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Darien Lambert, Captain of the Fugitive Retrieval Section in the 22nd century, time-travels to the 20th century to capture 22nd century criminals who have escaped by time-traveling. He is armed with a PPT, a 3-button weapon that can render a man unconscious or send a man to the 22nd century. He has a computer named Selma, disguised as a credit card. Selma helps him to capture the fugitives, for she has access to various databases, and can make logical conclusions. She has also many other functions. The main criminal is Mo Sahmbi, who invented the time machine (TRAX) and helped the criminals to get away. Lambert cannot go to the 22nd century until he has captured all the fugitives.Written by
Guilherme Gama <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Time Trax was one of the first shows broadcast by a new network, UPN, however, the show was syndicated prior to that, particularly on PTEN, aka "Prime Time Television Network", which was also responsible for "Kung Fu: the legend continues" and "Babylon 5". See more »
Time Trax - OK, here's the deal: a cop from the future (Darien Lambert) travels back in time to track down roughly 200 escaped fugitives from his time and to settle the score with the time machine's creator, who just happened to have killed off the only woman the cop loved for a long time. Simple, right?
Well, yes. That was basically the problem - from a theatrical point of view. Sure, the show's writers worked hard at kicking in some complications. For example, the cop happens to be an ethnic minority in the future, a "blanco," but that seats him in the majority here. They give him disguised weaponry: namely, his futuristic Star-Trek-in-a-box computer hologram projector and historical archive widget and a nifty non-lethal gun formed to look like a credit card and car-alarm. However, he loses this things constantly - just multiply the number of times you've forgotten where to put your keys by like 1 million, and that's about par for the show. In addition, either the convicts he's chasing will sniff them out, or some plucky 20th century kid will inevitably treat them like the mundane objects they're made to resemble.
Overall, this was not enough to give the show much "drawing power." As noted above, these are plot devices and not necessarily related to developing the character.
Having said that, I must say that this was still one of my favorite shows to watch between the ages of 13-14; like MacGyver or the A-Team, this show had a very dynamic episode-to-episode style with no complicated soap opera sagas to slow down the enjoyment - things were always wrapped up neatly in about an hour.
To speak plainly: the show's main export is just plain fun. It's fun to watch the time-displaced cop rediscover everything about the 20th century that we take for granted (like junk food, boxing [which is outlawed in his time but not any other martial art - go figure], amusement parks, and the fact that here he's not a minority at all (which is something one commenter already hit on - they could have done a LOT more with - if the goal had been character development). It's also fun to watch him struggle with being two hundred years in his own past where his favorite restaurant has only one location and the chef hasn't figured out the signature recipe yet, where the Chicago Cubs suck even though they're a dynasty 200 years from now [which is a shame - it really only took about 8-9 years for the Cubs to make that leap, not 200], and he struggles with the idea that he may never go home, though that might not be bad considering he's found the cute ancestor of his former love.
All of this didn't make the show great per se, but it did make the show special. In many ways it was akin to the radio shows of old, like the Shadow, where the contrived plots and weak villains are less important than the overall aesthetic that the show inspires. It was the genuine sense of wonder and amusement from rediscovering the present that helped the audiences simmer in Darien's nostalgia and homesickness.
Fans of sci-fi will appreciate the techno-widgets and special effects for what they are - a means of conveying the storyline with dazzling and emotional spectacle; however, if you're looking for spectacular drama, you've come to the wrong place. Here's my advice: don't go to the circus and expect to sit next to Hamlet, but if you do go, grab some cotton candy, ask a clown to teach you to juggle, pet the lions, and flirt with as many cute acrobats as you can see because you'll enjoy going a whole lot more.
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