Sunday, January 8, 2017

Pilot Review: Travelers

Travelers (Netflix)
Premiered December 23

There are three things I knew about this show before it started: it aired in Canada on Showcase back in October, airing one episode each week, it stars Eric McCormack, and it’s about time travelers. I was pretty excited based on that final point, but I have to say that this pilot was infinitely less interesting than I had hoped it would be. When an entire first episode is dull and then the final scene makes things more interesting, it’s not a great reflection on the future quality of a show since the expository hour is supposed to be the most compelling to encourage viewers to stick around. Seeing “Time of Death” crawled across the screen a number of times made me think of puns about how I had to check my watch each time (I don’t wear a watch but you get the sentiment), and I think that the lives that all of these characters who are now hosts are living are far from involving. Having the travelers gather together and tell McCormack’s FBI agent who they were and that he was going to fall down an elevator shaft at a precise time was a cool way of wrapping things up, but I do wish that these time travelers focused more on going back and forth between the present and the future rather than just existing in the present to prevent the future from ever coming to pass. McCormack’s performance in this hour was lackluster, and no other cast members stood out to me in this totally unexciting show that won’t be getting another viewing from me.

How will it work as a series? The traveler now in the FBI agent’s body seems like the leader, and so theoretically they’ll get to work on putting the pieces together to set things right, but I’d expect the intrigue level to about the same as it’s been thus far. It might get more exciting, but I’m not convinced it will given its non-sci-fi focus.
How long will it last? The show being a coproduction between Showcase in Canada and Netflix globally is a positive since either network could decide to continue with the show. I can’t find much ratings data for the show for Canada or much in the way of reviews in either country, but I suspect that this show won’t last more than a few seasons if it does even get picked up for a second one.

Pilot grade: C