Illustration. | Liam Olson
Illustration. | Liam Olson

Review: Time After Time


By | Liam Olson

The pilot episode of “Time After Time”, a new show on ABC, is a great introduction to the story of H.G. Wells’ pursuit to stop Jack the Ripper. Filled with lovable and interesting characters along with intriguing plot, the first episode shows promise for future episodes. Even though the show starts well it does have a few issues with rushing various points of plot.

“Time After Time” first aired on March 5 on ABC. According to IMDb, the show is based off the 1979 book and movie of the same name. The book is written by Karl Alexander and within the same year was made into a movie which was directed by Nicholas Meyers. Marcos Siega directs the television version while Meyers, the director of the movie version, writes the teleplay. Kevin Williamson develops the show.

The show begins in 19th century England where H.G. Wells is discussing his work with some of his colleagues. Around the same time, Jack the Ripper, also known as Dr. John Stevenson, murders a woman on his way over Wells’ home. After Stevenson arrives at Wells’ house, Wells shows Stevenson and his colleagues the time machine that he is building. Soon after, the police come to Wells’ house to do a search to investigate murder of the woman Stevenson killed earlier. The murder weapon is discovered in Stevenson’s bag and Stevenson uses Wells’ time machine to escape to the modern day. Wells follows Stevenson to the future to stop him and bring him back to past where justice will be served.

Upon arriving in modern day, Wells is taken by the security guards of the museum in New York where his time machine is displayed. There he meets assistant curator, Jane Walker, who at first does not believe who Wells actually is but after Wells proves that he is from the past, Walker joins Wells quest to stop Jack the Ripper. In the first episode, Jack the Ripper begins his murderous rampage killing women at nightclubs. With the time machine as his advantage, Wells  is able to prevent some of the murders.

Altogether the plot of the show is interesting but the plot points feel too rushed and forced in the first episode. Giving each point more time would add great character development and backstory to the main plot. It would be interesting to have spent more time in the 19th century learning more about Dr. Stevenson and why he became Jack the Ripper.

Furthermore, the romance between Walker and Wells is introduced too early making their romantic chemistry seem forced and underdeveloped. The scene where Walker and Wells share a moment together in the moon exhibit seemed awkward and ungenuine.

Another plot point that would make the first episode even better would to focus on the adjustment that Wells goes through to modern day. Providing more time on this would open up so many opportunities for comedic plot points. Not only that but it is hard to believe that Wells became so well adjusted to modern technology within a matter of days.

Throughout the episode, all the actors gave performances that make the characters interesting and likable. The one who gives the best performance is Freddie Stroma as H.G. Wells. Stroma is amazing at making Wells a lovable character. He perfectly captures the intelligence and naiveté of Wells. He is able to show Wells as the brilliant writer and inventor while also showing that even the most intelligent people can get lost and need to learn more.

Genesis Rodriguez does well at playing Jane Walker. Her characterization of Walker as a no-nonsense and driven person is a great addition to the show. She is the best person to play as the guide for the modern world for H.G. Wells.

Finally, Josh Bowman gives an outstanding performance as Dr. John Stevenson or better known as Jack the Ripper. Bowman is able to perfectly capture the ruthlessness and violent nature of Jack the Ripper. In every scene with Bowman as Jack the Ripper the viewer can tell his malicious and intimidating presence.

“Time After Time” shows promise with its lovable, interesting characters and intriguing plot. Although it has some issues, the pilot episode is sure to keep audiences wanting to see what the future holds for H.G. Wells and Jane Walker in “Time After Time”.

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