Timeless TV Show
Photo Credit: NBC.com

NBC Challenges Doctor Who with Sci-fi Drama “Timeless”

Timeless trailers have been splashed across my TV screens for the past few weeks.  The cinematic prowess is evident ,and I’ve been hooked trying to figure out just what NBC has up its sleeve.  More sci-fi prime time?  Yes please.

The series features an incongruous trio tasked with saving the world from a bad guy who would rewrite history by changing the past.  In their second-rate time machine that execs likened to the Millennium Falcon, Lucy (Abigail Spencer), Wyatt (Matt Lanter), and Rufus (Malcolm Barrett)will try to leave a small footprint as they chase Garcia Flynn (Goran Visnjic ) through historical timelines.

Producer Shawn Ryan says that unlike other time travel shows (cough cough), the physics of the journey will be different.  Characters can’t go back to a timeline where they’ve already existed or visited so in a sense, they are always moving “forward,” even as they go back.  Ryan claims the producers and writers don’t want a show with a “convoluted timeline” that “falls down a serialized rabbit hole.”  From the preview, they seem to be going for gritty realism with a smathering of violence.  Thankfully, the trio adds enough wise-cracking to lighten the mood-a little.

I can’t help but think Steven Moffat would have a thing or two to say to Ryan, but maybe he’s nonplussed.  Moffat is stepping down from Doctor Who at a time when ratings are down and the show’s momentum seems to be flagging.  It’s hard to imagine NBC isn’t trying to draw viewers on this side of the pond with an accessible time travel drama.  What, with Netflix no longer streaming the Whoniverse, it may be an easy temptation for sci-fi junkies.

Timeless has an enticing premise that’s focused on American history—the pilot episode will feature a rewrite of the Hindenburg disaster and future episodes promise events from Lincoln’s assassination to the lunar landing.  The most interesting preview I’ve read is how saving or changing history could potentially affect each team member’s life.  Consequences are real, and the stakes are high as they make choices and play with the strings of time. Personal moments for each trio character shine in the trailer as they each struggle with their inner demons.  Hopefully the writing will live up to the promise of the pretty trappings of high-budget camera angles and explosions.  And the costumes…from 1750’s fashion to threads from 1962.  I’d watch a few episodes just for that.

Trailer for Timeless

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Christie Hudon is a playwright, poet, and author of children's and YA books. Much of her work tends toward the realm of fantasy.
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