Writer and Director : Ian Dixon Potter
In the latest of a series of monologues from the Golden Age Theatre Company, Call Back introduces us to retail assistant, Danny.
The monologue is shot in the style of a video diary, with entries logged over several months. We first meet Danny in his flat, and he is bursting to share some news with us. Danny (played by Tom Everatt) works in a mobile phone shop, helping with repairs and quick fixes. Writer Ian Dixon Potter gives Danny a puppyish, Everyman quality, but it’s clear from how he discusses his job, Danny is more intelligent than first impressions might suggest.
He divulges that a customer has come in with an ‘Orion’ phone (a brand new model) that needs repairing. Danny talks shop – it’s a model he hasn’t seen before and is very impressed with the dual-screen technology. He manages to get the phone working again, but when he contacts the owner, he is told to simply keep the phone, it’s no longer needed.
Danny is delighted with his new bit of tech, but when he tries to dial a number, the digits come out backwards. When he places a call to his mate, his friend is talking to him not from Friday (when the diary is being filmed), but the previous Monday. He tries another call, this time to his mother. The same thing happens. He then tries to call them again, this time on his regular iPhone: he asks them what day it is. They confirm it’s Friday.
Danny joins up the dots, and his first – entirely understandable – impulse is how to make this time-travelling technology work for him. He dreams of placing wildly lucrative bets. It is to his credit that Danny’s next thought is not how he can profit from ‘Orion’, but whether it can be used to help other people.
In a series of films that have focused on narratives in the present and future, Call Back asks interesting questions not only about time travel and its feasibility, but the moral implication of tampering with the natural order, even when it’s done with the best of intentions. The success of the film hangs on Everatt’s performance, and Danny – bright-eyed, enthusiastic and naturally inquisitive – is a welcome palette cleanser, especially when placed against some of Dixon Potter’s less agreeable characters (see Iago and Infantophobia)
Call Back may not have got the time-travel conundrum all figured out, but it covers good ground in the space of its 30-minute running time. Where it sits in Dixon Potter’s series will probably become clearer as the next film is released.