Time After Time is the latest in a resurgence of time travel stories on television. This one is based on the novel and 1979 movie of the same name.
Malcolm McDowell’s take on H.G. Wells in the film was absolutely brilliant. David Warner’s version of Jack the Ripper was terrifying, yet he was clearly having fun with the material. The ’79 movie was nowhere near perfect, but it was a light-hearted romp through time that holds up fairly well thanks to its stellar performances. Having already seen the first hour of this new reimagining, I can tell you that the show’s leads, Freddie Stroma (H.G. Wells), Josh Bowman (Dr. John Stevenson/Jack the Ripper), and Genesis Rodriguez (Jane Walker) have sensational chemistry. All three are younger and sexier than their movie counterparts, but don’t let that be a deterrent as they’re really solid actors.
With Timeless having just wrapped up a delightful first season, Doctor Who not returning until April 15th and 12 Monkeys still months away from airing its third season… there’s a spot available in the good ol’ DVR for a new time travel show.
While the movie built toward a finite conclusion, they can’t exactly lock Dr. Stevenson away at the end of the pilot. I’m curious to see how long the cat and mouse game can be drawn out before it gets old. On Timeless, Garcia Flynn was our “villain,” but he operated in that murky grey area between baddie and guy with an honorable mission. There were much larger forces at work on that show, which kept things interesting. Jack the Ripper is not a redeemable guy, he’s the devil incarnate and as evil as one gets. Executive Producer Kevin Williamson somehow managed to keep the bloodsuckers on The Vampire Diaries conflicted for several seasons, so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t watch his Scream TV series on Mtv. Any good?
The question is, will the average viewer tune-in on Sunday nights to follow the exploits of H.G. Wells and Jane Walker as they chase the ripper through time? Which time periods will we be visiting? Will the series take place mostly in the present, traveling through time a few days or hours? Perhaps H.G. will take Jane back to Victorian London at some point? Until we see what the writers have in store, we can only guess at the possibilities. I’ve said it before, if networks can drown us in medical, legal and cop shows… where’s the harm in one more time travel series? Based on the pilot alone, I’m all in!
What worries me is the lack of promo for Time After Time and the fact the network delayed it until midseason. Will they cut their losses if the premiere’s ratings are not impressive? Let’s be honest, the broadcast networks rarely stand behind a new television series allowing it to find its audience. Timeless is on the bubble and has yet to be renewed. All we can do as MustGeekTV fans is tune-in LIVE on Sunday, March 5th and DVR the show. If you enjoyed it, watch it back within 3-days of airing to help with the time-shifted numbers. Stand behind good sci-fi and it will thrive.
Below are ABC’s episode summaries for the show’s two-hour premiere…
“Pilot” – Using the 1979 novel and movie as a launching point, “Time After Time” chronicles the adventures of a young H.G. Wells, as he travels through centuries, decades and days in the time machine he created. In the pursuit of the charismatic (yet secretly psychopathic) Dr. John Stevenson, better known as “Jack the Ripper,” Wells arrives in modern day New York City, searching for Stevenson after the doctor escapes authorities in Wells’ London home. But instead of the Utopia he imagined, Wells finds a world more aligned with Stevenson’s temperament in a series charged with danger and adventure, and centered in thrills, satire, humor – and most of all, an epic love story.
“I Will Catch You” – Presented with the real possibility that Vanessa Anders is in fact Wells’ great granddaughter, H.G. and Jane continue to search for Dr. John Stevenson, but when their final face-to-face meeting goes anything but planned, the doctor is back on the loose.
Time After Time Premieres March 5th at 9|8c on ABC