Journeyman vs Goodnight Sweetheart

Journeyman is a pretty good show, as far as it goes, but not really a great show. Goodnight Sweetheart, a British time travel comedy, is a great show, at least for the first season. Gary Sparrow, our hero in Goodnight Sweetheart, time travels back to London during the Blitz. He and his mate instantly realize what this means-they can get stinking, bloody rich!
Our hero in Journeyman, well, he’s a total patsy so far. He doesn’t want to get rich, he wants to be a hero. Even when another time traveler tells him he has to have current era money and technology, he doesn’t want to take a gift of a few thousand dollars while in the past. Admittedly the money from the past is stolen, but still, ten bucks is ten bucks.
Gary quickly realizes that the best and easiest way to get rich is to sell collectibles from the forties. It is easier, and cheaper, to buy mint condition LPs than it is to get a hold of Tiffany Lamps. Though this is a weak spot in the story, there must have been stamps, or jewels, or real estate, that he could have bought and make some real profit on. Gary, like Journeyman, also discoveries that it can’t really be adultery in another time period. Gary goes so far as the marry his Time Mistress and start a family.
But in the beginning, he is merely obsessed with passing himself off as a spy and spending a lot of money his mate cranks out on a modern press at work. My favorite scene from the show has Gary talking with the local Constable.
Constable:We are having a lot of problems with counterfeiters.
Gary;Oh, really? (looks nervous.)
Constable: Yes, according to the Sargent, we should be looking for someone new to the area-like yourself. Someone who has no visible means of support-like yourself. Someone that always has a lot of cash-Like yourself.
Gary: Any Suspects? (clearly frightened.)
Constable: Not a one.
Goodnight Sweetheart was on for several seasons and had a few key changes of actors, not the least of which was Dervla Kirwan of Ballykissangel fame, Gary’s one true love in 1940s London. The show lost some of it’s focus along the way and there were a lot of really odd things that happened, including his current time wife becoming a millionaire business tycoon.
Gary on Early Edition, who received a Time Traveling Newspaper was another American of the opinion that he could not use it for personal gain. Gary of Goodnight Sweetheart did not get rich off his Time Travels, but he did gather enough stuff to have a cute little shop filled with 1940s stuff.
Journeyman seems to be limited, so far anyway, to his own lifetime. The temptation here is not so much buying collectibles to re-sale in the future, though that would work if you knew what to buy, but to buy stocks. Open an account and use your real name and numbers. Put in orders to buy and sell AOL, Microsoft, Google, Starbucks, the list is limited only by your access to a book on Berkshire-Hathaway’s portfolio. Hell, but Berkshire-Hathaway stock!
But the hero in Journeyman is not interested in such mundane matters as personal wealth. He has to save lives, and he wants to understand how this time travel business works and how to stop it. This is kind of like Darren and Major Nelson having this totally bizarre desire to have their magical true loves not use their powers. I think Gary has the better plan, but I’m not sure he had the perfect ending. His story ended with him staying in the past. Maybe Journeyman will end up lost in time as well, as his once true love seems to be lost. Goodnight Sweetheart was a better show, but I’ll still watch Journeyman.

Jon Herrera

Jon Herrera

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.
Jon Herrera

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Writer, Photographer, Blogger.

Posted in BBC, goodnight sweetheart, nbc journeyman

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