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December 19, 2018

One More Time

Timeless takes to the air one more time to tie up loose ends in a “love letter” to the fans who have kept it alive.

Monica Gleberman
  • Paterson Joseph as Connor Mason, Malcolm Barrett as Rufus Carlin, Claudia Doumit as Jiya, Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan

    NBC
  • Abigail Spencer, Malcolm Barrett, Matt Lanter

    NBC
  • NBC
  • NBC
  • NBC

Fans will get to see their favorite time traveling heroes attempt to save history one more time on the small screen in Timeless with a two-hour finale set to air on Thursday, December 20.

The two-part episode is what the cast calls a "love letter" to fans after bringing the show back twice from cancellation.

Although NBC cancelled the series after one season, three days later, following negotiations with Sony Pictures Television it was resurrected and a 10-episode second season ordered.

However, due to low ratings, the show was yet again cancelled with the last episode of the season ending with one character Rufus Carlin (Malcolm Barrett) dead and future doppelgangers Lucy Preston (Abigail Spencer) and Wyatt Logan (Matt Lanter) appearing to help get Rufus back.

With a cliffhanger like that and no future episodes in sight, fans took to social media to organize campaigns which included: two helicopters to fly over San Diego Comic Con with a banner to bring back the show and a billboard in New York City to display their affections.

The public outcry worked and fans (also known as Clockblockers) received news that a two-hour movie was green lit and would bring the group together one last time to tie up some loose ends.

Creator Eric Kripke and stars Barrett, Spencer, and Lanter spoke exclusively with TelevisionAcademy.com on why they all came back, what this two-part episode means to them, and the fans.

After everything you guys have been through with cancellations and renewals what made you come back to portray your characters one more time?

Abigail: It was a pleasure. I felt so honored, I mean we cheated death twice…it has changed me. I feel responsible for the fans and I feel their active presence.

The two-hour movie is a love letter to the fans. Everyone came back, no one had to. But everyone chose to come back to do it for the fans. I also wanted to finish out that arc.

It was such a joy to play Lucy. It's very rare to get an elegant goodbye. We wanted to put a woman on television who did not lead with her sexuality, where her brain was her superpower and her cape was her wit and her wisdom. I had to play that out to the very end.

Matt: I enjoy playing Wyatt and I enjoy being around the people that I work with. I love the character. I tend to kind of have a piece of every character stay with me that I play. You get to know that character and that person. It was not a hard decision for me. We all wanted to do it for the fans.

We wanted to make sure they got proper closure. It wasn't about contracts or if we were coming back but it was more of what could we do to pay the fans back and we got to do it. Like Abigail said, this is a love letter to the fans and we have little secrets in there for our hardcore fans. This is our tip of the hat to them because we have felt the love.

Malcolm: There was absolutely no way I could turn it down. It's probably one of my favorite television characters I have played in my career. I got to be so many different things and have such a great character arc. This character got to say so many cool things and just be smart, have fun, be a hero.

Playing off of his experience and the self-awareness he has is something I couldn't turn down. I had to finish out his story.

Eric, why did you fight so hard to have some sort of resolution to Timeless after it was cancelled the second time?

Eric: We fought so hard because we knew that we were ending on a really upsetting cliffhanger and we wanted to bring some kind of closure to the fans who have given us so much.

I will say that we really fought hard to get a season two. I will say that the movie there was haggling back and forth between NBC and Sony, but from the beginning, everyone was enthusiastic about the idea for this reason. I think everyone just wanted to give some kind of closure to the fans and appreciate the passion.

With social media being such an influencing force in bringing the show back, how do you absorb that?

Eric: I think probably the main reason Timeless has been resurrected as often as it has is because of social media. I think what social media is remarkably good at, at least in terms of fandom is drawing them together, quickly and easily so that they can speak with a much louder voice than they ever had before.

So I think in terms of organizing and sending out airplanes, above Comic Con and just communicating to NBC and Sony, how passionate they are about the show is something that just didn't happen, couldn't have happened in the early days of Supernatural for example.

I'm just amazed and grateful, and I'm always sort of quietly stunned whenever anyone is passionate about anything I do. It's amazing, It's hard to internalize because to have inspired that much passion in people is so rare and it's something I don't take lightly.

Abigail: There are moments that really hit me. We are all just people and we love what we love, we are all trying to pay our bills. I think it's really just welcoming what I do for a living into the tapestry of my every day. This is an interaction and an ongoing conversation. To absorb it you can become overwhelmed so I really just look at with gratitude.

Matt: It's extremely humbling. I've said this before, it's one thing for someone to send a tweet out and not that any tweet is taken for granted, but it's one thing to send the tweet, it's another thing to spend the hard-earned money that you use for your family… I could not be more grateful to be a part of a project that so many people feel that passionate for and to have that type of influence on people's leisure time is really humbling.

I hope these fans, especially the ones that just donated their time and their money to these efforts are satisfied to some degree with it ending. I think they will be. The writers have done a brilliant job.

Malcolm: The fans have a sense of humor and they have an urge to learn about things and talk about things. So for this to be my baptism by fire, with this audience has been amazing. I was new to social media when we first started. It's hard to respond to everything but I see it and I definitely feel it from the fans. I have never experienced anything like it before. It is just love, love from us and love from the fans.

There is a strange parallel between the last season of season two when we see a weathered and hardened future Lucy and Wyatt. Did you relate to them more after going through all of the cancellations and renewals?

Abigail: Well we pick up right where season two ended. So we pick up right there. You really realize that future Lucy and future Wyatt are more of a cautionary tale. So as characters I don't know how much they relate to each other. But it was definitely interesting to play.

Matt: I would say I personally relate more to present day Wyatt. We're a little bit fighters, now a little battle hard. And now that we've gone through two cancellations and pickups and all that sort of stuff,  I guess in small ways, we can relate, but I relate to present day Wyatt a little more.

Eric: Its funny, I don't know if one was easier to write than the other. We always had that card to play. We always knew that you can't travel to your own timeline was a rule that was going to be broken, even in the pilot. There was a scene that ended up on the cutting room floor, where you see that very same future.

Lucy outside the window of her house when she finds out that her sister is gone. It was cut because it was just too early and it's too confusing. But we always knew that future. Lucy was out there and was taking an interest in to what was going on.

Matt, I got a question specifically about a scene from season two from fans. When Lucy and Wyatt get together, they keep it on the quiet side, but when Jessica and Wyatt reunited there is a scene with him laughing and being more vocal about it. Did you feel that was out of character? How did you approach that scene?

Matt: Well, let me address both aspects. I think that specific scene to be honest with you, it was sort of out of character for it. It was a scripted moment having Wyatt and Rufus laugh. It was used to set up Lucy, to oversee it, and for us to connect as an audience with Lucy and her emotions on what she might be feeling in those moments.

So sometimes you have to sacrifice something so you can create a moment for other characters and that was specifically a Lucy moment. But I think that Lucy and Wyatt would want to keep their relationship private because they work together and you wouldn't want your boss knowing. You don't want it to interfere with the work or be perceived that way.

With Jessica I suppose it was different because it was his wife. He has been without her for five years and thought she was dead.

People have connected with Lucy and Wyatt together because that's who we know. So I get why people were rooting for Lucy and Wyatt and didn't like him making the "choice" of Jessica. But I didn't see it as a choice, it was his wife who he gave vows to.

But in the finale, Wyatt's heart has always been with Lucy and always was. I think his brain was him trying to do the right thing. But his heart has always been with Lucy.

Anything you can tell fans about what they will see in this final two episodes?

Abigail: I don't think it's necessarily that we need to save Rufus. I think its clear that we do. I think it's more about how we save Rufus. There were some cool things with open-ended storylines that we address, but how its gets addressed is more of the drama of the finale.

This has been a really special experience. We all wanted to be there so we just couldn't believe it. We had three weeks to do it and said we would give it everything we got. We wanted to send this love letter off to the fans and say thank you.

Matt: Well, I can say that there are scenes between the future us and present us, we go to two different time periods and have more adventures as a team. Like Abigail said there are a bunch of loose ends we tie up and maybe some new ones we create but for the most part I just hope fans will be happy with the end result.

Malcolm: Well they gave away a good line in the trailer [laughs]. But I started thinking and there was really not much they could use that I filmed that wouldn't give away something.

So obviously, Rufus is alive and now it comes down to more chaos. But like everyone said it really is a love letter we have included literal things that fans say in the script and in the episode just to call back to them. I am hoping they will be surprised and delighted with those.

Eric: Nothing you haven't already heard. So I will add that they go to specific time periods and are still chasing Rittenhouse, sleeper agents, the mother ship, and still doing all the things that make a good episode of Timeless. I am really proud of this movie and the work everyone has done.

Fans are going to want a third season, but with the two-part episode do you think that is closed off or there is still a chance?

Abigail: Look anything is possible. Hopefully we get a lot of new people to watch the show with their families. We are on a lot earlier so it would be exciting to see if we gather some more people in front with the earlier timeslot. I mean we didn't even know we would be here today. I feel like 'never say never' but I am grateful for this opportunity. Who knows!

Matt: Well I never thought we would be here. I just know the way for that to even be considered is if fans rally together and watch it live. But its always a possibility.

Malcolm: Would love it, but I hope the fans really like the two part episode. We worked really hard on it and want to make sure we giveback to the fans who have been so encouraging to us.

Eric: I want to be realistic. I don't think the odds are great. I don't want anyone to have false expectations but by the same respect I thought that twice before and came back in, One thing I learned is to never count the show out because the impossible seems to keep happening with this show.

Anything you want to say to the fans?

Abigail: Yes, I have an overwhelming, genuine from my bones thank you. I hope the fans come with us on our future endeavors. We are so grateful to have a relationship with our fans and all I can say is who knows if there will be more Timeless, but thank you.

Matt: Thank you. I have been humbled by this experience and have felt love from the fans the entire time. It's amazing and I don't take any of it for granted. I just want to say thank you and I hope you all enjoy it.

Malcolm: I just want to thank them for their enthusiasm and their encouragement. I am so appreciative of the fact that I was able to be apart of something like this. We are able to relate to each other in terms of my character and it means a lot to me.

Eric: Just thank you, I'm just, I'm incredibly grateful. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be able to do what I do, have a job that I really love. So I would say gratitude first and foremost.

I also would like to say that I don't think just because there might not be another episode on television that the world of Timeless ends. With social media and fandoms it goes on and on forever. To me the best finales don't end the story, they just say to the viewer okay it's time for you to leave this world, but this world is going to keep going on whether you're watching it or not.




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