Journeyman comes to DVD

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 00:00
Posted in TV DVDs
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Journeyman comes along to DVDKevin McKidd (Grey’s Anatomy, “Dog Soldiers”) stars in this drama-romance-sci-fi series about Dan Vasser, a newspaper journalist who jumps backwards and forwards in time to figure out unsolved crimes and get desperate people’s lives back on track. Gretchen Egolf (Martial Law, “The Talented Mr. Ripley”), Moon Bloodgood (Falling Skies, “Terminator Salvation”) and Reed Diamond (Dollhouse, “Moneyball”) co-star.

Dan has no control over when his time-jumps occur, nor which point in the past he goes back to, though it is always somewhere in his home city of San Francisco. Unlike Quantum Leap, Dan goes back as the present day version of himself, and as well as solving mysteries he gets involved in his and his loved-ones’ lives. Our hero constantly has to make amends for the disruption his ‘gift’ causes to his relationships and work.

Journeyman was cruelly cancelled by US network NBC after just 13 episodes, which is a real shame as it is a smart, compelling and well-made series. Creator-writer-producer Kevin Falls and director-producer Alex Graves (both of The West Wing fame) combine numerous elements to keep the weekly episodes fresh and engaging, and the acting is spot on. McKidd is particularly good as a very grounded, everyday bloke struggling to keep his life together in exceptional circumstances.

One ongoing story component surrounds the complex relationships between Dan, his wife Katie (Egolf), Dan’s brother Jack (Diamond) who used to date Katie, and Dan’s deceased fianceé Livia (Bloodgood). Katie soon learns of her husband’s unexplained trips back in time but Jack, a police detective by trade, notices Dan’s constant absences and suspects that his brother is up to no good, be it revisiting to his gambling addiction of old, taking drugs or some other misdemeanour.

Dan keeps bumping into Livia during his jumps, and discovers there is much more to her than he ever knew when they were engaged. The Vassers’ son Zak (Charles Henry Wyson – “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) is also caught in the crossfire.

The SF element concerns Dan’s investigation into why he starts going backwards and forwards in time. For example, has time travel been invented in the future, is he somehow being sucked into a wormhole or is a higher power responsible for his journeys? He is, after all, always bound to key moments in a particular person’s life each time he is transported, and he does not move on to the next case until he resolves the current one.

The series does a good job of conveying the different decades Dan frequents, typically the 1970s to 2000s. Contemporary TV and newspaper reports, cars, clothing, technology and music all key us into the period, and subtle screen tints separate the modern day from the past.

Journeyman may have been cut down in its infancy but I strongly recommend that fans of time travel and guardian angel-style series like Person of Interest give it a chance. This first-time UK DVD release deserves to be a success.

Special features include:

  • Flashing Backwards – a comprehensive documentary about the making of the series (75 mins)
  • The Back Nine – a featurette about what might have been, had the series not been cancelled (20 mins)
  • Pilot Commentary – with creator/executive producer Kevin Falls, actor Kevin McKidd and director/executive producer Alex Graves
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Stills Gallery

 

Journeyman: The Complete Series (2007) is out now on DVD, courtesy of Mediumrare Entertainment. The entire four-disc, 13 episode season has a running time of 585 minutes approx, carries a ‘15’ certificate and retails for £29.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

Last modified on Thursday, 02 May 2013 11:38

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