All the main characters from the popular TV sitcom Family Ties were carried over into this made-for-TV feature. Michael J. Fox heads the cast as insufferable/lovable young conservative Alex Keaton, who this time around is attending Oxford on a summer scholarship. The Keaton family--ex-hippie parents Elyse (Meredith Baxter Birney) and Steven (Michael Gross), and sisters Mallory (Justine Bateman) and Jennifer (Tina Yothers)--decide to go along with Alex in order to enjoy a vacation in England. The script contrives to have the Keatons behave wildly out of character by getting involved in a hackneyed espionage plot. The film looks more like one of those Dell Comics "specials" or Ace Paperback TV show tie-ins rather than a logical extension of the original series. Family Ties Vacation was first telecast September 23, 1985.
by Hal Erickson synopsis