Travelers continues to be quite different from the other time travel shows out there in that each person sent back must “fit in” to the life they inhabit. The first episode showed just how difficult this could be.
The mentally challenged young woman, the teenager still in school, the drug addict and the single mother with an abusive former partner were all occupied by travelers from the future who have nothing in common with the host they take over.
A doctor is in the mentally challenged girl, a computer wiz in the drug addict and the hands-on technician is in the teen’s body. Maclaren and Carly, the FBI agent and the single mum, are an item in the future and Maclaren in this time period is married.
The first disaster that the travelers must avert is an antimatter explosion that kills thousands. Historically the thing apparently starts a chain of events that affects the future of the world.
The team intercept the impromptu bomb, the containment device is leaking and this turns the antimatter into a explosive, and put it into a smaller device. Unfortunately, the new improved model is made equally unstable after the drug addict’s hand tremor almost kills the battery.
Travelers spends enough time on each “agent” to make them likable and empathetic. Given that we have only seen the characters in one episode, they are established enough that we care about what happens to them.
Philip now knows that Marcy’s host profile was a lie. The social media information, that she was a librarian, was part of an exercise set up by her social worker David. In turn, as a doctor, she recognizes that Philip’s host is a heroine addict.
Later in the show Marcy must make a deal with David to keep him from interfering. She tells him that she is a doctor and also reveals that a plane from Oregon will crash killing four. It happens and her social worker is thunderstruck. This small disaster’s foretelling almost makes David a believer.
This episode also shows just how dangerous and complicated time travel can be. Two of the travelers wait for their next companion to arrive. A man who is on the history books as committing suicide by eating a bullet, has also taken an overdose. When the traveler enters the new host, he dies immediately after.
The travelers are learning that their historical facts are open to misinterpretation and misinformation. With their newest team member dead, they must improvise and Maclaren learns that other time travelers who are not on his team cannot exchange ideas or information.
Protocol 6, the rule that prohibits “cross contamination” is very strict and after Maclaren’s team return the antimatter to a safe containment vessel, they learn that despite the success of their mission, any further infractions of the protocol will result in punitive measures.
(This message was delivered via a young girl scout delivering cookies to Maclaren’s house.)
Thus far creator Brad Wright has given us a show that feels, despite the time travel category being wildly overused at the moment, fresh and interesting. Clearly these travelers are everywhere in Wright’s verse and it seems that they all have miles to go before they sleep.
Travelers is on Netflix for streaming or can be downloaded. This is some cracking stuff here. The characters are interesting and likable. Despite some similarities with other time traveling programs this offering is just different enough to be entertaining.