ABC's Time After Time: How Hard Is It Being TV's Sixth Time Travel Show?

The producers of Time After Time are Wells aware that when the ABC drama makes its debut, it will be (conservatively speaking) TV’s sixth current series with a time travel element.

That, however, makes things a bit easier, says executive producer Kevin Williamson (The Following), seeing as viewers are just a bit more likely to be familiar with “time ripples,” the Butterfly Effect and such.

“Every time travel show sets their own rules and loopholes, their little Wiggums,” Williamson says. “But I feel like we’ve covered our rules for our show, and we don’t really break them our Season 1. And moving forward, we have a plan for Season 2 that would spin it in a new direction.”

Based on the Karl Alexander novel (and 1979 movie of the same name) and premiering Sunday, March 5 at 9/8c, Time After Time promises “a fantastical cat and mouse adventure through time” when famed science-fiction writer H.G. Wells (played by UnREAL‘s Freddie Stroma) is transported to modern-day Manhattan in pursuit of Jack the Ripper (Revenge‘s Josh Bowman). Once H.G. arrives in New York City, he finds a world he never thought possible… and a young woman, museum curator Jane (Genesis Rodriguez), who captivates him.

As such, Williamson contends that Time After Time — which will travel through time on just four occasions in Season 1 — is “not really a time travel show; we’re more the story of a young H.G. Wells and his adventures in modern-day New York, and how they inspire him to go back and write The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The Island of Dr. Moreau” — by planting Easter eggs for those novels, as well as War of the Worlds, throughout the first, 12-episode season.

All told — and despite the dark nature of Jack the Ripper’s leanings — “It gets a little wacky,” Williamson says of the series’ tone. “It’s science fiction, a fun, fun show.”

Watch a trailer for ABC’s Time After Time:

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  1. Marie58 says:

    The film, starring Malcolm McDowell, is excellent. Would rather re-watch the movie than invest in a TV show remake. Sorry!

    • Sheila says:

      I don’t know. I’m not one for remakes, but the movie had such an interesting premise, wouldn’t it be fun to give them multiple episodes to flesh out the story? Tough to beat McDowell & Steenburgen, though.

  2. Fido says:

    She reminds me of the Policewoman (Police Officer?) from Eureka. :)

    Lovez me some time travel and strong English accents, so count me in.

    btw: wonder if we’ll ever get a time travel show that shows us them testing the machine, testing out the grandfather paradox with insects and other time travel related puzzlements.

  3. Kevin says:

    I’ll give it a try but Timeless (NBC) seems to be on my watch list.

  4. David Hambly says:

    i loved the movie with McDowell,david warner and mary steenburgen too;but the trailer looks good and kevin williamson has a good track,TV remakes of movies…lethal weapon,westworld,the excorcist have been good lately

    • Haz says:

      I love Lethal Weapon, I didn’t have high hopes for it but it’s really good. I really enjoyed Williamsons last effort Stalker. It needed some work and could have used tweaking, but it was really suspenseful for a cop procedural.

  5. Peter Foster says:

    I’m curious what the other five are. Clearly Timeless on NBC and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow on the CW. Does Fox’s Making History count (I don’t know if it will debut before or after Time After Time)? What are the others?

  6. 1) 12 Monkeys
    2) DC Legends
    3) Doctor Who
    4) Travelers
    5) Timeless
    6) Dirk Gently
    7) Frequency
    8) Time After Time
    9) Making History * yet to air it will be on FOX

  7. AMG says:

    Sorry, it sounds way too much like Forever–with Henry and Adam using time machines.

    • Miranda says:

      How? I loved Forever, but this sound nothing like it. Wells isn’t working in a morgue, he isn’t immortal, and it isn’t a cop he’s developing feelings with. I fail to see any connection.

  8. ScottJ says:

    The absence of time travel every episode is a point of difference for this show. Except for Dirk Gently I suppose but that show is in a category of of its own. But its that absence that will get me watching. I’m not a fan of the overblown big historical moments that so many of the shows aim for, and I really wish more of them would give us trivial events and people who don’t matter.

    • desertbro says:

      ITA – Educate the audience by highlighting historical events that are NOT the subjects of 20 movies, songs, nursery rhymes and 1 dozen catchphrases. STOP saying that changing events will change history FOREVER, since obviously that doesn’t apply in a time-travel show. STOP saying it’s our only chance, the only way, the only hope, etc. How about a show that says the IDEA is greater than the man, so that the EVENT is not crucial, but the IDEAs brought to light are what is preserved.

  9. davido says:

    Looks stupid, plus tired concept. Overacting a minus.

  10. IDK says:

    Well, thank goodness they made the cast Young ‘N Sexy. I don’t think the premise would have stood on it’s own.

  11. Kevin H. says:

    I’m totally here for Josh Bowman chewing scenery.

  12. ninergrl6 says:

    I’ve often thought that Timeless would pair well with OUAT, but that’s impossible because they’re on different networks. Maybe Time After Time is the solution. I’ll check it out.

  13. Patrick Mensah-Boadi says:

    Does anyone know if Jordin Sparks is still attached to this project? I’d read she was set to recur as Jane’s friend Jesse but maybe the role was recast or scrapped?

  14. Looks interesting enough. Not entirely sure it’s strong enough to stand out from the crowd. The last ABC show I watched in entirety was LOST !

  15. Jake says:

    The problem with shows like this (or like Timeless) is the whole plot revolves and one idea: stop or kill the bad guy. And after one season of constant near-misses (since the show would end if the hero succeeds in stopping the bad guy) it gets old quick.

  16. Queen of the Run-on Sentence says:

    I guess Time Travel was the theme for this season. I’ve been looking forward to watching this one. I loved the movie, hopefully this one will be as good. I really can’t get into Timeless for some reason. I just can’t put my finger on why, but I find it underwhelming.

    • desertbro says:

      Timeless is full of stupid antics – it’s the low-brow adventure I expected; however, I kinda like the performers – not the characters so much, but the actors do a swell job with the material and have a good chemistry. I think that’s made all the difference. Also the villain has great charisma.

  17. Jennifer says:

    Matt… was this recast / redone? I don’t remember seeing anything. All I saw was Josh Bowman is no longer in it. Is it still the same plot? Thanks

  18. Mike says:

    Why do they always have to rehash Jack the Ripper so many times? Ugh. Too bad they did not come up with something fresher.

  19. Connie Crosbie says:

    Love Time After Time. Please don’t cancel. Give it a chance or another time slot. Really good acting, dark humor, thriller, love interest….what more do you need?

  20. Sher says:

    Please bring it back you at least do one season it was a great show all those other shows about time travel are all they’re just stupid. There wasn’t enough advertising that’s why the ratings were so low nobody knew it was on I. Are usually see the trailers for them for about two months Before they actually start you guys didn’t do any advertising on the TV so that’s the problem please bring it back