The creators of Journeyman, NBC’s new time-travel mystery, have taken their own trip through history to birth their series: From 1996, they’ve returned with Early Edition; from 1989, they’ve brought back Quantum Leap; and from 2006, they’ve transported the entire fall collection from Banana Republic.
Like that clothing line, Journeyman, if not entirely original, is comfortable, durable, and based in San Francisco. Newspaper reporter Dan Vasser (Rome‘s Kevin McKidd) finds he can bounce back into the disco and grunge eras, among others. How does this happen? And why the hell does his dead ex-fiancée, Livia (Day Break‘sMoon Bloodgood), keep popping up in Dan’s time-shifted path? During each episode, Dan saves lives, delivers babies, and reunites estranged parents and children until those persnickety Time Travel Gods seem satisfied. Unfortunately, Dan’s present-day life continues while he’s partying in 1999. The police, led by Dan’s brother, Jack (Reed Diamond), are suspicious of his long absences. His worried wife, Katie (Gretchen Egolf ), urges him to get an MRI. And his friends, fearing that he’s gone all Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love, stage an intervention.
The time-travel cues are maddeningly unsubtle (lots of calendars, newspapers, and watches are employed), but overall, Journeyman is an enjoyable romp — one that provides the accessibility of a procedural as well as the continuing mystery of a Lost or Heroes. As for the rugged and charismatic McKidd, he is destined to be a big-time TV star — even if we all have to travel to 2012 to see it happen. B