Marty and 1955 Doc travel back to the old west where the older Doc is trapped along with various Biff ancestors and a possible love interest for Doc.

 It means your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. 

[May 1990]

   Future Zone
aka Future Force 2
by David A. Prior (Prior, director)
First release: 18 Jul 1990

John Tucker—a future gunslinging cop in Mobile, AL, played by David Carradine—is visited by a thirty-year-old Billy who’s almost as quick on the draw as John. But—ah, Grasshopper—just where does the visitor’s prescient knowledge come from, and more to the point given the ending of the film: Who taught Billy to shoot?

 Tucker: Where’d you learn to shoot like that?
Billy: You might say I learned from the best.
Tucker: And who might that be?
Billy: You’d never believe me. 

[Oct 2015]

   Alvin and the Chipmonks
by Dianne Dixon
First time travel: 8 Sep 1990

It was not until the final season of the Alvin revival (nearly two decades after creator Bagdasarian’s death) that Theodore, Simon and Alvin had a series of movie take-offs including Dianne Dixon’s episode, “Back to Our Future,” in which the quirky inventor Clyde Crashcup (filling in for Doc Brown) brings the 90s trio back to the 50s to stop the original trio from giving up their singing careers.

 Now remember boys, you must convince the old Alvin to stick with his musical career, so you can all be stars in the future! 

[Sep 2012]

   Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures (Animated)
produced by David Kirschner, Paul Sabella and Andy Heyward
First episode: 15 Sep 1990

 . . . featuring the most outstanding voices of the original Two Great Ones, but bogus plots and dialog.

 ♫ Whenever time stands still and trouble moves too fast, to save the future, we must learn about the past. ♫ 

[Jul 2010]

   The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3
created by Reed Shelly and Bruce Shelly
First time travel: 29 Sep 1990

The animation and sound effects are a good reflection of the video game. In one episode (“Toddler Terrors of Time Travel”), the son of King Bowser invents a time machine to go back in time and stop Mario, Luigi and Toad from ever coming to their kingdom. The heroes stow away, and everyone ends up as toddlers in Brooklyn.

 Maybe we can go back and change history, King Dad. All we need is a little time travel. 

[Sep 2012]

   The Spirit of '76
by Roman Coppola and Lucas Reiner (Reiner, director)
First release: 12 Oct 1990

In the year 2176, three time travelers aiming for 1776 end up in the time of David Cassidy and disco instead.

 Channel Six, our foremost epistomological anthrosociologist has redlined and outlined you for a mission back in time. 

[Nov 2014]

   “The Time Traveler”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Nov 1990

The little demon Azazel (the hero of many an Asimov tale) sends a world-renowned writer travels back in time to see his first writing teacher at a 1934 school that is remarkably like Asimov’s own Boys High in Brooklyn.

 “Because,” and here he struck his chest a resounding thump, “the burning memories of youthful snubs and spurnings remain unavenged and, indeed, forever unavengable.” 

[Dec 1990]

   Frankenstein Unbound
adapted by Roger Corman and F.X. Feeney (Corman, director)
First release: 2 Nov 1990

Joe Buchanan invents a weapon that was meant to be so terrible it would end war forever, but the weapon causes time rifts, one of which takes him (and his futuristic talking car, a.k.a. his electric carriage) back in time where he meets Dr. Frankenstein (a standoffish man, but willing to talk science), Frankenstein’s monster (who is fascinated with the talking car) and Mary Wollstonecraft (a budding author).

It did a reasonable job of bringing Brian Aldiss’s book’s premise to the screen, with a better pace than the book, but the short dream sequences were ineffective for me and Dr. Frankenstein is more of a clichéd villian than in the book.

 Zero pollution, maximum ozone shield: Something tells me were not in New Los Angeles any more. 

[Oct 2015]

   “Ben Franklin’s Laser”
by Doug Beason
First publication: Analog, mid-Dec 1990

It appears that the sun will go nova in 75 hours, which leaves Grayson to go back in time to give a boost to science in Ben Franklin’s time.

 It sounded nice and simple: allow Ben Franklin to invent the laser and let the technology casade. Grow enough so that in five hundred years wed have something to get us out of this mess. 

[Aug 2012]

   “3 RMS Good View”
by Karen Haber
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, mid-Dec 1990

When a lawyer from the future decides to rent an apartment in 1968 San Francisco, she must first sign your standard temporal noninterference contract—yeah, like that one ever holds up in court!

 Dont change the past or the past will change you. The time laws. You lawyers understand this kind of thing. You, and you alone, are responsible for any dislocation of past events, persons or things, et cetera et cetera. Read the small print and sign. 

[Dec 1990]
 

Additional Adventures (without Time Travel)

I often see potential time-travel stories that, alas, have no time travel. I track them, so that I don’t process these same chronotypical stories over and over in a time loop of my very own.
1990

 These arent the droids youre looking for . . . move along. 


 1990
House (movie) by Ethan Wiley [ghost story]

Jacob’s Ladder by Bruce Joel Rubin [no definite time travel]

Time and Chance by Alan Brennert [alternate timelines]

Time Travel Through the Bible by Arden Albrecht and Don Hall [despite title, no time travel]


18 items are in the time-travel list for these search settings.
Thanks for visiting my time-travel page, and thanks to the many sources that provided stories and more (see the Links and Credits in the menu at the top). —Michael (
main@colorado.edu)