There seems to be a timey-wimey, wibbly-wobbly thing going on in tv land at the moment with a raft of time travel shows appearing on our screens this year. Joining NBC’s forthcoming “Time” and “Legends of Tomorrow“, already started on The CW, will be ABC’s “Time After Time“. With Kevin Williamson as show-runner, it will use the 1979 Karl Alexander novel and much loved film of the same year as a jumping off point.
The project was first announced in September and is now confirmed for pilot. This was the same time that the NBC series was first mentioned, along with funny half hour “Time Travelling Bong” on Comedy Central, and it’s surely not a coincidence that all three were first announced around the time of Back To The Future Day.
For those that haven’t seen it, “Time After Time” posited the theory that H.G. Wells’ didn’t just write about a time machine, he actually built one. When Jack The Ripper uses it to escape to the future, Wells pursues him (well, to 1979 as it was then), hunting him through the streets of San Francisco whilst also falling for Mary Steenburgen’s Amy. A bit of a neglected gem, and truth be known rather a hoot, it was written and directed by Nicholas Meyer, a name known to any self-respecting Trekker, having helmed best-in-series films Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Essentially a fish out of water tale and a great premise for a tv show, it starred Malcolm McDowell as Wells and the ever wonderful David Warner as Jack the Ripper.
All ABC have said at present is that, “It will chronicle the epic adventures of young H.G. Wells and his time machine” with no mention of his murderous adversary or anything else, leading us to suspect this could turn out to be anything, including a “Quantum Leap” wannabe. But some, any, time travel is better than none at all and with Williamson still highly regarded as an A-list show-runner and Marvel leading the way in terms of quality and reviews, the networks are all upping their game.
Should the pilot prove successful, expect “Time After Time” sometime after fall.