Awardsline Screening Series: Timeless
Last week, the entertainment news website Deadline – as part of their annual Awardsline Screening Series – held a special screening of the NBC time travel series Timeless that also featured a Q&A with the cast (Matt Lanter, Abigail Spencer and Malcolm Barrett) and executive producers.
The episode that was screened was the fourth episode of the debut season entitled “Party at Castle Varlar,” which focused on the team of Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus traveling back to the 1940’s Germany to once again thwart Garcia Flynn from working with the Nazis.
The executive producers – Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan – were asked what was inspiration behind that particular episode, sharing they simply “wanted to do a World War II story.” In fact, writer Jim Barnes pitched the idea to them and with the help of their on-set history consultant, “the history kinda led the way” to the story behind the episode.
Eric and Shawn further shared that each episode of the freshman season all “came through the research.” They don’t set out with specific story lines for each episode rather they focus on whether they want to tell a story of mystery, a western or something specific along those lines. Once they determine the overall theme, then they start digging into the history.
While neither of the executive producers would reveal if there is a chance of Timeless getting a second season (an official announcement will be made by NBC at their upfront presentation in New York City on May 15), Shawn did admit that he would love to do a story about the orphan trains. He further explained that from around the 1870’s to the 1920’s, hundreds of thousands of orphaned, abandoned and homeless children were placed throughout the US and Canada via the orphan trains, and he has traced his lineage back to two of those children.
The topic then shifted to how the relationship between Lucy, Wyatt and Rufus has evolved with each of the cast members sharing how their characters have changed. Matt shared that “Wyatt has learned how to lead people with no military background, and (he has learned) how to let go of the past.” Abigail shared that she believes “Lucy wouldn’t want to do (the traveling they do) without her cohorts” and she joked that “Wyatt is in love with Lucy.” Malcolm then shared that “Rufus has (gone) on an obvious journey,” moving from being almost “agoraphobic to fighting for his friends and wanting the girl.”
Given there is a lot to keep track of in terms of all that has happened during the first season, Eric shared that they “focus on the personal not the global” such as having Lucy’s sister go missing after the actions of the first episode: that was an obvious personal impact for Lucy. They also shared that they “aim to tell stories the viewers (hopefully) haven’t heard about.”
When asked about what time period they have enjoyed ‘playing’ in most, Lucy shared that she really love the 1930’s-1940’s era especially the costumes from the Bonnie and Clyde episode. Meanwhile, Malcolm and Matt both shared how much they enjoyed the Alamo episode. On the opposite spectrum, they all agreed that the 1980’s episode was difficult mainly because of the cold and the rain.
One of the best audience questions fully stumped the panelists: What if the missing characters (such as Lucy’s sister and the supposedly murdered wife of Garcia Flynn) were actually taken by Rittenhouse. Obviously, the executive producers couldn’t provide any kind of answer, but it certainly stopped them in their tracks.
The hope of many fans is that Timeless will be renewed by NBC for a second season, and that reveal will be made on May 15.