Timeless (NBC) - TV Review
by Bryan Mero
NBC has a reputation. They will go out on a limb and create new shows that might be looked upon as a risk and then quickly cancel them. They have a knack of creating good shows like Chuck, Awake and Believe which you may have heard of but never got a chance to see before they were canceled. Chuck is the exception here since a groundswell of support kept the series barely alive as it added on episodes, moved to several different nights and then was finally ended by the network.
I'm hoping this doesn't happen to TIMELESSS which airs on Monday nights. NBC announced today that it will add on 6 more episodes that will run after the new year. That will give it a total of 13 episodes. That's not a full season but at least it's something. If you haven't watched Timeless yet and you like time travel type shows, history and a good mystery this just might be up your alley.
Why is Timeless so good? The premise behind Timeless is pretty simple: A man named Flynn (Goran Visnjic) is traveling back in time and is trying to change history. Our heroes, Wyatt (Matt Lanter) a military man in charge of killing Flynn, Lucy (Abigail Spencer) the history professor leading the way to make sure history stays the same, and Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) the pilot and co-creator of the time travel craft, are following Flynn back in time and trying to figure out and stop whatever he is doing to history. That alone is a fun premise. Here is where things get interesting...as they travel back in time they start meeting key people in history. Doesn't sound that exciting but the way they interact with people from the past is the key.
People are pretty much the same today vs 50, 100 or 150 years ago. They are living their lives the best way they can. Some inspire great things in others and some just want to see the world burn. Then there is the communication between our heroes and those famous figures from the past. They are people with problems, concerns and fears and the writers for Timeless recognizes this. When Wyatt and Jim Bowie sit down at the Alamo, hours before an attack from the Mexican army, they have a heart to heart conversation that is on par or better than most dramas I've seen on television. These historical characters are real, fleshed out in only an episode. We feel for them as our heroes do and feel helpless when knowing history will take their lives.
Here's one of the best parts of this story. Our heroes don't always succeed in preserving history. We see that in the very first episode. No spoilers, but each episode slightly changes the past and creates a new reality in the future. Some things are exactly the same and others are entirely different. That's the beauty of the show. Our heroes aren't perfect and just the fact that they travel to the past changes the future. Even if they tried to keep everything the same, something would be influenced by having them in that setting.
History professors should be having a field day with this show. Timeless goes out of its way to get the history right. What a great example of entertainment and a history lesson all in one. Now, the writers do create situations where history changes due to Flynn's interference, and it's interesting to see how that has changed the future and/or the view of events in history.
If any of this appeals to you and you haven't watched the show yet...please, please, please watch the pilot episode to see if its for you. HULU has the episode available, along with On-Demand with most cable/satellite companies. If you like it, watch the rest. Each episode only seems to get better. Each character is fleshed out a bit more per episode and an overall mystery arc underlines it all. Join me in some fun time travel, history lesson, character driven show with Timeless. I'm going to keep watching...time travel with me!