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Tuesday, October 4, 2016



Starring: Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Paterson Joseph, Sakina Jaffrey, Claudia Doumit, and Goran Visnjic

Created by Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan
Written by Eric Kripke & Shawn Ryan, Directed by Neil Marshall

In the time-traveling theme of 2016-17 season, Timeless is perhaps the most transparent yet most ambitious of them all. NBC's latest Monday 10pm launch follows a team including teacher Lucy Preston (Abigail Spencer), bodyguard Wyatt Logan (Matt Lanter), and engineer Rufus Carlin (Malcolm Barrett) as they travel through time to stop a criminal mastermind, Garcia Flynn (Goran Visnjic) who has stolen an experimental time machine. The pilot brought us to 1937 and the Hindenburg disaster.

Timeless is one of the most visually stunning new shows. The scenes in 1937 were pretty spectacular with some nice details and touches. I can't even imagine the budget for this show because they had to re-create an entire era and it was just for one episode! Next week, they head back to 1865 and have to do an entirely different era. I know the reason was for crime-fighting and I wouldn't be very good at that but it made me want to go back to this era (and probably future eras they explore). The three leads were very appealing and I particularly liked Abigail Spencer. Her line about Dr. Dre, Nurse Jackie, and General Hospital was pretty funny too.

But Timeless, I worry about you and I worry that you are going to get incredibly convoluted incredibly fast especially given an interesting but odd twist to the end of the pilot. I love the idea of jumping to different eras in time and trying to stop a criminal, but I worry that this show is going to end up with mythology and twists it can't get itself out of. Although I think there are interesting elements to explore too such as race in different eras (especially with a black member on the team), I do worry about them going too far down political streets that don't seem essential to the construct of the show.

So, I really liked this pilot and I thought it was cinematically quite impressive. But I just feel as though I've been burned by these kinds of shows before and it dampens my enthusiasm for this show and its potential. Maybe it will prove me wrong and maybe it has a great sense of where it wants to be a year from now or five years from now if it lasts that long, but I'm skeptical. For now I guess I will enjoy the ride and see how long it can hold my attention.

Definitely but with the many reservations I have expressed.

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