Title: Timeless (pilot)
Director:  Neil Marshall
Writers: created and written by Eric Kripke, Shawn Ryan
Starring: Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Paterson Joseph, Sakina Jaffrey, Claudia Doumit, Goran Visnjic, Matt Frewer, Hiro Kanagawa, and more
Episode length: 42 minutes average
Network: NBC


Timeless, as you might imagine, is a time travel adventure series in the fashion of Irwin Allen’s The Time Tunnel, in fact its pretty much a modern day clone of that series.

When I first saw the tv spots for Timeless it immediately made me think it was another edition of the popular trend in tv shows to hang what is basically an adventure romance novel narrative on a genre concept, in the manner of shows like Alias, and Quantico and that’s exactly what it appears to be.

If you’re a genre tv fan anything like me, if a new genre series is on the air, you check it out, just in case it turns out to be a pleasant surprise like this past summer’s Braindead was. In this case the series in question is Timeless, NBC’s clone (with modern touches) of The Time Tunnel, Irwin Allen’s 1966-67 time travel adventure series.

Checking out the pilot last night, I found it better than unbearable despite seeming predictable and uninspired. The premise is three time travelers go on missions into the past to safeguard the future. The time machine itself, looks pretty cool, almost like a giant eye. The cast is likable enough, which helped, featuring woman historian Lucy Preston (Abigail Spencer) to act as the official source of information on time traveling missions  about the period they are visiting. She’s a typical modern tv woman, strong willed (of course), intelligent and in love with the history she teaches. Think of her as a female version of Nicolas Cage in National Treasure (2004)

She is accompanied by a soldier, Wyatt Logan (Matt Lanter), along to handle any rough stuff that occurs, he is a bit of a loose cannon who likes to drink, maybe too much. Also along is a technician/engineer, Rufus Carlin (Malcolm Barrett) to handle the operation of the time machine. The technician in this case happens to be black and strongly resists the idea of going back in time, because he says there’s not any time in the past that won’t suck for him. Who can blame him? However, Connor Mason (Paterson Joseph), owner of the company the time device belongs to, that he works for convinces him to go. There’s also a sub plot where he is recording their adventures for his employer.

Here’s a brief recap, laced with some comments (*warning, spoilers follow*)

This show is different from the original in several ways. This time around the the three time travelers are sent back by the government to prevent a terrorist who stole a time machine, from messing with historical events and changing the future (our present) by doing so. They are out to capture him if possible, not kill him, because temporal anomalies, yada, yada, yada. Also, the show quickly establishes the rule there’s no do overs, because visiting a time period you have already travelled to and running into that version of yourself would be super bad.

Like the original series, the travelers meet famous characters from the past while trying to carry out their missions, and the first time they go out to prevent the bad guy from interfering with the Hindenburg crashing, they fail and return to find things in their lives have changed. For example,  before they leave, Lucy’s mom is very sick and near death causing her and her younger sister stress and depression, But when she returns her moms is fine, only her younger sister no longer exists.

To make things more interesting there’s another wrinkle involving the bad guy they are after, who knows more about the situation than the government is revealing to Lucy and her fellow travelers. He somehow has a journal she still hasn’t written, but will write in the future, and knows all about her. Very mysterious!

With this series my first impressions were right on target but it was better than I thought it would be, not saying that means its great tv. Its a solid B-B+ (a meh + in less tactful language) series IMHO, that faces some competition in Scorpio another quasi genre show that airs in the same time slot on CBS. Its something to watch when there’s nothing else available. Happy viewing.



By Craig Suide

A genuine (OCD) enthusiast of Sci-FI and fantasy. Addicted to stories. a life-long fan of movies, TV, and pop culture in general. Purchased first comic book at age five, and never stopped. Began reading a lot early on, and discovered ancient mythology, and began reading science fiction around the same time. Made first attempts at writing genre fiction around age 12 Freelance writer for Sci-Fi Nerd (Facebook), retired professional gourmet chef. ex-musician, and illustrator

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