The Rankin Paradox
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The Rankin Paradox

Story Analysis

All good science fiction is not just about science and fiction. Itís about the very real emotions that make us human and the conflicts that define us. The Rankin Paradox is not just about time travel. Itís about the price of obsession and regret and, more importantly, itís about who ultimately pays that price. Dr. Charles Rankin is obsessed to find the secret of time travel. Why is he so obsessed? What makes him driven to discover this secret? He will find that by taking a disastrous shortcut to his goal, he becomes the unwitting cause of his own anguish.

Story Synopsis

While on a paleontology dig in the mountains of Montana in the year 2026, paleontologist DR. ALISON REYNOLDS uncovers an enigma. Her boss asks the critical question that starts Reynolds on her fateful search: ďMaybe weíd better call a theoretical physicist. Ask him, how does a 21st century timepiece find its way into a 65 million year old fossil bed?Ē

DR. CHARLES RANKIN is the top theoretical physicist in the world. His lectures on time theory at Southwestern State University are legendary. It is to Dr. Rankin that Reynolds is drawn. Their subsequent discovery provides a link that enables Rankin to make his time travel theory practical.

Drawn ever closer to Rankin as she works with him, she discovers the mystery that motivates him to unlock the secret of time travel: Rankin blames himself for the death of his wife and child in a car accident ten years before. Researching the truth about the accident, Reynolds uncovers a fatal piece of evidence. But she is too late to stop Rankin from using his machine to go back in time to stop the accident.

The machine has a fatal flaw: like all things human, there is a margin of error. The machine brings Rankin back an hour early and 20 miles from where he needs to be. In his race to stop the accident, Rankin hijacks a truck and speeds to the accident scene. Driven by obsession to stop the accident, Rankin drives the truck that kills his own wife and child.

Rankin returns to the present a broken man. In a carefully crafted plot twist, Reynolds corrects the time discrepancy, saving Rankinís wife and child, but at a terrible price.

Co-Production Release

We're working on the development of a companion feature release called Harvey and the Time Machine. This film would follow the adventures of a legendary motion picture effects artist who is called upon to create a time machine set piece for a new motion picture called The Rankin Paradox. He does his job too well. The machine actually works. Hilarious complications result. Our film will be shot around the production of The Rankin Paradox. To download both password protected scripts in one file, click on the "TwoByWelty" PDF link at the above, left, or on the script cover image at the right.
 

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