time lords

Kevin Wil­liamson plumbs HG Wells’s his­tory for trippy TV se­ries Time Af­ter Time

SFX - - Red alert -

an of­ten over­looked gem of late ’70s sci-fi cin­ema is Nicholas Meyer’s adap­ta­tion of Time Af­ter Time, Karl Alexan­der’s novel, which had HG Wells us­ing his time ma­chine to travel to then-mod­ern day San Fran­cisco to cap­ture an es­caped Jack the Rip­per. Luck­ily Kevin Wil­liamson, one of TV’s most suc­cess­ful ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers (Scream, The Vam­pire Di­aries) never for­got that movie…

“When I saw Nicholas Meyer’s movie, it had a meta sen­si­bil­ity which be­came my sen­si­bil­ity,” Wil­liamson tell­sRed Alert. “[The film] was in Warner Bros’s li­brary so I toyed with turn­ing it into a re­make. Then I thought with a TV se­ries, you could go fur­ther. Time Af­ter Time re­ally only dealt with [the book] The Time Ma­chine, and just one as­pect of that novel. But what hap­pened with Doc­tor Moreau, or War Of The Worlds that HG Wells was go­ing to write? I thought, what a great step­ping off point, to take Jack the Rip­per, who is lost in mod­ern New York City with Wells on his tail, and we can build the mythol­ogy from there. We can have a mash-up of Wells’s great­est hits.”

Thus the se­ries will start with the ba­sic premise of the film but dive into new ar­eas of Wells’s life, writ­ings, en­coun­ters and in­spi­ra­tions for his other books. “What I love about HG Wells is that he was try­ing to show the good and bad in hu­man­ity as it re­lated to science and tech­nol­ogy, and that’s very timely,” Wil­liamson says. “The show is watch­ing Wells (Fred­die Stroma) stum­ble through a mod­ern­day world try­ing to find Jack the Rip­per (Josh Bow­man), who aligns him­self with some evil peo­ple who know about the time ma­chine. And HG finds one hu­man – Jane Walker (Ge­n­e­sis Ro­driguez) – who shows him kind­ness and he latches onto her. At its core, it’s a love story. There’s a lot of high stakes, dan­ger, jeop­ardy, and a lit­tle death here and there, but that’s not the fo­cus or what we’re meant to be.”

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