Calling all lit majors!
A cat-and-mouse race through time featuring literary icon H.G. Wells and none other than Jack the Ripper may be the jumping off point for ABC's new series Time After Time, but, unlike the 1979 book and movie of the same name that the upcoming thriller is based on, The Time Machine won't be the only Wells novel to inspire the proceedings.
"I've always loved this project. I've just been a big fan of [director] Nicholas Meyer from the word go, growing up. That movie is what led me to actually read H.G. Wells," series creator Kevin Williamson told reporters at a recent screening of the premiere. "I'd always sort of stayed away from his writing. I found it very hard, very dense. It wasn't my cup of tea at the time. And then I started reading The Island of Doctor Moreau and then I got it…We sort of live in that universe. We live in The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau and The Invisible Man and we just start touching War of the Worlds."
Time After Time stars Freddie Stroma (UnREAL) as the fish-out-of-water Wells, confounded by life in modern day New York City as he hunts down his old friend John Stevenson (played by Revenge's Josh Bowman)—who just so happens to be the Ripper. The latest in this season's spate of time travel shows—despite what the network's official language regarding the series may state, Williamson confirmed three to four trips through time on season one alone—Time After Time is the only one that cheekily posits that Wells' repertoire could've been inspired by his own adventures in his future, our present.
"We open up the H.G. Wells book, the playbook, and we start playing from his greatest hits. The idea is that you see the inspiration for all of his greatest hits," he teased. "You'll start to see elements of The Invisible Man. In a lot of ways, Griffin in The Invisible Man is a lot like John…By the time the shows over, H.G. Wells will go home to 1893 and write all of his books, based on his experiences in modern-day New York City is the idea."
At its heart, however, the series is about these two diametrically opposed men—and the woman, Jane Walker (Genesis Rodriguez), they both encounter—as they circle one another, well, time after time. With the knowledge that an ongoing series would quickly grow dull if it was solely predicated on that chase, Williamson assured that he'd learned from one of his more recent missteps.
"It's kind of like, you can't do it too much because then you get trapped into The Following of 'How come they can never trap and catch the killer?' But those are the best scenes! So you want to have a lot of near misses," he said. "But we don't have that problem here."
Is he telling the truth? Only time will tell...
Time After Time premieres Sunday, March 5 at 9 p.m. on ABC