NBC’s Journeyman Time Travel in Frisco

I like Sci Fi, and to a lessor degree I like SF or Science Fiction. What is Science Fiction? Is NBC’s Journeyman science fiction? Science Fiction is a story where Science plays a major role in the story and there would be no story if you removed that scientific element. The Matrix, for example, would not work if you removed the computer complex known as The Matrix. Sci Fi however, is a more subtle beast. Sci Fi is dragons flying around New York City for no logical reason, sci fi is a fifty foot marshmallow man stepping on a church, Sci Fi is a lot less hard than SF, the science a lot less scientific.
NBC’s Journeyman, as it appears at the moment, is a bit more Sci Fi than SF. After one episode we have seen no Science at all, merely the results of what we can assume has to be some kind of Scientific Means of traveling through time. The crux of that problem being that Time Travel, so far as we know, it impossible.
This does not stop Heroes, The 4400, or Star Trek from being a lot of fun to watch, it just makes it debatable whether or not any of them are Science Fiction. Journeyman faces the same problem.
Journeyman starts off with our hero, a reporter of some sort, working on a story. His boss tells him to go home, as it is his anniversary and he needs to be with his wife. He heads out and climbs into a cab, and whamo-it’s eight years ago. He knows this because there is a football game on TV with Terrell Owens playing for the 49ers. He looks out the window of the bar and sees a woman getting into a cab, he followers her out, but is too late to catch her. He then hops into another cab and whamo again, he is back in the present.
At first I thought this was an establishing shot to show that getting in and out of cabs was the catalyst for his travels in time, but no, the next time he is just walking down the street. Then he vanishes while driving his car down a busy street. There is, so far as I can tell, no rhyme or reason to his travels. But we find out through the course of the show that he not supposed to be helping this long lost love of his. He supposed to be helping a child that will not be born without his intervention. Journeyman has a mission to complete.
It was a good show, it does a good job of creating suspense and making you ask a lot of questions that are not going to be answered right away. It seems that Journeyman has been drafted into some kind of Temporal Police Force where he has to fix what once was wrong. Sound familiar? All the reviews for this show compared it to Quantum Leap, a good show that leaned a little too heavily on the tung-at-the-heartstrings side of the street. One review said that this show was better, simply because it was not saddled with Scott Bakula.
Time travel has had an interesting history on Network TV, with the majority of the shows leaning toward the Past Is Wrong-Fix It story devices. Quantum Leap had a strong science element with its computers and holograms and random leaping from time to time. Early Edition worked on the premise that you could take the bad news out of daily newspaper by making sure it didn’t happen in the first place. Daybreak was the last of the time travel shows and it didn’t even make broadcast airings of all of it’s episodes. There have been varied and sundry Time Cop shows where the bad guys are zapped back to the future or just made to disappear.
Journeyman looks to be a good show, I like the actors and the pacing of the stories. The resolution of this first episode was both surprising and, once revealed, totally expected. That’s good writing.
There were rumors and hopes that this would some kind of reworking of The Time Traveler’s Wife, easily the best time travel book written in the past thirty years or so. But it is not The Time Traveler’s Wife. I do think it will be good though. As long as they don’t get too carried away with the Alias type espionage stuff.
I like Journeyman, but I may need to keep a notebook close at hand to keep track of the time line.

Jon Herrera

Jon Herrera

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.
Jon Herrera

Latest posts by Jon Herrera (see all)

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.

Posted in journeyman, nbc journeyman, sci fi, science fiction, science fiction television

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