RogerBW's Blog

Time After Time 13 January 2018

2017 science fiction/investigation, 5 or 12 episodes; H. G. Wells pursues Jack the Ripper into the modern day.

This is based on a book, and the pilot double episode more or less recapitulates the plot: Wells is showing off the time machine (which he has somehow built, don't ask) to his friends when the police come in looking for Jack the Ripper, who turns out to be one of said friends. He flees into the future, but because he didn't have the Non-Return Key (don't ask) the time machine conveniently comes back so that Wells can chase him. Of course there's a future babe for Wells to fall for, and to be threatened by the Ripper.

But the book was written in 1979 (and filmed the same year), when this kind of thing probably felt a bit fresher. And this show tries to use that as the jumping-off point for an extended story, with mysterious conspiracies and covered-up murders and a time machine that nobody manages to keep locked away, because most weeks the Ripper has to be able to steal it so that the protagonists can follow him and try to stop him doing bad things to history.

The cast is pretty decent, but the writing is a complete mess, and it's very hard to work up any sympathy for, or even interest in, the characters.

The show was pulled after five episodes (though the other seven were broadcast in Spain and Portugal) and has deservedly sunk without trace.

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