Finishing Out the Season With Timeless

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Timeless (2016-7) — the time-travelling TV series in which three modern-day people (a historian, military guy, and techie) try to save history and therefore the present– is cancelled! No wait, it’s back! Phew! Crisis averted! I weirdly stuck it out with this show, mostly because of the fun of watching historian Lucy geek out on different periods. I reviewed the first few episodes, then did a deep dive into the 18th-century episodes. So let’s wrap up the season, because we’ve come this far.

The World’s Columbian Fair Exposition: 1893

Lucy gets kidnapped and taken by the bad guys to Chicago 1893, while Rufus and Wyatt follow to rescue her. Cue meeting Houdini and serial killer H.H. Holmes. I was fine with the costumes, even if Lucy was hatless too often!

Houdini.

 

The Murder of Jesse James: 1882

Obviously, Jesse James, but also U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, who was African American and the inspiration for The Lone Ranger. It was pretty cool to see how moved Rufus was to meet an heroic figure of his own ethnicity (“The Lone Ranger is black? That’s … awesome!”) … while I spent my time scoffing at Lucy’s hair, which was either down or in a loose braid that, I’m sorry, would have fallen apart and gotten in her face and been ULTRA impractical.

Jesse James.

Oh Wyatt. Those eyes!

Bass Reeves.

I don’t love the cape Lucy is wearing, just because it’s not a look I like, but who cares because LUCY’S HAIR.

Not much better.

 

Karma Chameleon: 1983

Okay kids, I’m breaking our 1960s cutoff to tell you how fabulous this episode was. Wyatt goes after the parents of the person who killed his wife in Ohio, 1983 — a flight attendant and a bartender. There’s a huge storm, so the episode is basically them stuck in the bar where these two meet. Wyatt spends his time trying to distract the future-mother, Rufus tries to help but is hilariously excited about all kinds of “retro” stuff like seeing the “Just Say No/Nancy Reagan” episode of Diff’rent Strokes and getting to play various video games. Plus, pastels and rolled up sleeves!

Rufus to Wyatt: “Are there parachute pants in that bag?”

I think that’s a Members Only jacket…

SO Miami Vice!

The flight attendant/stewardess — I LOVED HER HAIR!!!

 

The Lost Generation: 1927

Wyatt is in prison, so Lucy and Rufus are joined by a fill-in military guy and head to 1927 Paris. There they meet a hilariously soused Hemingway and Josephine Baker.

I don’t love Lucy’s bandeau from a not-my-taste perspective, but hey, it’s not a head necklace!!

Excellent casting, looks-wise, on Josephine Baker.

The real deal.

 

Public Enemy No. 1: 1931

The team is supposed to go to 1962, but instead they hijack the time machine and head to 1931 Chicago where they meet Al Capone and prosecutor Eliot Ness. It was fun in that the team was dressed in 1960s gear (and Wyatt in 2017), and had to deal with everyone being totally confused by them.

Not blending in.

Al Capone, so great with the baby face!

 

The Red Scare: 1954

Washington D.C. and Senator Joe McCarthy make up the season finale with all kinds of Further Intrigue!

Pearls and a handbag, both required!

McCarthy.

 

Will you tune in for Timeless‘s second season, whenever it airs?

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About the author

Kendra

Website

Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

21 Responses

  1. Janeheiress

    I definitely will! The show is digging itself into a hole, plot-wise, by not addressing how much they’re changing history, but the ride is so fun that I’ll stay on until it crashes. I’m happy they “cancelled” the cancellation.

    Reply
  2. Susan Pola

    Same here, I’m in for Rufus and Lucy. I need to play catch up with some episodes as I really want to see both Marshall Reeves and the fabulous Josephine Baker. Did you know she was decorated for her work in the Resistance by DeGaulle and adopted children of many races? She referred to them as her ‘Rainbow Children’. Now she’d make a good subject for a miniseries.

    Reply
  3. picasso Manu

    I’ll probably nitpick the periods I’m interested in… That is, if I can find a way to see it in France.

    Ps: On a totally unrelated topic, I must tell ya’ll I finished my first stays! And not a metal grommet in sight. I feel like I’ve lost my historical costumer virginity, somehow…
    I need a celebratory pink Champagne drink coming! toast

    Reply
  4. hsc

    “Obviously, Jesse James, but also U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, who was African American and the inspiration for The Lone Ranger.”

    There’s no evidence that Bass Reeves was the inspiration for the Lone Ranger.

    Reeves wasn’t a Texas Ranger, and really wasn’t even well-known outside Oklahoma until Art T. Burton’s 2006 biography on Reeves, “Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves,” in which he suggested the connection to the 1933 radio character, created in Detroit 23 years after Reeves’ death.

    However, John Reynolds Hughes was a Texas Ranger who was still alive and was well-known in 1933; the popular Western author Zane Grey dedicated his 1915 novel “The Lone Texas Ranger” to him.

    Bass Reeves is a fascinating person who deserves to be better-known, but Burton was really stretching there.

    Reply
  5. Broughps

    I gave up after the first 5 eps. I can only suspend my disbelief so far.

    Reply
  6. ladyaquanine73551

    I hate to say this, but great costumes or not, this show is horrible. I have watched time-travel movies and tv shows before, and frankly, this did NOTHING for me. You’d think such lazy story-writing went out with “Once Upon A Time” or “Lost,” but nope. Still there. Even kids would have problems processing how much these three clowns are screwing up history. Lucy also didn’t impress me with her “jumbo” joke in the pilot. If the writers wanted us to like her, they did a terrible job. The other two main characters have very flat, two-dimensional personalities. You may as well have Lucy time-traveling with two cardboard cutouts instead of real guy characters.

    So I haven’t watched this since the pilot. Dad gets mad at me whenever I mention (or rather, sass at) the show, because I spoiled his fun in watching a time-travel flick, but he knows I’m right when it comes to lousy story-writing, so we’re at an impasse in arguing. Thankfully, he has not watched any more of this garbage show when I was around. Considering what network it’s on, I’m not surprised the overall quality is so low, good costumes or not.

    You want a really good time-travel show [or movie], “Time Trax” has better story-telling, “Sliders,” sort-of time-travels (as well as going to other dimensions), and “Time Cop” is always a favorite movie of my dad and brother. The old 60s Disney “Time Machine” movie is a…mostly…good interpretation of H.G. Wells’ novel, though a few parts were cheesy. The early 2000s update with Guy Pierce is okay, but kind of fizzles in the 2nd half of the movie in terms of story-telling. There are quite a few “Star Trek” tv show episodes that involve time-travel, as well as at least one movie (“First Contact,” I think).

    Heck, you want a good time travel “Star Trek” costume porn session, watch the 2-parter “Time’s Arrow,” from The Next Generation. That had some very good 1890s costumes, as well as some interesting characters from the period that the show’s cast interacted with.

    Reply
    • indiaedghill

      It’s delightfully ridiculous, and I will forgive them a LOT for doing episode with Bass Fucking Reeves! And silly as it was, watching poor Ian Fleming in the WW2 episode was a riot as the 21st century people — even the villain — are squeeing all over him. I do agree the show has problems, but I’m enjoying it anyway. And the costuming’s a lot better than it is on THE WHITE PRINCESS!

      Reply
  7. Kathleen Norvell

    I gave up on this after the Alamo episode. It was confusing and silly. I didn’t particularly like the character, either.

    Reply
    • Broughps

      Same here. The only character I can actually cheer for is the bad guy and him only because of the actor.

      Reply
  8. Karen K.

    Haven’t seen it yet as I’m in Germany and don’t have access to all the American TV at the moment, but I’ll be looking for the DVD when it’s released, just to see the costumes if nothing else.

    And by the way, Miami Vice didn’t air until September of 1984. Nobody did the pastel t-shirt/pushed up sleeves blazer probably until 1985. I remember it quite vividly.

    Reply
  9. Adina

    Seeing Matt Lanter in a historically based live action series makes me laugh because the series I most remember him from is Star Wars The Clone Wars, so I always imagine him looking like Anakin.

    Reply
  10. Alba

    I haven’t had the chance to see any episode of “Timeless”, but truth be told, I doubt I’ll go out of my way to see it. Its mere existence pisses me off quite a bit, as it is a blatant copy of a show that I actually do like: “El ministerio del tiempo” (produced in Spain by RTVE and Onza Entertainment).
    “Timeless” is actually being sued by Onza for copyright infringement. And it’s quite the outrageous case: Onza was under talks with NBC to make an american version of their show when NBC, after receiving the DVD for the show’s first season, refused to go through in producing the show. Only a couple of weeks later, NBC green-lighted the pilot for “Timeless” as completely “new and original” NBC show.
    This is the premise for “El ministerio del tiempo”: the show follows the adventures of a three-person government team (consisting of one woman and two men) traveling through time to thwart undesired changes to past events.
    You can judge for yourself.
    And this pisses me off quite a bit, because making a quality show in Spain is not as easy as it is in USA. So seeing a country with a stronger TV industry taking advantage is rather shameful.

    Reply
    • ladyaquanine73551

      Wow. So not only is NBC full of a bunch of idiots with a notorious track record [it’s the same network that canceled the original “Star Trek” back in ’69, hosts that crude and disgusting show, “Saturday Night Live,” and doesn’t even deliver real news anymore], but they’re tv show idea thieves. I knew they had sleazy executives, but this is the first time I’ve actually heard of them stealing ideas for tv shows from other countries. Sounds like something NBC would stoop to.

      Reply
  11. Cheryl Warren

    And speaking of blatant copying: Jodi Taylor has written a series of hilarious time travel books featuring an historian named (wait for it….) LUCY, traveling with security folks and techies. Well worth reading.

    Reply
  12. ladylavinia1932

    Judging by the comments here, I’m certain the show will not survive past Season 2. It’s obvious that many want the costumes and everything else to be accurate, considering that no such television show or movie has ever existed.

    At least I’ll have the DVD sets to enjoy.

    Reply
  13. ladylavinia1932

    You want a really good time-travel show [or movie], “Time Trax” has better story-telling, “Sliders,” sort-of time-travels (as well as going to other dimensions), and “Time Cop” is always a favorite movie of my dad and brother. The old 60s Disney “Time Machine” movie is a…mostly…good interpretation of H.G. Wells’ novel, though a few parts were cheesy. The early 2000s update with Guy Pierce is okay, but kind of fizzles in the 2nd half of the movie in terms of story-telling. There are quite a few “Star Trek” tv show episodes that involve time-travel, as well as at least one movie (“First Contact,” I think).

    I’ve seen those. And?

    Reply

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