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Investigative newspaper reporter Dan Vassar has a 'gift' to suddenly travel back in time, only to enable him to set straight something which caused great problems in the present, for him, his loved-ones or broader society. That puts great strain on Dan's family, including doting but 'deserted' young son Zac and brother Jack, a cop who wants to learn the truth. Written by
A show with potential were it not cancelled so soon
'Journeyman' is one of those shows which was slow to start but did eventually find its feet and deliver an interesting idea that posed many possible stories to explore. As it was, morons at NBC (the American television company which produced it) decided to cut short the endless possibilities that the show never had the chance to portrayed by cancelling it after the first season. Yet another potentially good show cancelled to, no doubt, make way for more rubbish reality shows which seem to be endlessly churned out these days.
The show revolved around Dan Vasser, a journalist who lives with his loving wife Katie and their young son Zack. He lives a busy but normal life until the day when he steps into a taxi and ends up suddenly finding himself back in time, circa the 1960s. As the show progresses we learn that Dan has the ability to jump back and forward in time, with the goal of altering events for the better. He is guided slightly by Livia, his thought-to-be dead former girlfriend who he finds out faked her death because she too has time travelling abilities.
Initially, it was hard to like anyone but Dan and Livia. While these two came across as fairly likable characters who carry the show well, Katie Vasser came across as a nagging irritation who seemed to think preserving her precious normality was more important than saving people's lives while Dan's cop brother Jack was depicted to be bitter and childish to allow his jealousies to cloud his realisation that there was something else going on with Dan rather than believing him to be unhinged. However, towards the end of the season, Katie and Jack were fleshed out and became easier to relate to as they accepted Dan's abilities.
'Journeyman' walked a fine line between being a time travelling sci-fi show, the 2007 version of 'Quantum Leap', and being a drama that portrayed the difficulties in maintaining a normal family life in the face of a troublesome, hectic 'job'. It would have been interesting to see how Dan and Katie preserved their life as the years passed or even how their son coped if he found out the full truth when he was older. The show also dealt with interesting story lines such as Dan accidentally changing his own future so that he had a daughter instead of a son, leaving him with painful dilemma of having to erase her to get his son back.
As I said, this show had much potential and could have explored many issues if it had the chance. It certainly deserved more than one season to prove itself and to build a fanbase. Here's hoping someone with sense at NBC will reconsider and give 'Journeyman' that chance.
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