In the time travel film About Time, Tim's father James tells him that all the men in the family can travel backwards in time to any point they have experienced.

James lives with Uncle Desmond, who isn't directly said to be a family member, but having the Uncle title we are led to believe he is a family member.

There is no mention as far as I am aware that Desmond can travel through time.

Is this mentioned or alluded to in the film or has any production material become available that confirms or denies that Desmond can travel through time.

  • 2
    I had the impression that Uncle Desmond is a maternal uncle, but not because of any one word that was said, just the way that Tim's mother speaks to him. As the time travel is genetic through Tim's father, having him be of the maternal line would rule out time travel on his part.
    – gowenfawr
    Feb 4 at 19:16

1 Answer 1


As gowenfawr says in the comments, Uncle Desmond is not on the fathers line - he is on the mothers line - this article mentions this:

Gleeson plays Tim, a “too thin, too tall, too orange” lad who lives on the shore in Cornwall with his eccentric parents (Bill Nighy and Lindsay Duncan), mum’s brother Uncle Desmond (Richard Cordery) and sister Kit Kat (Lydia Wilson).


It is only the men on the fathers line that have the ability.

Uncle Desmond cannot time travel because he is from the mothers side.

Uncle Desmond being on the mothers side is confirmed in the script:

Then there was Mum’s brother, Uncle D. Always impeccably dressed, he spent the days just, well, being Uncle D. He was the same age as Mum but by the time I was 8, he was really my younger brother.


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