Back in 1895, H.G. Wells published a book called The Time Machine and now over 120 years later, it is being told again in the ABC series Time After Time, Sundays at 9p. Wells was a writer way of ahead of time, thus why he wrote about time travel. His writing influenced another writer and that person is Executive Producer, Writer and Director extraordinaire Kevin Williamson. Williamson has taken his love of the author from the book to the small screen because he has been a huge fan of the big screen version since his teens.
Williamson recently spoke about his admiration of Wells and 1979’s feature film Time After Time at a press event for the Sci-Fi show. He said, “Well, I have always loved this project. I have just been a big fan of (the film’s Director) Nicholas Meyer from the word go growing up. This movie is what led me to actually read H.G. Wells, it’s what turned me to H.G. Wells as a writer.”
Even though it got him to read the author, he veered away from it first. Telling us, “I found it very hard, very dense. It wasn’t my cup of tea at the time. And then I started reading The Island of Doctor Moreau and then I got it. I like this this guy. Then I went out to read The Invisible Man. We sort of live in that universe.” So much so, he made it known that, “We live in The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau and The Invisible Man and we just start touching War of the Worlds and that will be this season.”
One such way the worlds of Wells’ imagination combine on the series, is Williamson says that, “In a lot of ways, Griffin in The Invisible Man is a lot like John (Stevenson aka Jack the Ripper), in terms of some of his character and his backstory.”
While that is Dr John Stevenson aka Jack the Ripper (Josh Bowman), what about hero H.G. Wells (Freddie Stroma)? Even though Wells invented the time machine, he does not adapt to our time as well as Dr Stevenson, the man he is chasing. Why is that? Williamson explained his thought process on that one as, “It seemed too easy to take H.G. Wells, who wrote of the future, who predicted the internet basically, to be this guy who goes to modern day and sort of picks it up.” Eventually, he will take all of his knowledge and Williamson reveals he, “will go home to 1893 and write all of his books, based on his experiences in modern-day New York City is the idea.”
One aspect of the movie that meant a lot to Williamson is a scene where Wells puts on the television and finds out that Utopia he hopes for never happened. That was a scene he incorporated into the pilot, adding that the first episode is loyal to the big screen adaptation. That scene while disappointing to Wells, seems to fit Stevenson like a glove. Shaping how both men will adapt and survive in the year 2017 as compared to 1893. We started to see the effect in the second episode last week and even more so tonight as they have gone their own ways in New York City. Separation is not a good thing for them because there are even more people who know what their true identities are and those people are coming after them. How well prepared are they take on these people who are out to get the two men from the past? Only time will tell.
And one more tell from Williamson on Wells, “I just loved (him). I loved all the ideas. I loved all the science fiction everything that H.G. Wells. I started listening to his recordings.” Then he continued by saying, “Then of course we threw it all away, we created our own show.” A show that is as thrilling as the concept of time travel. Therefore, you don’t want to miss it tonight and every Sunday night on ABC at 9p.
When I was kid, I saw a little movie called Time After Time. I don’t know what it was about that film, but it made me become obsessed with time travel and Jack the Ripper. An obsession, I still have to this day. That was my takeaway from it the 1980 classic, but it was not Kevin Williamson’s. He told me at a press event this week for the ABC Sci-Fi drama that debuts tonight at 9p on ABC, it made him a fan of H.G. Wells’ books. Time After Time is based on the book by the legendary author. Since the lauded Director is a fan of Wells, you know he is going to give the TV show based on his novel justice. He does and I can’t wait to see where he goes with the tale.
Wait up! Getting in my time machine to go back in time and tell you what Time After Time is about. Back in 1893, H.G. Wells (Freddie Stroma) has not yet written his first book, but he has built a time machine. He shows it off to his friends, one who has a secret. Dr John Stevenson (Josh Bowman) is the notorious Jack the Ripper.
When the police come for Stevenson, he escapes in the time machine to our time. Now, Wells is going to go after him.
When Wells arrives in our time, Jane (Génesis Rodríguez), the curator whose museum is housing Wells’ invention, greets him. She doesn’t believe that the inventor of the museum’s prize possession is standing in front of her. Therefore, she lets him go.
A few hours after she lets him go, the museum’s wealthy owner Vanessa Anders (Nicole Ari Parker) visits her and she wants to know where the two men who came to her via the time machine are. She tells Jane to find them or she will be fired.
A few hours after that, Wells and Stevenson meet up at a hotel lobby and the cat and mouse chase begins. Just as Wells chases after his cat, he is hit by a car and taken to the hospital.
The only ID Wells had on him is Jane’s business card, so they contact her. The two are reunited and she takes the stranger home with her. She again asks him who is he, and again he tells her he is Wells. She doesn’t believe that the man standing in front of her is someone who lived over 100 years ago. Do you blame her?
Eventually he finally convinces her that he is whom he says he is by taking her to the future. That is when they learn, she is the cheese that the cat will use to lure in his mouse.
And that is just the beginning of the season that is about two men from the past living in our time trying to stop the other one. One is inherently good, the other is evil. There is one woman who understands and knows them both. What happens next no one knows. Which is why I wish I had a time machine, so I can fast forward in time to next week to see the next episode.
Like I said, earlier this week I was at a press event with Kevin Williamson, Josh Bowman and Génesis Rodríguez. They talked about a lot of things about the excellent show, and Williamson explained his Jack the Ripper. He told us, “Jack the Ripper comes to modern day, who is this serial killer who in his day, and as he clearly pointed out, it wasn’t just women he was interested in. We are not doing the dark history of his mother damaging him and for some reason he is seeking out women of the night in alleyways. He is doing it because it’s opportunity. he has a Gd complex. The only thing greater than going into a hospital and saving a human life is taking it. And he can’t do that in his profession because he is a narcissist. He has to win and be the best at everything, so the only way to express that impulse is to go out to the alleyways and kill vagrants and homeless men where there is opportunity.
“But when he gets to modern day New York, he has a crisis of conscience. He comes up and says, ‘Okay, I kill people. That’s what I do. I’m sick. I get it.’ And he reads about himself and sees how sick and twisted he is and goes, ‘Okay. I need a makeover. I need to reinvent myself.’ There has got to be another way I can exploit my sickness. He even sees it in himself. He can change. Jane evens points it out in episode 2. He is sitting at the bar drinking thinking, ‘Do you think people really can change,’ and we are going to see if Jack the Ripper really can change. He changes his MO a little bit. He isn’t as targeted in being this serial killer, but he is targeted in being the evil of all evil.” Understanding that makes you even more compelled to watch this drama that has stood the test of times.
Since Time After Time is a movie that has been near and dear to my heart for most of my life, I was very critical of the show’s first two episodes. What Williamson did was to exceed my expectations of brilliant television with this adaptation. Whether you are a fan of the book, the film or never heard of it, you are going to be infatuated with Time After Time from the very first second you watch it. It is a real page turner, you won’t want to shut off.
Back in 1969, the Stonewall Uprising changed things forever for Gay people in America. There have been a lot advancements for the LGBTQ community since then, mostly all for the better. We say we don’t want history to repeat itself, but in the last few years that is sadly what it is starting to happen here. The last 50 years have been historic for the LGBTQ community and that history is being told in When We Rise, an important, powerful and impactful 4-part miniseries that starts tonight at 9p on ABC.
The miniseries begins shortly after the Stonewall Uprising and several teens are leaving their homes to find a new purpose in themselves. When Cleeve Jones (Austin P. McKenzie) tells his father he is Gay, he is kicked out of his home. After what happened in NY, he knows there are places he can go to be out as the man that he is. He chooses San Francisco, where he meets Roma (Emily Skeggs). She wants to fight for Women’s Rights and she is a Lesbian. Together the two of them will work and fight hard to make it OK to be Gay in a Country that says it is not.
There will other huge names in the historic movement battling with them as they stand up to being profiled by cops and people who attack them for loving who they love. In fact, they will even fight people like them to make a change, so the next generations can be free to be who they want to be.
Another man fighting along with them is Ken Jones (Jonathan Majors). He is an African-American, former-military man and he has the hardest fight of them all. Neither the African-American nor the military communities accept him for who he is even though he tries to educate them. He is hoping to make a difference but it all falls on deaf years.
Tonight, we get to know our three main leads, their families and the start of the uprising. On Wednesday at 9p, they fast forward to 1978 and get political as Cleeve takes a job working for Harvey Milk who becomes the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California. Shortly after he takes office, Milk is shot and killed. Now the San Francisco community watches as his murderers get away with murder. That ignites a fire in them to fight even harder.
Also that year, Roma’s girlfriend Diane (Fiona Dourif) says that she wants to get pregnant. Diane works out a deal to get sperm from an unknown Gay man and impregnate herself with it. It works and she has a daughter named Annie.
Also on Wednesday’s episode, they skip forward to the early ’80s when people are starting to get sick and dying from a mysterious illness. That disease will eventually be called GRID, then AIDS and HIV. Slowly the people around our three leads will start to die off and there won’t be as many of them left.
On Thursday’s episode at 9p, the effect of AIDS is taking a toll on them. They are losing friends, family and lovers. Both Cleeve (Guy Pearce) and Ken (Michael K. Williams) are HIV+ and the meds that are keeping them alive are not worth the side effects. Still they vow to beat it. Then Ken’s lover, whom he was living with, passes away and he is kicked out of the house they shared. Now he is on the street, until eventually he finds solace in the VA Hospital where he will get the medicine he needs.
Cleeve has taken on the mission of the AIDS Quilt. It is a quilt made up of patches dedicated to loved ones who died from the virus throughout the years. He is traveling the country with, hoping to make a change. He eventually lands in DC, hoping to get a President to see it and acknowledge the LGBTQ community. It didn’t work with Reagan and Bush and after many years, he finally gets a response from Bill Clinton.
It is a small step, but one that leads to his biggest battle in the final chapter of the story on Friday at 9p. That is when they take on Prop 8 and that battle will take them to the Supreme Court. Eventually, they will win the biggest War in their history when SCOTUS finally grants Same-Sex couples the right to marry.
In this chapter, Cleeve tells a bunch of students, how does it feel to be the first generation not to have anything to fight for. I didn’t realize until he said that that most of us have never had to fight for anything like our parents did. In the last few weeks, we have started to rise up again. We have reasons to stand up to the establishment that is trying to push us down again. We cannot let those reasons be for anything that we have already fought for in this miniseries and causes like it. We have come a long way, baby, and we need to keep going.
I implore everyone, especially people who think that being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer is a sin, to watch this. It is not and it never has been. See how things were and ask yourself, do you want that to happen again? It is like seeing what happened during the Civil Rights movement back in the earlier part of the last century and saying that cannot happen again. This cannot either.
This story needed to be told so we never have to give an updated version of it. Dustin Lance Black created something that is so well done that everyone can and will enjoy it. There is a lot to take away from the 8-hour event, so start taking it away tonight at 9p and the rest of the week, minus tomorrow, at 9p on ABC.
When We Rise is as important to Gay Rights as were other television events like An Early Frost, And the Band Played On and Queer As Folk. It is raw, honest and must see TV.
I can honestly see this becoming a teaching tool for future generations including this one. How many miniseries can you say that about?
Even though Valentine’s Day is still a month away, in the TV sitcom world it is happening now because they tape in advance. Here is Diedrich Bader on the set of ABC’s American Housewife surrounded by a bunch of balloons to give to his TV wife Katy Mixon.
What is it about a guy with carrying a bunch of balloons like that that turns me on so much? Don’t you wish he is your Valentine’s? I know I do!!!
I guess since he is not, I will just have to settle by watching him tonight on ABC’s sweet and funny sitcom at 8:30p!
Scott Foley showed up at 7a, as requested, for ABC’s TCA Winter Press Day, but no one else was there. Oh, the Scandal. Instead, of calling his People and yelling at them, he shared these sad and lonely photos of himself in empty rooms. really didn’t notice that there was no one else there at first. All I could do was focus on his sad puppy dog eyes. Are they not just the most precious things? I just want to drive over to where he is at and give him a huge hug. No wonder Felicity fell in love with him, how can you not?