Mar 19 2017 10:00am

Who Can You Ship in Travelers? We Have the Scoop

Travelers on Netflix

It’s been said we’re in a new Golden Age of Television, especially for fans of fantasy and science fiction. Outlander, Game of Thrones, Sense8, Orphan Black…the list goes on and on, and that’s not even including the comic book hero shows. 

Sometimes a new show will fail to click with viewers and end up being a one-season wonder. It looked like the Canadian series Travelers on Netflix was on track to be one such show, but just days ago it was announced there will be a second season.

Here’s the premise: hundreds of years from now, humans living in a disastrous dystopian society learn how to send themselves back into the bodies of 21st century people who are within moments of dying. The host’s consciousness dies and the traveler takes over the body. Teams with specific skills are formed to try and change the future, warding off the coming disasters.

SEE ALSO: Time Travel Romances

Each team of Travelers includes a scientist, a historian, a medic, a tactical/weapons expert, and a team leader. The problem is, the people whose bodies they inhabit had lives, sometimes lives that caused their “death” before they were taken over by the body snatchers. So the scientist is now a high school senior, the medic is a mentally disabled woman, the historian is a junkie, the weapons expert is a single parent coping with domestic violence, and the leader is a married FBI agent. No one can know they’re time travelers.

The romance angle is obvious from the get-go, especially in two story arcs:  Grant, the team leader (played by Eric McCormack) finds himself with a wife who loves him, and who his host presumably loves in return. Marcy, the medic, becomes attached to her social worker, David, who’s having to cope with a client who suddenly goes from mentally disabled to Ph.D. level.

My favorite romance sub-plot in Travelers is Marcy and David, because David’s such a stand-up guy. He went into social work to help people and he’s still trying to be there for Marcy, even when being there means helping her perform surgery on herself.

There are plot holes, of course, but it’s still a much more thoughtful time-travel story than most. It’s not about “OMG, I’m meeting Abe Lincoln!!!” so much as it’s about real life problems like finding child-care for the infant you’re suddenly responsible for, or coping with the day-to-day aspects of marriage to a stranger who loves you. 

And, of course, the overall question is, can they change the future for the better? Any SF fan knows (Outlander, Star Trek’s “City on the Edge of Forever”) that when you start meddling with the time-line complications ensue.

I’m glad Travelers was renewed and I’m looking forward to Season 2. There may be possibilities for other romantic plot lines to develop: Trevor, the scientist, inhabits the body of a callow high-school jock, and while on one hand he’s happy to be a young man at the peak of his physical energy, he’s also the chronologically oldest of the group. How can he maintain his host’s relationship with an equally shallow high school social queen?  

Philip’s a heroin user who’s trying to get off the junk—or is he? While right now there’s no romantic interest, a new season could bring new characters. Carly is the single mom being stalked by her host’s abusive ex, and in the future she was the lover of one of the team members. 

In this age of plenty you have to pick and choose which television stories will take your valuable time. Are other folks out there in Romanceland investing in Travelers? And are you hoping for a HEA for David and Marcy, and Grant and Kat?

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Darlene Marshall writes award-winning historical romance, mostly about pirates, privateers, smugglers, and the occasional possum. That’s her day job, but her hobby is being a science fiction and fantasy fan, and she frequently moderates panels at Worldcon and other SF conventions. Her books are available in ebook and print from the usual suspects.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. wsl0612
I love this show!! I've been watching it slowly because I want to savor it. My favorite ship is Grant and Carly, I just love the concept of them having to deal with the issues of being in different lives.
2. wsl0612
Oh and I forgot to say how much I love Trevor too :-) The actor who plays him does such a fabulous job of projecting an older person trying to deal with the problems of a high school teen. I'm hoping for a good ship for Trevor, I kind of like his high school girlfriend, but not totally sold.
Darlene Marshall
3. DarleneMarshall
@wslo612--I'm with you on Trevor. I'm not crazy about him with high school social girl, but I do love his essentially gentle and caring nature. He's excellent boyfriend material.
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