EXCLUSIVE: Arika Lisanne Mittman and Lauren Greer Talk the Future, the ‘Timeless’ Fandom and How to “End” This Story

Is this an ending?

With Timeless, it never truly feels like one. This show has, after all, come back from the dead two times. But this is, necessarily, the closing of a chapter, at least. A natural stopping point in a storyline that, we hope, can find ways to continue for years to come.

Arika Lisanne and Lauren Greer approached writing the final two episodes with this in mind. Closing storylines, providing some Christmas cheer and happiness, and also, leaving the door open a crack, so the possibility of more is there, something that Arika confessed was hard to do.

“It was hard! I really felt like we were set up for a juicy season 3 — we had so much character development planned for the third season that we had to condense into 2 episodes.”

Can you picture it? I can. Wyatt getting to grovel a little bit, prove to Lucy that she was always his choice. Flynn getting more of a real redemption arc. Mama Denise getting to go on a mission or two. More of the changed, hardened Jiya that spent three years trapped in the past.

Mason’s face when Rufus came back.

Lucy and Jiya getting more of a chance to bond.

We wanted so much more. We still want so much more.

TIMELESS — “The Miracle of Christmas Part II” Episode 212 — Pictured: (l-r) Claudia Doumit as Jiya, Malcolm Barrett as Rufus Carlin — (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

“Also there were so many historical periods we wanted to touch on, so many things the actors wanted to do — not to mention loose ends and dangling threads out there on our stories!” Arika continued, “We had our work cut out for us!”

I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes, I really wouldn’t.

“So we had to make some tough choices about what was most important to wrap up in the event that this is the end of the road, because that was the reason we were given this opportunity from NBC and Sony — to end it properly.”

That sounds so final, doesn’t it? And we want happy endings, of course, but we also want that spark of hope. Arika provided, of course, and I didn’t even need to prompt her that much.

“At the same time, it wouldn’t be Timeless if we wrapped up everything…”

It really wouldn’t be. This is a time travel show, after all!

But leaving some possibilities open doesn’t mean there isn’t closure, and it doesn’t mean there isn’t a message the writers hope we take away from this, and Arika really, really hoped this is what would stick with us: “Lucy has a line where she says, “Everyone’s important.” You’ll see it in context, but I think that probably says it all, in a nutshell.”

And that goes really well with the message of Timeless, which has always been one of diversity and inclusion. As Lauren said, “These characters — every single one of them — help shed a light on a different perspective and experience.”

TIMELESS — “The Miracle of Christmas Part II” Episode 212 — Pictured: (l-r) Sakina Jaffrey as Denise Christopher, Paterson Joseph as Connor Mason, Claudia Doumit as Jiya — (Photo by: Darren Michaels/Sony/NBC)

Not just for us, but for them.

“Because who wants to watch a show where everyone is the same?” Lauren asks before continuing, “Our characters challenge each other every episode, but they also, despite differences, work together. Timeless is best when our characters are learning from and teaming up with unknown heroes from history. So that all of us can learn too.”

Don’t you just love when it feels like the writers of your favorite show understand the thing that really touched you about their show? When it’s not chance, but choice?

I do.

Arika had this to add, as for the question of diversity. “I wasn’t there when the pilot was cast, but I will say that in general when you don’t make the assumption that all your characters are white unless otherwise specified, you get a much more interesting cast.”

See, another t-shirt I need to make and send out to basically every studio, every showrunner out there.

“I credit Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke with being open to diversity!” Arika stated before continuing, “And I also think it’s fitting with the themes of our show. Most of us have been taught the history of white men for a long time, and we made it our mission in Timeless to highlight the contributions of women and people of color and the underrepresented heroes of history.”

Forgive me while I go cry for a little bit.

This idea, so simple and yet so fundamental, and the proof that these writers really understand the product they’re putting out there and why that product has touched so many, makes it even sweeter to talk with them about this beautiful fandom that has grown around this beautiful show, and how hard everyone has pushed to promote, to spread the word, and to, above all things, love this show.

TIMELESS — “The Miracle of Christmas Part II” Episode 212 — Pictured: (l-r) Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston, Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan– (Photo by: Darren Michaels/Sony/NBC)

“It feels incredible,” Lauren shared. “I am SO GRATEFUL for all the Clockblockers out there — your passion, your energy, your support is the reason we even got a season two.”

You crying? I’m crying. And if you’re not, just wait for what’s coming next.

“Being part of a passionate fandom is what storytelling is all about,” Lauren explained. “It makes us feel connected and I am so thankful and honored to be a part of it. Thank you all!”

As to the same question, Arika also had a tear-worthy response.“It makes it all worth it. This movie is really a love letter to the fans. The people who set up a booth at LA Comic Con. Put billboards up in New York City. Flew a helicopter over San Diego Comic Con. The fans of this show are unlike any I’ve ever encountered or likely ever will again.”

We’ve been covering fandom for a while, and we can absolutely attest to this. There’s something special about this fandom, and we’re glad we’ve gotten to live this experience with all of you.

Finally, let me close with these words from Arika, that I’ll carry with me through the days ahead, with the hope that this isn’t the end:

“There will be other shows, other work… there will never be another Timeless.”

So there. Don’t let anyone tell you your voice doesn’t matter. Don’t let anyone silence you. If you love something, be loud and proud.

It means something.

The Timeless two-hour movie event airs Thursday, December 20th at 8/7c on NBC.

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