Travelers: Netflix’s Answer to Time Travel

TRAVELERS

CREATED BY: Brad Wright

STARRING: Eric McCormack, MacKenzie Porter, Nesta Cooper, Jared Abrahamson, Reilly Dolman, Patrick Gilmore

NO. OF EPISODES: 12 episodes

GENRE: Science Fiction

YEAR: 2016

COUNTRY: Canada, United States

A team of special operatives, sent back in time from the future, are tasked with preventing the collapse of society. These operatives, known as travelers, enter the body of a 21st century individual moments before the individual’s “recorded time of death” (although the transfer is not limited to only that moment). This process is referred to as a “transfer of consciousness” and requires the exact position of the target. Due to lack of precise location records prior to the 21st century (made possible by smart phones and GPS), this limitation prevents transmitting someone to an earlier year. For example, the travelers cannot stop World War II, because the technology of the 1940s did not provide sufficient data to determine the exact location of recorded death, thus preventing the possession of hosts by a traveler. Social media is also used to gain knowledge of the individual who will be dying, which helps the traveler prepare for the life they will inhabit.

The travelers must maintain their hosts’ pre-existing lives to avoid attracting attention while performing missions aimed at saving the world from a series of catastrophic events. As the series progresses, changes in the present make significantly unanticipated changes in the future.

Welcome to the 21st.

Now, we haven’t exactly been looking for a new show about beings from the future, but we figured that we should give Netflix’s Travelers a try. The show is fun, quirky, and light on the science as far as time travel shows are concerned. While it becomes a bit convoluted when it comes to the rules of sending back your consciousness, it makes up for it by setting a time where you don’t have to take the show too seriously. We would like to commend the entire cast for having fantastic chemistry and definitely making the show a solid 12 episode series.
However, if you are going into Travelers for the science and a serious time travel show, I urge you to pass on this one. While Travelers isn’t overly silly by any means, there is plenty of romp that it could easily fit into the “mission of the week” format. Kind of hard to believe when this show deals with mental illness and addiction so heavily. Just remember, “No more than 8 ounces of heroin, because then we know you want it not just to function.”

PROS:

  • Great chemistry.
  • Not overly scientific.
  • Balance between drama and comedy.
  • Fantastic main cast performance.

CONS:

  • Some episodes feel “Mission of the week”.
  • Tackle heavy issues with a light touch.

SCORE: 8.5 / 10

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