The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Quick Takes: NBC’s Journeyman

Written by: Ron Bricker

Image The pilot of the new NBC show Journeyman is like many TV pilots.  We’re introduced to the characters as they take on their archetypal roles.  The plot is simple and yet gives us the gist of the show.  And there are, of course, a few questions left unanswered.  But then, why wouldn’t there be?  With shows like Lost and Heroes being so successful you can’t have an even moderately sci-fi TV show without a few unanswered questions to be answered around sweeps week.

Journeyman chronicles the story of man who travels through time to put right what once went wrong.  He also has not control over when he travels through time.  Hmm, sound familiar?  Yes, it’s true, Journeyman COULD be the next Quantum Leap.  The biggest differences are that the main character does get to return home and he is still himself when he travels through time.  The other main difference is that this time traveler doesn’t have the comfort of an Al to help him out.  He has to figure out his “mission” on his own.  “But what if I make a mistake?” he asks about three-quarters of the way through.  “You will” he’s told, “that’s part of it.”  Ooo, mysterious, right?

I really do believe this show has some potential.  I think there are some great stories to be told using this device and I have always been a big fan of time travel stories.  My biggest complaint would have to be the fact that when he travels, say 10 years, into the past he can still interact with those people he knew ten years ago and they notice no real difference in his appearance other than he looks “tired.”  I’m not sure if I can buy that as I know how 10 years can affect the way someone looks.  But then I guess if I can believe a man can travel through time I should be able to believe he can not look any different ten years later.  Or maybe time travel has a rejuvenating effect on the skin?