Timeless Spoilers

Timeless Bosses Talk Casting Abe Lincoln, Nixing Marilyn Monroe

Timeless is raising the dead — and famous.

The new NBC drama will time-travel to the day of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination during Monday’s episode (airing at 10/9c), before setting its sights on Sinatra, JFK and more — but not Marilyn Monroe — in future installments.

Timeless SpoilersIn depicting well-known people from history, the show doesn’t want to distract viewers with a lookalike actor, executive producer Eric Kripke says, but “when it’s a figure that the modern audience doesn’t have immediate familiarity with, we can get away with” showing them on screen. Honest Abe was an exception “because the gentleman who played him is, literally, a Lincoln impersonator. We flew him out from Illinois.”

The same, however, cannot be said for the icons featured in an upcoming Rat Pack-era time trip.

“We have a scene that takes place in the Copa [nightclub], where Frank Sinatra is singing and John F. Kennedy is in the audience,” Kripke previews. “We found [actors] that were really close. They were great, but when we were watching the footage, we were like, ‘The audience is way too familiar with what these guys actually look like.’ We ended up using a lot of the angles that are over their shoulders and behind their heads.”

Timeless NBC Season 1 Episode 3 Atomic CityAlthough the crooner of such tunes as “My Way” and “Fly Me to the Moon” won’t show his face, his voice will be heard.

“We actually got live Sinatra performance stuff to play in the [scenes],” EP Shawn Ryan shares. “The songs sound amazingly realistic. But it’s more impressionistic, from behind and in soft focus, than it is trying to sell somebody who 85 percent looks like Sinatra.”

For similar reasons, a famous blonde got a quick veto in the writers’ room. “Someone pitched me Marilyn Monroe, and I said, ‘No way,'” Kripke recalls.

Several less recognizable historical characters will grace the series during the early episodes, including Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln (The Mysteries of Laura‘s Neal Bledsoe) and his killer John Wilkes Booth (Fear the Walking Dead‘s Kelly Blatz); James Bond author and spy Ian Fleming (Once Upon a Time‘s Sean Maguire); and frontiersmen James “Jim” Bowie (Sons of Anarchy‘s Chris Browning) and Davy Crockett (Sons of Anarchy‘s Jeff Kober).

And as more roles come up, you better believe Kripke is looking to reunite with his former Supernatural stars. Hints Kripke: “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about trying to find a part for Jim Beaver.”

Does Timeless‘ Abe Lincoln look presidential enough for you? And what other historical figures do you want to see in future episodes?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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15 Comments
  1. Big Mike says:

    Such silly reasoning.

  2. Kevin K says:

    Timeless is my favorite new show of the season and it’s awesome like a roller coaster ride. Hope it gets a full season soon. NO COMPLAINING

  3. amysue4772 says:

    The pilot for this show was so good, but I am so mad at myself for not seeing that ending coming.

  4. Carol says:

    Will the show do the Titanic?

  5. GREGORY says:

    Is that the abe lincoln from honest abe roofing?

    • R. Riley says:

      Yes. His name is Michael Krebs, and he’s been impersonating Lincoln for over 20 years. And don’t trust Honest Abe’s Roofing. They use high pressure sales tactics, and will kill you with usorious interest rates. Mr. Lincoln would not approve.

  6. Tim says:

    Fun show. The historical events the main character refers to are accurate, like last weeks reference to Democratic President LBJ whipping out his “johnson” in public when a female reporter asked him why America was waging a war in Vietnam. It’s true, it happened! Makes Clinton look like the Jr. varsity league of sexual harassers. The several of the Hindenburg facts were true as well.

  7. Tim says:

    In tonight’s episode, while going back to 1864, the network just had to slip in their almost subliminal anti-gun agenda into the script while at the same time luring viewers in with the drama of armed conflict. Specifically, when the 3 main characters are discussing how there were 4 planned assassinations, but only the one on Lincoln was successful, the guy says “That’s because semi automatic weapons weren’t invented yet.” Brhaaaaahahaaa! Media mind control at its finest. As if ARs and semi auto pistols are needed to assassinate someone. Lets see now, in reality Lincoln was shot with a small single shot handgun. Kennedy was shot with a bolt action rifle. Giffords was shot with a semi auto pistol, and survived. So which politician in America was killed with an AR15 or semi auto handgun? Nobody! In this episode though, Lincoln is shot with a Sig Sauer P226 semi auto pistol, the kind that Claude Van Damme made popular beginning in the 90s.

    “Your mind is totally controlled
    It has been stuffed into their mold
    And you will do as you are told
    Until the rights to you are sold.
    I’m the best you can get,
    Have you guessed me yet?
    I’m the slime oozin out from your TV set!
    Yes, I am the slime from your video
    Oozin across your living room floor”

    Zappa got it right, 45 years ago. You don’t even realize they’re programming you.

    When I as a teen, they were programming us to be fearful enough of Communists that we would go along with being snatched off the street, and sent to Vietnam. (Hunger Games, LOL, a walk in the park compared to what we were subjected to.) So yeah, I take this crap seriously. The media is programming the public to believe their anti-gun idiocy by making false arguments. I dare them to make shows with no gun play, but I know they won’t because they’re not creative and thoughtful enough to do so. “Asshats” as they said in this episode.

    • Tim says:

      What, no retort or denial from the producers/writers? Nope, because it’s true and I’m sure emails and memos to the production company from the network would support that claim.

      Many 2nd Amendment supporters are taking note of this, but they are generally quiet about it. It’s like being an African American and being sensitive to any racist remark. They take it seriously because it is a step in the direction of trampling on their rights.
      This anti-gun propaganda is evident in many shows these days.

      Interestingly, shows like The Blacklist seem devoid of direct statements of his kind. Maybe because the protagonists would sound silly saying, “Damn if only those bad guys didn’t have machine guns, we could get rid of them!” LOL

  8. Tim says:

    Another thing I noticed last week was that when the black character (sorry I can’t remember any of their names) goes off on his rant to the racist NJ jailhouse cop about all the changes in America successful blacks represent, like “Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, and yeah OJ got off and we don’t care!”, well that was another accurate piece of American history.

    OJ just about beheaded his wife and her friend Ronald Goldman, and African Americans were celebrating that he was acquitted of the murders, even though it was well known that he did it. After further escapades, OJ will spend most of the rest of his life in jail.

  9. Well I’ve watched it and I happen to like this show.

  10. Emma says:

    I love this show! It’s so fun and the main characters are very likeable.