A Bygone Time
With WWII raging on Mary Chandler (Naomi Watts) secures work as a secretary in a factory belonging to David Parkin (Kevin Kilner). Soon it is clear there is something between them and their relationship leads to marriage with David becoming dad to a child Mary conceived out of wedlock following a brief thing with a soldier. Being an avid collector of timepieces David presents Mary with a beautiful watch which his friend Lawrence Flynn (James Earl Jones), a clockmaker, came up with it. All is well for a while for the married couple but a tragedy strikes their home but a tragedy strikes Lawrence's life as well.
"Timepiece" is a prequel to "The Christmas Box" and it starts with Richard Thomas reprising his role as Richard Evans, an artificially aged one, as the story sees him now giving his grown up daughter a timepiece which Mary had asked him to give her on her wedding day. It is a brief and in truthful forced opening which thankfully doesn't go on too long before the real story starts and we see how Mary met David who falls for her and despite the fact she is pregnant with another man's baby wants to marry her. And so we have this cute, slightly corny romance but in truth pleasant in its innocence.
Of course marriage and a baby is not where the story ends and "Timepiece" serves up some drama and without giving too much away there is an illness in the Parkin household whilst having been the focus of racism from a customers son, Lawrence finds himself accused of murder when the racist is murdered. I won't go in to any more detail as to how things play out although you can expect that the drama is more on the melodramatic side of things rather than the grittier, realistic side.
But to be frank "Timepiece" is all about the tone, the look, the easy to watch nature and so much more and the cast delivers this. Naomi Watts and Kevin Kilner work well together whilst James Earl Jones turns on the cuddly, kindly side of his personality to make him that gentle grandfather type of figure which makes you want someone like him in your life.
What this all boils down to is that "Timepiece" is a nice prequel to "The Christmas Box" and has the sort of sentimental writing which some audiences will love. But in a way "Timepiece" is like marmite because if sweet melodrama and emotional manipulation gets on your nerves this will be a painful experience.