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The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988)

Men seeking relief from the Black Death, guided by a boy's vision, dig a tunnel from 14th century England to 20th century New Zealand.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
21 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hamish McFarlane ...
Noel Appleby ...
Paul Livingston ...
Mark Wheatley ...
Tog 1
Tony Herbert ...
Tog 2
Jessica Cardiff-Smith ...
Roy Wesney ...
Kathleen-Elizabeth Kelly ...
Jay Saussey ...
Griffin's girlfriend
Charles Walker ...
Old Chrissie
Desmond Kelly ...


A young boy in 14th century Cumbria (north of England) keeps getting visions he cannot explain. His village has so far been spared from the black death, but the villagers fear its imminent arrival. With the boy as their guide, a group set out to dig a hole to the other side of the world, so as to fulfil the visions and save the village. At the 'other side' is 20th century New Zealand !.. N.B. Flips from B+W to colour frequently. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Time-Travel Adventure of the Year!


PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

15 December 1988 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

The Navigator: An Odyssey Across Time  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,333,379 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


It was this movie that convinced the producers of Alien 3 (1992) to hire Vincent Ward as writer/director (although Ward would eventually leave the set of Alien 3 after many creative differences with the studio). See more »


(at around 51 mins), during the pouring of the spike in the foundry, Griffin breaks the "fourth wall" by briefly looking up at the camera and then quickly away again. See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the Film starts, Viewers are presented with the following message:

'You are about to watch the Time-Travel Adventure Film THE NAVIGATOR. DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SET. The first minutes of THE NAVIGATOR are shown in the stark black and white of 14th Century England during the black plague.

At the moment when the Navigator's 14th Century travelers begin to reach the modern 20th century, the world of the Navigator bursts into color on your screen." See more »


Featured in Cinema of Unease: A Personal Journey by Sam Neill (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Goonies this ain't
27 February 2007 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This is an extraordinary film, not to mention extraordinarily underrated. I first saw this film as a child and it has stayed with me ever since. Now I've seen it once more with adult eyes I can't help but wonder why it's not more renowned. The fact it defies standard genres has probably hampered its reputation, often getting it unfairly shelved as a sort of arty kid's flick. Undoubtedly there are elements here that will appeal to children - imagine a more sombre Terry Gilliam and you might be there - but it's much more than just that. And to describe it as merely fantasy is to ignore the power and universality of the story. Poetic and moving, The Navigator is a lost masterpiece of 80s cinema waiting to be rediscovered.

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