Travelers, Episode One

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We are being flooded with new TV (even if it’s on a streaming service, I still call it “TV”). I’m beginning to drown just trying to sample first episodes.

And you would think with all the money being flung around, we’d be in a glut of absolutely startingly-great TV.

Erm, no.

Without naming anything specific, I’ve sampled opening episodes of new things that have just left me flat. They’re confusing or they’re dull or they’re just damned conventional.

So I was shocked when I came across this.

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Holy shit. Was this damn damn damn good!

Director Nick Hurran is a familiar name, having done Doctor Who and the recent Childhood’s End mini-series.

Writer Brad Wright? Well, I had to look him up. I’ve not seen anything else by him before this.

The one scary thing about this series itself is that it’s on the Canadian Showcase network. I fear that if I fall in love with this, it’ll be killed after one season, just like they killed the still-popular Endgame series. But I refuse to let past trauma prevent me from falling in love with this.

And this will be something to fall in love with if the first episode’s quality is sustained for the rest of it.

Here’s the minor spoiler that anyone can find out just by going to the series website: People from the future can transfer their consciousness into people of the past. There’s even more spoilage at the site.

It sounds rather iffy, sketchy, and perhaps even lame, right?

I mean, there was Quantum Leap at one time. (I bailed on that series after the pilot, but was dragged back — pun intended — for one other episode where the main character became a woman.) And now we have Timeless and the upcoming Time After Time.

So why even bother with this?

Because it’s the best damned new TV I’ve seen this new season.

If you didn’t know the premise of the series, you wouldn’t know what was happening at all. And even knowing the premise, you’re still surprised by it. Because absolutely nothing here is obvious.

Just look (very minor spoiler):

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Just what the hell does that mean?

All of the characters are surprising, even the police characters!

All of the performances are top-notch and movie-quality.

Unlike too many new TV series, this doesn’t feature wall-to-wall non-stop music. And the score is perfect.

Hurran goes all-out in his direction too:

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His use of wide-angle lenses have a virtual reality quality to them and as a viewer you’re kept off-balance, trying to figure out if you’re there or if someone else is watching the action as part of the story.

There are more spectacular images I could post, but spoilers. The sheer number of shots crammed into this is astonishing. Hurran busted his ass — the asses of the crew and cast.

But it was all worth it!

I hope the second episode is as good as this. Because this first one is an absolute must-see.

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