Timeline (2003)

21 corrected entries

(7 votes)

Corrected entry: This movie takes place in 1357. Christopher Columbus did not discover "America" until 1492. The "American" accent did not officially emerge until the late 1500's when the Queen of England was told about a new language being spoken in the New World, which was not a new language, but simply the new American accent. The point is, an American accent was not around anywhere in the world in 1357, thus Paul Walker's accent would have been absolutely shocking to ANYONE who heard him speak.

Correction: It would just be an unusual accent. In that time, there were no sound recording techniques, so people would not have been familiar with accents from places they haven't been. This also meant that accents would vary locally much more than they do today, as they would develop in relative isolation. They would just assume it was an accent of their time that they were unfamiliar with.

J I Cohen

Corrected entry: At the very beginning of the film, the historical record reflects what appears to be the original series of events. However, all of the physical evidence reflects the various changes made by the characters throughout the movie. The most glaring example is the fact that history records the hanging of Lady Claire, which motivated the French peasants to the point that they successfully took the English held castle. However, they also find the sarcophagus, which contains the remains of Lady Claire and Andre Marek, from when they died some twenty five years after the battle, because he went back in time and saved her life. But if Lady Claire is in the sarcophagus, then she wasn't hanged in 1357 and it wouldn't be a matter of historical fact. Both set of circumstances can't be true at the same time.


Correction: The remains of the sarcophagus doesn't reveal that it is Andre Marek nor Lady Claire until after she isn't hanged and they come back. All that is revealed is that the man and woman were together and the man's ear was cut off. This means that the pair could have been any two people who were alive at that time. When Marek gets his ear cut off, he remembers what he saw in the sarcophagus and starts claiming that it was him and knows that he should stay. If Marek had went back to the present, then it would have just been a coincidence and may have even been changed to where he sees that the ear is magically there or that it did fall off. At the very end when Kate is showing them the message written, which again, wasn't revealed until after Claire didn't die, she says, 'If Marek had come back with us, what would be written here instead?'. All of this is evidence to how the sarcophagus was always going to look the same but the people inside it would change based on Marek's actions.

Corrected entry: The Professor introducing "Greek Fire" into the battle didn't cheat time or give the English a future weapon. "Greek Fire" was invented in the year 672 by the Byzantines, more than 600 years before the story of Timeline takes place.


Correction: You've missed the point. Yes, the Byzantines came up with "Greek Fire" several hundred years before the timeframe of the movie, but that's irrelevant. The English did not have access to it in the period depicted in the film, therefore giving it to them is changing the timeline and handing them a weapon that they would not ordinarily have had at that point in history.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: In the final shot of Kate and Chris, after they have read the inscription on Andre Marek and Claire's tombstone, they grasp each other's hand and hold it in the same position as Andre and Claire are on the sarcophagus.

Correction: This is not trivia, as it is extremely obvious to anyone watching the movie.


Corrected entry: When Kate initially finds what the professor left behind in the tunnel, it is only one lens that is found (along with the parchment). Later when she is looking for the tunnel in the monastery, you see a complete pair of glasses that have been left behind by the professor.

Correction: The glasses and the parchment were thrown off the table. The glasses broke, and they only found one lens before the tunnel collapsed.

Corrected entry: Just after Lady Claire and Marek get out of the boat to meet the French, somebody wolf-whistles. They did not have that at that time period.

Correction: Actually, there is some evidence of the practice extending as far back as ancient Greece. While the actual sound we all recognize may have differed, the practice itself seems to have existed. In the absence of audio evidence of the form it may have taken, substituting the more familiar modern version in order for the audience to understand the meaning makes sense.

Corrected entry: Marek admits to Lord Oliver that he is Scottish; but being an archaeologist who studies the 100 year war, he would know that France and Scotland were allies, and the English were at war with Scotland (which Lord Oliver later points out). If he actually used his head, he could have gotten either Kate or Chris to speak for them and so claim that they are English and therefore save them the trouble of being caught.

Correction: Except that they couldn't speak the form of English in use at the time. Marek could.

Corrected entry: When Doniger was explaining the "3D fax" to the students, he revealed there was another complete unit somewhere, plus the smaller prototypes. So when the machine was damaged, they could have just flown in the other unit - or used the small one to send back some spare beacons, with a bit more time on them.

Correction: They explain in the film that the machine they are using has an open connection to a specific wormhole and that they don't know how to reconnect to it.

Corrected entry: When the group first gets transported back to 1357, they are in a river. As soon as the group gets out of the river, Kate's hair is almost completely dry. It would have taken over 15 minutes for her long hair to be that dry.

Correction: Her clothes and hair are both dry when we first see her in 1357. As she comes from higher ground, I think it's safe to assume that she landed on dry ground.

Corrected entry: On the DVD, in the trailer 1 in Special Features, when it shows the shots of the group going to 1357 in the machine, Kate and Chris have switched places when going through the wormhole in the machine. They're still holding hands though.

Correction: As with most movies, some scenes in the trailer don't appear in the movie, but scenes that are almost identical sometimes do.

Corrected entry: At the end of the movie Doniger accidentally gets locked inside the time machine and says something like, "I don't have a marker. I'll never get home." The last sentence, however, can only be heard - his lips are not moving.

Correction: Doniger only says the words "I don't have a marker." The second line, "I'll never get home," is actually presented in the film with a sort of echo effect and not as normal dialogue. So he is saying it to himself in his mind.

Corrected entry: Where did the scientist at the beginning appear from? Why did he wind up appearing out in the middle of the desert, far from the machine? There is no logical way this could have happened, according to the film's plot. However, even the other scientists are aware that this was strange, but they never make any attempt at explaining it. This was a flaw that was left very unfixed.


Correction: While the scientists in this movie don't seem to have a logical explanation for the man appearing in the desert, they do offer an explanation. They basically say that they do not know how their machine works. They pretty much just stumbled upon it. And they find out that once a person has went back in time and came back so many times, something goes wrong. They don't really know what goes wrong. So in a way this isn't really a flaw left unexplained, because the scientists themselves don't really know anything about time travel. They explain what they do know, which isn't a whole lot.

Corrected entry: When the group is imprisoned for the first time and Kate tries to escape through the roof a concrete structure is visible in the background twice. Concrete wasn't invented until 1756. (And everything else in the towns/castles is made out of wood, stones and grass.)

Correction: Concrete was available since at least Roman times, as they used both cement and mortar extensively in their buildings and roads. Quarries for manufacture by captured slaves were dispersed throughout the empire. Even the name comes from the Roman term caementa.

Corrected entry: It is made very clear several times throughout the movie that the team of students is going back to the year 1357. However, when Stern is showing the students the result of his discovery on the computer screen, concerning how old the ink on the document with the Professor's handwriting is, the date is 1361.

Correction: Real dating methods used for checking ancient ink's age are only exact to within 20 years, 15 years at best. They don't find out the exact date until they visit the time travel corporation later. A 4 year discrepancy is certainly acceptable.

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: As the grenade destroys the time machine, Stern and Doniger discuss the situation and Stern says something like: "You can't leave seven people stuck back there." However, Barretto's back, so he should've said: "... six people stuck back there."

Correction: They orginally started with 7 people. One escaped and blew up the lab, leaving six people; But they had to rescue the professor, which means there are actually 7 people still trapped.

Corrected entry: In the scene with the Professor and Gordon tied to the wagon, after DeKere stabs Gordon and cuts their ropes, the Professor still walks as though he was tied to the wagon.

Correction: De Kere only cut Gordon's rope. The professor's remained intact.

Corrected entry: When we are first introduced to David Thewlis's character discussing the desert scene, he turns around to stare out the window. Look on his collar, you can see his microphone.

Correction: This is simply the tab of plastic on his glasses cord. When David's character is facing the camera you can the glasses hanging round his neck. As he turns to face the window, follow the cord from the glasses up to the back of his neck and you'll see this is simply the tab for the cord. - PictTarge.

Corrected entry: The grenade that one of the time travellers was holding was actually a smoke grenade. Therefore, it would not have caused the massive explosion shown. There would have been no damage - all the scientists would have had to do is air the room out a little.

Correction: Looking closely at the 'smoke grenade', it is in fact a standard fragmentation grenade. It even reads 'Fragmentation Grenade.'

Corrected entry: When the modern day characters first meet the British fighters (in the scene where the British are having a sword fight) there is a big deal made about the accents of the Scottish and French men - one is even killed for having a French accent. It does not make any sense then, that when Paul Walker speaks in his thick American accent, that nobody bats an eyelid. Also, when Frances O'Connor and Paul Walker are travelling through the tunnel at the end of the film, the Frenchman (brother of Lady Claire) hears them speaking and shouts "You are English." English and American accents sound nothing alike, and I'm sure that even those from 1357 would notice that.

Correction: There were many different accents and dialects in use within the English language at that time. An American accent, even if the words had been understood, would have been a lot closer to some 14th century spoken English than the Pommie characters' speech. Plus, when Arnaut accuses them of being English, it has nothing to do with their accents, or lack thereof. They had sent a messenger to the battlefield to inform Arnaut that a secret passage had been discovered that lead into the castle. Arnaut took many of his best men to invade the castle from the inside, and discovered that the tunnel was a dead end. He was accusing them because he thought they had been lead into a trap by the English.

Corrected entry: When they first went back to the 14th century, they were told if one person presses the medallion, they would all go back. Why is it when the one ex-marine pushed his, only he went back?

Correction: Because he wasn't connected to the others in any way.


Factual error: When the French are besieging the English Castle at night, their archers appear to be using longbows that were used exclusively by the Welsh and English in the hundred years war.

More mistakes in Timeline

Kate Ericson: There's one thing worse than dying here, and that's living here.

More quotes from Timeline

Trivia: Timeline was filmed with no CGI. The battle scenes, time transport, etc, were all created through other filming techniques...although a few of the scenes are slightly computer enhanced.

More trivia for Timeline

Question: Why is it that they aren't allowed to bring any modern weapons into the past? The grenade didn't seem to be affected. A simple air gun with tranquilizer darts would be enough just for protection.

Answer: Because you can never know what kind of influence the discovery of such a thing by the local people would have on any of those involved. The grenade was not supposed to get sent back, but since it exploded, not enough pieces are left for local people to wonder about them if ever they find some. That would not be the case for a full weapon.


More questions & answers from Timeline

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.