Don’t Worry, Time After Time Will Explain Its Time-Travel Rules

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ABC is the latest network to jump on the time travel bandwagon. The midseason drama Time After Time, starring Revenge‘s Josh Bowman and UnReal‘s Freddie Stroma, asks the questions: “What if Jack the Ripper traveled through time? And what if H.G. Wells is the only person with the power to stop him?”

Created by Kevin Williamson (Scream, The Vampire Diaries) and based on the 1979 novel and film of the same name, the series is ultimately the story of the young H.G. Wells (Stroma) and won’t heavily rely on time travel like most shows employing the use of time machines.

However, the show will establish its own set of rules for time travel early on because the characters must be strategic in their movements throughout history. For instance, the show’s second episode will tackle the question of why Wells can’t just travel back in time to stop his friend, the decorated surgeon Dr. John Stevenson (Bowman), aka Jack the Ripper, from stealing a time machine and traveling to 2017.

“We created a ripple rule about the ripples in time,” Williamson told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “When you travel to one place repeatedly, you start pricking the fabric of time. And if you do it too closely together, you travel in a day or a minute or a second of each other and you create a hole which destroys the world, destroys time, destroys everything.”

TIME AFTER TIME – ABC’s “Time After Time” stars Freddie Stroma as H.G. Wells and Josh Bowman as John Stevenson. (ABC/Bob D’Amico)

According to Williamson, the show will only travel through time four times in the first 12 episodes. And although the show is very much the story of a young Wells, the character of Jack the Ripper will play a large role within the narrative.

“His character figures prominently into the fabric of the show, right down to his DNA,” teased Williamson.

“One of the things we were doing with this show is creating a mythology,” he continued. “The first episode is very faithful to the movie, and in the second and third hours we start laying the scenes for a larger mythology of science fiction.”

Time After Time premieres with a two-hour episode Sunday, March 5 at 9/8c on ABC.

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