I’ve been going through the episodes that I am planning to write about, and I’ve realised that most of the early ones are for shows which are quite old. I do think that generally you can’t rush these things, but I suppose we do live in a world where we have to make immediate judgements on things. So, let me introduce to new the newest episode to make my list, 17 minutes from the second season of Travelers.
Travelers uses the Quantum Leap method of time travel, it is the consciousness which travels in time, not the body. The Director has specific rules it follows; a) Travelers are sent back in sequential order, i.e. you cannot send one back further in time than a previous Traveler. b) Hosts can only be those who are about to die in the prime timeline. This episode plays with these concepts.
The premise of 17 minutes is quite straightforward. Our team are sent out to retrieve a meteorite. The bad news is that it is a trap, and the team are massacred. Normally, the Director would send a messenger, a child’s mind can be taken over temporarily, to warn them but as they are in the middle of nowhere it needs to take drastic action.
This is a great example of a sandbox episode. Let’s take a concept and play with it. The Director is only just back in action, and it is a good reminder that it plays by the rules. It also clarifies exactly how time travel works, for anyone who may have been confused by what has happened in the last couple of episodes.
The one thing we don’t get to see is how Carrie died in the first place, it certainly wasn’t an equipment failure considering what happens. We have to assume that she does die during the skydive; as her consciousness is taken over by Traveler 5001. Nice round number that!
She ultimately fails, and then it becomes a puzzle for the Director to figure out. It sends Travelers one after another until the team is saved. We do learn another rule in this episode c) A hosts conscious can only be written over so many times. By the fifth attempt, Carrie’s mind is gone. The Director ends up trying with a second host.
I have a suspicion that this new rule may become important later on in the series.
I like this episode because it shows the potential of the time travelling rules within the Traveler universe. If you watch closely you’ll also notice a couple of things. Carrie’s transfers are sequential not overlays, meaning that the new transfer takes place just as the previous one ended. She alos makes sure that her camera is on every time.
It is a common thing these days for an episode to portray the same events from a number of different perspectives. However, having these alternative run throughs is a nice twist on a concept that we see regularly. I like it when writers try to be clever.