Once again, time travel via television (#SFWApro)

And once again, I’ve only caught part of these series.

ADVENTURERS: Masters of Time is a German series in which a mysterious bad guy uses a science teacher’s time-travel computer program to go back in time and “step on some butterflies.” Can the teacher’s students ave the day? As this is German I only needed to confirm the premise for the appendix.

MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENHOLE was an Adult Swim series that gets points for sheer weirdness, the premise being that Frankenstein has opened his lab to people from throughout time via a series of wormholes (“frankenholes”) so that in the opening episode, for instance, President Johnson can ask to have Victor fix up Kennedy’s body, then put LBJ’s brain inside it (so he can get all the girls for once). This is the kind of over-the-top raunch and bad taste I usually can’t stand, but the nuttiness made up for it at least somewhat. “She’s involved with vampire Ghandi”

STARSHIP GIRL YAMAMOTO YOHKO is an anime variation on the movie Last Starfighter in which one side of a space war in the distant future recruits 20th century teens to fight, due to the superior reflexes of humans in the present. Lively but stock.

RILEY REWIND was an unsuccessful pilot in which a high schooler starts by insisting she’ll never use her power to try to fix people’s lives, but by the end of the episode … not horrible, but I don’t feel it’s any great loss this wasn’t picked up. “Jay’s love life is kind of a Taylor Swift song at this point.”

HECTOR HEATHCOTE was a ‘toon I remembered from childhood about a hapless loser in colonial days. I watched the original cartoon that inspired it (“The Minute and a 1/2 Man”) and despite the statements online that Hector’s actually a time traveler, nope, he isn’t. So I don’t have to include this.

TWICE IN A LIFETIME is a fantasy in which angels give humans who fall short of qualifying for heaven a chance to go back and live over some key moment in their lives in hopes of redemption. Judging by the episode I caught, this is solidly in the tradition of Highway to Heaven and Touched by An Angel which is to say it didn’t click with me.  “He claimed he never received the amended pages!”

THE FUTURE IS WILD is a spinoff of a documentary series about how Earth life might evolve in the future. The premise here is that a time traveler from the future and her present-day companions encounters such super-evolved life as they hunt for a future environment compatible with humanity. Standard Saturday morning fare.

GOODNIGHT SWEETHEART is a fairly enjoyable Britcom about a time-traveling bigamist (given the multiple time-travel stories involving incest, I’m surprised this and Trancers 2 are the only bigamy plots I’m aware of): after stumbling from the 1990s into WW II, he finds himself falling in love and trying to make it work despite a spouse in the present and the usual anachronistic foul-ups (“I see your wife Marilyn Monroe likes to let her skirts blow up.”). My judgment’s kind of impaired by now, but I think this was good. “It was the first name I could think of.”

STAN LEE’S TIME JUMPER is web-only (so I don’t need to count it), involving a young adult twenty something traveling through time at behest of a government agency; too stock to do much for me.

RAY BRADBURY THEATER unsurprisingly did a more faithful adaptation of A Sound of Thunder than the movie version. Kiel Martin plays the obsessed hunter who wants to bag the ultimate target, but happens to step on one little butterfly …   “What election? Deutch is president.”

KITERETSU ENCYCLOPEDIA is stock Japanese kidvid reminiscent of Doraemon, about a young inventor, his robot and (apparently) some time travel. As the time travel’s not the focus, I may appendix this.

MIRROR MIRROR definitely goes in the appendix as it’s an Australia/New Zealand production in which a high schooler finds herself jumping through time to 1919, courtesy of a magic mirror. Amiably watchable, but nothing special (particularly when I’ve seen so many like this).

The one series I have seen all of (though not this go-round) was Charmed, the sixth season of which involved Piper’s (Holly Marie Combs) son coming back from the future to ensure his older brother doesn’t become the Voldemort of their timeline. I also caught the final episode in which the Halliwell sisters bounce around in time, meeting past and future generations—and the emphasis on family added up to a genuinely moving finish. A pleasure to rewatch (though this show doesn’t “binge” as well as Buffy does). All rights to image with current holder.


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Filed under Now and Then We Time Travel, TV

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