TIMELESS panel at SDCC 2017
Marissa was on the scene for the TIMELESS panel today at SDCC 2017. Check out her play by play!
Moderator: Brian Truitt of USA Today
Show Runners: Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan
Cast Members: Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcom Barrett and Goran Visnjic
The cast said they are calling their fans the “Time Faddist” while Malcom took it upon himself to make his own shirts for the fans. He made a few different shirt designs with the fan name “Clock Blockers!”
The panel started with a Sony made video of the fan reaction to Timeless beginning to their unexpected cancelation. The video can be viewed here!!
USA Today did a survey of over 20 shows that could be saved from the cancellation bubble and Timeless won by a landslide. Regardless of the fan support NBC still canceled the show; they were canceled on a Wednesday but calling the cast by Saturday to say they’ve made a mistake. The cast had been stunned by the cancelation but then confused by the renewal. Abigail woke up to hundreds of texts and emails congratulating her on the show renewal.
Most of the cast believed it to be a joke or a fan made theory.
Brian asked the cast what their favorite adventure has been on anason 1.
Matt says his choice always changes but currently it’s World War II and the Alamo. Abigail says she loved the Bonnie and Clyde adventure. Matt points out that was the episode in which they shared their first on screen kiss. Malcom also mentioned he liked the Bonnie and Clyde episode because of the first kiss. He literally had no reason to be on set that day, but still showed up to make it more awkward.
Goran said he liked the Lone Ranger episode because he was able to ride his own horse for the scenes. He was in Vancouver riding horses for a few years prior to the show and he was able to use his own gear and be comfortable on set. Filming in Vancouver brought another element to the scene, snow! They were planning on the scene being dusty and dirty not snowing.
The cast kept complimenting the hard work of the crew members.
Brian then asked about the most annoying era they dealt with regarding their costume choices.
Abigail hates anything predating the 1900s because of the corsets. She said there were times they filmed in 105 degree weather in layers of wool clothing. She did through enjoy seeing Malcom and Matt were having trouble waring their period shoes. They had their “comfy shoes” waiting off set after their scenes.
A secret from the set: during their fight in the 1700s, Matt poured cans of coke on the floor to ensure they wouldn’t slip.
The cast agreed that although the lifeboat scenes are cramped and hot, they enjoy shooting scenes together. Abigail said the one episode Matt was banned from the mission she enjoyed that scene a little more; mainly because he wasn’t there being bossy about putting on her seatbelt. Matt quipped back with “Click it or Ticket” gotta look out for their partners!
Brian points out that having Rittenhouse on the show is interesting because they are a historical staple to the show.
They have always been there in the timeline and they’re a practical story reason. Similar to the freemasons and the secret society. But it turns out they based this awful group on a real man who lived in Philadelphia. He was a clock maker and an overall good man. Abigail noted that it is also a great whiskey choice.
Talking about the season finale, Abigail was not aware of the twist that Lucy’s mom would be the head of Rittenhouse. It was the last scene of the season, they did not know if they would be back for season 2 but they felt they needed to come to win with their script. Goran did not know what direction his character would take so for him it never affected the way he wanted to play Flynn.
Since the show was just picked up, they don’t have much information to give, they only have ideas/time periods nothing is set. The writers go back in September while the cast will come back in November and will make the move from Vancouver to Los Angeles. They feel there are more choices to share stories; Lucy’s mom will be the big bad in season two while Rittenhouse has possession of the time machine. Now Flynn and the time travel group have a common enemy and we will see them working together. The show runners are very proud to feature all walks of life, people who essentially make up America’s history.
September 19th, season 1 will be released on DVD with behind the scenes and gag reel. The panel was treated to an advance screening of the gag reel; to which Abigail said they could easily have 2 hours of gag reel because they have so much fun on set. They then asked the audience for a few questions.
Technical issues lead Abigail to lend her mic to the first fan; he asked if it was difficult to work with a shorter season episode list. First season had 16 episodes in total, and the show runners felt 22 would have been too much for them to handle. Season 2 has been ordered 10 episodes, but they are not opposed to having more episodes in the future. They do feel however that they are getting better work from everyone with a shorter episode list.
Next a fan was in cosplay as Lucy’s pilot episode costume. She wondered if there was a time period they “history nerd” out for?
Malcolm sarcastically said the Antebellum South.
Shawn, orphan trains in which Irish children from the east coast were transported to the midwest. He suggest everyone look it up because it’s an interesting story.
Eric is obsessed with blues music, so he would love to explore Robert Johnson, the birth of the blues in the 1930s.
Matt said even before the show he was really into war stories and has such a high respect for the military. There are so many stories about average people becoming heroes in times of war.
Goran did not give an answer and the next question was asked.
A woman was cosplaying as Killer Frost and wondered if they could cosplay, who would they come as.
Matt said Anakin Skywalker from Clone Wars(shameless plug)
Malcolm said dead pool, if he had t pick something from their show it would be a cowboy outfit from either the Jesse James or Alamo episode.
Goran admitted that he loves being time inappropriate with his clothing because Flynn uses what is more convenient.
Abigail loves the 1930s to 1940s, especially the Bonnie and Clyde episode. She also mentioned how she enjoyed wearing pants during the Jesse James episode, it was unusual and the only woman known to wear pants in that era was Annie Oakley.
The next question came about the comedic relief, do they ever use their own jokes. The entire cast 100% credits the writers, however some moments unique to the character happen on set and is worked into the script. Abigail does a lot of physical comedy but it’s not always scripted. Malcolm has a teen choice nomination for choice hissy fit which he credits the writers but knows part of it was him because he was able to say phrases that the writers couldn’t say themselves.
The next question was for Abigail, wondering if she stumbles with the historical context of the script and if she does her own research for the storylines. She says the research aspect was a big draw for her joining the show. She says the stories creates curiosity and she enjoys learning about the different time periods. With the different stories there is a diversity and inclusion in the writers room. Shawn says when he started in the business 20 years ago, the writers room was all white men. So he makes it a point to hire people not like him to share their experiences and points of view.
An audience member asked about the show traveling to the future, Eric answered with a never say never, but really it’ll never happen answer. The show focuses solely on the past and going into the future would make it more Sci-Fi and it’s hard to do with a tv show. Maybe if they get to seasons 7-8 there would be more of a possibility.
Next question: What was the experience that changed the character from the start of the season to the end?
For Wyatt it was about learning to move on from the death of his wife. It was a character arc that was acknowledged and showed he accepts he cannot change the past and learns to let go of his control to change the situation. At the start of the show, Lucy was hyper focused on preserving history to realizing they need to stop Flynn at all costs.
For Rufus it was after the space race episode when he killed a man. He had been a moral compass for the team, but he changes episode to episode.
For Flynn the audience got to see him in a different life. There were times of humanity but he loses control.
Last question: Is there a line that they need to watch for? They need to preserve time, but there is also the morality line, it’s an ongoing debate. How far will the team go to save history? Will the ends justify the means? That will be constantly discussed in each episode, and in 2018 we will see which direction the show and character takes.
The show runners and cast are hopeful for multiple seasons in the future.