Based on a short story called Random Quest by John Wyndham, Quest for Love is part sci-fi and part love story.
Brilliant young research physicist Colin Trafford (Tom Bell) finds himself in a parallel dimension when a laboratory explosion at Imperial Physical Industries, where he works, causes an experiment to go wrong.
He is still in London in 1971, but Trafford is now a successful author and playwright with a Knightsbridge flat. A double brandy costs only 10p, Mount Everest has yet to be conquered, the Second World War never took place, and Man still hasn’t got anywhere near the Moon.
There are no reports of a war in Vietnam, and John F Kennedy has just been appointed as the new Secreatry-General of the League of Nations.
Colin is also a bit of a bounder and married to a beautiful young girl called Ottilie (Joan Collins) – who apparently hates his guts – and their uneasy relationship takes up much of the story.
Trafford learns that one of his closest friends, science correspondent Tom Lewis (Denholm Elliott), is now the film critic for The Times, and watching television one evening, he sees top scientist Sir Henry Larnstein (Laurence Naismith), who he knew in his days as a physicist.
He hurries to meet him in the hope that he will be able to help and the two men reach the conclusion that a time split has thrown Trafford into the parallel world.
Just as Trafford is resigning himself to living in a different time and wins the love of Ottilie, he discovers she has an incurable heart condition.
He recalls from his “other” life that a cure is known, and when Ottilie dies, he manages to return to being Colin Trafford, scientist, and begins a desperate search for her parallel counterpart, Tracy Fletcher, in order to save her life.
The tale is complicated and corny, but nothing if not inventive and unusual.
Ottilie Harsham Trafford/Tracy Fletcher
Sir Henry Larnstein
Geraldine Gardner (as Trudi Van Doorn)