While only one episode of Timeless has aired so far, the show has already built a fascinating world that has fans lining up for hours at New York Comic Con to see more. While the show’s time travel theories may need some ironing out, the premise behind the show and the talent involved makes this a must-watch.
At the Timeless panel at New York Comic Con, fans were treated to an advance screening of Monday’s episode. In it, the trio travels back to April 15, 1865, to stop Garcia Flynn (played by Goran Višnjić) from following through with John Wilkes Booth’s conspiracy to kill William H Seward and Andrew Johnson, as well as Abraham Lincoln.
The episode also touched on some interesting philosophical aspects of time travel. When faced with the opportunity to save the president’s life but risk altering history for an unknown future, should you take it? While saving Lincoln’s life may seem like it would help race relations in the future, there’s no guarantee that him remaining alive would actually improve things further down the line. As a historian, Lucy (played by Abigail Spencer) is conflicted about her role here. She wants history to remain as it is “meant to be” and has seen first-hand how changing major events can lead to people disappearing from existence, the way her sister did. But as an admirer of Lincoln and a patriotic American, can she stand by and watch the president get murdered?
In this episode, we also learn a little more about Lucy’s past that directly affects this new timeline that saving the Hindenburg created. At home, things are about to get messy.
During the panel Q and A, co-creator Eric Kripke discussed where — and when — the next seven episodes will be going. “We go from Lincoln [in episode two] to the very next episode after this is going to be Rat Pack Las Vegas, and the very next episode after that is World War II Germany, and then we go to the Alamo. I just saw that cut yesterday, and you will not believe how big it is. We built the Alamo in a Vancouver parking lot in its entirety all for one episode which is insane. And then we go to Watergate, and then we go to the French Indian War, and then we go to NASA Apollo 11, and then we go to Bonnie and Clyde, and it just goes on and on.”
While the Hindenburg changed Lucy’s present timeline, Kripke told the audience that this would be the only main change in her life. “It’ll be a gimmick of the show. Next week she’s a nun, and the week after that she’s a Rockette,” joked Kripke. “If you remember, her life has one major change which is how we’ve been playing it… She comes back after the Hindenburg to a reality where she is engaged, and her sister’s gone, and her mom is well, and that’s pretty much the same reality she comes to at the end of this one.”
What Plot Holes?
Kripke assured fans that the writers have considered certain issues that critics have pointed out after the pilot episode. While the show set up that the three time travelers couldn’t return to the same moment in time for fear that they could cross paths with the other version of themselves, why can’t another team go in and fix history? Kripke said “We actually have thought about that, we do have an answer: learning to fly these time machines is insanely, insanely difficult. They take years and years of training. That’s why we were very clear in [episode two] which is to say there are only two pilots that each took years to fly the thing.” As the creator of Supernatural, Kripke knows how to deal with otherworldly concepts, so we’re sure the writing team has solutions that clear things up.
With some really interesting historical eras to explore as well as the possibility to look at the way women and African Americans have been treated throughout modern history, Timeless has a lot of potential. At this stage, it looks like the actors and writers are having a lot of fun with the premise. And as long as you don’t think too hard about the theories behind this brand of time travel (it’s hard not to think of this as a more serious Bill and Ted’s) then there’s a lot of enjoyment to be had in these three characters’ adventures.
Episode two of Timeless airs on NBC on Monday, Oct 10.