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TV Preview: "Traveler"

TV Preview: "Traveler"

Watching the pilot of "Traveler," ABC's serial thriller that debuts tonight, I had the sense that we'd seen this kind of show before. It's a serial in the vein of "Day Break" or "Kidnapped" — and, well, we know what happened to them. So maybe it's best for "Traveler" that it never made it to the air until now. Summer shows have a lower threshold for ratings success, and maybe "Traveler" will be that rare serial that actually gets to tie up all its plot points before getting yanked off the air.

"Traveler" tells the story of three friends — Jay, Tyler and the unfortunately named Will Traveler — who set off on a post-grad school road trip. In New York, they decide to pull a prank in an art museum by rollerblading down the stairs; Will stays behind to film the other two. They're supposed to meet up outside, but then Jay gets a call from Will, who says "I'm sorry I had to do this." Then the museum blows up, and the next thing they know, Jay and Tyler have their faces plastered on television as suspected terrorists — and Will is gone.

The story goes in two different directions from there: one following Jay and Tyler as they decide whether to turn themselves in or run from the FBI, one piecing together their memories of Will as they try to figure out why he'd frame them. For more on the show, and to watch the first 10 minutes,

The story of Jay and Tyler fleeing the law provides much of the action in the pilot episode. There's something sad and almost sweet about Jay's earnest attempts to tell the FBI what happened in the museum, somehow thinking he'd be believed. And there are some interesting twists toward the end of the episode, with the introduction of mysterious characters whose motives for helping Jay and Tyler are unclear.

But I'm more interested in the question Jay and Tyler ask themselves: Who is Will Traveler? In a series of flashbacks, we see little quirks of Will's personality that weren't strange at the time but now seem awfully suspicious. Did he set up his friends willingly? Did someone make him do it? What other secrets was he keeping?

The pilot script is clunky, and the scenes between Jay, Tyler and Will suffer the most; in their attempt to showcase how the guys' friendship, the writers overshot and made the dialogue almost romantic ("I didn't think you'd come back for me!"). I hope that changes as the writers become more comfortable with the characters. Only eight episodes of "Traveler" have been produced, which suggests that ABC doesn't have much faith in the show. But I'm curious enough to come back for more when "Traveler" starts its regular run May 30; let me know if you're coming along.

Photos copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.

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Join The Conversation
sanD13 sanD13 8 years
ok i watched the pilot on abc.com and i like it :)
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 8 years
My boyfriend and I watched it last night. I am not too sure if I could get into it - but he seemed to like it.
mels mels 8 years
I liked it, and I think it will make for a fun summer series. At times it felt like it was mimicking Prison Break, with the eluding authorities, getting caught, getting rescued, not knowing who to trust, etc. But I'll definitely tune in again to see where they take it.
1missy 1missy 8 years
I watche this last night. I am hooked.
swwonder swwonder 8 years
Not on topic, but that's Trey (Ryan's brother) from The OC in the top picture on the far right.
sanD13 sanD13 8 years
it sounds interesting as a movie concept but i don't see how they can stretch the story as a tv series. x-men's pyro is a cutie :-)
gruiz711 gruiz711 8 years
saw it just because it seemed good, and it def kept me interested! hope it doesnt turn out to lose the story line in future episodes.
Kazagirl Kazagirl 8 years
It just went off here and I have to say it was actually pretty good. Usually I am not into show like that but it kept me interested and I will definitely have to watch when the summer season starts.
Classy-Amelia Classy-Amelia 8 years
This seems like an interesting show. I am totally gonna watch it. I hope it is good if not...oh well.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
I anxious to watch tonight's episode; I suspect I'll be in for the ride for the rest of the time.
Amity-A Amity-A 8 years
It seems a little too stressful for me. One of the worst feelings I've ever experienced is telling the truth and not being believed.
JessNess JessNess 8 years
It seems interesting......Ill watch tonight
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