The premise of Travelers, a Netflix series, is an intriguing time travel story. People from several centuries in the future, where the world is a climate change mess, project their consciousness into individuals in the 21st century who are at the brink of death, and take over their bodies. In essence, the bodies of the 21st century individuals become hosts for these future travelers, who move into the personal lives of their hosts with all the emotional complications.
The group of Travelers the show focuses on are: the team’s leader, who assumes the life of an FBI agent; the team’s historian whose host is a college heroine addict; the team’s medic, an intellectually challenged woman; the team’s tactician, a single mom black woman whose partner is an abusive cop; and the team’s engineer, who assumes the life of a rebellious high school athlete. The characters are well drawn and developed.
Grant MacLaren, Traveler 3468, the FBI dude, is played by Eric McCormack, who seems to be made for this role. He has the charm of Mulder in the X-Files, a character as complex as the show itself as these travelers from the future become immersed in the lives of their hosts. But that’s part of what makes this show work so well (and we’re into the second season). These travelers are manipulated (guided, duped) by the Director, an AI in the distant future who chooses the 21st century hosts for its people.
Travelers has that edgy and different backdrop – time travelers from the future, not time travelers going into the past – that sucks me in immediately. The technology they bring with them is impressive – quantum entanglement (the way they project consciousness from the future into the 21st century hosts), medical techniques they use to heal their own, the coms implanted in their necks that enable them to communicate with each other. And their loyalty to the Director, which may ultimately prove to be their undoing.
The show’s writers have really done their job with this series. They know their characters. They have a story arc that should carry them through at least 5 seasons, and hopefully more. Many of the episodes end with a cliff hanger that leaves me gasping for air. I haven’t felt like this since the first episode of X-Files many years ago.
There are occasional glitches, spots where some event or situation doesn’t make sense. But overall, I love this show. The writers have done a stellar job! And it has been renewed for a third season!