ABC has picked up the latest series by Kevin Williamson (‘The Following’,’Stalker’) which will follow the life of H.G. Wells in ‘Time After Time.’ The new show will be based off of the original 1979 novel by Karl Alexander which shares the same name. At this time Williamson is set to be the show’s Executive Producer and write the script. With quite a writing history behind him, I hope that his contract has him in charge of writing the overall series and not just the pilot episode.
In the novel we find that H.G. Wells, who penned both ‘The Time Machine’ and ‘War of the Worlds,’ has actually been able to build a real life time machine. He shares his creation with his closest friends but unbeknownst to him Scotland Yard is chasing after one of them. The surgeon Leslie John Stephenson turns out to be Jack the Ripper and he uses the machine to escape into the future and ends up in 1979 where Wells travels to bring him in.
Here’s a synopsis of the novel:
When Wells showed it off to his famous friends–such as Henry James, Ford Madox Ford and other literary lights of 1893 London, he never suspected that another guest, his college friend, surgeon Leslie John Stephenson, was in truth the infamous Jack the Ripper. When Scotland Yard detectives showed up at Wells’s house to inquire about Stevenson, Jack took the machine and fled to the future–1979 San Francisco. When the time machine, as designed, returned to its point of origin, Wells followed the Ripper to the future. Wells felt obligated to bring him back to justice. Once in San Francisco, Wells realized that he also must save that city . . . and a particular lovely young woman . . . from a new reign of terror at the hands of the depraved, grisly Jack.
Previously the novel had been turned into a film which starred Malcolm McDowell. While based on the novel, I suspect in this series we’ll see Wells and Stephenson ending up in our time period and not the 70s. With an ongoing series I suspect that they will try to throw in another twist as well so that they can keep it going past Wells actually catching Jack the Ripper. Hopefully they don’t follow Fox’s formula of just turning everything into a police procedural.
Are you looking forward to ABC’s take on ‘Time After Time’? What spin do you think they’ll run with to keep the series going indefinitely? Share your thoughts below!