Television Review: Journeyman - Pilot
by R.J. Carter
Published: September 22, 2007
Kevin McKidd headlines this time-travel series that emulates Quantum Leap with a continuous dramatic plot thread. McKidd plays Dan Vasser, a newspaper reporter who -- for reasons unknown to anyone, including himself -- begins to suffer blackouts during which he ends up in the past. After each outing, he returns back to find out he may have been missing for hours... or days. His editor thinks he's on drugs, his cop brother (Reed Diamond) thinks he's running around on his wife, and his wife Katie (Gretchen Egolf) doesn't know what to think, but she's definitely being pushed to the limits of "for better or for worse."
Dan's mysterious tour guide to putting right what once went wrong is his former fiancee, Livia (Moon Bloodgood), who went missing before their nuptials in a plane crash. As a guide, she's fairly useless -- she tries not to be seen, she doesn't tell Dan what he's supposed to do, and she certainly doesn't give away the why and the how of Dan's sudden tendency to slip into his past.
Despite the lack of answers, Journeyman nevertheless makes an impression. The dramatic moments of Dan's family staging an intervention for his supposed drug and/or alcohol use, the old wounds that exist between the Vasser brothers, and the attempts by Dan to convince Katie that he's really a time traveller without control are realistically portrayed, and the closing scene of this pilot is satisfying both logically and emotionally.
Journeyman. Kevin McKidd is a rudderless time-
traveler in this new NBC drama series.
Dan's first time-hopping adventures find him sent back into the past to save a life. But that's a lot simpler than it sounds when you don't really know which life you're supposed to save and you're hopelessly without instructions. Fortunately for the viewers, all Dan's sequential time-hops all focus around fixing the same problem (time being relative and all, his first sequential hop could be to finish solving a problem his six thousandth hop may have started -- but that's getting a little too sci-fi for our purposes). It could use a little fact-checking in the music department (as our staff Music Editor has confirmed that some of the songs are decidedly anachronistic based on the year we're told Dan travels to) but as new science fiction dramas go, Journeyman seems to have all the right equipment to go the distance.
Journeyman premieres September 24 on NBC at 10:00pm, 9:00pm CST.
Read our complete look at the Fall TV season at Network Programming Falls Into Place for 2007/08 Television Viewing Season