Back from the Future

Fans of Marty and Doc beware; the similar title should not make you think that this has any link to the classic sci-fi movies. This is an original piece by Toby Mitchell, focusing on a time traveller Dominic Mitchell (played by Toby Mitchell) who has travelled from 2042 to rescue his father Toby Mitchell who disappeared almost 29 years ago. It all gets a bit complicated.

Toby plays Dominic in a very charming way. He turns up at his father’s show only to find him absent and consequently is forced to confide about his time traveller escapades to the audience. We are supposed to help Dominic work out exactly why his father disappeared, using the script he has left behind which is handily provided by the techie at the back.

It is a good and intriguing concept, presented by one very convincing actor. He is willing to interact with the young audience, encouraging them to ask questions about the future which even involves dealing with such philosophical enquiries from the young crowd as ‘What is the future?’ However, it is difficult for one actor who has been deliberately left without any props or appropriate music (we are told that his dad has them) to really enthuse a group of seven year olds with a plot this low on substance. A lot of the show merely feels like padding and is even worse when he starts to work through his father’s script: it starts with a quiz about the history of time-travel – a sample question deals with HG Wells’ first names – and, unsurprisingly, the children neither know nor much care about the answers.

The whole show feels intended for a very different audience than this. There is a bizarre political plotline which focuses on a parable with the Iraq War, hardly a pop culture reference for the under ten age group and yet not recent enough to be interesting for the adults. The eventual ending is very rushed and anticlimactic. Everything is resolved way too easily and the previous emphasis on time paradoxes and catastrophes in other time travelling tales is ignored in favour of winding up everything neatly. Overall, a good idea and a good actor but he could take a tip from his subject matter and work on his timing.


The Blurb

A time traveller from 2042 has come to Edinburgh on a mission. He needs your help to change the future... From the creator of sell-out success Monsters Got Talent (‘a standout show’ **** 2012).