Pilot Watch: "Journeyman"
The networks have announced their fall schedules, but which of the series will actually be worth watching? Throughout the summer, as I watch the pilots, I'll be posting my first impressions. Note that a lot can change before a show actually makes it to air, so these aren't comprehensive reviews, just quick thoughts on how the shows look now. Today's installment: NBC's "Journeyman."
What's it about? Dan, a San Francisco newspaper reporter, discovers he can travel back in time to change the past — and reunites with his long-lost fiancee in the process.
Who's in it? Kevin McKidd of "Rome," Moon Bloodgood of "Day Break," Gretchen Egolf, Reed Diamond
The good: Did you like "Quantum Leap" and/or "Early Edition"? Then you might really like this show, which follows their tradition of questioning what happens when people travel through time and toy with the past. McKidd is a strong leading man, and my favorite moments in the pilot came from his character trying to convince his wife, boss and brother that he wasn't crazy or drugged. I'm intrigued by the love triangle developing between his character's wife and ex-fiancee. I'm also happy to see Moon Bloodgood turn up in a series again, even though it's somewhat odd that it's her second show in a row with someone (first Taye Diggs, now McKidd) going back in time to save her life.
The bad: Like all time travel shows, it's pretty confusing — especially when it comes to the question of how and why Dan begins to travel. The part of the past Dan tries to change in the first episode isn't particularly interesting, and I didn't always understand how he knew what he was supposed to be doing.
Will I watch? I honestly wasn't sure until the last few minutes of the first episode. But there's a nice twist there, and it made me curious enough to come back and see if the show can balance the surreal time travel story with more traditional dramatic elements. And hey, maybe it will fill the void left by "Day Break" last year.
You can watch several clips from the show on NBC's site, and to see a gallery of photos,