Journeyman, new on NBC

Headed back from the conference on Monday Night, I sat next to a fellow on the bus that was an avid Heroes fan.  In fact, I had completely forgot that Heroes was on that night being immersed in all things Adobe.  After we shared opinions on the show, he asked how I liked the show that trailed afterward, Journeyman.

I had completely written off this show.  I wasn't interested at all, but what did peek my interest when he described it as "Quantum Leap done right"..  Now that's a bold statement.  Quantum Leap is one of those classic Sci Fi shows that everyone can enjoy, so adding a derogatory statement to push your show...  well, that's something a fan would take issue with.

Anyways, since it trails Heroes and this guy seemed to think it was pretty bad ass, I thought I'd give it a chance.  So, as I caught up with Heroes today, I decided to catch myself up with Journeyman as well.

What is it?

Journeyman follows Dan Vassar, a San Franciscan journalistic with a decent life, a great wife Katie, a son Nate.  He also has a brother, Jack Vassar, who's a police detective.  Part of Dan's past is revealed right away.. apparently his ex-fiance, Livia,  had died in a plane crash 9 years ago.

Dan finds himself flipping back and forth through time without reason.  One day, he's taking a cab ride and suddenly finds himself back in time 20 years.  He flips back and forth a couple times with a common thread between each jump..  a man named Neil Stratos (or something like that).  One a jump is complete, he's brought back to his current time a day or two after his disappearance.

These jumps are not explained what-so-ever.  One second he's walking along the street and Dan's head begins to pound.  The headache triggers something that shoots him back in time and there you have it.

So far each episode has centered on a single person that Dan did not know prior and that he must help for the good of humanity.  Sounds like the exact plot of Quantum Leap, eh?

Throughout these time jumps, he runs into little pieces of his past.  He accidentally meets the past version of this ex-fiance a couple times, but then he runs into the present version of Livia.  It seems that Livia is also a time-traveler.. she doesn't know what's going on either, but she has some tips for Dan.  She is kinda Scott Bakula's Dean Stockwell for the moment.

Modern Quantum Leap

It certainly has the concept of Quantum Leap down, but much has changed.  This time-traveling craziness really screws up his marriage, his job.  This isn't Science trying to fix the past for the good of humanity, this is a typical normal guy that finds himself mixed up in this time travel business.  He has just as many questions as the viewer does.

It has a very dramatized modern feel to it compared to the kooky Sci Fi bender of the early 90s.  But the rules are a bit different.  As stated above, he's accidentally flying through time, so he has to pick up a couple time-traveling survival tips..  like using a cellular phone from the mid-90s, not using our current US currency (like those new $20 bills), and so forth.

Also, unlike Quantum Leap, Dan does not switch places with a patron of the past.  He disappears from one time and appears in the other.  Compensation of matter is not even discussed in the show, but it's only been two episodes.  The big mystery at the moment is both why is and how does Dan travel through time.

Faulty

This show would be fine except it's not really that great.  Journeyman is a drama, before it's a sci fi show.  I'm sure that follows from its creator Kevin Falls, known for the West Wing.  Since it's a drama, it takes itself very seriously and provides very subtle humor, rather than more blatant stuff like in Heroes.

Journeyman doesn't compensate for this at all..  The writers try to make things interesting by making his wife, his brother, and his boss all pissed off at him for disappearing.  Well sure, I'd be pissed off if my husband disappeared for 2 days without warning, but it doesn't make for good TV.

Dan really isn't all that funny either.  You'd think the stuff would try to take the light-side of accidental time travel and what not, but NO..  Dan is a very stern stoic fellow that will do what needs to be done.  Not that interesting.

Worth watching?

I dunno..  After watching the first two episodes, I thought the show was somewhat interesting, but if they want to stay on the air, they will need to move the plotline of the show very quickly or else people will just stop watching.  Overall, I'm not itching to see episode 3, but I will.  I'll continue to invest my time in the show, but I don't see it paying off.

Who knows though..  surprises are good ^_^  Maybe he'll go back in time to stop his show from being canceled.

This is not Quantum Leap done right, Quantum Leap is Quantum Leap done right.




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