New Series Review: “Journeyman”
Reed Diamond, Moon Bloodgood, Kevin McKidd and Gretchen Egolf in “Journeyman.”
Time travel series tend to fall into formula pretty quickly, held captive by their premises, but given some solid writing, a great cast and an internal logic system that keeps everything from going kablooey, these shows can remain entertaining and find audience larger than an average night on Sci-Fi Channel.
Based on the pilot, which premiered Monday after “Heroes” on NBC, “Journeyman” is just such an animal. Dan Vasser (Kevin McKidd of “Rome”) is a newspaper reporter in San Francisco who suddenly finds himself unstuck in time, disappearing without any warning and showing up on random days from the past 20 years. In the course of blasting in and out of the present, he discovers threads of information about the people he encounters on these trips, and is able to shift history for the better.
In the pilot episode, the assumption on the part of his wife (Gretchen Egolf), his editor (Brian Howe) and his brother (Reed Diamond of “Homicide: Life on the Street”) is that he is either insane or has relapsed into a drug problem that plagued him in the past, one probably spurred by the death of Livia (Moon Bloodgood), his fiance who (presumably) died in a plane crash nine years ago. But Livia is not just showing up in these fugues — she seems to have a key role in Dan’s transportation through time.
As I said, such an enterprise could have gotten ripe and cheesy, but “Journeyman” works because the actors are selling it. McKidd and Egolf have great chemistry, so time will tell if the series will hold up. “Medium” started out promisingly, but it quickly fell into a skull-numbing formula. “Journeyman” will make it if the central mystery of Dan’s strange ability/affliction continues to hum in the background.
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