Time After Time is a 1979 American science fiction film starring Malcolm McDowell, David Warner and Mary Steenburgen. It was the directing debut of screenwriter Nicholas Meyer, whose screenplay is based largely on the uncredited novel of the same name by Karl Alexander (which was unfinished during the time the film was made) and a story by the latter and Steve Hayes. The film concerns British author H. G. Wells and his fictional use of a time machine to pursue Jack the Ripper into the 20th century. In 1893 London, popular writer Herbert George Wells (Malcolm McDowell) displays a time machine to his skeptical dinner guests. After he explains how it works (including a "non-return key" that keeps the machine at the traveler's destination and a "vaporizing equalizer" that keeps the traveler and machine on equal terms), police constables arrive at the house searching for Jack the Ripper. A bag with blood-stained gloves belonging to one of Herbert's friends, a surgeon named John Leslie Stevenson (David Warner), leads them to conclude that Stevenson might be the infamous killer.