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Series / Journeyman

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Moon Bloodgood, Kevin McKidd, and Gretchen Egolf.
Canceled NBC series that got a brief run in late 2007. It was about Dan Vasser (Kevin McKidd), an Everyman who goes back in time involuntarily, regularly experiencing Mister Sandman Sequences, to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.

Later in the show, the impact of his travel on his present-day life was essentially the focus of the show, and the actual reasons for the travel into the past were dealt with in each episode as an afterthought (both by the writers and by the main character himself, who often got yelled at by his more experienced companion for inattention to duty).

Not to be confused with The Journeyman Project, a series of point-and-click adventure games which also deal with time travel but are otherwise unrelated.

This show provides examples of:

  • Blessed with Suck: Yay, he can travel through time, helping people! But he can't control it, his wife thinks he's cheating on her, his friends think he's addicted to gambling, and his brother thinks he's a possible criminal.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: When Dan travels back to 1987, his iPhone doesn't work, so he has to break into an apartment and steal a contemporary phone. From himself.
  • Cosmic Plaything
  • Distaff Counterpart: Liv, Dan's ex-fiance who vanished suddenly. He slowly learns she is also bouncing through time, though in her case she moved forward from her home time in the 1940s.
  • The '80s
  • The Everyman: Dan Vassar
  • For Want Of A Nail and In Spite of a Nail: Both apply. Little things Dan does add up—such as saving a woman who is going to be the mother of a gifted surgeon. But on the other hand, he always comes back to his life exactly as he left it. The episode where he accidentally jumpstarts technology (see Timeline-Altering MacGuffin) and erases his son strongly insinuates that whoever is sending him back is also protecting his family from minor alterations.
  • Incredibly Inconvenient Deity: The show hinted that the character's time jumps were for a purpose. They were seriously inconvenient, and he could disappear when driving down the road, end up without clothes in snow, etc. In one particularly inconvenient case, he jumps off a passenger jet mid-flight, which puts him on a watchlist - and the no-fly list.
  • It's A Small Net After All: Varies between being used straight and subverted; Dan gets all the information he needs on his subjects by typing their names into a Brand X version of Google, but somethings he has to narrow down the search four or five times before he gets anything relevant.
  • Meanwhile, in the Futureā€¦
  • Mood Lighting: Just about every time Dan travels to the past, a yellowish filter is used.
  • "Mister Sandman" Sequence: It seems each episode had to have at least one.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Dan seems to assume this applies, later subverted.
  • Newspaper Dating: Once an Episode, more or less.
  • The '90s
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory
  • San Dimas Time: Somewhat subverted considering that Dan doesn't have any control over when he time-travels; however, he is always returned to the present "later" than when he left it, though it doesn't seem to be proportional to how long he was "gone."
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Whole premise of the show.
  • The '70s
  • This Is My Boomstick: Subverted; Dan's iPhone doesn't work in the past, though it still looks awfully weird in 1987.
    • Causes a Stable Time Loop where, while he's in the past and his 2007 cell phone doesn't work, he breaks into his past-self's apartment and steals the charger for an older model phone - now he knows he didn't "lose" it back then.
  • Timeline-Altering MacGuffin: Dan accidentally leaves a digital camera in the early 1980s, which caused rapid technological progress in his own time, such as holographic monitors and newspapers that play video; also, his son is replaced by a daughter due to a "nanotech accident" causing Dan and his wife not to conceive a child at a specific moment.
  • Time Travel
  • Vertigo Effect: Used very effectively at a climactic point in the story arc. Dan has tried to convince his brother, Jack, that Dan and his supposedly dead ex-fiancée Livia have been moving through time. Jack doesn't believe him—until, across a room, he catches a glimpse of Livia, who's come to him in desperation because Dan is in great danger. Cue contra-zoom on Jack as he realizes all the implications of seeing Livia alive.
  • Victim of the Week
  • What Year Is This?
  • Write Back to the Future: Dan does a version at the end of the pilot; burying his wedding ring beneath their patio in the past before the concrete was poured, then smashing the patio to dig it up in the present - thus proving to his wife that he's actually traveling in time.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: "Game Three"