As many people do, I enjoy a good time travel story (like Outlander, Doctor Who, and many more). Period pieces are usually a combination of British class and manners, with a lot of drama. So when I first saw the teaser trailer for Time After Time, which is not only a period piece with literary characters, but also a time travel show, I felt like it would be my cup of tea. While the show has its moments of intensity and charm, I find it to be slow-paced and a bit cheesy sometimes.
Time After Time follows H.G. Wells (Freddie Stroma) and his doctor friend on a chase through time. When it turns out Wells’ friend is actually Jack the Ripper (Josh Bowman), John uses Wells’ time machine to escape the police and travel to the future. H.G. Wells has no choice but to follow and stop him before his killing streak continues. Once in the future, he must adapt to the times and that means accepting the help of assistant museum curator Jane (Genesis Rodriguez) and his descendant Vanessa (Nicole Ari Parker). Together, they try to stop Jack from killing more people and from stealing the time machine to forever evade justice.
“Imagine who you could be if you didn’t live in fear.”
Time After Time wastes no time diving right into the action and drama. Most of the scenes from the first trailer happen quickly in the first episode. After that, the show tries to build on the characters and the story. It delves into the darkness and brutality of John, who kills solely because he enjoys it. There are some quite violent moments with him, which is jarring given the majourity of the show is more of a drama than horror. But it suits the character perfectly. The show also poses the question: can John change his ways? Is there anything redeeming about him? Perhaps there is. When he learns he had a son in the past he never met, he attempts to save his life and hopes for a better future for him. But is that love or just ensuring his line continues?
Wells’ arc is mostly devoted to how quickly – and unrealistically – he adapts to the modern world. Computers? No big deal. Women are independent and outspoken? He’s only a little shocked. He seems to adapt rather quickly, and yet the character doesn’t truly change. He only toes the line of corruption when he almost shoots John. But other than that there’s no development. The show instead chooses to focus on a romance between Wells and Jane. Because of course he’s going to fall for the first girl he meets in our time. There’s not enough of a relationship fleshed out, but in episode 5 we begin to see some interesting conflict and dialogue between them.
“If I don’t stop him he will kill again.”
What’s really unfortunate about TVs latest time travel drama is that ABC has decided to cancel it already. Not only that, but they’ve also decided not to air the rest of the first season. I can’t understand the decision to pull a show before it has a chance to go anywhere, especially because the promo for what was supposed to be this weekend’s episode looked the most promising. This situation reminds me a little of ABCs Forever, a show in which the main character is immortal. It was a great show, and it was cancelled right when the plot was at it’s most dramatic. To cancel and pull the remaining episodes of Time After Time after only 5 episodes aired is disappointing.
Time After Time was one of my most highly anticipated shows of 2017. I love time travel dramas, and this one promised to have lots of action and drama. In reality, the show has some weak writing and is a bit cheesy at times. But when it was good, it was perfectly entertaining. It’s a shame the show only made it to 5 episodes before ABC pulled it off the air.
My Rating: 6/10