Where has this show been all my life?
By TimelessUK on April 9, 2018
Hey, I’m Sam, I live in England, am a dog person, horsey girl, history nerd & nerd in general & I’m a total Timeless fangirl 😁
Thanks so much to TVore for giving me this opportunity.
Welcome to my review of the very first episode of NBC’s Timeless, I have a rule when it comes to a new TV show, I give it two episodes & if you haven’t hooked me, you’ve lost me, Timeless didn’t have that problem, I liked this show from the get go.
I actually began watching Timeless after a recommendation from a friend, she knows I have a fondness for history & told me she thought I’d love it, she was right. The miraculous resurrection had already happened by this point which had me intrigued as well, this must be something special, I binge watched season one on Netflix (available in the UK)
I consider this a really strong pilot, the opening scenes of the Hindenburg really give you an idea of the high production values this series is going to offer, I like that you see how history did play out before you see how it happens due to the interference of Flynn & our Time Team as well.
Enter Lucy Preston, the protagonist, played by Abigail Spencer, a college Professor giving a lecture on modern, American history, it’s clear from just a handful of scenes, Lucy is good at her job, she’s engaging to her students & it seems like they like her. We find out that she works in the department that her Mother helped build & that Lucy is aiming for tenure. The meeting gets cancelled & with the benefit of hindsight, I am now left wondering if Rittenhouse had something to do with it?
We see Lucy visit her Mum who is sick with cancer & her Sister Amy, it’s clear they all have a strong bond.
Elsewhere, at what will become the focal point for our intrepid time travellers – Mason Industries, we meet Rufus Carlin, played by Malcolm Barrett & Jiya (Claudia Doumit) with a brief appearance from a character called Anthony, who appears to be Rufus’ boss.
It seems like business as usual, Connor Mason has quite a relaxed atmosphere for his employees, it’s clear from the start, Rufus has a bit of a soft spot for Jiya. Anthony even jokes that if Rufus is going out to get lunch, she should go too, rather then stare at her all day. I don’t think this was ever addressed but again, knowing what I know now, was Anthony trying to get them out of harms way?
Enter Garcia Flynn, played by Goran Visnjic, our ‘villain’ – Flynn appears to be ruthless, him & his team are shooting people indiscriminately to achieve their goal. To steal the object we now know, is a time machine, he also abducts Rufus’ boss.
The next time we see Lucy is when Homeland Security knock on her Mums’ door asking for her to accompany them, Lucy is reticent, her Sister Amy is clearly a little sceptical too, never the less she goes with them to Mason Industries.
Enter Wyatt Logan, played by Matt Lanter, this is where #Lyatt begins *sigh* - Lucy is escorted to some kind of waiting area where Wyatt is; I don’t know what he’s doing actually but he appears asleep. Lucy questions him on this & he replies “no Ma’am” – Lucy is clearly quite an inquisitive person & even though Wyatt is displaying complete disinterest in what’s going on, she continues to question him, asking him if he knows why they’ve been called here? Lucy gets aggravated at Wyatt’s nonchalance & snarks at him about the “Ma’am thing” he smirks back at her & the spark is lit.
Enter Agent Christopher of Homeland Security, played by Sakina Jaffrey, she explains that Lucy’s reputation in history & anthropology precedes her & pays her a compliment, to which Lucy shirks off, saying her Mother is the gifted one, clearly something going on there.
Wyatt, we find out is former Delta Force, I can’t claim to be au fait with the US military but by the way Agent Christopher speaks to him with such deference, Wyatt’s team were clearly elite & specialists at what they did, you sent them in & the job got done.
What I really like about this first episode is there is a lot of exposition to deliver, brand new characters & a situation but the pacing is done incredibly well. You don’t feel bombarded. & you’ve almost forgotten about the historical event we saw at the beginning but don’t, we’re going back to it.
Enter, Connor Mason, played by Paterson Joseph, the owner & creator of Mason Industries, I’m a Brit so it always delights me a little to see a British actor on American shows, one our actors are very good & two, as an International viewer it gives me a touchstone. I knew of Paterson from other roles here so was looking forward to seeing more from him.
Agent Christopher explains to Lucy & Wyatt that Flynn broke in & stole something, that he is a former NSA asset & shows them CCTV footage of a man getting into a capsule of some kind & vanishing before their eyes, neat huh?
Connor explains that he has invented a machine that allows you to travel back in time & the science behind it, Mr Mason is clearly very intelligent but comes across pretty arrogant as well.
I’m intrigued as to why the writers decided to have Connor as British, it appears to me that he could have easily been American, more Bill Gates then Richard Branson but never the less, he is.
Lucy & Wyatt are to be tasked with going back in time, stopping Flynn from creating untold ripples & changing the present as we know it, dum, dum, dum... Lucy, naturally is like “yeah right?” – Wyatt is a soldier, his orders are issued, he carries them out, Lucy has no such discipline instilled & storms out. Agent Christopher pursues her & really, emotionally blackmails her into joining the team.
Meanwhile Connor has press ganged Rufus into accompanying them to act as their pilot, Connor seems to have a lot of influence over Rufus, more then just in a boss kind of way, you can see, there’s more to know there.
The Time Team assembled, they make their way to the back-up time travel vessel of Mason Industries, dubbed ‘’The Lifeboat’’
Rufus introduces himself & is visibly terrified, Lucy having previously been obsessing about the historical inaccuracies of her attire, including her modern bra (you may want to remember that) is also very on edge, well you would be wouldn’t you? Informing them that she’s claustrophobic, same Lucy, same.
Wyatt is seemingly cool-as-a-cumber, he appears to think of this as “just another mission” Lucy notices he has alcohol on his breath & calls him on it, Wyatt snarks ‘’I didn’t know I was going to be working tonight Ma’am’’ which annoys Lucy. Was Wyatt trying to distract her from her fear? I think he was.
The Lifeboat after a very juddery start disappears from Mason & reappears May the 6th, 1937 New Jersey, the Time Team depart & it clearly wasn’t a fun ride, Wyatt nearly falls out of the door tee hee, I contribute that to the alcohol.
Lucy looks up, boom, there’s the Hindenburg & they make their way into the city.
A bit more exposition is done as a ‘’walk & talk’’ (West Wing fan right here!) which is a nice touch, where in Rufus explains to the other two the rules, i.e. you cannot travel to a point in time you already exist, much like the warning Dumbledore gives Hermione about the Time Turner, right?
Once in town, Lucy is in awe of rather then reading about history, getting to experience it firsthand (Lucy is my spirit animal)
Lucy & Rufus also fill Wyatt in on what really happened to the Hindenburg, which was cool because I didn’t know, thanks writers!
Moving on, our trio enter a bar to gain intel on Flynn’s whereabouts. The racial tension of the time is addressed as poor Rufus, being a man of colour, is being glared at & has to go outside, a very different time.
Lucy almost immediately identifies Kate Drummond, a reporter who’s job it was to cover the airships voyage, who you may remember from the opening scenes, we saw her meet a tragic end right at the beginning of the episode.
Wyatt starts flirting with Kate & it’s unclear at this point if this is who he is, or he has another agenda. Once outside, Lucy explains to Wyatt & Rufus that sadly, Kate will die. Wyatt is horrified, his job is to prevent death & he’s being told that this woman has to perish as history demands it.
They arrive at the air field & Lucy vamps, using pop culture names & aliases to gain assistance from the security, she’s smart, she improvises quickly & Wyatt is visibly impressed, who run the world? 😏
Our team hide in the hangar, kind of staking out the airfield, one of Flynn’s men finds them & Wyatt shoots & kills him, Lucy is angry, worried about the ramifications to the present, Wyatt is less bothered, we learn that he is all-about-the-mission.
Flynn, evil mastermind that he is, turns the tables on our Time Team & gets them arrested, Lucy & Wyatt together & Rufus in a cell on his own. Another good bit of drip feeding us information, whist confined, Lucy challenges Wyatt, makes him tell her why he reacted the way he did about Kate & tried to save her. We find out, Wyatt is a widower, his wife was murdered & that Kate reminds him of her, aw! Already we begin to see, these characters are not one dimensional, even the ‘muscle’
Straight away, Wyatt reminded me of Colonel Jack O’Neill from the Stargate movie, Jack takes the mission because there’s a chance, it’s a one-way trip & after losing his Son, feels he has nothing to live for anyway, I totally got these same vibes about Wyatt.
The team are frustrated, they can’t get out, until Wyatt has an idea, he gets Rufus to cause a distraction, while after staring at her suggestively, Wyatt sidles over to Lucy & informs her, he has a plan. Remember that modern bra? this is chess not checkers people, Lucy removes the underwire, Wyatt seems attracted to Lucy but tries to hide it (very unsuccessfully) tee hee – he picks the lock, gets them out & saves the day.
Meanwhile Rufus’ distraction turned out to be riling up the guard for his racist behaviour. He delivers an epic rant about the men of colour who will follow him & do great things (& some that won’t) no danger of influencing history there Rufus dude.
Our team find their way back to the Hindenburg, sneak on-board & discover Flynn has planted a bomb, nice guy this. Flynn has already changed history, he saved the airship from the catastrophe that befell it in real life but now it seems, he does in fact want it to come down.
Wyatt does not claim to be an expert on bomb disposal but he has seen some diffused & steps up, meanwhile, Lucy & Rufus are tasked with convincing the pilot to land so everyone can get off safely. Again we see, Lucy is a smart woman, she pretends her & Rufus are hi-jackers, holds the crew at knifepoint & instructs them to land.
Wyatt is trying to diffuse the bomb, with the assistance of Kate, we get to see him a little warmer, that he does have a sense of humour, Lucy’s doing? he gets attacked, a fight ensues & a shot is fired, igniting the Hindenburg the same way it did in history.
Lucy & Rufus manage to get everyone off safely but Flynn having smelled a rat, returns to the airfield & is waiting for Lucy, he tells her that he knows who she is & alludes to a destiny Lucy knows nothing about, something called “Rittenhouse” & shows her a diary that Lucy admits to being in her hand. Wyatt appears, Flynn grabs her & holds a gun to her head, Wyatt takes a calculated shot at Flynn. We see that he’s a very good marksmen, missing Lucy & only hitting Flynn, though it has to be said, it is kinda close... Flynn aims for Wyatt but shoots Kate, in a harrowing scene for Wyatt, he has to watch someone who resembles his wife die. This is the first time I’ve ever seen Matt Lanter in anything & I was impressed, he’s a great actor.
The team return to the present, history has changed, oops! Rufus, Lucy & Wyatt are now apart of it too, said to be anarchists who caused the accident. Lucy thinks she has figured out Flynn’s agenda, she informs the others that she thinks he wants to change American history from the Founding Fathers upwards. It is unclear at this point as to why? Lucy asks Agent Christopher what “Rittenhouse” is, she appears as baffled as Lucy was (I believe her)
We find out later, Connor knows full well who Rittenhouse is but doesn’t say a thing, shady character that one. Only made more intriguing when we see Connor had asked Rufus to record the audio of the mission, unbeknownst to the other two.
Lucy catches up to Wyatt as he’s leaving & says that she knows he wants to go back in time & save his wife, she could be more tactful though, basically says, this is how it’s meant to be & that’s it. I get the impression that Lucy doesn’t have a lot of friends, is a bit of a loner & has trouble relating to people when it doesn’t involve academics.
Jiya is pleased to see Rufus home, she’s curious about how his trip was & in some new found confidence, Rufus asks her out, aw!
Wyatt is seen in a bar, obviously very much still mourning his wife, he has a photo of him & Jessica in his hands, a broken man.
Lucy returns home to find her Mum is no longer dying, is very well & she is overcome with emotion. Whilst this is a wonderful surprise, Lucy’s Sister Amy, who we met at the start, has sadly apparently blinked out of existence & Carol infers that Lucy is engaged, what?!
The last scene is Agent Christopher calling Lucy to instruct her to come back in & the closing lines are Lucy replying ‘’where & when?’’ which was a great way to finish & definitely left me wanting more.
I really liked this show right from this episode, the pilot was well executed, the cast is wonderful, diverse, multi- national & they have great chemistry. The story was compelling & it played like a movie, the script was well written, it had action, drama, it sowed seeds for future mythology & really made you appreciate that history is really about people making choices.
Timeless airs on NBC on Sunday nights at10pm & you can catch up with season one on Hulu.
If you’re in the UK, like me, it’s on Netflix & airs Wednesday nights, 9pm on E4.
A good History lesson
By Carry9 on April 14, 2018
A good History lesson about the Hindenburg.
Outstanding concept with an average execution
By Jack Anderson on April 14, 2018
AN OUTSTANDING CONCEPT
The opening scene of the episode summarizes perfectly what is great about this series. In not even a second, we are brought back to May 6, 1937, just minutes before the Hindenburg Zeppelin bursts into flames. For those who do not know about it, here is the actual event:
The concept of the series is truly great. Of course, it is not new by nature, as we have seen countless tv series and movies about time travel. For instance, Quantum Leap was doing it decades ago. But Quantum Leap was almost never focusing on real life events, which had many downsides. The stakes were not always very high, focusing mostly on personal stories. Quantum Leap was a show about emotions and humanity. But sometimes, the show focused on real events and we would be sitting on the edge of our seats, such as the two-part episode where Sam Beckett tries to stop the assassination of US President John Fitzgeral Kennedy in November 1963.
Therefore, the positive difference between most stories about time travels and Timeless is that the series serializes the time travels with real events from History. And that's without any doubt the best aspect of the series. Every week, as an audience, we get to witness History. That is why I will definitely watch the next episode, even though I did not entirely love the pilot episode.
AN AVERAGE EXECUTION
While the opening scene was really well done, it was also kind of messy. And while it was clearly ambitious to produce an episode about the Hindenburg, there were a couple of shots that felt really series-like, especially during the explosion. And that seems logical that producing an episode a week on a real life event from History would be really difficult to shoot. But don't get me wrong, the show is totally believable. I think it is on the verge of being very good.
Meanwhile, I really did not appreciate the format of the NCIS-like scientific lab, with beautiful young people, wearing too much makeup and being not interesting at all. That is why I used to love Quantum Leap, which focused more on the psychological aspect of time travel and the emotions of the journey than on the technical mumbo jumbo.
Because there are of course many paradoxes in this series. As one character obviously states, why not simply going back in time a couple of minutes before Flynn steals the time machine? But it is way too early to judge how the writers will be able to work throughout those paradoxes.
As for the characters, I really enjoyed seeing Goran Visnjic portraying an evil character. I was so used to seeing him as the big heart loving doctor in ER that I felt it was a terrific idea to have him portraying an opposite character in Timeless. Unfortunately, I do not feel the same way about the other characters. Like in most average series, I thought that there wasn't anything special about them. I didn't feel instantly in love with the characters, the same way I loved Fox Mulder and Dana Scully right from the start of The X-Files, as an example.
To summarize, I think that Timeless should definitely not be ashamed of its pilot, which is interesting. I give it 4 out of 10, mostly because I didn't really care about the characters and didn't enjoy the lab. But since I am very interested in History and that I love time travel stories, I will definitely watch the next episode.
A History Class That You Won't Get Bored In!
By angelagflanagan on April 16, 2018
I had to give the pilot 10 stars because it really sets the tone for the show. You'll love the characters, the missions, and the reasons why the Time Team came into existence. All around, this show is great for all ages! It's fun, it's light, but it's also educational, which I think is a unique aspect because while the show might come off as just a "time traveling" show, the historical aspect adds depth and meaning to it. The writers and creators have taken it upon themselves to give the viewers a more meaningful reason to go back in time. You can tell that the writers heavily researched the topic of each episode, and that just makes this show even more special because they're literally bringing the past to the present.
If you are a history major, a history teacher, or a history buff (like me!) I highly recommend this show to you.
Congratulations to the entire cast and crew for making a show so entertaining and worthwhile! Here's to another adventure!