Time travel has been a fascinating theme covered by a wide range of TV shows and movies. It’s a concept that seems to be neither possible nor impossible and, in a world full to the brim with abnormalities, is rarely considered to be a far-fetched idea. The Time Traveler’s Wife is one of the latest shows to examine this topic, following the life of Henry DeTamble (Theo James), a man with an extraordinary ability to time travel. Originally based on the novel by Audrey Niffeneggerwhich also inspired a movie adaptation in 2009, the show explores the consequences and heartbreaking pressures that are caused by such a rare ability.
But despite the disadvantages of such an outlandish notion we have all probably contemplated time travel at some point. Many of us have likely pondered what it would be like to experience a certain time in history or perhaps mulled over the possibility of changing a small moment in our own lives. Whatever our motivations are, it’s a seductive idea that is frustratingly just out of reach, but lucky for us there has been an abundance of shows to satisfy our time traveling curiosity. So for those of you who find yourselves daydreaming about the space-time continuum, here is a list of shows that will take you on a journey into the past, present, and future.
Outlander is based on the novel of the same name written by Diana Gabaldon. It follows the story of Claire Randall (Caitríona Balfe), a World War II nurse, who finds herself being transported to Scotland in 1743. She somehow gets caught up with a clan of Highland rebels, as they fight to avoid persecution from the British army.
Like The Time Traveler’s Wife, Outlander has a very charming but passionate love affair that increases the stakes to an already intense concept. Both Claire and Henry DeTamble must deal with the burdens of time travel as well as the consequences it has on their loved ones, examining the true reality of an idea we often fantasize about. It may be incredibly easy to romanticize the lives of both of these characters, but many ethical questions are raised that will make you reconsider your initial views. Outlander is a startling tale set against the gorgeous backdrop of 18th-century Scotland that will draw you into an epic adventure of the greatest love story ever told.
After the enormous success of the Avengers movie franchise, everybody’s favorite God of Mischief was given his own television series, with Tom Hiddleston reprising his role. Taking place just after Avengers: Endgame, this show focuses on an alternate version of Loki who creates a new but unlawful timeline. This leads to his subsequent arrest by a mysterious organization responsible for the regulation of time, who are forced to reset the time disturbance. After his trial, he discovers that there is another variant of himself that is disrupting the natural time order and is persuaded to help stop them.
Loki gives a refreshing take on the time travel theme, providing a unique element that creates interesting plot twists and head-scratching theories. The series is packed with hilarious and light-hearted moments that expose the bizarre nature of time and space, as well as a truthful confrontation of Loki’s deepest insecurities. Thor’s younger brother has always been a guilty pleasure for audiences since the beginning of the MCU, as his clever schemes and general misbehavior inspires the trickster in all of us. He is neither good nor bad but somewhere in the middle, making us love him all the more for it.
After a time machine is stolen by a man intending to change the course of history, a professor, soldier, and engineer must travel back in time to ensure that these monumental events remain unchanged. From the Hindenburg disaster to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Timeless is a thrilling adventure series that gives audiences a small peek into famous historical events.
Like The Time Traveler’s Wife, the show centers on the catastrophic effects of time travel, and the ramifications of altering a single moment. We’ll no longer need to imagine ourselves amid the California Gold Rush or what it would be like to rub elbows with notorious gangsters in the 1930s Chicago, as this show imagines it all for us. Timeless is a real treat for any history buff, taking audiences on a daring crusade through history.
Initially believed to be dead, the passengers of the Montego Air Flight 828 safely arrive at their destination, only to realize that an entire five and half years has passed. The passengers experienced a time jump, an event they could not control, much like Henry DeTamble who also time travels unwillingly. As a result, they both struggle to adjust to their new realities and accept that there may be no conceivable explanation for the disruption placed on their lives. Fortunately for Henry, he finds solace in his soulmate Clare, who manages to make his condition bearable, but for all the passengers who have missed out on years of their life, reintegrating themselves back into society is not as simple. Manifest is a thought-provoking thriller with many twists and turns, leading audiences to search for logic within the supernatural.
Dr. Samuel Beckett (Scott Bakula) is a scientist who gets trapped within time, leaping into the bodies and lives of various different people from the past. His mission is to correct specific events that should not have happened, correcting numerous timelines and changing the future for the better. Quantum Leap recounts the story of a remarkable character who is dedicated to science, selflessly risking his life to do good.
Much like Henry DeTamble, he never knows where or when he will leap, caught in a limbo that holds no answers. Both men remain hopeful despite their infuriating situation, maintaining faith in an improbable outcome. For Henry, it’s that he will learn how to control his time-traveling abilities and for Sam, it’s that he will eventually return to his present time. This show will break your heart into thousands of tiny pieces as you root for a man whose self-sacrifice and compassion should be more than enough to earn him his ticket home.
When anomalies tear at the fabric of space a time, passages are created that allow for prehistoric creatures to descend onto the modern world. Nick Cutter and his specialist team track these anomalies and try to capture the creatures before they can do any harm.
If Jurassic Park had been an eccentric, time-traveling, science fiction movie, it would look something like Primeval. This show is brilliant in its creativity and unique concept, creating a terrifying but awesome visual experience. If you have ever wondered what would happen if a flock of deadly dodos was let loose in inner-city London then this is the show for you.
Loosely adapted from the 1995 film, 12 Monkeys focuses on James Cole (Aaron Stanford), a man who has been sent into the past to prevent the release of a deadly virus. He must destroy the army responsible for the outbreak but with the virus having killed billions of people already, humans are faced with extinction should he fail.
The series has been well-crafted, with many unpredictable scenes and impeccable action that have you on the edge of your seat. The show explores the tough choices we must make between right and wrong, hinting at the idea that it may not be as simple as we would think.
Based on the gothic story The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irvingthis series is an excellent adaptation surrounding the life of the well-known character, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison). In the show, Crane is transported from his home of Sleepy Hollow in 1781 to 2013. With the help of an FBI agent, he must stop the infamous Headless Horseman and various other evil entities that threaten to bring an end to the world as they know. it. With mystical artifacts, valiant escapes from purgatory, and flashbacks to the late 18th century, Sleepy Hollow is the perfect show for those who enjoy the touch of the supernatural.
Set in a dystopian future society is on the brink of collapse, but it’s a group of special operatives known as the travelers that are tasked with saving it. To do so they must transfer their conscious mind back through time to host the bodies of those who existed, completing life-saving missions. Their ultimate goal is to undo the various historical mistakes that led to the overall demise of their present world, even if it puts the lives of the innocent in jeopardy. The show provides more of an in-depth and scientific take on time travel than what we have previously seen, following the lives of very ordinary people expected to do very extraordinary things.
A date in time that many are familiar with, 11.22.63 centers around the assassination of JFK and one man’s attempts to stop it from happening. After discovering a time portal to 1960, Jake Epping must live a life above suspicion as he surveys and gathers information on the events leading up to the President’s death. Like Henry, he is tethered to a woman he is madly in love with, faced with the complicated decision of abandoning his mission or abandoning her.
Based on the book written by Stephen Kingthe series has plenty of gripping moments paired with suspenseful and intensely shocking turns that you won’t see coming. 11.22.63 is a compelling story of a man’s determination to change one of the most instrumental events in American history, along with the cruel realization that time may not be so easily altered.
After getting involved in a fatal car accident Sam Tyler (John Simm), a police detective, awakens to find that he is now in 1973. As he tries to continue his job as a police officer, Tyler is confronted with the stark cultural contrasts of the 1970s and struggles to accept his current situation. He must also uncover the truth surrounding his supposed time travel, searching for answers whilst solving crimes.
The vibrant and authentic portrayal of the 70s lends a riveting backdrop to a mystery you will be determined to solve. A terrific psychological drama, Life On Mars examines the harsh consequences of existing in a time that is not our own and that the answers we often seek are usually hidden within the past.
Following the time-traveling expeditions of an ancient Time Lord, Doctor Who is an iconic British television series that has spanned decades. With the original series first airing in 1963, the show’s modern revival has rekindled admiration from fans for many generations. Like James Bond, the Doctor has been portrayed by a variety of terrific actors, each one having created their own spin on the famous figure, keeping the series alive with new and exciting nuances.
Exploring numerous places and time periods and meeting famous historical figures, the Doctor spends his life venturing into the unknown, solving the many mysteries of the Universe. Traveling through time in a big, blue telephone box, The Doctor and Henry DeTamble have very different methods of time travel, but both are all too familiar with the loneliness and isolation that comes with their affliction. Doctor Who is packed with various quirks and unusual plot lines, celebrating all things weird and wonderful, which will continue to engage audiences for many more years to come.