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977's Unsolicited Yet Copyrighted Pitch #5: THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT

So when last we saw C. Thomas Howell, he had valiantly sacrificed his own escape for the sake of others', and remained on the mysterious island out-of-time populated with prehistoric terrors and most inhospitable natives. He had his wife with him, and she was pregnant. You just knew there was a sequel in this, and sure enough, there is. And it's already plotted!

Edgar Rice Burroughs, who wrote the original novel "The Land That Time Forgot," also conceived a sequel, "The People That Time Forgot" (should be "who," I think) that has actually been filmed once before, as a sequel to the Doug McClure-starrer filmed in the 70's by American International Pictures. The story of the sequel concerns a rescue mission staged years later by friends of he who was left behind. That's the story I'd steal for The Asylum's sequel.

In my envisioning, twenty years have passed since C. Thomas and his budding family were left on the island. Back in the real world, Timothy Bottoms' character has dedicated his life to trying to get back, but when our film starts, he's dead, recently, and his son has taken up the mantle, desperate to make his father's life not have been in vain. On his team he has his girlfriend - a ethnologist/anthropologist/photographer - as well as a mercenary unit of three lead by a former Special Forces operative (if I have my druthers, the incomparable Geoff Meed). Together they're working the last clues Bottoms left before dying, and sure enough, it finds/triggers the wormhole and through time they go, only to come to offshore of the same said mysterious island.

Their initial assessment of the island is pretty much the same as everybody else's - holy shit, those are dinosaurs! After a couple close scrapes with the thunder lizards, the team begins making its way into the interior, searching for clues of CTH & Family's existence. On this hunt they stumble upon a lurid scene: a scantily-clad native girl about to be summarily executed for some unknown crime by a few men of her tribe. The mercenaries easily dispose of this crew, and the grateful native girl agrees to help them find their friend, as she knows of him.

Seems after everyone else left, C. Tom figured the only way to survive was to make peace with the natives. In exchange for teaching them agricultural, recreational and political skills, they let he and his wife live, let their baby - a daughter - come into this strange world. All was well for a period. Then the island brought others, another, more hostile tribal force, who discovered the power of the island to move people through time, and the peace was shattered, conflict broke out, and in the end it was this newer tribe who won, killing all the native men and taking all the women and children as brides and slaves. As for C. Tom, rumor has it that he escaped, disappeared into the jungle, and has not been seen since. What of his wife? She was killed refusing to be taken from him, murdered before his helpless eyes. The child? The native girl looks away uncomfortably, says that child is dead too. Why did the tribesmen want to kill her (the native girl)? Because she cannot have children, and is therefore worthless to them, just another mouth to feed.

She leads them deeper into the interior where they face more tribulations in the form of dinosaurs on land, sea and air, and increasing contact with the hostile natives who are desperate to locate and usurp the island's power for their own. As they get closer to an answer, stranger things begin to happen, people begin to appear and disappear, Nazis, Huns, WWI soldiers, Crusaders - distressed, aggressive, out-of-time passengers plucked here one second then whisked away the next. One of their own steps through a hidden wormhole and is never seen again. 

At a climactic point our team finds themselves in a certain-death situation, which is when an aged and haggard but alive C. Tom reveals himself and saves the day then leads them to his secret, the island's secret, the source of it's power (I realize I'm borrowing from LOST here, if anyone was actually wondering.).

I've decided to go full-spoiler here, because, you know, nobody's actually reading these things, right?

The gist of it is this: this lair of CTH's, it's all light and portals to different places, different times. It's the island that controls time, or rather, this island is the nexus of all times, under its own control, and CTH has taken on the role of guardian, seeking to keep this place from falling into the wrong hands, like the hostiles', who he loathes beyond description for killing his wife. It's true that he could have left the island, this time, whenever he wanted, ridden the time-waves through the centuries, going whenever he wanted, but his daughter was here (she's now revealed to be the native girl; he tried to rescue her but it was impossible), and besides, without his wife, the love of his life, where (when) was he going to go? Nothing in the world was going to make him happy again, so he opted to stick around, hermit it up here, watching all time at once but never interfering, never trying to go back to before they were here, because time, once altered, ripples, and who knows what would have happened? Chaos effect, butterflies and tsunamis, all that. He can, however, send our team home with everything they need: Bottoms' boy with his promise to dad fulfilled, the anthro-gf with incredible evidence, the mercenary captain with a new lady-love - the native girl/CTH's daughter. She wants to go back to the world with them, and CTH wants her to go. But he will stay behind, as, like he said, there's nothing out there in the world for him anymore. Couple of sappy goodbyes and presto, the team is back in the future, their present, and that's that.

Could be, though, at some distant point in the future, like say when medical advances make it so that the native girl and the mercenary can conceive, and give birth to a child, that they publicly christen, it could be that in the back of the church an old man in the shadows smiles in a familiar fashion before blinking out of sight in a wink of light. 

You always leave room for another sequel...

I'm just sayin'.


  1. Ha..I actually 2 outlines for sequels to this film as well. I play around with the time paradox issues more so than anything else. 1 of which deals with the island being at a nexus point in time. Great minds huh??

  2. very nice. i love that in our cultural consciousness now, deserted islands are forever linked with time travel.

  3. The thing is tho, I watched this film before I had ever seen an episode of 'Lost'. I've still not finished the 1st season yet. I know it eventually deals with time but I have no clue as to how it weaves it into the fabric of the overall storyline.

    For me it's not so much the island as it is the 'nexus' of time/space that I enjoy thinking about, I would say as far back as high school I had story ideas about a static point in time/space. Either that or a singular point where all of the dimensions intersect.

    I mean I have a film idea thats been bugging me for years now (can't quite figure out a couple of small details that are stopping me from making it work with a 'logic' thats understandable), a police/action film that deals with time, predestination/fate v/s freewill/no fate but what we make for ourselves in that he has to solve a crime that is by it's very nature impossible.

    I mean for one of the sequels i thought up the main driving force is that he's trying to stop an event that hasnt happened yet from happening and the ONLY place to do it is on the island and the 2nd one deals with the total control of the time/space nexus by someone who wants to plunder 'time' for everything they can get. All of those involved relate directly to C.Thomas' character in the film. Diverging branches of reality/time,etc... and so forth.

    and yes I thought these up in the span of about 20 mintues after watching the film,when ideas come to me they come nearly fully formed and unspool in my head like a film.

    Anywho,enough of my rambling, just thought it was funny how we had similar ideas(altho it is sorta a given that any type of sequel WOULD deal with the nature of the island itself)