A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Travelers is a science fiction show where people from the future inhabit the bodies of present-day individuals who have just died in order to prevent the end of life on earth. There are mildly disturbing scenes of people dying before the travelers enter their bodies. The lives they enter aren't perfect: One characters inhabits the body of a junkie, another the body of an abused wife, and another that of a high school bully. The show depicts the harsh realities of these people but through the lens of how the travelers try to improve their hosts lives without blowing their cover. There's a real humanity to the show that offsets some of the darker qualities. Teens with an interest in suspenseful science fiction stories with strong characters and without a lot of future tech will find Travelers an enjoyable watch.
What's the story?
Four people: a single mom, a junkie, a high school athlete, and a janitor with a cognitive disability, all of whom are supposed to die on the same day, have their bodies inhabited by TRAVELERS from the future (led by Will and Grace's Eric McCormack), sent here to prevent the eventual extinction of the human race. In addition to their missions, they also have the challenge of seamlessly integrating into their new hosts' lives without anyone finding out.
Is it any good?
Surprisingly low-key for such a high-concept show, this series offers a good mixture of suspense and personal drama. With five characters to feature, each with different lives and personal problems, as well as a mission of the week to focus on, the scripts do an excellent job juggling the separate elements and keeping all the relationships easy to follow. The wide variety of characters means the show gets to explore many different kinds of stories: young love, marital drama, and family conflict, in addition to the more action-focused plotlines.
Travelers isn't groundbreaking television by any means, but there's a real humanity to the characters that gives it an unexpected gravity. What's particularly refreshing is that even though Travelers takes its premise seriously, it never becomes self-serious, and in this genre that isn't always an easy feat.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about time travel in Travelers. What do you think would be the coolest part of traveling back in time? The hardest?
Imagine it's possible to transfer your mind into another person's body. Would you do it? Is there a specific person or kind of person whose body you'd want to inhabit?
For kids who love science fiction
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