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HaemishM
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on: January 18, 2017, 09:48:14 AM

So this sci-fi show Timeless premiered last fall on NBC and I was suitably intrigued by the trailer to DVR it. It's now gone through 11 episodes (#10 was the Fall Finale, #11 just came on this past Monday). After the first episode I just wasn't sure about it - my main misgivings were that I've probably seen this show before. Network sci-fi tends to be very narrow and doesn't take a lot chances or offer a lot of surprises.

However, while it still has a few restrictions on it based on it being network TV, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Yes, it's a time-travel show but unlike others, it tries to actually deal with the consequences of time travel, scientifically but more importantly morally.

For instance - the 3 main characters are Lucy (historian who goes back in time to try to make sure history is preserved), Wyatt (Delta Force soldier dude meant to go back and try to kill the other time traveler who is trying to wreck history) and Rufus (black genius programmer/physics dude who is the only one who can pilot the ship). In the 2nd episode, they go back to the day of Lincoln's assassination to try to prevent Flynn (the villain who is trying to "destroy America" by changing events in the past) from messing with the timeline by ensuring that not only is Lincoln assassinated but his top officials as well (including the Secretary of State, Gen. Grant and Andrew Johnson). They actually have a discussion about saving Lincoln because Rufus knows just how bad black people will have it under Reconstruction and Jim Crow because Lincoln isn't there to prevent it. Lucy objects because of the whole "We have to preserve the timeline" thing but in the end when given a chance, she tries to save Lincoln because it's a lot different when you are dealing with real people.

And they have moments like that all through the show. Wyatt makes an attempt to save his wife's life (she has been killed before the series opens) by sending her a telegram from the 1960's, and at the end of the first episode, Lucy returns home to see her mom well (her mom had cancer at the start) and the sister we saw at the beginning of the episode suddenly doesn't exist. They aren't afraid of tackling these kinds of issues and the team continually makes changes to the timeline either purposefully or on accident and there isn't some magic macguffin that keeps the changes from happening. One of the funny one is after helping Ian Fleming as a spy, their adventure ends up becoming a new Sean Connery James Bond movie.

Trailer

Again, the trailer doesn't even do justice for how well written the show is. One of the creators is Shawn Ryan, who created The Shield.

satael
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Reply #1 on: January 18, 2017, 10:20:03 AM

Going back in time to stop people from changing history sounds interesting in that you have to always know the bad guys' intentions beforehand and get to the past before them or whatever they do will have already happened...
HaemishM
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Reply #2 on: January 18, 2017, 10:26:28 AM

That's what the historian Lucy is there for - and sometimes even she gets it wrong because while you might think the bad guy is trying to STOP the Lincoln assassination, while you are there you find out he was actually trying to make sure Grant was with Lincoln at the theater that night so he could kill both of them. There's stuff like that throughout the show. They also seem to try to be pretty accurate with the hidden bits of history - they even did a moon landing episode where they had to get Catherine Johnson to help them (the African-American mathematician that the movie Hidden Figures is based around).

pxib
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Reply #3 on: January 18, 2017, 11:48:21 AM

You have seen this show before. It's been shipping around the networks for decades, and its pilots have made it on air twice... even though in one case that was the only episode and in the other it was canceled mid-season.

It's very silly. I put it at about the same level as Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: Goofy edutainment! If this version has legs, great, but (like that George Lucas property) it's complicated and expensive and probably won't last very long.
HaemishM
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Reply #4 on: January 18, 2017, 12:41:11 PM

Ratings on it are not great, but it came back for a winter run so I'm hoping it at least makes it to the end of season 1 and we get an ending for it.

Surlyboi
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Reply #5 on: January 18, 2017, 08:38:13 PM

I really like this show. Obviously, I'm a huge fan of Rufus. Partially because he's named after George Carlin's character in the Bill and Ted movies, but because he uttered the amazingly accurate words, "I'm a black man, there's no time in the past that really works for me."

That said, it gets ridiculous at points, but it's still really likable.

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
Surlyboi
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Reply #6 on: February 20, 2017, 09:37:23 PM

This ended tonight for the season. Twisty end you can see coming but there's some other interesting side bits that could be interesting long-term.

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
HaemishM
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Reply #7 on: February 21, 2017, 08:40:39 PM

I thought they went to the ending a little quickly after leaving 1954 but I still hope like hell this thing gets renewed.

Reg
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Reply #8 on: May 10, 2017, 05:04:48 PM

It's been cancelled.  swamp poop
HaemishM
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Reply #9 on: May 10, 2017, 05:47:43 PM

Well fuck. It was good while it lasted.

Surlyboi
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Reply #10 on: May 11, 2017, 07:27:18 PM

Fuck NBC.

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
pxib
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Reply #11 on: May 12, 2017, 12:06:06 AM

Fear not! If the pattern holds it will reboot again in four or five years.
Threash
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Reply #12 on: May 12, 2017, 07:12:08 AM

Wait, this was good? I only managed like three episodes.

I am the .00000001428%
Reg
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Reply #13 on: May 12, 2017, 08:13:43 AM

It started off a bit slow but it picked up as it went on.
Khaldun
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Reply #14 on: May 13, 2017, 05:01:09 AM

I never made it past the first three. Just didn't grab me.
Reg
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Reply #15 on: May 13, 2017, 12:45:20 PM

HaemishM
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Reply #16 on: May 13, 2017, 01:02:02 PM

WOOT!

10-episode season, summer of 2018. Awesome!

Surlyboi
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Reply #17 on: May 13, 2017, 04:34:54 PM

Like others have said, it started kinda slow and some of the tropes like the wisecracking black guy were in full effect, but the implications laid out in the last two episodes were awesome.

And the Devil In The White City reference was literally killer.

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
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