Monday, October 1, 2007

Continuing Journeyman: 2

The second episode of Journeyman crystallized what I was thinking (and wrote) about the premier of Journeyman last week: the new NBC time travel series is really about the intricate, time-entwined personal lives of the central characters, unlike Quantum Leap, in which Sam's personal life only rose into story prominence on very special occasions.

Journeyman is clearly - and, so far, tantalizingly - the cat's-cradle story of four people. Dan (Kevin McKidd) and Livia (Moon Bloodgood) are time travelers, erstwhile lovers, and maybe more. Livia's further along in this time travel business than is Dan, but Dan is the focus of the story.

Meanwhile, Dan's slowly managing to convince his wife Katie (Gretchen Egolf) that he's time traveling. This week, Dan time-vaults to the past from a plane, in which he is seated next to Katie - a nice touch, for this leaves no way she can think he just tripped out on the street somewhere, and that's why he's not home.

And Katie and Dan's brother, Jack, were once a couple. While Jack - a cop (great to see Reed Diamond from Homicide back in the mix) - intersects with Dan in his time traveling, as well as in the present.

This nearly menage-a-quatre is much more than just emotional backdrop for the story. It is emerging as the story, though we haven't seen all that much of it yet.

As for Dan's "missions" - which he is yanked into without warning - we have now seen two. They bear an interesting similarity: the real purpose of the mission isn't revealed until the end, and it's not what we think it to be. Also, at this point, the missions have all been about non-famous individuals - no attempt to save JFK from assassination (which I and I bet half the science fiction writers in the world did in at least one story we wrote)*.

In its individual rather public-event focus, Journeyman is also like Quantum Leap, which only only once or twice a season had Sam figure in attempting to avert a public tragedy of the past.

But next week, Journeyman will take a shot at this, too. The coming attractions show Dan at the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, where he will have to choose which of three people to save.

I'm betting that there will also be an important element of his personal life at stake in this, too. I'm looking forward.

*That would be the "Loose Ends" saga for me - which I actually started writing in 1974, but I didn't get around to publishing until 1997.

8-minute podcast analysis of Journeyman

Reviews of other Journeyman episodes: 1 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5 ... 6 ... 7 ... 8 ... 9. Dan Unravels His Present ... 10. Jack's In! ... 11. Livia's Beau//Save the Newspaper, Save the World ... 12. The Perfect Time Travel Story ... Lucky 13

The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book
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