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Time Travel TV Shows > What was your favorite?

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message 1: by John, Moderator in Memory (new)

John | 834 comments Mod
At the request of one of our members, I'm adding this discussion thread for those who would like to discuss their favorite television shows that involve time travel. For me, one of my favorites was Journeyman, which only lasted one season. I believe it aired back in 2007. So what were your favorites?


message 2: by Cliff (last edited Oct 14, 2011 11:21PM) (new)

Cliff Ball (cliffball) | 13 comments Journeyman, which only aired about maybe 9 episodes.

Voyagers, from when I was a kid back in the '80's. The series ended when the lead actor accidentally shot and killed himself with what they thought was a prop gun.

and Quantum Leap. Since it was on Sunday nights, I missed a lot of episodes because of church, but I did enjoy it when it I did see it. I hated the ending though, not resolved like I thought it should be. When Enterprise came on, I imagined Sam leaping into Scott Bakula to save the series near the end (thought about writing a fanfic, but never got around to it).


Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1350 comments Journeyman for me too. It was actually for this show, that I requested John to start up a thread. Journneyman aired 13 episodes...and that was all the episodes made, no more were held back. This was a series that was affected by the writers strike in 2007 and had every intention of continuing its story over several seasons. It didnt get cancelled officially, the network just allowed the cast and crew to be "released" so they can find work during the writer strike. Of course that effectively meant cancellation and tbh it was likely the network would have cancelled it anyway due to very poor marketing and very late time slot.

Thankfully, the creators of the show were smart and had the decency and respect for their viewers to give them an ending episode, in anticipation of cancellation, which wraapped most of the story arc. It ended beautifully too, although you cant help feeling there was so much story to be told, especially with Livia. Networks never give a s*** about their viewers. If only all networks can show us the same respect and have their cancelled series at least give us a wrap up episode.

I am hoping Journeyman will be a released on DVD/Bulray, there's an online petiotion for it.

I also enjoyed Quantum Leap and the crazier Time Tunnel series but my real favourite time travel tv were mostly time travel episodes of none TT shows. My absolute favourites are episodes of Star Trek (original, Next gen, Voyager, and Deep Space Nine). There's just too many to count!

I also enjoyed the TT elements in Lost. But one element will always stand out for me and I am not sure many people actually picked up on this. The Lost islanders basically gets zapped back in time to 1977 or 78. Hurley is a big Star Wars fan. Miles catches Hurley writing the script for Empire Strikes Back. Miles couldnt understand why and asked Hurley why is he doing something so redundant. Hurley replies that "Everyone" knows that Empire is the worst episode of the series and that Return of the Jedi was the best. As a viewer, I thought what the hell is Hurley talking about, do the writers know much about star wars at all? Then Hurley continues, to say he is writing this script which will be a big improvement and sending it to George Lucas who he hopes will nmake this film as he has only just done the first one. Then it hit me, that the Empire Strikes Back that we all know and love as the best episode in the series is thanks to Hurley, lol. Brilliant.

@Cliff. That Voyagers series sounds great, I never heard of it. I hope one day I'll get to see that somehow, wether they release it on dvd or re-run. But having read up on it on IMDB, the series was cancelled because of low ratings NOT because of any accidental shooting of the star who indeed was killed a year later but on another film set.


A.K. Adler (akadler) | 108 comments I never saw Journeyman. Will have to check that out if/when it's released on DVD.

And, yes, the TT elements in Lost were good fun. I was actually hoping the final BIG answers of the show would turn out to be even heavier TT stuff (spoiler: they weren't). I never really picked up on the 'Hurley writing Empire Strikes Back' thing before. Good catch, Tej. Presumably he used 'Lawrence Kasdan' as a pseudonym.

Fringe is more 'parallel Earth' than 'time travel', but there are some TT elements in there in a few episodes. In particular, "White Tulip" (Season 2, Ep 18) and the Season 3 finale.


Colleen Mitchell | 14 comments I haven't seen Journeyman.
Maybe it never made it to New Zealand. Lots of things don't.
I really loved Quantum Leap though.


message 6: by John, Moderator in Memory (new)

John | 834 comments Mod
There was another show that would be classified more as "alternate history" or "parallel universe" than actual time travel. It was called Sliders and starred Jerry O'Connell and John Rhys-Davies. Each week the group would leap to a new parallel universe hoping to find their way back home. It was a pretty good show, although some of the alternate history concepts were a little far-fetched.


Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1350 comments I really enjoyed that series too (Sliders) but the suddenly Rhys-Davies dissapeared and the series didnt feel the same. I think this also got cancelled without an ending...or did I just not see the rest of it? I would personally classify this as parallel universe and not TT though.


Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1350 comments Just remembered Flashforward while posting on the other thread. That was a great TT concept and the series was very interesting but it lacked characters to care for. The main character was agonisingly stubborn. By the time the series really picked up pace, with more interesting characters and a cranking up of excitment, it was too late. The series got cancelled resulting in one of the best season cliffhangers...very frustrating, once again no respect for the viewers :(


message 9: by John, Moderator in Memory (new)

John | 834 comments Mod
And let's not forget about the show "Heroes" in which the character played by Masi Oka was able to travel through time. In fact, the entire first season was about his vision of the future in which a nuclear explosion destroyed the city. He and the other heroes worked together to try and stop it from happening. While the first season was genius, the show went downhill in the second, third and fourth seasons.


message 10: by Tej (last edited Oct 19, 2011 07:05AM) (new)

Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1350 comments Completely agree with you, it practically fell over its feet and tumbled over a cliff in the second season onwards. Though to be fair, the second season was seriously skewered by the writers strike that it had to rewrite its story arcs and get rid of some characters. It did well to survive unto the 4rth season.

But it did feature one of the most memorable character in any time travel film/book/series...Hiro! That was a great nerdy character and the potential journey that was laid out for him to become a badass warrior was so promising but sadly never quite materialised. Still, Hiro is one of my favourites. The whole cast was actually superb, especially Sylar and Noah but the writers just lost the plot and forgot to lay out rules in this universe. Sad really.


A.K. Adler (akadler) | 108 comments Ah yes, Heroes and Flashforward.

Heroes Season One was fantastic. It briefly threatened to become my favourite show. And Hiro - both Naive Fun-Loving, Idealistic Current-Day Hiro and Alternate Future Badass Warrior Hiro - was one of the best characters.

I think my biggest disappointment with Heroes was not so much that it declined in quality. Shows do that sometimes. But in one of the very best Season One episodes, they visited a dystopian future five years' hence, and that visit served as inspiration for them to get their act together and sort things out in the present. To me that seemed like a perfect template for future seasons as well: halfway through Season Two they could have had (amid whatever other problems were going on - some kind of virus? I can't remember now) Badass Future Hiro show up and drag relevant characters into that future and say, 'hey, you may have fixed one bad element, but there's still other stuff to do'. A ticking time bomb of future awfulness™ seemed to me to be the perfect element to add ongoing background tension to the show over the course of its entire run.

Alas, they just dropped the idea, and moved onto increasingly less interesting stuff until they were cancelled. Seemed like a major waste to me.

Still, at least we got one good season out of it.

With Flashforward, I felt like we got a great (absolutely brilliant, in fact) concept, maybe a handful of good episodes and then a poorly thought-through mess.

I think Flashforward's biggest problem was they couldn't seem to decide whether or not the shared future vision was inevitable. Some episodes it seemed that way. Other episodes they clearly established it wasn't. But once it's not inevitable, then it becomes much less interesting - it's no longer going to be the actual future, so it becomes more of a shared hallucination. Free Will vs Destiny is a much less interesting theme when Free Will wins so easily.

The show would have been better (in my opinion, of course) had they been able to plot a way that would have given the appearance of free will but with the predestined future continuing to loom despite their best efforts. And, to be fair, they did try to make most of the main characters' futures unfold more or less as originally predicted. But that was kind of a cheat - because there were a whole heap of secondary characters we'd met in the show's run for whom it would have been impossible for their future to unfold as predicted.

Still, it was a noble experiment if nothing else and, despite the character weaknesses Tej mentioned, it did have one of my favourite ever concepts for a love triangle: the man who is so mad at his wife for cheating on him with another man in the future that his jealousy drives her into his arms. Something about that tickled my time travel funny bone.

Wow! Long post. I'll be quiet now.


Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1350 comments You're right Flashforward mixed cause and effect (linear destiny), effect driving the cause (your jealousy example) and effect driving alternate effect (ex, man killing himself before he kills someone else).

But having all three possibilities still made for a good mystery imo becasue then we second guessing what destiny lies for each character and we know that whatever everyone does, the timestream will always try to fix everyone's destiny unless someone goes drastically out of their way to prevent it such as suicide. So my probelm with it was lack of good characters, the star (Fienes) was too frustratingly dumbass to see waht was happening, for an FBI agent I couldnt buy into his ignorance.


message 13: by John, Moderator in Memory (new)

John | 834 comments Mod
Never watched Flash forward, so I will have to look for it on DVD.

As for Heroes, one other cool thing about that show (especially in season one) was the villan. Skylar was pure evil and deserved to die.


message 14: by Michelle (last edited Nov 04, 2011 09:57AM) (new)

Michelle Potter (michellepotter) I enjoyed several of the shows mentioned here. Obviously Quantum Leap was one of the best time travel TV shows *ever*. I used to have a TV that you could set to automatically turn on at a certain time, and one summer in high school I set it to turn on every morning at 10am -- just in time to watch re-runs of Quantum Leap. ;)

I was sad that Journeyman and Flash Forward were canceled, though I admit I was having a hard time really getting into the latter. It was such a good concept, and I really wanted it to be good! I loved Sliders but, as has been mentioned, it wasn't really time travel as much as travel between parallel universes.

I also really liked Life On Mars, Primeval, and the miscellaneous time travel episodes of Eureka, Stargate, and Red Dwarf.

Does anyone remember the Animaniacs spin-off cartoon, Histeria?

But, I have to say that my absolute favorite has not yet been mentioned. The grandfather of all time travel TV shows: Doctor Who.


message 15: by Tej (last edited Nov 05, 2011 03:25PM) (new)

Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1350 comments You're right Doctor Who, is the grandaddy of TT shows isnt it? Amy (our moderator) has been championing this series elsewhere in these threads. I just dont understand the mechanis of TT in that show, it just seems all very messy with absolutely no rules set. However, I do enjoy the episodes I manage to see.

Life on Mars was great (original UK version) and I consider the series was complete when it finished in the second season. But it did have a very controversial ending which fans would either love or hate. I liked the ending. There was a spin offs called Ashes to Ashes which was inferior and completely unneccessary though.

'fraid I have no idea what Animaniacs is much less its spin off ;)


Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1350 comments I just watched Midnight in Paris. Yeah, I know, why the heck am I posting about it in here, its a film, not a tv series! Well, its not the film I want to talk about. See, the film reminded me of a wonderful 90s TV series we had here in UK called, Goodnight Sweetheart.

This was about a modern day married man going with the motions of his humdrum life until he stumbles upon a time portal that whisks him back to the beginning of World War 2.

The time traveller develops a romantic relationship with a feisty bar owner in 1945 and so finds his life becoming more complex and exhaustive as he uses the time portal to try and live a dual life with 2 women of different eras.

This was a charming, gentle and poignant comedy series with some delightful time travel nuggets alone the way. I cant believe I had forgotten about mentioning this so far in this group. It was one of my favourite TV shows at the time.

It ran for 6 seasons, covering the span of WW2. Unfortunately I only watched the the first 3 seasons and a bit, then abandoned it. The reason wasn't because of any decline in quality, it was because the 2 women in the time traveller's life were suddenly played by different actresses and I couldn't quite cope with this jarring change. I couldn't feel my invested care for the character any more and it threw me off. But I shouldn't have given it up. I hear the best episodes came later and the series actually got even better.

But I am now prepared to return to it and watch it right through again and try get over that jarring change. I hear that it has a proper ending too. I do notice British TV networks seem to allow their shows to wrap up their final seasons properly more so than American TV networks. Perhaps UK TV work with a lower budget? Or is it possible that UK TV have a romantic notion of treating their viewers with respect? Naa...I betta get real, it must be the former :) Bloody hell, that Woody Allen film's cynicism is rubbing off on me.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you folks know about this series. I was checking to see if you guys are able to rent or buy this but unfortunately its only available as an import on the US Amazon site. However, someone uploaded the first 3 series on youtube. Might as well check out the first episode or 2 to see if you like it. I totally understand that our British TV comedy can be an acquired taste due to the accents and general pacing but do give this a go and maybe you might want to buy the import :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st72Xd0xR...

Me, I've just now purchased the box set here for just £15.


Heather | 252 comments For any fellow Canadians in the group, I thoroughly enjoyed season one of Being Erica, but got bored and stopped watching seasons 2-4. the premise is a woman in her 30's seeing a therapist who can take her back in time and confront some the situations that shaped her insecurities and get a more accurrate perspective of the events of her past.
Not sure if the show was ever aired in the US or elsewhere.


Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1350 comments Sounds like a lovely series, Heather. Apparently, going by reviews, season 1 can be watched with a complete satisfaction of completion. I really like the sound of it, I am gong to rent it from my Lovefilm library which has the complete season 1.


Randy Harmelink | 451 comments Charmed had a number of episodes on time travel.

I suppose Early Edition could be considered time travel, although it was only the newspaper that did so.

I didn't see 7 Days mentioned. I always enjoyed that one.

There was also a British show, Crime Traveller, where a scientist and a police officer would go back in time to solve crimes. If I remember correctly, the machine could only send someone back 24 hours, at most.


Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1350 comments Thanks for mentioning those series, Randy. I cant believe I missed Crime Traveller. What a great concept. Although I suppose it diminishes any detective skills in deduction when all they have to do is go back in time and observe what happened. I see it available on our UK Lovefilm video rental (our equivalent of Netflix) so I have added it on my rental queue.


Yvonne Jocks | 24 comments Add me to the VOYAGERS! list... Phineas Bogg is still one of my favorite time travelers, even if he isn't so very smart. That's why he had Jeffrey :-)


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