This post contains spoilers to Netflix’s Travelers. If you haven’t seen it, despite it being ten years old as of the writing of this post, stop reading and go watch it because it’s pretty good
001 wasn’t a terrible episode of Travelers, though I think it’s the weakest of the first two seasons (it was cancelled after a third).
By the way, this is my second viewing of the series and it holds up remarkably well despite ten years having passed since its premiere.
The premise – that agents from the future come to the past to prevent their horrific (which is never seen though occasionally talked about it and sounds really, really bad) future from coming to pass is reminiscent of The Terminator though plays more like Invasion of the Body Snatchers – is executed exceedingly well and typically fires on all cylinders.
The acting and direction of 001 are up to their usual high standards, but story-wise, not so much though the issue is less a question of it being bad than the standards typically being high, so shifts in tone are particularly noticeable.
The episode revolves around Vincent Ingram (Erico Colantoni), himself a Traveler who was supposed to have died in the Twin Towers, who’s been capturing and killing Travelers teams in an effort to prevent them from discovering him.
He captured the people Grant McLaren’s (Eric McCormack) Traveler team care about in an effort to force and his team to expose themselves to the world.
The dastardly scheme begins when Dr. Perrow (Amanda Tapping), a therapist who’s one of the few people Ingram (at one time) trusted, is kidnapped along with the people who are close to his team and she forces her to out MacLaren and his team to them.
In other words, she’s says they are time travelers from the future; that’s not the dumb part. What is is that based on her say so (keep in mind that they’ve just been kidnapped and a total stranger, unless they’ve seen Stargate SG-1, is telling them that their loved ones are time travelers), which is an idea in its way as ridiculous as the idea of time travelers.
Even sillier was Ingram’s ploy to get MacLaren’s team to confess that they’re Travelers to the world because, while you’re likely to have some people who’d believe it because it because ‘television,’ the bulk of people would likely forget about it almost as quickly as they heard it.
Though by no means enough of an issue to ruin what came before, it was a shift in the storyline for the coming season, where Travelers are known by, and working with, the government though my point is that it’s mostly a change for change’s sake because most people wouldn’t believe it in any case and they could have went out without informing the government of their identity.