Thursday, July 6, 2017

Travelers, Season One, Episode One: Travelers

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Hundreds of years into the future, humanity is almost extinct.  Travelers have been sent back in time to change the past so that humans can thrive again. They track people through their social media accounts and take over the body moments before their deaths. They essentially project their consciousness backward in time. 

We are introduced to a small cell of travelers by seeing them arrive.  Marcy Wharton is a young mentally disabled woman who dies when she trips on a flight of stairs trying to escape men who are threatening her.  Once inside Marcy, the traveler lays the beat down on the men who sought to attack her.  Marcy's case is particularly interesting because of course, the traveler doesn't have intellectual disabilities. This means in one fell swoop, Travelers has erased a potential disabled character. All Travelers have difficulty assimilating because while they know something about the bodies they are inhabiting thanks to social media, there's much they do not know.  Marcy for instance is unable to fool her social worker David, and quickly makes him suspicious by easily reading a newspaper. Marcy's Facebook listed her as a librarian when in fact, Marcy was a janitor at the library.  It's a quick reminder that people don't always tell the truth about their lives on things like Facebook and Instagram. 

Carly Shannon is the only woman of colour on the show. Her body is taken over by a Traveler when she is killed by her abusive drunk ex.  It's worth noting that this is the second female character which has been introduced to us who died violently from male abuse.  Carly finds herself in her new body with a baby and no idea how to care for it. Carly is forced to google who to care for a baby. I must admit that I cheered when Carly quite easily put Walt, her ex and abuser in his place. I did however find myself wondering who Carly found to look after the little boy when she left her home?

Trevor Holden died in a mixed martial arts fight when he was clearly outclassed. Trevor covers for the things he doesn't know by saying that he has a concussion from the fight and that there's a lot he doesn't remember.  His family is certain that he's not quite himself because of how polite he suddenly is. Thus far, Trevor's girlfriend Rene sees his unwillingness to sleep with her as sweet, because he claims that he wants her to help him know himself better.  It seems as though Trevor and Rene are the most popular kids at their high school. Given that Trevor is now a traveler on a mission to save humanity, I doubt he'll have much time for school politics.

Philip died in a drug overdose and of course had his body taken over by a Traveler moments before his death.  Philip quickly finds himself in trouble with the law because he didn't call 911, to help out his friend who died beside him. For much of the episode, Philip spends his time trying to evade the law.  Philip however does get his court appointed attorney Ray, to place some long shot bets for him and he even manages to win the lottery.  Ray is clearly going to be a problem for Philip going forward because Ray wants more tips on who to bet on.

The final Traveler enters the body of FBI agent Grant MacLaren. Before being taken over, Grant spends his time investigating the Travelers because their communication on the dark net has been noticed.  He arrives at an abandoned building where he has figured out the Travelers are going to meet up, completely unaware that  he's actually going to his death.  It's Trevor who stops Grant from falling down an elevator shaft and the rest of the Travelers explain to Grant that not only he is about to die, they managed to stop someone who was going to commit a mass shooting that he failed to stop. Grant is also informed that there are thousands of Travelers in the past now and their mission is to ensure the survival of humanity.  The countdown clock begins and Grant falls to his knees grabbing his head in pain.  Moments later, a Traveler enters Grants body.  

This first episode essentially introduced us to the ensemble cast and explained a little bit about the world setting.  We know that Travelers are from the future and that for some reason that humanity is going extinct.  What we don't know is what happened in the past to cause this extinction. We don't know what the Travelers need to do to stave off the possible extinction of humanity in the past. 

I suppose we will have to wait until the second episode to get more information about the world.  Travelers does have a large ensemble cast, two of whom are of colour and thus far we don't have an explicit LGBT character.  I cannot say that I've been drawn in or that I'm even overly intrigued largely because I don't know much about the setting or objective yet.  I suppose now that they've introduced the characters, that expanding the setting will be the next step.