By: Bill Cushing – December, 2016
An unlikely trio of heroes follow a criminal through time as they hop through significant events in world history, trying to change them. That’s the premise of NBC’s new time travel series “Timeless.”
“Timeless” is set in the present, where a tech company has developed a time machine only to have it stolen by a shadowy figure who wants to change the past for reasons that are not yet clear.
The series stars Abigail Spencer (“Rectify”) as history professor Lucy Preston, brought in by the government, along with scientist Rufus Carlin (Malcolm Barrett) and US military operative Wyatt Logan (Matt Lanter), to chase the time-hopping villain Garcia Flynn (Goran Visnjic).
Each week the team chases Flynn back to some pivotal moment in the past that he has gone to and try and prevent history from being changed. So far they have traveled back to such events as The Hindenburg disaster, President Lincoln’s Assassination, The Alamo, Nazi Germany, Watergate, and The Moon Landing just to name a few.
The team quickly learns that their actions in the past can have drastic consequences in the present. They are very careful not to interfere with the historic events and figures that they encounter. But there is also the temptation to change things for the better. For example, will saving the life of someone in the past cause other tragic events to occur that didn’t occur before?
The team has been given very little information on the reasons behind Flynn’s actions. They only know that they need to stop him and bring him back. As the story progresses and our heroes learn more about Flynn, they start to wonder if he is really the bad guy after all.
The show delivers action, humor, and at the same time deserves credit for trying to be as historically accurate as possible while giving the viewers history lessons. For example, John Wilkes Booth’s brother saved the life of Abraham Lincoln’s son less than a year before the assassination. Bet you didn’t know that.
The actors are all very appealing in their roles. Spencer is especially good in her role as Lucy. She is torn between what she feels is the right thing to do and what she is being told is the right thing to do. She is also dealing with a personal crisis at the same time.
Rufus Carlin, in my opinion, is the best thing on the show. He plays a reluctant hero. He never asked for this and yet somehow feels obligated to uphold history and prevent Flynn from causing catastrophic changes; all while being pressured to provide intel on his team members.
Created by Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”) and Eric Kripke (“Supernatural”), the series is well executed and a lot of fun. There is also a cool thought-provoking sci-fi premise that could have been clumsy but the show pulls it off.
“Timeless” airs Mondays at 10 on NBC.
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