I was trying to figure out what show to spotlight for the second "Gone Too Soon" column. As a general rule, I want to give a show a few years off the air before I delve into it. That gives the creators and producers a chance to try and continue the story, if they're interested in doing so, and it gives the actors a chance to move on. Then I read the news that they're going to adapt The Time Traveler's Wife to television, and it hit me.
A man disappearing from his wife to travel through time, and struggling to fix his home life as he went along? That sounded awfully familiar, and to a lot of you, as well, if your comments are any indication. So even though Journeyman's finale aired less than two years ago, it's time we honored it for the great show it was ... a show, unfortunately, about two years ahead of its time.
The Readers Choice Award goes to Moonlight, the vampire-themed crime-drama-romance that amassed an insane amount of fans during its short run. And it still might come back on another network, so we'll keep our collective fingers crossed on that.
The TV Squadders' pick is Journeyman. Here's why:
1. Time-traveling is cool. The idea of time-travel is always intriguing, as evidenced by other shows like Quantum Leap and Sliders. What's cool about Journeyman is that Dan Vasser, played by Kevin McKidd, is just a normal guy who could be any one of us. At first, he hates the time-traveling. It interrupts his life and causes undue stress, both at home and work. But later, when given the opportunity to make it stop, he chooses to keep time-traveling. He knows he's been chosen for a reason, and feels it's his calling to help people right the wrongs of history. Never mind that every episode made me wonder how much of history he changed by leaping into the past. I can only imagine that even the smallest of events might drastically alter the space-time continuum.
(S01E13) "It's not a curse. It's a calling." - Dan
"Time changes everything," says the Journeyman official website. In the TV world, ratings change everything because if it weren't for so-so ratings, Journeyman wouldn't be facing cancellation right about now. Let's hope, Rice-A-Roni can change everything too!
What could be the last (gulp!) episode ever of NBC's time-traveling series aired a few hours ago and I'm still in denial that this could be the last we saw of Dan Vasser. At least the creator and writers got the hint that this could be the final episode ever soon enough to make it a potential series finale. Even if we didn't get answers to all our questions (back to that after the jump), we at least got some closure.
(S01E12) "I need to get our life back tomorrow." - Dan
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'll say it again: I can't believe Journeyman may get canceled when it's giving us fantastic episodes. After a nice Christmas-themed episode last week, we now move one step closer to what may end up being the series finale. NBC will air the last completed episode, aka episode 13, this Wednesday at 10 p.m.
"The Hanged Man" not only had Dan face off a major change in his present time after leaving 2007 technology in the past but he also learned what Livia and he share in common besides being travelers.
After episodes like this one, it's difficult to understand why people aren't watching Journeyman. It looked like the writers knew the cancellation ax was hovering above their heads when they wrote this week's episode because it was a payoff for loyal viewers and paved the way for episode 13, to possibly serve as a series finale.
Not only was Frank (played by The 4400's Joel Gretsch) back and Jack getting more likable this week, but we saw Livia in her "present" time and Dan's actions have once again an impact on his family and friends. What more can we want for this Christmas-themed episode? Okay, maybe answers on why Dan and Livia travels and how, but that was probably a gift that was too big to put under our Festivus pole!
(S01E10) So what, trying to get a kidnapper behind bars gets me shot? Who in the hell are we working for? - Dan Vasser
His line may as well have been, "So what, we have an interesting eight episodes capped off by an excellent ninth and tenth show, only to get hit with rumors of being canceled after this season? Who in the hell are we working for?"
That would be NBC Danny boy, and I'm none two thrilled that Journeyman probably won't be showing up on the schedule when spring rolls around.
(S01E09) Dan's been traveling a lot lately...- Katie Vasser
And the understatement of the year award goes to, Katie Vasser!
Watching the show, it seems like Dan makes multiple trips through time over the course of a single day. He has to be gone 3-5 hours daily and from what I understand his trips are only going to start lasting longer and longer as the show moves along.
I'm actually quite amazed Katie has stuck around for this long. How could any relationship sustain this kind of disruption? The disappearing part is bad enough, but when you add in the fact that Dan repeatedly sees his ex-fiance during his journeys, it's even more amazing that Katie has stayed put this long. My wife would've gouged my eyeballs out and thrown another set of balls out the window of her car so she could repeatedly run over them.
This week's Journeyman episode had a tough act to follow because last week's installment was fantastic. "Winterland" may not have been as good as "Double Down" but it sure gave us a lot of answers about Livia and had the FBI Agent connect some dots we wondered if someone eventually would.
I don't know about you but as soon as I saw the previews for this week's Journeyman episode I was jumping up and down at the thought of seeing Dan do something in the past that would actually put his future (or present) in jeopardy! Don't get me wrong, I don't want bad things to happen to our hero but it was inevitable to eventually have him screw things up and see the ripple effect his actions while traveling can have on his own family and life.
In this fantastic episode (probably the best so far), Dan and Livia had to protect Past Dan and make sure he got rescued by Katie so that the future would stay intact. What a way for the series to kick of November Sweeps.
(S01E06) "You look the same." - Michael
"Clean living." - Dan
Journeyman is becoming a solid show driven by the characters' relationships. This week's episode will probably have fans start to speculate about the real reasons why Dan was sent back in time to save Steve and who Doctor Langley really is. The latter was not seen on the screen this week but he sure made an impact.
(S01E05) "Time travel is impossible?" - Dan
"No. Just not proven." - Doctor Langley
Again this week, I find myself not caring much about the case of the week but highly interested in the main characters' doings. "The Legend of Dylan McLean" was of great importance for the Vassers as it cemented Zack and Dan's relationship and offered a glimpse of Dan's father.
At first glance, NBC's Journeyman may sound like a few other shows you've watched in the past: a man travels back and forth between the past and present and, while at it, helps a few people along the way. The question is will Journeyman be able to stand out from shows with similar themes like Quantum Leap, Life on Mars, the short-lived Day Break, etc., in order to gather the needed ratings to survive?
What may give this new series a few more weeks to get its own following and find itself is the fact that it has a fantastic lead-in in this little show called Heroes.
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