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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Complete Series


Starring: Kevin McKidd, Brian Howe, Gretchen Egolf, Moon Bloodgood and Reed Diamond
Mediumrare Entertainment
RRP: £29.99
Certificate: 15
Available 29 April 2013

Newspaper reporter and family man Dan Vassar is happily married to Kate with a young son Zack. Life is pretty good for him, but things are set to change when he inexplicably starts to jump backwards through time. He uses his newfound powers to change the destiny of people he encounters, but sometimes with consequences...

Journeyman is a 2007 American sci-fi show that ran for 13 episodes. The series follows newspaper reporter Dan Vasser (Kevin McKidd) who suddenly begins jumping backwards in time. It soon becomes clear that he has been sent back to change the course of certain individuals. When he's succeeded in changing the path of their future he returns to the present day, but some individuals may require him to return to various points in their past in order to steer them on their new course.

Dan's time travel also impact those close to him (his wife Kate, young son Zack, brother Jack and his Editor), but he can't tell them what is happening as not only would no one believe him, but he's not really sure what's going on himself. As he begins jumping back in time he keeps meeting someone from his past, who also appears to be travelling through time. Is a higher power at play, are Dan's actions for the greater good or for some malevolent force? Dan's not sure but he knows one thing, he can't return to his own time until his latest mission has been complete - and as he never really gets any clue as to what he's supposed to do each journey back to the past brings its own danger.

The person-of-the-week storyline plays second fiddle to Dan's struggle to keep his home life together. With his history of gambling addiction, his wife and brother begin to suspect he may have returned to his old ways - disappearing for days at a time. In addition, a face from his past rekindles an old love that he never found closure on.

As the show progresses a mystery man tries to contact Dan and it's hinted that he knows more than he's letting on about Dan's condition. Sadly the series was cancelled prematurely, although thankfully the creators were given enough warning that they could try and wrap everything up to give the show an ending that kind of feels natural, but with the possibility of opening the door again if the chance arose through a movie or reboot of the TV show. It's a shame that Journeyman wasn't given more of a chance to build on some of the interesting themes it explored, but what we're left with is 13 episodes of pure sci-fi gold.

The show is a little like a more mature version of Quantum Leap, in fact in one episode, in a tongue in cheek moment, one character utters the famous Quantum Leap phrase "Oh, boy!"

Extras include Flash Backwards (1 hr, 15 min, 50 sec a retrospective feature that covers just about everything you could possibly want to know about the show's creation); The Back Nine (19 min, 32 sec look at what the show's creators had planned if the series had continued for the second half of the first season - and where the actors were hoping the show would go); Deleted Scenes (3 min, 39 sec) and Still Gallery (2 min, 10 sec).

It was interesting to learn, on the extras, that the writers strike actually saved the show - that it would have been cancelled a lot earlier, but studios were keeping dying shows alive because it was near impossible to replace them.

It's such a shame when shows like this hit the ground running almost from the start, and yet they get cancelled when other shows are around that take years to get up to speed, and still don't match up to the quality of Journeyman.


Darren Rea

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