Timeless (TV series)

Created by
Composer(s) Robert Duncan
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 8 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Brad Van Arragon
  • Jim Barnes
  • Lana Cho
  • Shawn Williamson
Location(s) Vancouver, Canada
Cinematography Sam McCurdy
  • Debbie Berman
  • David Kaldor
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 43 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Sony Pictures Television
Original network NBC
Original release October 3, 2016 (2016-10-03) – present
External links

Timeless is an American science fiction drama series that premiered on NBC on October 3, 2016. It follows the adventures of a history professor (Abigail Spencer), a scientist (Malcolm Barrett) and a soldier (Matt Lanter)—as they attempt to stop Garcia Flynn (Goran Višnjić) from changing the course of American history through time travel. The series was created by Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke and also stars Paterson Joseph and Sakina Jaffrey. Executive producers include John Davis and John Fox of The Blacklist. Long considered one of NBC's hot pilots, it was ordered to series on May 13, 2016, after lengthy negotiations to obtain the series' "in-season stacking rights", which allow a network to stream all episodes of a series' current season via all the network's online platforms.[1] On November 1, 2016, NBC ordered three additional episodes, increasing the first season order to 16.[2]


An experimental time machine is stolen by ex-NSA asset Garcia Flynn, who mysteriously goes off the grid after allegedly killing his wife and child. A team consisting of history professor Lucy Preston, soldier Wyatt Logan, and engineer Rufus Carlin is sent back in time using an earlier prototype machine to capture him. However, they soon realize that Flynn and his associates are plotting to rewrite American history, and that each of them has a connection to his plan. Lucy's primary concern is for her ailing mother. Wyatt is shown grieving over the death of his wife. Rufus, who helped develop the time machine, is distressed over the fact that Flynn stole his invention and kidnapped his mentor Anthony Bruhl.

Cast and characters


Recurring cast



Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke, creators and show runners of the series drew inspiration from Quantum Leap, Back to the Future and Voyagers.

Lawsuit over concept

Ryan, Kripke, Sony Pictures Entertainment and NBCUniversal are being sued by Onza Entertainment for breach of contract and copyright infringement, claiming that the concept for Timeless is based on the Spanish series, El Ministerio del Tiempo (The Ministry of Time), which follows the adventures of a three-person team made up of two men and a woman who travel to the past with a view to preserving past events.[3] The defendants responded to the suit in a November 23, 2016 filing, contending that shows about time travel are an established television genre, while noting similarities between the two shows are generic, and largely based on the notion that the main character(s) will travel in time to effect some kind of change.[4]


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
U.S. viewers
1"Pilot"Neil MarshallEric Kripke & Shawn RyanOctober 3, 2016 (2016-10-03)1017.60[5]
The team pursues Flynn to May 6, 1937, where he prevents the Hindenburg disaster in order to bomb the dirigible on its return flight to Europe, when it is carrying important Americans to the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Lucy theorizes that Flynn wants to destroy the United States of America "in the crib." Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus hijack the Hindenburg and force its pilots to land it; as a result, all of the passengers survive despite the airship being destroyed by a stray gunshot from one of Flynn's henchmen. During a confrontation with Lucy and Wyatt, Flynn shoots and kills reporter Kate Drummond, whom Lucy and Wyatt had befriended and who was supposed to die in the original crash. Flynn reveals to Lucy that he possesses a journal written in her handwriting which she has yet to create; he urges her to ask Denise about "Rittenhouse." In the present, Denise denies knowledge of Rittenhouse and Rufus reluctantly gives Connor an audio recording from the mission. Lucy discovers that her invalid mother is now healthy, but her younger sister Amy no longer exists and Lucy herself is engaged.
2"The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln"Neil MarshallTom SmutsOctober 10, 2016 (2016-10-10)1026.20[6]
Flynn travels to April 14, 1865, the date of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He works with John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators, intending to ensure that the planned assassinations of Vice President Andrew Johnson, Secretary of State William H. Seward, and General Ulysses S. Grant are also successful. Rufus is upset that Lucy argues against trying to save Lincoln, despite the negative effects his death had on African Americans. Flynn tells Lucy that she will aid him in the future. Lucy meets Robert Todd Lincoln and attends the performance of Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre as his guest; Flynn, frustrated with Booth's refusal to use a modern firearm, takes his place and murders Lincoln himself, but Lucy saves Grant while Rufus and Wyatt save Johnson and Seward, respectively. Lucy admits that, despite having decided to let Lincoln's assassination occur, she called out in an effort to save him. In the present, Lucy learns that her parents never met because her father married the granddaughter of a Hindenburg passenger, which means that the man who originally raised her was never really her biological father. Rufus refuses to make further recordings for Connor, but Connor forces him to continue on the basis of having financed his education; it is revealed that both are aware of "Rittenhouse." Lucy arrives home, late for her own engagement party, where she confronts her mother over her father's identity, but is interrupted by a greeting from her fiancé, a stranger.
3"Atomic City"Charles BeesonLana ChoOctober 17, 2016 (2016-10-17)1035.86[7]
In 1962 Las Vegas, when atomic tests are common near the city, Flynn uses intimate photographs to blackmail John F. Kennedy's mistress, Judith Campbell, into helping him steal a plutonium core, as her relationship with a general enables her to access the secure facility where it is kept. Rufus discovers that his coworker Anthony, whom Flynn abducted when he stole the time machine, is Flynn's willing collaborator; a discussion between Flynn and Anthony reveals that their goal is the destruction of Rittenhouse. Anthony seemingly relinquishes the core to Rufus, who then puts himself in front of Wyatt's gun to protect Anthony. The team discovers the core is a decoy; Flynn successfully escapes with the real device. Wyatt arranges for a telegram to be delivered to his wife in fifty years, attempting to save her life in 2012. In the present, Denise orders Wyatt to eliminate Anthony and Wyatt covers up Rufus' interference. Wyatt learns that his wife is still dead. Lucy tells her fiancé, Noah, that she needs to move out of their home to stay with her mother and clear her head; he lets her go, because he loves her. In the Nevada desert, Flynn and Anthony dig up the plutonium core, which they had buried rather than risk transporting it through time.
4"Party at Castle Varlar"Billy GierhartJim BarnesOctober 24, 2016 (2016-10-24)1045.47[8]
Jiya locates Flynn by tracking his usage of the power grid to power the stolen time machine, but Flynn's group escapes in the machine. In Germany, December 1944, the team believes Flynn intends to give the nuclear weapon to the Nazis, but it turns out he is actually planning to abduct Wernher von Braun and deliver him to the Soviet Union. With help from Ian Fleming, the team secures von Braun's defection to the Allies. Wyatt helps Lucy find "something to fight for" to overcome her fear during field work, while Ian and Rufus discuss the matter of trust among spies. Rufus confronts von Braun, who claims that moral considerations impede innovation. In the present, the team discovers that their adventure inspired a James Bond film that is new to the timeline. Lucy demands that Denise and Connor help her recover Amy as a condition of her continued cooperation. Rufus correctly theorizes that Anthony has used the plutonium to create a permanent battery for the time machine rather than a weapon. Rufus refuses to continue spying on his teammates, but a man from Rittenhouse threatens Rufus's family if he does not cooperate.
5"The Alamo"John TerleskyAnne Cofell SaundersOctober 31, 2016 (2016-10-31)1055.24[9]
Wyatt receives word that the NSA is bringing in another operative to replace him, as he has failed to take down Flynn. Flynn travels to March 2, 1836 and makes a deal with Mexican President General Antonio López de Santa Anna to help bring down the Texas Revolution three days before the original end date of the Battle of the Alamo. Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus follow suit and enter the Alamo Mission, but Flynn kills William B. Travis, preventing him from finishing his "Victory or Death" letter. Making matters worse is the Mexican Army waving the red flag to take no prisoners in their siege. Flynn is upset that the timeline is changing; in the original timeline, Santa Ana allowed the women and children to leave the Alamo before the final assault. Before the Mexicans begin their attack, Wyatt and Rufus dig an underground passageway to the aqueduct while Lucy overcomes writer's block and finishes Travis's letter before entrusting it to John William Smith, a young soldier who would later become the first mayor of present-day San Antonio, Texas, who escapes with the women and children while James Bowie and Davy Crockett fend off against the invading Mexicans. In the present day, Lucy and Rufus inform Agent Christopher that they will not continue their mission without Wyatt; as a result, Wyatt stays with the team. The team discovers that Lucy's letter, although substantially different from Travis's original, preserved the timeline by rallying support for the Texas revolution. Lucy reconciles with her mother, who tells Lucy about her real father, then hands Lucy a piece of paper with her real father's name.
6"The Watergate Tape"Greg BeemanKent RotherhamNovember 14, 2016 (2016-11-14)1064.53[10]
Rufus is paid a visit by Mason and the Rittenhouse Agent, who assigns his team to go after Flynn to June 20, 1972, the start date of the Watergate scandal, and to make contact with someone in 1972. During the scandal, President Richard Nixon had conversations in the Oval Office recorded, but 18½ minutes of the tape had been erased by his secretary. The team intends to prevent Flynn from obtaining the lost recording, but Flynn captures them shortly after they arrive, revealing that he has the tape. He plays a recording of Nixon talking about Rittenhouse, and orders Lucy and Rufus to find a missing "doc" Nixon referred to on the tape within five hours to save Wyatt's life. Rufus, however, is ordered via telephone to "destroy the doc" by his contact. Flynn reveals to Wyatt that while he was in the NSA, he intercepted a series of financial transactions between Rittenhouse and Mason Industries, but when he reported this to his superiors, Rittenhouse had his wife and daughter murdered; since then, he swore to destroy Rittenhouse through time travel. He also reveals that Rittenhouse was founded in 1778. Using intel obtained from Mark Felt a.k.a. "Deep Throat", Lucy and Rufus are led to the D.C. branch of the Black Liberation Army and discover that the "doc" is a woman with a doctorate in history, and a former member of Rittenhouse who knows the organization's entire roster. Tensions rise when Lucy discovers that Rufus has been carrying a recording device throughout their travels. Caught between their orders involving the doc, Lucy and Rufus escort her to a drop-off point after revealing her hideout to both Flynn and Rittenhouse, resulting in a gunfight between both sides while Lucy rescues Wyatt. The trust between the trio is strained after they discover each other's secrets and motives. Back in the present day, the Rittenhouse agent questions Rufus over his actions in 1972 and reveals that he was the was contact. Lucy decides to pay her father, Benjamin Cahill, a visit, having put it off earlier. The man who opens the door is the Rittenhouse agent, though she does not know this. She speaks briefly to him but leaves without introducing herself. He promptly makes a phone call to inform someone that Lucy has just visited him.
7"Stranded"Holly DaleArika Lisanne MittmanNovember 21, 2016 (2016-11-21)1074.71[11]
The team follow Flynn to September 15, 1754, in the middle of the French and Indian War. Upon their arrival, they are captured by Louis Coulon de Villiers and his troops. They escape and head back to their time machine, where Flynn's henchmen sabotage it with C-4 before retreating to the stolen time machine and disappearing from the timeline. With no technological means to repair their time machine, Rufus buries a message in a bottle for Mason to dig in present day Pittsburgh. On their way to Fort Duquesne, the trio are captured by the Shawnee tribe and they meet chieftess Nonhelema, who trusts neither the British nor the French. Nonhelema orders Lucy and Wyatt to be executed, but chooses to spare Rufus' life, as she senses that he did not choose to be in the situation. After Rufus convinces the chieftess to let his teammates go, the trio proceed to Fort Duquesne, where Rufus forges foil and grabs other items to proceed with the repairs. Meanwhile, Mason's team recovers the protocol container, but it is damaged and the message is completely faded. Using the only clues in the message that reference a scene from Star Wars, Jiya deduces that the ship's navigation system is damaged, so the recovery team must guide them back through mid-jump. Just as they are surrounded by de Villiers' troops, the trio fire up their own machine and Jiya manages to pull the machine back into the present day. Afterward, Jiya reveals her true feelings for Rufus while Agent Christopher requests for Mason to be placed on surveillance. The trio's adventure in 1754 results in a historical UFO sighting known as the "Pennsylvania Orb Incident". During an evening drink, Wyatt convinces Lucy that her future is what she determines herself, regardless of the journal that Flynn possesses.
8"Space Race"Charles BeesonMatt WhitneyNovember 28, 2016 (2016-11-28)1084.78[12]
Flynn and his team travel to July 20, 1969 to infiltrate the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston to disrupt the Apollo 11 mission. Shortly after entering the timeline, Rufus confronts Anthony over his involvement in the 1754 stranding, but Anthony escapes when Mission Control loses communication with Apollo 11. Rufus discovers through a local computer that Anthony has inserted a DoS attack into the center's mainframe. As 1960s technology is unable to counter the virus, Rufus and Lucy get help from mathematician Katherine Johnson, who gets them into the mainframe. Just as they are deleting the virus, they are confronted by Anthony and one of Flynn's henchmen. Rufus kills the henchman before Anthony once again runs away while communication with Apollo 11 is restored by Rufus and Katherine's computer fix. Meanwhile, Flynn meets Lockman Aerospace secretary Maria Thompkins and her son Gabriel at a park before disappearing when he spots Wyatt nearby. Wyatt explains to Maria that Flynn is a Russian spy, but Flynn sneaks into her home and injects Gabriel with a shot of epinephrine to counter a anaphylactic shock before getting away from Wyatt. Back in the present day, the team discovers through a secret file that Maria was Flynn's mother and Gabriel was his half-brother. Lucy is upset that Flynn managed to save his half-brother's life in the past while her sister remains lost in the timeline. At the same time, Rufus is unsure of himself after feeling no remorse for killing one of Flynn's henchmen.
9"Last Ride of Bonnie & Clyde"[13]John F. ShowalterTBADecember 5, 2016 (2016-12-05)109TBD
10"The Capture of Benedict Arnold"[14]TBATBADecember 12, 2016 (2016-12-12)110TBD


The series airs on NBC in the U.S. and on Global in Canada on Monday nights at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific (9:00 p.m. Central).[15]


Critical response

The first episode of Timeless received generally positive reviews from television critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the first episode an approval rating of 84% based on reviews from 37 critics. The site's critic consensus states, "Timeless is a fun throwback action series with a kooky premise worth watching, even if it is delivered clumsily at times."[16] Metacritic, which uses a normalized rating, gave the first episode a score of 65 out of 100, based on reviews from 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[17]


No. Title Air date Rating/share
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "Pilot" October 3, 2016 1.8/7[5] 7.60[5] 1.2 4.43 3.0 12.03[18]
2 "The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln" October 10, 2016 1.4/5[6] 6.20[6] 1.1 4.07 2.5 10.27[19]
3 "Atomic City" October 17, 2016 1.5/5[7] 5.86[7] 1.1 3.84 2.6 9.70[20]
4 "Party at Castle Varlar" October 24, 2016 1.3/5[8] 5.47[8] 1.1 3.64 2.4 9.11[21]
5 "The Alamo" October 31, 2016 1.1/4[9] 5.24[9] 1.1 3.58 2.2 8.81[22]
6 "The Watergate Tape" November 14, 2016 1.2/4[10] 4.53[10] 1.0 4.53 2.2 8.11[23]
7 "Stranded" November 21, 2016 1.2/4[11] 4.71[11] N/A N/A N/A N/A
8 "Space Race" November 28, 2016 1.1/4[12] 4.78[12] N/A N/A N/A N/A
9 "Last Ride of Bonnie & Clyde" December 5, 2016 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
10 "The Capture of Benedict Arnold" December 12, 2016 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A


  1. Andreeva, Nellie (May 12, 2016). "In-Season Stacking Rights — The New Upfront Battleground: Pilot Season 2016". Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  2. "'Timeless' Gets Order For 3 More Episodes, NBC Sets Midseason Premiere Date For 'Taken' & 'The Voice'". Deadline Hollywood. November 1, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  3. Mitovich, Matt Webb (September 27, 2016). "NBC's Timeless Sued by Creators of Spain's El Ministerio del Tiempo". TVLine.com. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  4. Patten, Dominic (23 November 2016). "NBC & Sony Want 'Timeless' Ripoff Lawsuit Made History". Deadline.com. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  5. 1 2 3 Porter, Rick (October 4, 2016). "'Conviction', 'Timeless', 'Kevin' and 'Scorpion' all adjust down, 'Big Bang' and 'Voice' adjust up: Monday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  6. 1 2 3 Porter, Rick (October 11, 2016). "'Timeless', 'Conviction', 'DWTS', 'Lucifer' adjust down, 'Big Bang' adjusts up: Monday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  7. 1 2 3 Porter, Rick (October 18, 2016). "'Gotham,' 'The Voice,' 'Big Bang,' 'DWTS' adjust up, 'Conviction' and '2 Broke Girls' adjust down: Monday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  8. 1 2 3 Porter, Rick (October 25, 2016). "'Kevin Can Wait' adjusts up, 'Timeless', 'Supergirl', and 'Jane the Virgin' adjust down: Monday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  9. 1 2 3 Porter, Rick (November 1, 2016). "'Gotham' adjusts up, CBS shows all adjust down: Monday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  10. 1 2 3 Porter, Rick (November 15, 2016). "'2 Broke Girls' adjusts up, 'Supergirl' and 'Jane the Virgin' adjust down: Monday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  11. 1 2 3 Porter, Rick (November 22, 2016). "'Supergirl,' 'Jane the Virgin,' 'Odd Couple,' 'Conviction' adjust down: Monday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  12. 1 2 3 Porter, Rick (November 30, 2016). "'Voice' adjusts up; 'Gotham,' 'Lucifer,' 'Jane the Virgin' and ABC adjust down; Monday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  13. "(#109) "Last Ride of Bonnie & Clyde"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  14. "(#110) "The Capture of Benedict Arnold"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  15. "Timeless". Global Television Network. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  16. "Timeless: Season 1 (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  17. "Timeless (2016) : Season 1". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  18. Porter, Rick (October 19, 2016). "Rich get richer as 'Empire', 'Big Bang', 'Designated Survivor' lead broadcast Live +7 ratings for Oct. 3-9". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  19. Porter, Rick (October 27, 2016). "'This Is Us', 'Big Bang', 'Designated Survivor' lead broadcast Live +7 ratings for Oct. 10-16". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  20. Porter, Rick (November 4, 2016). "'This Is Us' and 'Agents of SHIELD' score in broadcast Live +7 ratings for Oct. 17-23". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  21. Porter, Rick (November 10, 2016). "'This Is Us,' 'Designated Survivor' stay on top in broadcast Live +7 ratings for Oct. 24-30". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  22. Porter, Rick (November 17, 2016). "13 shows double, 'This Is Us' & 'Big Bang' lead broadcast Live +7 ratings for Oct. 31-Nov. 6". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  23. Porter, Rick (December 1, 2016). "'This Is Us,' 'Big Bang,' 'Designated Survivor' are the Big Three in week 9 broadcast Live +7 ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 1, 2016.

External links

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