During the weekend at Fan Expo in Toronto, Brad Wright (Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis) and Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) were on hand for the world premiere of Travelers.
In Travelers, several people time travel to the present from the future. The travelers can send their consciousness into a body just before a person is about to die. They take over the body, and, using only the knowledge from that person's social media profiles, they attempt to seamlessly integrate into their new lives without tipping off those around them. This creates problems when one of the bodies overtaken was a mentally handicapped woman with a speech impediment. Learning to speak in full sentences appears as a miracle to those who look after the woman.
Once the travelers are settled into their new bodies they must meet up to begin work on their important mission. No details of this mission are revealed in the pilot; however, we do know that, in the future, humanity is at great risk of extinction. What is putting them at risk is a complete mystery. Chat room messages between the travelers raise a red flag at the FBI, and agent Grant MacLaren begins to investigate their trail.
Between Travelers and Timeless, the other time travel show screened at Fan Expo, I was more impressed by Travelers. It had an excellent set-up episode that explained the concept of the show and how their version of time travel worked in a non-confusing way.
For a science fiction drama, the show was quite funny. As you can see in the Q&A clip below, there was a Batgirl joke that went over well with the audience at Fan Expo. Plus, there was plenty of mystery to hook us curious viewers.
The method of time travel in this series is very unique, which is particularly important when there are plenty of other shows involving time travel to watch. With Doctor Who, Legends of Tomorrow, and now Travelers and Timeless, it seems that time travel is replacing the vampire and zombie trend. However, Travelers does not feature physical time travel and is not set in a historical period or unrecognizable future. Since it is set in the present, it is much more relatable to audiences. The series also looks at the risks of putting so much information about ourselves into the public record of internet profiles and how this might make our generation look in the future.
Watch Eric McCormack explain what sold him on playing an FBI agent in Travelers during the Q&A after the premiere. Spoiler warning: there is a small spoiler about McCormack's character in the first episode.
Travelers will have a 12-episode season premiering on October 17, 2016. Canadians can watch on Showcase and Travelers will be available on Netflix for the rest of the world.