Timeless SDCC 2016 Interviews: Goran Visnjic, Matt Lanter & Malcolm Barrett

Time-travel shows are very popular these days. Very popular. So it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that just as the CW has Legends of Tomorrow, ABC has Time after Time and FOX has Making History, NBC would also bring out its own time-travel extravaganza to rival the others.

It just so happens that this might be our favorite of them all. Or, at least it has enough promise to make us think it could be.

Because yes, time-travel. But also – rules. Consequences. Interesting characters. Fun banter. Intriguing interactions. A possible OTP.

Just what we asked for and more.

We had a chance to chat with cast members Goran Visnjic, Matt Lanter & Malcolm Barrett, as well as co-creators and EP’s Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan during roundtable interviews at San Diego Comic-Con on July 23 about what we can expect from Timeless and what makes this show different from the rest.

Here’s what we learned from talking with Timeless stars at Comic-Con:

They’re only into episode two

But they still all concur in saying that the show is good and that they’ll be visiting “fun places in American History,” though, when pressed, Visnjic, Lanter and Barrett were very clear with us: “We’re sworn to secrecy” as to any plot points, and really, anything that goes beyond the first two scripts.

EP’s Kripke and Ryan were just as tight-lipped, promising a fun ride, but giving very few specifics. In a way, it’s like they’re all banking on the Pilot speaking for itself. And, they’re probably right in doing that, considering that …

Reaction to the Pilot has been positive

“Everyone that has seen the Pilot has reacted really well,” Lanter tells us, and the studio seems to be all in behind them, as the level of publicity Timeless got at San Diego Comic-Con rivaled some of the high-profile movies. “My face is on buses!” Barrett adds, explaining that it’s the first time something like that has happened to him.

We have to agree with all of them. Timeless was fun, engaging, visually stunning and intriguing. Even among a very good crop of Pilots, this one stood out, and we’ll certainly be watching come Fall.

The actors believe in this show

“We’re going to be here for a while” Lanter says, and the three actors nod in unison. They all seem to believe in the show they’re part of, and, honestly, that’s the most important part. If you’ve got your actors believing in you 100% then you can ask the rest of the world to believe.

Visnjic even went as far as saying that he pulled over while driving one day to take a look at the script and that he was instantly intrigued, despite the fact that his character doesn’t feature as heavily in the Pilot as the others do.

There’s no true hero or true villain

Goran Visnjic is not necessarily playing a villain, just as Matt Lanter is not necessarily playing the hero and Malcolm Barrett is more than just the funny sidekick. These characters are nuanced and complex and “everyone thinks they’re doing the right thing,” so that makes it much more complicated. We’ll also “learn more about the characters as the season progresses” and the things we learn will make us rethink what we know about each and everyone one of them.

Especially because …

Everyone has secrets

“No one’s being exactly forthright” in this, not at first, at least, and it’ll take “some time” before these people can learn to trust each other and even believe they’re on the same side. So, while, at first glance Garcia Flynn is your typical bad guy, deep down, he might not be, and though Wyatt Logan looks very much like a hero, he might harbor secrets that give us pause.

Timeless is throwing stereotypes out the window – and that’s just the way we like it.

Everyone has a mission – a different one

Lucy’s mission, since she’s an historian, might be “preserving the timeline” more than the others, of course, but Wyatt will also find himself with his own reasoning and motivations, something that might surprise even the character himself, because he’s always been one to “follow instructions and focus on the mission at hand.” Of course, he’s never truly been involved with a mission like this one, one where you might end up, unknowingly, affecting your own future.

Barrett also teased that his character might “know more than he lets on,” about the reason the machine was built in the first place and the motivations of the company who built it, but promised that would be revealed in due time.

So, don’t take anything anyone says or does at face value. Not at first. Everyone’s got a secret on Timeless.


They’ll never go to the same place twice

Rules are rules, after all, and this show’s specific rules state that a person traveling in time cannot go back to a place where they’ve already been at. No meeting yourself a la Hermione in Harry Potter, no. That means no trying to change things they’ve already affected, or things they were involved with in the first place – so no going back to fix stuff in their lives or to correct a mistake they might have made. They’ll be going to different places each and every week.

And those places will probably in the distant past, not in the last fifty years or so. But, hey, at some point, someone might mess up or break the rules, right? This is time-travel, after all. Someone will end up testing the rules.

Our money’s on Wyatt.

They have a road-map. The big picture has been decided. But not everything is set in stone.

Broad strokes, they know where the show is going, yes. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t open to new and amazing ideas being pitched, they are. That being said they “have an idea of what story we want to tell in Season 1” and where they want to end up in.

And, it even sounds like they have an idea for how to take this show way beyond Season 1, they’re just not budging yet, not until people have had a chance to experience the show for themselves.

We already have, and we can say with certainty – this show is going to have people talking. And we mean that in a good way.

Timeless premieres on NBC on Monday, October 3rd at 10/9c.

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