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TV Series Review

Got the time?

Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus have plenty of it—and not nearly enough. Or maybe they've just got the wrong sort of time. Or could the time be right, but the circumstances wrong?

Stories involving time travel can get convoluted. So many potential paths, so many opportunities to miss, so many of parallel existences on which to speculate. And Timeless, NBC's silly swashbuckler, is all about second guesses. Second? Get it? That's a little time-travel humor there.

If I Could Save Time in a Weird Ship

The trouble began (or ended?) with wealthy genius Connor Mason's time machine. Alas, his nifty new invention was pilfered by a guy named Garcia Flynn, a guy who seems pretty evil … until we discover that there's another bad 'un that bad guy Flynn wants to stop.

Yeah, time's not the only thing that gets a little convoluted.

Thankfully, Connor has a spare time machine on hand—a prototype that functions reasonably well and almost always goes where it's supposed to. Connor, with strong encouragement from the National Security Agency, is now sending a crack team off into America's past to stop any and all evildoers and, if possible, clean their collective clocks.

Lucy serves as the crew's in-flight historian. She's been tasked with figuring out where she, Wyatt and Gunther need to go next and making sure that her two cohorts don't make a lot of out-of-place references to Pokémon Go. Wyatt Logan, a Delta Force operative, is the team's muscle. He's also still grieving his dead wife, Jessica. Rufus is ostensibly the time machine's pilot. But he's uncomfortable with these time-traipsing missions. First, he's not really a pilot at all, but a coder. Second … well, Rufus is black: "There's literally no place in American history that would be awesome for me," he reminds Connor.

Yes, that would be uncomfortable … on the face of it.

Get it? Face? Clock? Oh, never mind.

It's All About the Minute Details

"Maybe we don't get to make it up as we go," Lucy speculates. "Maybe some things are just …"

"What?" Wyatt asks, thinking about his dead wife. "Fate?"

Timeless circles back to this intellectual, philosophical quandary again and again … asking viewers what they would change about their own histories if given a chance. And perhaps more importantly, whether they should.

Lucy is the first character to really deal with the consequences of mucking around in the past: After their very first mission, Lucy returns home to find her terminally ill mother as fit as a fiddle! On the downside, though, her sister has completely vanished. I'm sure Marty McFly would sympathize.

But while Timeless may deal with the complex messes inherent in time travel, it does so in a light, frothy way. Sure, you may learn a little something about real history in the process (like the fact that Abraham Lincoln's son was saved by the brother of John Wilkes Booth), but the show doesn't take itself too seriously. It feels a little like The A-Team with a serious chronological impediment.

Alas, if Timeless is a throwback to the 1980s' team-oriented capers, the content here has a new millennium's worth of problems.

The violence is not particularly gruesome, but it is disturbingly common. Lots of people die (presumably spoiling the futures of scads of kids and grandkids). Others are seriously hurt. Blood is just as easily shed in 1776 as in 1865 as in 1937.

There are plenty of sexual allusions, too—jokily suggestive and, at times, titillating. The hard-drinking days of yesteryear mingle with a more contemporary liberal use of profanity, giving us a strange, century-jumping stew of issues to deal with.

Timeless is often light, sometimes fun and has just enough problems to give many discerning families pause. Your time might be better spent elsewhere.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

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Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Timeless: Mar. 17, 2018 "The Darlington 500"
Timeless: Oct. 3, 2016 "Pilot"



Readability Age Range





Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston; Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan, US Army Delta Force; Malcolm Barrett as Rufus Carlin; Sakina Jaffrey as Agent Denise Christopher; Paterson Joseph as Mason Lark; Goran Visnjic as Garcia Flynn; Susanna Thompson as Carol Preston; Armin Shimerman as David Rittenhouse; Annie Wersching as Emma Whitmore






Record Label




On Video

Year Published



Paul Asay

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