Fall Frenzy: Cable for One – Journeyman Review

Journeyman centers on the life of Dan Vassar. Dan works for a newspaper and seems to be pretty happy with his life. But when Dan suddenly finds himself making seemingly random trips into the past, things get a little complicated for our intrepid hero.

For Fans of: Quantum Leap, Early Edition, Odyssey Five

What Worked:

It’s neat to finally see a sci-fi show where we get to see the impact on the present when the hero goes mucking about in time. We’ve seen that before in individual episodes of other series, but for some reason, most shows that involve time travel never really dealt with the impact on the present.

After watching the pilot I find myself asking a ton of questions. Why is Dan traveling back in time? What does his not-so-dead fiance have to do with it? Is someone controlling when he ‘leaps?’ (If so, that would explain why he’s never jumped back in time when someone was watching him.) Is there some sort of time traveling organization? If so, what’s the purpose for altering the past? I’m interested in seeing how these questions are answered over the coming weeks.

One thing I’m glad was gotten out of the way right off the bat was Dan’s convincing his wife that he really is traveling to the past. Given how he’s disappearing at random for days at a time, if he wasn’t able to convince Katie that he really was traveling through time, Dan would find himself divorced (and possibly checked into a mental institution). As is, I’m sure there will be all kinds of troubles for Dan’s present life (I can’t see him holding on to his job, for instance), but if he lost everything in the present, that would place some serious constraints on later episodes.

What Didn’t Work:

I thought it was kind of an odd choice to have Livia revealed as (presumably) a fellow time traveler. Sure, this way we get to find out why she faked her own death (my money is on her having been recruited by whoever is pulling the time strings), but having Dan forced to wrestle with whether or not to save Livia could have been a highlight of the season. After all, if Dan saved Livia’s life, not only would he lose the relationship he has with his current wife (presumably past Dan, who was obviously very much in love with Livia would have stayed with her), but his son, Zack, would never be born.

Closing Thoughts:

On the whole, Journeyman is looking pretty good. They did blow a great potential story arc, but there are lots of other interesting directions for the show to go in the future (or the past).

I’m hoping in the future that the time travel will get a little easier to follow. It was all new to Dan, so it made sense for the time travel to be kind of jarring this week. As Dan gets more used to time travel, hopefully the jarring confusion will be downplayed somewhat and the lengths of the trips extended.

Sir Linksalot: Journeyman

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