H.G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) has built a time machine, and he plans on using it to travel to a Utopian paradise in the future. But before he can, Jack the Ripper (David Warner), on the run from the police, uses it to escape and travel to 1979. Wells follows, and enlists the help of a bank teller named Amy (Mary Steenburgen) to catch Jack before he continues his killing spree. As they work together, Wells falls for Amy, even as she has a hard time believing his wild story of time travel.