Sometimes a new network steps in, or a show comes back years later, but I don’t think there’s been a renewal story quite like Timeless‘.
Going by this fall, TV was eager to add a time travel show to their lineup. You had Frequency on The CW, which was agreeable until it tried for a happy ending. Making History on FOX, a hilarious comedy nobody knew aired midseason. And, of course, there was Timeless.
One after the other, these shows hit the chopping block this spring, but Timeless was the show that was going to be missed, a cancellation to say in the same breath as Firefly, Middleman, and Terriers someday. Executive produced by Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and Eric Kripke (Supernatural), the show begins with Garcia Flynn (Goran Višnijć) stealing a time machine to go after Rittenhouse. Similar to the Court of Owls on Gotham this season, Rittenhouse killed Flynn’s family and are behind various misdeeds that are justified with conviction. They’re the secret group behind everything that has ever happened in America, ever, and, to take them out, Flynn is willing to burn through history.
The FBI can’t let that happen so set a task force in place to stop him. Their backup time machine, the Lifeboat, holds three people: a historian (Abigail Spencer’s Lucy), a soldier (Matt Lanter’s Wyatt) and a pilot (Malcolm Barrett’s Rufus). Unlike time travel shows that require the past to fall back into place, Timeless lets events change from the history books and depicts time travel as having an emotional toll on its participants. The cast has amazing chemistry, and it’s not every show that leaves viewers eager to learn about Bass Reeves and Davy Crockett.
Its renewal was never a done deal. Timeless wasn’t a cheap show to make, as each week a different time period was brought to life with costumes and sets. There were also time machines and special effects that allowed them to move convincingly.
The show was canceled on May 11th and quickly wound up a trending topic on Twitter. The hope was that another network might scoop the show up. What happened is much better. Two days after being canceled, NBC decided to change their decision and renewed the show for a ten-episode second season.
It’s a time travel show, so the jokes wrote themselves. Someone must have used the Lifeboat to bring Timeless back. Someone altered history. It’s true, though, that this kind of change doesn’t happen, and NBC immediately acknowledged the show’s strong fan base for helping turn the tide. Whoever is responsible, Timeless fans are grateful for the extra time.
Season 2 Predictions: I don’t know what’s going to happen to Jiya (Claudia Doumit), who suffered an adverse reaction flying the Lifeboat, but do have some ideas for what’s coming up next.
- All season Lucy has been gunning for a chance to bring her sister back after she got erased from her timeline in the pilot. Now she has her chance in the finale and not only does her mom (Susanna Thompson) reveal she’s Rittenhouse, but she’s firmly against the idea. That is some cold parenting, but doubtful to change Lucy’s mind. I don’t know that it’ll be successful, but I do think we’ll see an attempt to save Amy that avoids a false start next year.
Stay in the Present
- “We have to stop trying to fix the past, and focus on the present,” Lucy says, and Wyatt repeats it. Before Lucy’s mom spilled the beans, and Flynn was arrested by Agent Christopher (Sakina Jaffrey), both time machines were set to be destroyed. That’s no longer happening (and Emma (Annie Wersching) has the Mothership for Rittenhouse) but the Time Team could see themselves getting grounded more next season. We haven’t spent much time in the present outside Mason Industries. Who knows how it’s been altered by their travels?
Visit the Future
- It might be too early to be thinking about the future, but Flynn told Lucy she’s going to give him her diary. Could that mean Flynn is from the future?