Netflix Originals ‘Travelers’: Welcome to the 21st

travelers

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Survivors from a future apocalyptic world-state figure out how to send consciousness back to the 21st century, to make changes to avoid a deadly future.

If you could go back and change the past, remake the future, would you? Nevermind the ethics or morality of it, these guys are already doing it. We first meet Marcy (MacKenzie Porter), the medic of the group, as a mentally handicapped worker in a library about to get the snot beat out of her, with the words ‘Recorded Time of Death’ floating about her. Little do the thugs know, that the stuttering gentle soul they were about to antagonize, has literally left the building.

Then there’s poor Philip (Reilly Dolman), hacker extraordinaire and kind man who, unfortunately for him, gets to download into the body of a heroin junkie. Just as he and his friend shoot up, the host body dies, the Traveler is downloaded and oh yeah, the guy Phil was shooting up with, he dies too. This serious physical addiction to heroin causes Phil a great deal of problems throughout the Traveler missions, even after Marcy the medic sanctions actual medical reasons for his continued dosing.

Carly Shannon (Nesta Cooper) is a fighter, and it is hardly more evident than when she downloads into the host body, just as the abusive cop husband is about to go one hit too far. The fact that the ex is a cop and could in theory provide better for Carly’s infant son is a constant problem for her, especially around Traveler missions.

What Trevor (Jared Abrahamson), or at least his host body, was before he got inundated by a Traveler, was a dick. He let his little girlfriend bully others, dug dumbassery like shoplifting and stealing his moms medication, and was the proud QB of the local high school football team, which was basically the only real reason his father liked him. First thing we know, Trevor’s in some kind of brawl and gets himself a concussion, ceding the fight instead of dying like he was supposed to have. And suddenly now, Trevor is studying hard, being respectful to his teachers, calling his father Gary and in general behaving like a completely different person. But this is all in between disappearing inexplicably whenever he gets a call to go on the next mission.

What missions, you ask? Why, the ones Special Agent McClaren (Eric McCormack) of the FBI sends himself and his team on, of course. McClaren and his team get messages on the deep web, sending them on missions to stop occurrences here in the 21st century that will hopefully make drastic changes to the utter shit-show that is the future time they come from. Whew! Each Traveler is designated a number, so the lower your number is, the more important you potentially are. And we learn through the course of the show about the mysterious Director who sends the missions from the future, along with the occasional downloaded min-messenger bits, for when the Travelers go “off-mission”.

Our heroes have a whole lot to contend with, including inter-relationships from the previous future, struggles in the mundane lives of the host bodies they’ve downloaded into, and the very real potentiality that should they succeed in their vital mission, they may well blink out of existence, as if they never were. Time travel paradoxes are a bitch.

The show is a wonderfully different take on the time travel mythos. We’ve had plenty of time-travelling heroes, the ones who travel back to put the wrong things right yes we know, but Travelers is a fresh, real shot of adrenaline. You come to care about each of the characters in their own way, the Sci-Fi elements are fairly constant and still often surprising, and the story is good enough that very little in the way of CGI is needed.

Catch your ‘Recorded Time of Death’ with Travelers on Netflix!

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