Travelers is a Canadian-American science fiction television series created by Brad Wright, starring Eric McCormack, Mackenzie Porter, Jared Abrahamson, Nesta Cooper, Reilly Dolman, and Patrick Gilmore. The series was an international co-production between streaming service Netflix and Canadian specialty channel Showcase for its first two seasons, after which Netflix took over as its sole production company and exclusive worldwide distributor. The show premiered in Canada on October 17, 2016, and worldwide on December 23, 2016. A second season followed in 2017, and a third season was released on December 14, 2018. In February 2019, McCormack revealed that the series had been cancelled.
The joy is to watch how these islands are transformed by changing distances, by sunlight, by clouds. On some, there is a sliver of beach, just enough from which to swim; others are edged with little villages built on boards, the houses tied together. All are tropical paradises: Koh Phi Phi, Koh He, Koh Racha, Koh Surin, Koh Dok Mai, to name some of the favorites. Koh Phuket serves as a good jumping-off point. After being devastated by the 2004 tsunami, these islands have made a comeback.
Kathryn confronts MacLaren about an affair she believes he is having, leading him to end his relationship with Carly. Charlotte, the misfire historian, is overwritten and murders her team. She attempts to assassinate Grace, but Trevor stops her. Grace reveals that the anti-Director faction was responsible for the team's abduction. Charlotte is shot by Jeff while attempting to kill Carly. Ellis reveals that he has built a quantum frame that the Director, an advanced AI, can use to travel to the present to escape the faction. David is held at gunpoint by another assassin but is saved by Marcy. The team arrives at the farm where Trevor has received a text to destroy the frame. Boyd reveals she received an order to kill MacLaren and holds him at gunpoint; Carly later reveals having been given the same mission. Assassins surround the farm as Ellis shoots Trevor to keep him from harming the frame. Grace jumps in front of Trevor and is shot as well. Ellis shuts down the perimeter shield in the hope that the Director will help them and delivers a message to destroy the frame shortly before he dies. It is revealed that the people surrounding them are not anti-Director assassins, but FBI agents led by Forbes.
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In 2006, a Travelers commercial titled Snowball was nominated for an Emmy. Snowball featured a man, walking down a steep San Francisco sidewalk, who trips and knocks over a table of items at a garage sale. The man and the items roll down the street, forming a ball which gathers garbage cans, pedestrians, construction materials, motorcycles, light poles, and other items, in a manner very reminiscent of the familiar cartoon "snowball" effect or the cult video game Katamari Damacy. The creators of the ad say it is simply based on the snowball effect, they have never heard of the game, and that the resulting similarity was a surprise to them.
It's not a special-effects-heavy show. Instead, it focuses on squeezing every drop of juice out of the slightly off-kilter premise. For a start, "taking over" present-day human hosts kills them. So there's a massive built-in moral dilemma. And it's worked out with painstaking logic. Time travelers try to pick people who were about to die anyway - but this too presents problems. The time travelers need to remain undiscovered, which means seamlessly picking up the threads of their hosts' lives. Time travelers may have motivations of their own, which need to be dealt with in the present. It all meshes beautifully.
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In August 2012, Travelers sued the National Football League for forcing the company and its subsidiaries to pay to defend the league for failing to protect players from brain injury, in a case filed in the New York State Supreme Court called Discover Property & Casualty Co. et al. vs. National Football League et al., New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 652933/2012. The league had sued over three dozen insurance companies the week before in an attempt to cover the claims that players made against the league.
I tuned in to Travelers with low expectations. Time travel has rarely made for compelling television. Often, it's just an excuse for moving to a new historical setting each week. (Even Doctor Who stopped doing pure time travel after the first few years and started emphasizing the "relative dimension in space.") Travelers sounded particularly dreary: people from the future taking over humans in the present. Oh, great, a time travel story that lets us glimpse the wonders of... the present.
During an update for historians, one of them dies from cerebral overload and is taken over by another traveler. The faction then breaks in and kidnaps the historians. A Blackbox is a device used to extract information from an unconscious or dying person and the team uses one to access a critically injured Hall to ascertain the location of historians. Jeff reaches out to his police sergeant to get his job back and is told to get help from a social worker first. Philip is questioned by the faction. Philip is given time with Kyle as a gesture of good will, who states that he sympathizes with the faction's goal, especially since he just saw another historian die during the update. Faction saves a TELL that Kyle provided to gain his support. Jeff reaches out to David to sign his therapy form for him to get his job back. David agrees to help as a social worker with Jeff's addiction, which the traveler doesn't actually have. Hall is able to relay information from when he was tracking his team's historian showing he ran into a faction team and was shot climbing a fence. He reveals that it was Kyle and Luca from his own team that shot him. Hall is able to show the team the location of the historians and the team is dispatched. While with David, Jeff receives a message to meet up at the location for tactical support. Philip is able to escape before being cornered by Kyle and Luca. Maclaren's team shows up just in time to save Philip and kills Luca and Kyle. The team saves all the historians while taking out many of the faction. Hall is told he saved them all and is able to pass away in peace knowing that. Jeff and Carly reconnect. Philip is seen throwing out his yellow pills that historians have to take.
The first season of Travelers has a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes based on nine reviews with an average rating of 8.0/10. Neil Genzlinger, writing for The New York Times, described the first season as "tasty", and "enjoyable science fiction", with "some attention-grabbing flourishes and fine acting". Hanh Nguyen, writing for IndieWire, describes the series as "fun and freaky," finding the series' appeal "in how the core group of five travelers adjust to life in our present," noting the "human nature in the travelers". Lawrence Devoe, of TheaterByte.com, called the series "tautly paced and suspenseful" with "well-developed characters", declaring that "Brad Wright has a real knack for creating futuristic series". Evan Narcisse, reviewing the first five episodes for io9, appreciated the moral dilemmas offered by the series premise and the awkwardness presented by the characters' interactions with their hosts' friends, colleagues, lovers, or caretakers: "This is a superhero show in double disguise, offering up clever explorations of the secret identity concept that touch on the guilt and contortions that come with living a double life." Netflix announced that the series was one of its "most devoured" series in 2017.
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