Timeless NYCC Interview: Abigail Spencer Discusses the Appeal of Time Travel

Timeless has a lot of appealing qualities. The way that every week it delivers a mini movie that transports its audiences back in time to historical moments; the core trio of characters that we experience this story through; and the way that it opens our minds to the realistic nature of time travel in a very grounded way.

It’s no wonder that Timeless has already captured the hearts of its audiences in just two episodes.

“I feel strongly there’s a lot of things we want to change about our future,” Abigail Spencer told us during a roundtable interview at NYCC. “We can’t predict the future, but the only way we can really change our future is to get to know our past. I think regret is a big thing for human beings – ‘If I had just done that differently. If I had just this, that, or the other.’ I think time travel makes that a reality.”

Each week, Timeless transports audiences to significant moments in history and shows the consequences that can come with time travel. The show appeals to the very human emotion of “what if?” What if I could change something in my past?


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“It kind of puts you in a situation where you get the opportunity,” she continued. “That’s too much power for human beings to have. I like seeing characters being given a lot of power and then a lot of responsibility that comes with that. I think time travel just starts to dive into it. I think now, particularly, especially when they talk about the science and all the scientists they’ve been talking to at NASA. Are we that far off from it? I’m not sure. So it’s feeling closer and closer as our technology develops.”

One of the interesting things that Timeless has managed to present is that each of the core three members has a purpose – a “why” they are on this journey. Wyatt’s avenging his past, and Malcolm is essentially being blackmailed. But Lucy hasn’t quite figured out why she’s doing this. And perhaps Flynn’s presence and warning is a hint.

“She’s trying to figure out her ‘why,’” Spencer said. “She’s a teacher; she’s a historian. But what I think is interesting too is that Flynn has presented that maybe she isn’t who she knows she is. Everything she knows about herself. I think there’s more to the story about Rittenhouse, how he has this journal that is Lucy’s writing. I think that’ll be the long game: who is Lucy Preston?”

Watch our full interview with Spencer below where she discusses creating a new movie every week, portraying a woman’s struggle in history, the dynamic between Lucy, Wyatt & Rufus, and more.

Timeless airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.

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