Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Timeless

Go To

Main Characters

Lucy Preston

Played by: Abigail Spencer
A history professor; provides the group with her knowledge.
  • Alternate Timeline Ancestry: Played with in the pilot. Lucy continues to exist despite her putative father never meeting her mother, but her sister Amy is erased from existence. This results in Lucy's realization that she and Amy must have had different fathers before the time travel stuff even started.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: In "The Murder of Jesse James", Lucy kills him to make sure he doesn't escape from prison, to keep the timeline intact. The experience traumatized her, later on.
  • Advertisement:
  • Guile Heroine: She's good at using her historical insight to manipulate and persuade historical figures the group encounters.
  • Secret Legacy: In the season 1 finale, it turns out that her entire maternal family are long-time members of Rittenhouse. Since her biological father also comes from such a family, this makes her near royalty in the organization, according to her mother.

Wyatt Logan

Played by: Matt Lanter
A U.S. Army Master Sergeant and Delta Force operative; serves as the muscle for the group.
  • Abusive Parents: His father was abusive and forced him to assist in his crimes; causing Wyatt ran away from home in his late teens.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Towards Lucy in season 2 when it appears she has a romance brewing with Flynn, despite being in a relationship with his resurrected wife Jessica. He gets called out on his jealous attitude due to being a taken man. In Season 2, we also see in flashbacks that he was like this to Jessica when they were married, although it was to abusive standards. He gets better, though.
  • Advertisement:
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Rufus's Sensitive Guy.

Rufus Carlin

Played by: Malcolm Barrett
One of the engineers who developed the Lifeboat; pilots it during missions.
  • Back from the Dead: He's killed in "Chinatown", but brought back to life when Flynn undoes Jessica's resurrection, therefore preventing his death by her later on.
  • Black and Nerdy
  • Nerds Speak Klingon: He's an engineer, loves sci-fi and understands Klingon.
  • Nice Guy
  • Rags to Riches: "Riches" might be overstating it, but he came from a poor, gang-infested neighborhood in Chicago before he was discovered by Connor at a science fair at a young age. As a result, he was able to do actually do something with his life and leave his "poor" life behind.
  • Science Hero
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy to Wyatt's Manly Man.


Garcia Flynn

Played by: Goran Višnjić
The villain of the series; a former NSA agent who steals the Mothership and, along with a group of accomplices, uses it to travel through time and sabotage major historical events.
  • Anti-Villain: He does some atrocious things throughout history, but it's to rid the world of a secret organization that killed his family and continues to control the country.
  • Big Bad: At first, at least, until Rittenhouse takes over that role.
  • Boxed Crook: He spends some time as this for the Lifeboat team in the beginning of Season 2, feeding them information about Rittenhouse, until they break him out and make him an official member of the team.
  • Death Equals Redemption: In the series finale, he uses the upgraded Mothership from the future to travel back in time and kill Jessica, undoing Rufus' death. He then sets the ship to go back to the present, allowing the effects of traveling within your own timeline to kill him, peacefully watching his family have a happy moment together before they had died.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • His true goal is to undo the murders of his wife and daughter.
    • In "Space Race", he does what Wyatt has been wanting to do for his wife since the start of the series and uses his knowledge of the future to undo the death of his older brother, who died of an allergic reaction to a bee sting years before Flynn was born. Why? Because he saw how sad his mother always was because of losing her first child.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Zigzagged in "The Capture of Benedict Arnold, where he is conflicted about killing David Rittenhouse's young son in order to definitively cut off the head of his organization. At first, he is unable to go through with it, but soon musters up the ability to finally do the deed. However, at that point, the boy has run away.
    • Played straight in Party at Castle Varlar, where he tells Lucy that the fact he has to work with Nazis to stop Rittenhouse sickens him, but the ends justify the means.
  • Heel–Face Turn: He officially joins the Lifeboat crew in Season 2.
  • No Place for Me There: He has no intention of going back to his wife and daughter when he's managed to bring them back because of the horrible things he's done in order to make it happen.
  • Politically Correct Villain: In "The Capture of Benedict Arnold" the backward attitudes of the people around him frustrate him - when Lucy (because she's a woman) and Rufus (as a black man) are excluded from an important meeting, he gets angry.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: It's hard to disagree with him about Rittenhouse, but undoing the history of his own country definitely counts as extreme.

Supporting Characters

Connor Mason

Played by: Paterson Joseph
CEO of Mason Industries, the company that created the Lifeboat.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Throughout the first season, he works on behalf of Rittenhouse and pushed Rufus into doing some questionable things. Ultimately, he turns out to be on the side of good and to have been plotting against them.
  • Evil Brit: Subverted; he was secretly working against Rittenhouse the whole time.
  • Riches to Rags: In Season 2, his association with Rittenhouse has resulted in him losing his company and most of his financial assets.
  • Trapped in Villainy: Rittenhouse bailed his company out during a financially difficult time and he's been stuck serving them ever since.

Denise Christopher / Dhriti Siristavana

Played by: Sakina Jaffrey (and Karen David in the past)
A Homeland Security agent and the one in charge of the task force.

Anthony Bruhl

Played by: Matt Frewer
A senior scientist involved in the time machine project; was recruited by Flynn in his war against Rittenhouse.
  • Faked Kidnapping: When Flynn and his team took the Mothership, they pretended to kidnap Anthony at gunpoint to cover up his involvement with them.
  • Shipper on Deck: In his first scene, he is shown to be aware of Rufus' attraction to Jiya and encourages him to try and get closer to her.
  • Token Good Teammate: By far the most moral member of Flynn's team and the one shown to be the most conflicted about the morality of their actions.

Benjamin Cahill

Played by: John Getz
An initially unnamed representative of Rittenhouse.
  • Archnemesis Dad: He is secretly Lucy's biological father.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He returns from prison in "The Miracle of Christmas" at the behest of Agent Christopher to help them find Emma, who by then has taken over Rittenhouse (or rather, what little remains of it) so that they can recover the Mothership and use it to save Lucy, Wyatt, Rufus and Jiya. When Emma asks what they promised him, he simply responds that he's doing it to help save Lucy from her (and to get protection for his teenage son), and that despite everything, he still cares about her.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite all the bad things he'd done for Rittenhouse, he still cares for his family (particularly his children), and agreed to help Agent Christopher because he didn't want Emma to kill Lucy.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers an epic one to Emma in the Grand Finale, when explaining why he agreed to help Agent Christopher save Lucy (along with Wyatt and Rufus), hitting her right where it hurts.
    "It's a family thing, Emma. Something you'll never have or understand."
  • Mouth of Sauron: One of the few members of Rittenhouse shown in the open and the one who speaks for it for most of Season 1.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: In his public life, he is a respected pediatric surgeon.


Played by: Claudia Doumit
A Mason Industries employee who worked on the time machine; becomes Rufus's girlfriend during the first season.
  • Nerds Speak Klingon: She's a scientist and can read and write Klingon, like Rufus.
  • Seers: After travelling with the team in the lifeboat while it's only fitted for three, she becomes able to see the future.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the Season 2 finale, in part due to having to fend for herself in the rough 1880s San Francisco for two years, she becomes tougher than she was before. She proudly declares that she's not the same Jiya she was before. When the gang comes to rescue her, she's seen breaking the hand of a man trying to harass her and warning him to back off.

Amy Preston

Played by: Bailey Noble
Lucy's (half-)sister.
  • Deader Than Dead: In Season 2, Emma mentions that she went on a series of time travels to ensure that Amy would definitely stay non-existent.
  • First-Episode Twist: Her being wiped out of history is revealed almost at the end of the pilot episode.
  • Ret-Gone: Her existence is undone as a result of the events of the group's first travel in time, prompting Lucy to try and restore it.

Clara Preston

Played by: Susanna Thompson
Lucy's mother.
  • Archnemesis Mom: She serves essentially as a Big Bad for Season 2 and is Lucy's mother.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: For Season 2, together with Nicholas Keynes.
  • Evil All Along: In the Season 1 finale, it is revealed that she and her entire family line are long-time members of Rittenhouse.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In spite of their differences in Season 2, she usually does what she can to protect Lucy, though it seems to be in no small part because she's hoping that she will join Rittenhouse.
  • Jealous Parent: She claims as she's dying that she willfully had Amy erased so she could have more time with Lucy.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's difficult to talk about her much without giving away a huge spoiler for Season 1.
  • We Can Rule Together: She desperately hopes for Lucy to join Rittenhouse and embrace her legacy.

Nicholas Keynes

Played by: Michael Rady
A soldier of World War I and the original architect of Rittenhouse's plan to use time travel to alter history for its own benefit. Also Lucy's mother's grandfather.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Together with Clara Preston in Season 2.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: In his first episode in the present, he prints out the entirety of Wikipedia because reading it on a tablet strained his eyes too much and he keeps asking for pickled eggs. He is, however, still valued by the organization as a visionary leader.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: He must have been born in the late 19th century, but spends most of his time in the series in the present.

Emma Whitmore

Played by: Annie Wersching
One of Rittenhouse's most loyal soldiers.
  • Abusive Parents: Had a physically abusive father, and still has the scars to show for it. Her mother eventually took Emma and fled.
  • Dragon Ascendant: In the Season 2 finale, she gets fed up with Clara and Nicholas' insistence on sticking to bloodlines to decide Rittenhouse's leadership and Clara's protection of Lucy and kills Clara and Nicholas. She then intends to assume leadership of Rittenhouse, being the only one left on their side who can pilot the time machines.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: She temporarily joins forces with the Lifeboat team in "Mrs. Sherlock Holmes", in which Rittenhouse tries to prevent American women from being allowed to vote, because she values female independence too highly to let that happen.
  • Evil Redhead: She has red hair and almost exclusively works for bad people.
  • Genius Bruiser: A very competent fighter who also studied at Caltech and is able to pilot the Mothership.
  • Self-Made Woman: She takes pride in making it into Rittenhouse on her own merits rather than relying on family connections; this also makes her resent Lucy, who belongs to one of the organization's most prominent families and is constantly being wooed to join.

Jessica Logan

Played by: Tonya Glanz
Wyatt's wife, who was murdered years ago by an unknown person. In Season 2, her death is undone.
  • Back from the Dead: Her death is undone in "Hollywoodland".
  • The Lost Lenore: For Wyatt, before her murder was undone.
  • The Mole: She was recruited by Rittenhouse when they saved her brother from dying of leukemia in the 1980s.

Historical Characters

John Wilkes Booth

Played by: Kelly Blatz
Appeared in: "The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln"
The assassin who killed Abraham Lincoln in 1865.

Ian Flemming

Played by: Sean Maguire
Appeared in: "Party at Castle Varlar"
A British spy working for MI6 (and future writer of a certain series of spy novels) encountered by the Lifeboat group in Nazi Germany during World War II.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He's a professional, fairly cold-blooded spy, but even he is willing to kill Wernher von Braun because of his involvement in the Blitz bombings on London.
  • Gentleman Snarker:
    Fleming: I swear, you Americans, you couldn't stand out more if you tried!
    Rufus: [steps in holding a gun] Don't move!
    Fleming: [casting a glance at the black man in the middle of Nazi Germany] I stand corrected.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: When the team returns to the present after their encounter with Fleming, it turns out that the mission served as the direct basis for one of his books, Weapon of Choice, which in turn was made into a Bond movie released in 1964.note 

Wernher von Braun

Played by: Christian Oliver
Appeared in: "Party at Castle Varlar"
A German aerospace engineer who helped them develop their rocket weapons. He was later recruited by the Allies and did the same kind of work for the United States.
  • For Science!: His ultimate goal with his work is said to be to eventually take mankind to the moon and he couldn't care less about who he works for to get there. Unfortunately, he also doesn't care about the people his work kills along the way.
  • Karma Houdini: His capture by Fleming and later recruitment by Operation Paperclip is portrayed as this.
  • Lack of Empathy: He admits that he doesn't give the people killed by his work a single thought.

Benedict Arnold

Played by: Curtis Caravaggio
Appeared in: "The Capture of Benedict Arnold"
The American Continental Army commander who became infamous for defecting to the British.

Bass Reeves

Played by: Colman Domingo
Appeared in: "The Murder of Jesse James"
A sheriff in the old West said to have become a major inspiration for The Lone Ranger character.

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow

Played by: Jacqueline Byers (Bonnie) and Sam Stryke (Clyde)
Appeared in: "The Last Ride of Bonnie and Clyde"
A couple of outlaws active in the South during the Depression.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: They're devoted to each other.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Unlike the real Bonnie and Clyde, the Timeless versions are portrayed more sympathetically and avoid hurting innocent bystanders, while the real ones were more homicidal and violent.

David Rittenhouse:

Played by: Armin Shimerman
Appeared in: "The Capture of Benedict Arnold"
A figure from early American history; in the show, however, he was secretly the founder and namesake of Rittenhouse.

Grace Humiston

Played by: Sarah Sokolovic
Appeared in: "Mrs. Sherlock Holmes"
The first female Special Assistant United States Attorney as well as a skilled and observant detective. She helps the Lifeboat team in New York 1919.
  • The Cynic: She's dismissive of the suffragette movement's political activism because she doesn't think such "speeches and marches" will ever produce results. After seeing the reality of the marches up close, she is inspired to join them and becomes a prominent figure in the history of the suffragette movement in the new timeline.
  • Great Detective: Portrayed as such.
  • Self-Made Woman: She worked hard to get to her current position. Unfortunately, this initially makes her less sympathetic towards the suffragette movement, believing that if she could make it into "the boy's club", they can as well.
  • Sherlock Scan: She pulls off a couple of these; once when she assesses Lucy and Wyatt's relationship when they meet and once when she prevents a Rittenhouse sleeper agent from pulling off a murder.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: