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Series / The Ministry of Time

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"You are Spaniards, aren't you? Improvise."
Salvador Martí

El Ministerio del Tiempo (The Ministry of Time, in some places The Department of Time) is a Spanish TV series (2015-2017, 2020-) broadcast by Televisión Española. Initially thought to be a copy of a certain British time travel series, it does deal with time travel but without space travel, aliens or travels to the future. Word of God attributes primary inspiration to Tim Powers' novel The Anubis Gates and Nicholas Meyer's movie Time After Time.

  • It is 1569. Alonso de Entrerríos, a soldier of the Tercios in Flanders, is in prison and facing execution by hanging. His "crime" was attacking his superior after the latter said that the cause of the massive loss of soldiers was the fault of a badly timed attack started by Alonso, when it is actually the superior's fault. The day of his execution, a mysterious man offers him work for the Crown.
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  • It is 1880. Amelia Folch is a young member of Barcelona's bourgeoisie and one of the first female university students in Spain. This has caused her no little grief as most of her family and friends consider her a bit mad. During a class on Lope de Vega, an unknown woman hands her a note. She follows her.
  • It is 2015. Julián Martínez is a Madrid paramedic that has become a bit of a Death Seeker ever since his wife died in a hit and run, and, as such, barely any of his partners want to work with him. During a call to a fire, he enters the building against orders and sees two people dressed in centuries old garb, but the roof comes down on him before he can get out. No one believes him when he reports on what he saw, as there was no one else in the building, and he loses his job.
  • It is 1981. Jesús Méndez, nicknamed "Pacino", is a Madrid police officer chasing a Serial Killer that gruesomely murders single mothers in front of their children. But the killer leaps into a closet and Pacino chases him, unbeknownst to him that he is in the 21st Century. After being arrested as the primary suspect of the killings, he is approached by a man who offers him to find the killer that can vanish through a closet, the same one that caused his father to commit suicide.

These four people from different times are approached by two mysterious individuals who offer them work for something greater. A place that works with the interesting suggestion of what if there were doors that led to past times, and there was a dedicated Ministry in charge of protecting these gates to prevent their misuse by others with an interest in changing history? A place called the Ministry of Time.

This Ministry is a secret organization within the Spanish government created in 1491, after a Jewish rabbi called Abraham Levi told the secret of the doors to Queen Isabella of Castile in exchange for protection for him and his family. The Queen set up a secret office that would protect these gates, but in the end the rabbi ended up being burned alive (although behind the Queen's back). Its existence is only known to a few people from outside (such as the King and the Prime Minister), and civil servants from all times work to ensure the well-being of Spanish history.

Julián, Amelia and Alonso (and later Pacino) become the newest team of the Ministry, taking charge of keeping control of the many, many temporal gates existing in Spain, and to prevent people, both in the past and the present, from using them to profit from the changes in history, among them legendary former agent Lola Mendieta, who was thought to have gone missing years ago, but appears to have her own agenda...

So far, there has been a first season (eight episodes, aired in 2015), a second season (thirteen episodes, aired between February and May 2016 with a two-week midseason break), a third season (thirteen episodes, on air since June 2017) and a fourth season (eight episodes, aired in 2020).

It has also spawned at least one local version (Ministério do Tempo, for Portugal, with a first season aired in 2017) and other countries are starting their own versions. A Ukrainian version is in production with its release date unknown. Also, Netflix signed a deal with TVE in 2017 to broadcast the series internationally, and helped finance the third season. However, the deal expired in February 2020, and the series made the jump to HBO in April of the same year, and they will also get to stream each episode of season 4 right after TVE premieres it. The first two seasons were originally broadcast only under the Spanish title, and when Netflix got involved to continue producing the show it was gifted an English name, subtitles, and international audience.

This series has examples of:

  • '20s Bob Haircut: Amelia wears a bob wig when she travels to The Roaring '20s in episode 8.
  • Aborted Arc: The vortex that drags a Ministry agent into a time door at the beginning of season 3 is never explained or at least further elaborated upon.
  • Absentee Actor:
    • Julián had to be written out of the first half of the second season because Rodolfo Sancho was busy filming Mar de plástico.
    • It has also been confirmed that Aura Garrido will miss several episodes of the third season due to other commitments in the United States.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Alonso keeps mispronouncing Pacino's nickname as "Chapino", which sounds similar to 'chapín', the Spanish name for chopines. Alonso actually asks him if he was a shoemaker because of this.
  • Accidental Pervert: In Episode 17, Velázquez and Irene are attacked with sleep-inducing gas. The next morning his head is between her legs when they wake.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Julián lying about his name being Curro Jiménez in the 19th century tavern is an echo to Sancho Gracia's — Rodolfo Sancho's late father — immortal eponymous bandolero.
    • Alonso states that he dislikes hospitals. One of Nacho Fresneda's previous roles was as a doctor in Hospital Central.
    • Julián could swear that he met Queen Isabel before. He did, when he played her husband, Fernando II of Aragon, in Isabel.
    • When a bunch of Moorish bowmen attack El Cid's patrol and the Ministry's team, Spinola shouts "Yippie-kai-yay, hideputas'', medieval Spanish version of John McClane's Catchphrase. Ramón Langa, who plays Spinola, is Bruce Willis' official Spanish voice actor.
    • Gil Pérez's favorite movie is "El Crack" (1981). Miguel Rellán, who portrays Pérez, also has a role there.
    • Episode 12's mission is to save an ancestor of Adolfo Suárez, who was Rodolfo Sancho's godfather.
    • When they are in a spiritism session, the spiritist looks at Amelia and mentions her "aura". The actress who plays Amelia is called Aura Garrido.
    • Pacino telling Julián that they couldn't have met before because "when I came, you had already left" is also true of both actors' TV debut in the long running 1990s teen series, Al Salir de Clase.
    • According to the ID cards given to him to help him settle in the 21st century, Alonso's mother's surname is Fresneda, Nacho Fresneda's own surname. Similarly, a diploma reveals Salvador (Jaime Blanch)'s mother's surname is Blanch.
    • Elena Castillo, played by Susana Córdoba, was born in Córdoba.
    • Irene says that the Ministry's scheme to destroy Lombardi's TV program eight years before resulted in the largest rating share of a José Luis Garci film ever. Irene's actress used to be Garci's girlfriend.
    • Between the second and third seasons, Cayetana Guillén Cuervo took part in the first Celebrity edition of MasterChef, and became notorious for cutting herself in almost every challenge. On the season 3 premiere, her character, Irene, appeared with her fingers bandaged, and explained that she had cut herself cooking a gazpacho.
    • In "El cisma del tiempo", Alonso, Lola and Pacino travel by train from Madrid to Peñíscola, and Lola asks Pacino if he liked the movie they saw during the travel, Witching & Bitching. Hugo Silva (Pacino) had a main role in that film.
    • "Entre dos tiempos" plays fast and hard with this trope, being that its first half is a love story to Spanish television.
      • Luis Larrodera, who plays Ureña, was the host for the 2004 revival of Un, dos, tres, one of the most famous shows of Spanish television, created by Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, who also created "Historias para no dormir", whose original run nearly gets replaced by 1960s!El Ministerio del Tiempo.
      • 1960s!Amelia and Julián's actors are Cayetana Guillén Cuervo (Irene)'s parents, while Alonso's is Jaime Blanch (Salvador).
    • In Episode 35, Pacino mentions his similarity to a character from Los Hombres de Paco... a character played by Hugo Silva, who also plays Pacino.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Irene in Episode 7.
    • Angustias in Episode 12.
    • Velázquez and the Security Clerk in Episode 13.
    • Velázquez again in Episode 17.
  • The Ageless: Subverted. Time travelers age all the same, but they can be mistaken as not aging by people that don't know better. In Episode 11, Alonso is recognized in 1604 by a retired soldier that fought alongside him 35 years earlier. The man concludes that Alonso's lack of aging must be the result of witchcraft. Lope de Vega compliments Amelia in the same episode, claiming that she has not aged a day since 1588. Amelia herself notes that Gil Pérez has not aged either, but he clarifies that he used another door.
    • Episode 28 has a hilarious scene when 61-year-old Luis Buñuel realizes that Alonso is the same man that punched him when he was 24.
  • All Part of the Show: Ortigosa's wedding guests mistake the time-travelling Don Fadrique and his guard for the actors playing the castle's legend.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: A group of Nazi soldiers manages to take over the Ministry in 2015. They are thwarted by the well-timed entrance of General Spinola's troops.
  • Alternate History: Episode 19, "Time of the Occult", is the first time where this happens, but it seems to be just a few cosmetic changes. Then comes Episode 21, "Change of Time", and Philip II completely changes history, openly using the Ministry to ensure the Spanish Empire remains together and pretty much unchanged (and demonstrating why the Ministry should not be used to change history).
  • Ambiguous Disorder: The more is seen of Amelia's housekeeper Enriqueta, the more clear it is that something is just not quite right in her head... and it will only get worse in time.
  • Anachronism Stew: Well, of course. A laptop being used in 1588 Lisbon or a motorcycle running around the fields of Castile in 1491 is not typical. Lampshaded by Julián in Episode 2.
    Julián: I know this is a strange question in 1588, but does your mercy have a personal computer?
    • Standard agent kits include a modern handgun and a cell phone that can call to the present, regardless of the era (as long as the agent using the phone is within Spanish territory, as revealed in episode 3).
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: This exchange from the first episode which doubles as Hilarious in Hindsight when Americans using a time machine appear later in the series.
    Julián: Right. So the time machine exists, and it is Spanish.
    Salvador: How could the time machine exist? Please, don't be silly. The time machine doesn't exist. What does exist, is the time doors.
    • The present is our present, because there are no doors leading into the future. Therefore, the series' logic accepts time travel to the past but not to the future (after the current year).
    • In episode 14, Pacino states that he does not believe in spiritism. Amelia points out that a month before, he would not have believed in time-traveling.
  • Arc Words: "Poor little old woman..." from the song that Enriqueta keeps listening to on Episode 18. It's the same song she sings to herself sadly seconds before deliberately poisoning herself in prison and subsequently dying.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil:
    • In Episode 1, Alonso's aristocratic superior tries to pin his own failure as a tactician on him, then orders his execution when Alonso furiously strikes back at him.
    • In Episode 2, Salvador goes as far as wishing they'd never recruitted aristocrats because "they only think about themselves". Bizarrely, he quips this after meeting the Marquis of Ensenada, whose modern image is mostly positive.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • Cardinal Cisneros appears next to Queen Isabel in 1491. TVE has acknowledged that it is an anachronism because Cisneros was not in the Castilian Court until one year later, and was not made Cardinal until 1507, long after Isabel's death.
      • While the actor is the same that played Cisneros in the series Isabel (Eusebio Poncela), he seems to be way older, closer to what he looked like in the sequel Carlos, Rey Emperador which was set 12 to 24 years later depending on the episode. It's likely that Poncela shot his scene between takes of the second series.
    • The Spanish Inquisition was actually less harsh than depicted here. Only unrepentant defendants would in fact be sentenced to death. This issue never even comes up at the trial shown, but it would be the key one for real Inquisition tribunals. In any case, Torquemada definitely would never dare ignore an edict from the Pope or the Queen. He also wasn't bent on sending an accused to the stake as shown here.
    • Episode 6's time door is in a confession booth... even though confession booths had not been invented yet in 1520.
    • The tag at the beginning of Episode 9 identifies the location of El Cid as "Valencia, year 1079". However, El Cid did not go east until the following year, and arrived in the Valencia region for the first time around 1087.
    • Episode 12 has Pacino going undercover as a priest and being horrified when he realizes that he has to say mass and he has no idea about how it is done. He manages in the end, but nobody finds strange the fact that he says mass in Spanish even though Catholic mass was still said in Latin in 1808.
    • Constanza and Don Fadrique's wedding in 1212 begins in Latin, but switches to Spanish later on. We probably can attribute this to Translation Convention.
    • The Loarre castle crew speaks Spanish in the 11th century, when Aragonese would be appropriate.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: In-Universe, in episode 13, when Susana Torres argues that they could cure Irene's flu with antibiotics, the doctor has to point out that antibiotics do nothing on viruses.
  • As Himself: Jordi Hurtado, the TV host who is known in Spain for keeping the same appearance since 1997. And again in Chapter 21.
    • Episode 1 had Real Life Alcázar brothers, the heavy metal guys that Thibaud and the afrancesado meet in 21st century Madrid.
    • MasterChef judge Pepe Rodríguez making a hilarious cameo on Episode 20.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: As director of operations, Ernesto proves himself as a scarily competent field agent.
  • The Atoner: The Marquis of Comillas, a Self-Made Man who went from poverty to become the richest man in Spain in 1881, kickstarted his fortune by trading slaves in the 1850s. He is involved in multiple philanthropy projects in his time purely out of guilt.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Columbus when Julián shoots him with a handgun full of blanks.
  • Badass Boast: Lope de Vega has one that he uses against Julián, saying that he has fought many times in many places and wishes not to harm him. Unfortunately, Julián has a better one.
    Julián: Yes, but you have never been at the Carabanchel billiards.
    Julián uses his head for a One-Hit KO
    • Torquemada in episode 4:
    Torquemada: You aren't the one to decide who burns in Hell!
    Julián: Well, are you?
    Torquemada: No, I just decide who burns here!
    • In episode 9, Ambrogio Spinola tries to use one in an attempt to make Amelia back down, but Amelia easily reasserts herself as patrol leader by using his history against him.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: A staple of the series, since the characters are all civil servants with little to no weapon or hand-to-hand fighting training, and even so they are more than able to kick serious ass.
    Irene: We are civil servants, not superheroes.
  • Badass Mustache: Alonso and Pacino
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot:
    • In episode 22, Pacino is cornered by one of the Soviet spies he has been dealing with for most of the episode and his girlfriend Marta has been revealed to be working with. When the spy is ordered by Marta to kill Pacino, a gunshot is heard... and the spy falls down to the floor to reveal Alonso has just shot him dead from behind.
    • In episode 23, Ernesto and the young Lola Mendieta have been captured by Nazi soldiers and seem to be about to face a death by firing squad. The camera focuses on them, blindfolded and with their hands tied. Gunshots start to be heard, but neither of them is hit. It's then revealed that Salvador has sent some gunmen of his own to mow down the Nazis.
    • In episode 27, Alonso, Amelia and Pacino are captured by three masked gunmen of the "Sons of Padilla" conspiracy. Alonso defiantly yells at them to shoot already, and one of them prepares to do just that... when suddenly another one turns around and shoots their two companions, saving the patrol. The rogue assailant is then revealed to be Lola Mendieta, whom Salvador had sent to infiltrate the society.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: In Episode 2, Julián knocks Alonso out with a chair. To avoid problems from the surrounding soldiers, who are menacingly staring at him, Julián offers them money to get Alonso on his ship.
    • In Episode 19, the team convinces the La Rábida monks to let them take Lombardi away by saying he is a heretic.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Alonso wishes several times for the time when the King ruled and when women were less complicated. Come chapter 21, and he realizes that it is not all cracked up as he thought.
  • The Beard: When Amelia's parents tell her they know something weird is going on, she tells them that she has a boyfriend. Julián, after some convincing, decides to become this for Amelia.
  • Bearer of Bad News: The novice nun in Episode 12.
  • Been There, Shaped History: The protagonists - and even more secondary the characters - happen to have important (and not-so-important) roles in the history of Spain.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Aside from many historic characters who are revealed to be agents of the Ministry in this series, Joaquín Argamasilla was really an Esper and Harry Houdini was a Reality Warper.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: The Darrow agent the patrol captures in Episode 17 prefers the rapid death of a shot in the heart to the slow death of cancer caused by the time tunnel the company uses.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Spinola and his troops in episode 3.
  • The Board Game: The series have a board game
  • Bookends: Episode 7 has Irene's flashback when she was about to jump from a building's attic to end her miserable life until Armando Leiva told her to join the Ministry. Armando now an Ax-Crazy Fallen Hero/Tragic Villain holds Nuria, Irene's wife, with a rope to her neck in the same place to make her suffer for betraying him, but after he caused enough emotional damage to Irene it's Leiva the one who jumps to commit suicide.
    • The series begins with Julián crying and holding a dying Maite in his arms. The series ends with, among other things, Julián smiling and holding his living wife as they check on their unborn child.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Lola kills the Darrow Ltd CEO.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: In episode 13, while investigating the Schäuble laboratory, Amelia and Pacino have to drag one security guard they knocked out moments earlier so that they can bypass the fingerprint scanner that opens the door of the room that contains the virus samples. As mentioned, it's a downplayed example because this instance doesn't involve killing or maiming the guard.
  • Bottle Episode: Episode 13 is set mostly within the Ministry HQ.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Pacino's unsubtle Take That! to Sony's defense of Timeless.
    Pacino: It is clear that no idea is original. Well... some ideas are more original than others.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Alonso is compared to Diego Alatriste several times in episode 1. When, in episode 2, it becomes inconvenient for Alonso to use his name, Julián presents him as Diego Alatriste.
    • In Episode 1, Juilán tells Alonso and Amelia they should see Terminator. A trailer for the second season shows their (and Velázquez's) reactions to the end of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which, at the beginning of episode 9, they tell Julián about: they prefer 2 to 1.
    • In Episode 1, the 1808 agent is angry because the higher-ups have cut-off his Christmas bonus. In Episode 13, the clerk watching the gates asks if they will be given back their Christmas bonusnote 
    • At the beginning of Episode 12, Pacino explains to Alonso that he does not take confession because he feels it is weird to tell your secrets to a guy in a long dress. For this episode's mission, he has to disguise himself as a priest and absolve several characters when they confess to him.
    • During their first mission together in episode 11, Alonso accidentally called Pacino "Chapino". When they meet again in episode 22, Alonso calls him this again.
  • ...But He Sounds Handsome: In Episode 17, Velázquez loves to talk a lot about himself and his paintings (Justified, as he is in a time long after his historical death).
  • Butterfly of Doom: The idea is referenced by Salvador Martí and Ernesto.
    • Salvador points this out to Julián, to show him the consequences changing the past can have: had he saved Maite, he would not have joined the Ministry, and then all the good he has done would have been undone.
    • After Pacino stops Morán's father from killing his wife, adult Morán's murders are undone - and Salvador points out to him that all of the unorphaned kids' lives have completely changed, and they cannot know what will happen to them.
    • Episode 23 has Salvador discussing the idea when he notices Lola Mendieta's interactions with William Martin are not in her past — at least the way he knew it —, and if the Nazis kill her, all the missions the future Lola did for the Ministry would have to be redone. The line had also been quoted on the season 3 trailers.
    The simple wingbeat of a butterfly can change the world. Fucking butterfly.
  • Call-Back:
    • In episode 9, when Julián comes back from the mental hospital, he salutes Alonso the same way the latter did in Episode 1.
    • In Episode 12, Ernesto refuses to tell his time of origin to Pacino.
    • In Episode 13, Amelia repeats Salvador's "We are Spaniards, no? Improvise!" from Episode 1.
    • In Episode 15, Julián carries the photo of his mysterious future... past... wedding to Amelia, while Amelia reads the file on the mission they did in Episode 2 and reminisces about it.
    • In Episode 16, Alonso frees himself using a trick learned from Houdini (whom he met in Episode 14) and Julián says that he has seen Pacino's face somewhere, in reference to their run-in in Episode 15. Also, when Julián mentions to Pacino that he thinks Serpico is a great movie, Pacino comments "Finally someone who has seen it!", a reference to his aggravation when no one seemed to know it in episode 10.
    • In Episode 18, Alonso tells Julián that they met Lope de Vega a second time and he immediately asks Amelia about him.
    • In Episode 19, Amelia calls the modern handgun "a little arquebus", the same words used by the shocked goons in Episode 6. This is followed by Alonso firing his own gun to scare the two side enemies, just like he did in that same other episode. This is also used in chapter 21.
    • Episode 28 recalls the time Alonso punched Buñuel twenty episodes before.
  • Captain Obvious: Irene in episode 7 when she hears automatic weapons in the 1843 Ministry. Strange that Julián, who was there with her, didn't lampshade it.
    Irene: Machine guns, they were not invented in this time.
    • Amelia in episode 13, when Pacino and her have infiltrated the Schäuble building in search for the Spanish flu virus samples the company has taken from the Ministry:
    Pacino: Alright, now it's your turn. What do we do?
    Amelia: Find the virus and destroy it.
    Pacino: Yeah, sure, but how?
  • Cassandra Truth: In Baler, Julián's fruitless attempt to warn the Lieutenant about an imminent ambush.
    • In Episode 19, Sebastián Lombardi, who once talked about the Ministry on TV, but the Ministry managed to make it look like he was crazy. He becomes obsessed with proving he was right.
  • Casting Gag:
    • Jimmy Shaw's character Walcott most likely gets his name from the similarly villainous character Patrick Walcott from fellow RTVE series Águila Roja, in which Shaw played the pirate Richard Blake.
    • Queen Isabel is played by Michelle Jenner, as in RTVE production Isabel. It gives an opportunity to some fun, as Rodolfo Sancho, who plays Julián, was King Fernando in the same series.
    • Eusebio Poncela also reprises his role as cardinal Cisneros like in the eponymous series.
    • Famed quiz show host Jordi Hurtado showed up As Himself in the season 1 finale, being revealed as a Ministry worker. The gag here comes from the fact that Hurtado has hosted Saber y ganar since 1997 without appearing to having aged much, and so he's jokingly thought to be immortal. This one transcended the series in the spring of 2016 when Hurtado was forced to take a hiatus from Saber y ganar for the first time in the show's two-decade run to recover from minor surgery: in the first episode where he wasn't hosting, he phoned in and humorously told his Temporary Substitute Luis Larrodera that he had been injured on a Ministry mission.
    • Being El Cid is not Sergio Peris Mencheta's first time as a medieval general: he had already played Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, El Gran Capitán, in Isabel.
    • Pacino isn't Hugo Silva's first time as a Cowboy Cop Chick Magnet either: he also played one such agent, Lucas Fernández, in Los hombres de Paco.
    • Royal Bratty Teenage Daughter Isabel II is played by the same actress that played Royal Bratty Teenage Daughter Juana la Beltraneja in Isabel.
    • The beggar in La Rábida 1485 has also been in Isabel and Águila Roja. Lampshaded by Sonia, who does a Shout-Out to both series.
    • Putting Luis Larrodera as the man who almost gets "Historias para no dormir" off the network in 1966 is hilarious when you remember he was the host at the 2004 revival of Un, dos, tres, a game show also created by Narciso Ibáñez Serrador.
  • Celebrity Paradox: The second season establishes Isabel as fictional in-universe, yet in the first season, Queen Isabella of Castile was played by the same actress starring in it. Not to mention that the actor playing Fernando of Aragon is the same person playing Julián.
  • Chekhov's Gag: On episode 24, Pacino has to excuse himself and find somewhere to go to the toilet right after arriving in the time of the mission. This is the result of a stomach illness that forces him to boil all the water he drinks, which prevents him from getting poisoned with mandrake like Amelia and Alonso, who end up Brainwashed and Crazy and joining the townspeople in an aquelarre.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The map to the Indian restaurant in Episode 19.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Early in episode 1, Salvador Martí mentions that Alonso is very good with weapons, being able to learn how to use modern guns rapidly. Comes in handy to kill the Napoleonic Thibaud who is not as good with modern weapons.
    • When Amelia is recruited in Episode 1, she had just had a discussion with her college teacher over whether Lope de Vega's work was influenced by the earlier work Orlando Furioso. In Episode 2, she recognizes Lope de Vega because he is quoting Orlando Furioso.
    • Alonso is amazed when he first sees a motorcycle in Episode 1, and is seen playing with a motorcycle arcade at the beginning of Episode 4. He uses a motorcycle to rescue Ernesto from 1491 in that same episode.
    • In chapter 19, the main characters become impervious to history changing because they were traveling when it happened. This allows them to keep their memories after Philip II drastically changes things around while they were on a mission.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Don Fadrique eats Ortigosa's wedding and he loves every second of it (even doing it literally when he picks a ringing cellphone and bites it).
    Don Fadrique: CONS-TAAAAN-ZAAAA!!!!!
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Lola Mendieta, in a mixture with Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!, betrayed the Ministry because she didn't want to save history when that resulted in people's deaths, and later betrayed Darrow Ltd. when she found out that their time machine leaked nuclear radiation to every user, killing all of their minions in the long run.
  • Clear My Name: In episode 10. Upon arriving in the present, Pacino is shocked to find that the police files blame him for the murders he was investigating when he chased the killer through the wardrobe that hid the time door. He is even more determined to catch the murderer after this.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Julián, better exemplified by his extremely short brawl with Lope de Vega.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Alonso feels a bit weirded out when he learns Amelia donated blood to save him.
  • Conservation of Competence: Briefly discussed in episode 5, when Julián tells Alonso modern warfare doesn't involve as many open field battles as he remembers:
    Alonso: [That explains] we are no longer an empire. We always had great soldiers and awful bosses.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • In the eyes of Argamasilla, the fact that Pacino, Alonso and Amelia are going to New York in the same ship as him.
    • Irene meets adult Julia in the same day that the Vampiress travels with infant Julia to the future.
  • Cowboy Cop: Alonso and Julián have different shades of it (first is too eager to jump into combat, second is too eager to disobey rules). Pacino, as an actual cop in the 1980s underworld, is both this and Rabid Cop.
  • Creator Cameo: Javier Olivares (co-creator) and Marc Vigil (director) appear as former Subsecretaries of the Ministry. Javier Olivares also appears in the tie-in comic Tiempo al Tiempo.
  • Cultural Translation: The Portuguese remake (Ministério do Tempo) is virtually identical in terms of characters, sets and plots to the original series, but it changes the Ministry's location to Lisbon, makes it Portuguese, and all the missions related to preserving Spanish history are now about preserving Portuguese history.
    • Amélia Carvalho is a female college student in 1894 Coimbra.
    • Afonso is a soldier in King John III's Decadent Court, victim of a political intrigue.
    • Tiago (Julián) is a Lisbon paramedic.
    • Júlio Mendes "Pacino" is an agent of the Portuguese Judicial Police.
    • The Ministry was founded by King John II.
    • The Ministry's sketcher is Nuno Gonçalves (and the second door Tiago crosses leads to his painting of the Saint Vincent Panels).
    • "Time is what it is" is about ensuring a Portuguese victory at Aljubarrota.note 
    • The first door crossed by Tiago in the same episode leads to the building of Évora's roman temple.
    • "Time of Glory" is about ensuring Camoes safe passage to India.
    • "How Time is Rewritten" is about a meeting between Salazar and Hitler.
    • "Any Past Time" is about recovering the original manuscript of Pessoa's Mensagem.
    • "Time of Rascals" is about rescuing Gil Vicente.
    • "Time of Vengeance" is about saving Philippa of Lancaster.
    • "Time of Legend" is about Gonçalo Mendes da Maia, "O Lidador".
    • In "The Time on his Hands", the broadcast cluing Pacino that he has travelled forward in time is about the Portuguese football team winning Euro 2016.
    • "Time of Maias" (for "Time of Hidalgos") is about saving Eça de Queiroz's As Maias.
    • "Time of Monastery" (for "The Monastery of Time") is about saving the ancestor of one of the leaders of the Carnation Revolution.
    • Because of the impossibility of changing the 1918 date, "A Virus from Another Time" begins with Irene on a mission to save 11-year-old Beatriz Costa's voice, rather than assisting her mother in her birth.
    • "Time of the Brave" is about Tiago being stranded in Timor after the Indonesian invasion.
    • "Time of Oil [Painting]" (for "Oil Over Time") takes place in Lisbon's Ribeira Palace immediately before the 1755 Earthquake.
    • In "Time of the Occult" the Conspiracy Theorist replaces Vasco da Gama instead of Columbus.
    • Columbus (during his time living in Portugal) replaces Agustín de Argüelles's part in "Change of Time." The main plot is mostly the same, but the main characters care a lot more about the fact that Portugal is part of Spain in the altered timeline.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The duel between Sancho, the young sheperd who loves Constanza, and Don Fadrique. The former is untrained and the latter is a master swordsman, so it's easy to guess how this one ended.
  • Dashing Hispanic: Alonso de Entrerríos and Lope de Vega.
    • Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, el Cid Campeador.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lots of characters, specially Julián and Salvador.
  • Dead Star Walking: Antonio Velázquez as the original Cid in the season 2 premiere.
  • Deadly Nosebleed: The Darrow agents suffer this due to their time-traveling system. Walcott dies of terminal cancer caused by the radiation he has accumulated in his career with Darrow.
    • It's foreshadowed in episode 11, when Walcott and Bennet are stopped by Pacino and Alonso.
  • Death Seeker: Julián became one after his wife's death. He (slowly) gets over the problem after joining the Ministry.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Alonso comes from a time when patriotism, honor and respecting the given word were important matters. He is dismayed to learn that Amelia is the team chief, but will defend a woman that he feels is being disrespected.
    • In episode 5, Julián explains the concept of democracy to him. He's not amused by the fact that the people, and not the king, choose their political leaders.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In episode 13, Pacino has to take off his jacket and shirt, wearing only an undershirt. Amelia becomes quite distracted.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Most of Lola's allies are this. Thibaud? He hides her in a closet so he can kill "El Empecinado". Díaz Bueno? He fakes his death and turns into a royal corregidor to take money from the people. Ángel, the coward maqui, is more of a Wild Card that tells the Nazis the secret of the time doors.
  • Driven to Suicide:
  • The Everyman: Julián, the 2010s Audience Surrogate who joins the Ministry out of non-temporal related reasons (grief for his lost wife, versus Alonso being wrongfully sentenced to death by an evil aristocrat and Amelia being constrained by 19th century attitudes to women).
  • Evil Is Hammy:
    Don Fadrique: CONSTANZA!
  • Evil vs. Evil: The Sons of Padilla and the Exterminating Angel are not exactly fond of each other, and on episode 33 both factions end up brawling at the Ministry headquarters. Salvador takes advantage of the fight to set a trap for them.
  • Face Forced Retirement With Dignity: After being dismissed as undersecretary in Episode 12, Salvador declines the offer to join an electric company's board of directors, settling instead for retirement and dropping his privileges. He comes out of retirement two episodes later.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: In the season 3 finale, (young) Lola has infiltrated the 1966 TVE as the secretary to the General Director. She and Pacino sneak into the Director's office to swap the series scripts, then Lola kisses Pacino as they are caught by the security guard. The guard then scolds Pacino for not taking Lola out on a date before doing the deed.
  • Fallen Hero/Face–Heel Turn: Armando Leiva, once a hero of the Ministry, started his path to villainy after Salvador told him they could not heal his son.
  • Fanservice Extra:
    • The curvy inn maid from episode 1. She wears a full cleavage and then she is waiting naked (though we only see her topless) in Alonso's room bed after he saved her from some rude men.
    • The woman in Lope de Vega's flashback in episode 2, where we can see her breast while he fondles her.
    • The woman Irene seduced in episode 5. Irene is seen with a white shirt (hard nipples are seen through the shirt) and very short panties while her lover is fully naked though we see her bare back. Then a Girl-on-Girl Is Hot happens before she returns to the Ministry.
    • In episode 7, the girl Julián hooks up with.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Alonso and Amelia feel this way when they come to 2015. Alonso does begin to learn how to enjoy himself in the present, though - although he still has to make an effort after having to settle in the 20th century.
  • Foreshadowing: Has its own page.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Every historical character has their future mapped and well known. During his Walking the Earth event, Julián feels despair about his inability to change history.
    • Combined with Because Destiny Says So for Amelia, and then subverted: Amelia discovers that she will marry Julián and have a daughter with him (she finds a photo of the three of them), and that she will die in 1885, aged 30. She becomes obsessed with this knowledge, even visiting her own tomb. Then, in episode 16 she sleeps with Pacino and her future changes. Her tomb disappears and so does her daughter from the photo.
  • Foreign Remake: The rights to a remake have been already bought in Portugal and China (a first for a Spanish series). The idea has also been floated in Germany, France, Italy and the USA (the latter being home to controversy when negotiations between the Spanish producer and Sony were halted without explanation, and some time later Timeless was announced).
  • Freudian Excuse: Morán's explanation of why he kills unmarried mothers in Episode 10.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: For Alonso and Julián in Chapter 21, they have to choose between keeping the new timeline, where both are married to the women they love (but not exactly), or Amelia, their friend who is risking her life in a suicide mission to restore the original timeline. They choose their friend.
  • Friendly Sniper: Alonso, as the expert in weapons, is also one.
  • Fun with Foreign Languages: The first Napoleon-Angustias meeting in "The Monastery of Time" has French, Spanish, Italian, and not much real communication.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    • Ernesto is tasked by Salvador to do something to convince Isabel II not to close the Ministry, as her mother demands. The next scene has him bringing Isabel and her sister to a 3D cinema and treating them to popcorn.
    • Alonso is driving a cart with food when a bunch of French soldiers stop it, intending to steal part of it. Alonso prepares himself to kick some ass... and the next scene shows him being taken in by the French soldiers and imprisoned with the men the patrol was sent to free (which was part of the plan.
    • In the first episode, Irene tells Amelia and Alonso that it is time to show them the 21st century. Cut to all sitting in a car in the middle of the traffic jam, with Irene unleashing a Cluster F-Bomb on another driver.
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: The trope is discussed in the premiere, with Salvador mentioning the threat that someone could "give machine guns to the Romans, or al-Qaeda team up with Boabdil", but it is never played straight.
    • The 2016 Ministry gives communications technology to past ministries and agents, even those that are born and live in other areas, but they don't expand the technology because they are pledged to keep History as it is.
    • In the first episode, Thibaud murders two cops but steals only one handgun when he returns to 1808. Once in his time, he treats the gun as a personal trophy and makes no attempt to have it reverse-engineered. His plan to make Napoleon win is instead to read future History books to learn what strategic decisions will be blunders and avoid them.
    • Finding a cellphone in an archaeological dig and a depiction of a graphics tablet in a 1924 poster trigger missions, but neither are reverse-engineered nor have an impact in the timeline.
    • Episode 21 shows Philip II's Spain taking advantage of this to ensure the Spanish Empire will endure.
  • Godzilla Threshold: When it becomes likely that Spain might enter World War II after Hitler learns of the time gates, Ernesto decides to kill Hitler despite risking to fall in the Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act.
  • Groin Attack: Alonso to Lombardi in Episode 19.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: A few doors always take a person to a certain period of time.
    • One, for example, can take you to the week when Atletico de Madrid won La Liga in 1996.
    • A second one always leads to the same day where Abraham Levi is sentenced to death.
  • Hand Wave: Possibly.
    • In episode 1, the answer to the question "Can we travel to the future?" is simply "No. Time is what it is". After it caused quite a bit of confusion in the audience, episode 2 had a better explanation: all the doors in the Ministry open to past times, and none of them leads to the future.
      • The fact that a door connecting with merely three years before (precisely the day Julian's wife was killed) has been shown makes the dynamics rather fishy, but given that we don't know yet if the doors have been always there or they are created from nothing at some moments, it could be entirely explainable. Whether the future Ministry will have doors which lead to the present day is something we may see in future episodes.
    • Again, in episode 1, a character says that he uses a certain door to watch a certain football match again and again. While this seemed like a Plot Hole, given that the Ministry doors operate in San Dimas Time, episode 4 clarified that a few doors are trapped in a Groundhog Day like situation, and people that go through them will only be once in the period of time behind that door, no matter how many times they travel.
    • In Season 2, a new door is found (inside the Ministry, no less) leading to the events of Season 1.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Rogelio Buendía in episode 9, combined with You Will Be Beethoven. After accidentally getting El Cid killed in 1079 while he filmed him fighting, he took over his life, spending twenty years without seeing his family and playing someone he is not, even dying when the historical Cid did. And, according to his wife, he was a much better husband that the original Cid was.
    • In episode 23, William Martin sacrifices himself to ensure the success of Operation Mincemeat, which requires a corpse.
  • Hero of Another Story: The increasingly referenced agent Ortigosa. He debuts in Episode 8 as a Ministry's contact in 1924, which seems to be his home year given that he claims to be a 1924 gardener first and that the Ministry job is just a way to get extra cash at the end of the month. He appears again in the prologue to Episode 9 as Rogelio Buendía's companion in a mission to the Middle Ages, implying that he later moved to 1960 when 1960 was the "current" year and became a time patroller. Then he is mentioned in Episode 17 again, implying that he moved again forward, to 2016, and is now the leader of his own patrol, which is regarded by Salvador as the modern Ministry's second best after Amelia's. Unfortunately, he is unavailable because he is off to secure a trade mission with the Phoenicians. Episode 20 takes place in the backdrop of Ortigosa's wedding with Natalia, a nurse in the 2016 Ministry's medical service.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Alonso proves to be a very talented classical theatre actor.
    • Enriqueta has no trouble adjusting to life in the future even years after she goes mad.
  • Historical Domain Character: Given that this is based on the idea of travelling in time... in fact, they have so many that we gave it its own page.
  • Historical In-Joke:
    • Many historical characters were employed by the Ministry at some point.
    • When Velázquez painted himself in Las Meninas, he depicted himself with a Santiago Cross on his chest, an honor he did not receive until three years after the painting was completed. In episode 3, Salvador tells him that he knows he used a door to find out the truth. Velázquez also mentions The Surrender of Breda.
    • In episode 6, Amelia convinces Lázaro to get his adventures written down. In the end, Lázaro talks with a friend monk, who offers to write what he can tell, and the two of them conclude that it will have to be done anonymously. In Real Life, no one knows who wrote the book (El Lazarillo de Tormes).
    • The first episode shows that there is a time door leading right to the place and time in which Las Meninas was painted, likely the one through which Velázquez was recruited. This door is the door that appears in the painting itself.
    • In Episode 2, Salvador remarks that Philip II's reign was a golden age for the Ministry - "Maybe the only one". Many would say the same about the history of Spain itself.
    • The Ministry's agent in the 1588-1604 period (at least) is named Gil Pérez.
  • Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: Doubly Subverted. The Ministry's original mission in 1940 is not to kill Hitler (they have to preserve history, after all), but after complications arise Ernesto decides that it is the lesser of two evils and prepares to poison him. In the last moment, the mission is saved and Hitler is spared, technically adding another failed attempt on his life to his belt.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Angustias in Episode 12.
  • Hopeless War: The two-parter "Time of the Brave" sees Julián at the tail end of the Spanish-American War, ending with him at the church of Baler, where a platoon of Spanish soldiers holed up and continued the fight for a year without realizing (or their lieutenant not believing) that the war had ended.
  • How We Got Here: "Deshaciendo el tiempo" begins with the Ministry burning, and nearly all the agents dead, save for Pacino and Carolina. Most of the episode is about how this was caused by Pacino's attempts to change the past.
  • Hypocrite: Susana Torres criticizes Salvador's sentimentalism... and in her first full episode risks a pandemic because Irene (her lover) got infected with the Spanish flu. She also criticizes his use of the time doors for personal needs, yet takes Irene on a date to 2002. She also intends to fire Ernesto for letting Dr Vargas, who had sold Spanish flu samples to a pharmaceutical company, go, but it turns out she is all too willing to sell the Ministry to Darrow Ltd. for a load of cash.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: On episode 25, Alonso is overwhelmed by the many things in the age they have been sent to for the mission that he can't understand. When Pacino offers him a small cup of wine, he immediately downs it.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: Invoked by Amelia when she tells Lázaro de Tormes that his adventures would make for a great novel.
  • Identical Grandson: There is an impressive similarity between Tomás de Torquemada and Ernesto, so much that Amelia, Julián and Alonso suspect there is something going on. Turns out that Ernesto is Torquemada's father.
    • Maite's (Julian's wife) mother is played by the same actress as Maite (Mar Ulldemolins).
  • Identical Stranger: At an anti-eviction protest, Alonso meets a lawyer named Elena, who looks exactly like his wife Blanca (both are obviously played by the same actress, Susana Córdoba).
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The title of every episode includes the word tiempo ("time").
  • Idiot Ball: Lombardi would never have gone as far as he did if the Ministry had not breached its usual procedure and assigned an agent to either guard the door leading to 1485 La Rábida, or kept an eye on Christopher Columbus during the time before he was granted money to sail his trip west.
  • Improvised Weapon: While trying to fight off the Soviet agent in Episode 22, Pacino grabs a nearby shovel and hits him with it.
  • I'm Mr. [Future Pop Culture Reference]:
    • In episode 1, when he has to register in a 1808 inn, Julián gives his name as Curro Jiménez (the main character of another Spanish TV series, an outlaw that fought the invading Napoleonic armies). It is also a tribute to the actor's father, Sancho Gracia, who was Curro Jiménez on that series and died on 2012.
    • In episode 18, when they pretend to be Portuguese, Julián introduces himself and Alonso as "We're Cristiano and Ronaldo", and then Amelia as "Ronaldihna Da Silva Mourinho". All of them are names of famous football players (Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldihno) or coaches (Mourinho).
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Armando Leiva has grown an unstoppable cough during his imprisonment in 1053 and the chances of surviving are almost futile. When Irene visits him, she offers medicine to her former mentor out of pity.
  • Indy Ploy: Lampshaded by the Ministry subsecretary.
    Salvador Martí: We are Spaniards, no? Improvise!
  • Informed Flaw: Julián is alleged to have self-destructive tendencies, but this is only showcased in the first episode, when he enters a building on fire, and never seems to affect his behavior afterwards.
    • Given that the psych report was written by Salvador himself, he might have just made it up to force Julián into the Ministry. Later episodes show that he can send you to a Medieval prison without trial, so who knows how much he can get away with.
  • In the Past, Everyone Will Be Famous: If the mission of the episode does not involve meeting a famous historical character, the team will (almost) always run into one by accident, like El Empecinado in Episode 1 or Lázaro de Tormes in Episode 6 (who is discovered to have been a real person by the characters).
  • Irony: Armando saved Irene from killing herself. When they meet again in episode 7, in the same place where they first met, Armando kills himself.
  • It's Personal: Irene, when she has to go after her former mentor, and knowing he has taken her wife to the place where they met.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: As put by Salvador, "Enterríos' method never fails" in episode 18.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Not much of a jerkass, at most an opportunist, but Doctor Vargas in episode 13 explains why he sold the blood samples: while people like him, who have risked their lives for years to keep Spain's history safe, only earn a pittance and will gain little more upon retirement, people like Susana Torres will earn a lot of money and have a large retirement pension when they're barely able of understanding what's really going on.
  • Kangaroo Court: The Inquisition's trial against Rabbi Abraham Levi. The accuser can only "prove" that Levi insulted Torquemada, the defender says that they have to condemn all the guilty, and the judge (Torquemada himself) will not settle for anything but condemning Levi to death by burning. The only way they can save the rabbi is by replacing Torquemada with Ernesto.
  • Kicked Upstairs: The team doesn't want to get Velázquez in harm's way when a confrontation with Darrow seems imminent, but he stubbornly refuses to be left behind. They only make him cave in when they name him "communications chief" (which he, being from the 17th century, doesn't actually know much about).
  • Killed Off for Real: Julián in Episode 22, due to the mounting problems posed by the actor's schedule in other shows.
  • Kiss-Kiss-Slap: Pacino kisses Amelia towards the end of episode 13, earning himself a smack across the face for it.
  • Large Ham: Even if Julián is usually the Deadpan Snarker of the group, he isn't afraid of unleashing The Hog when required. He does so twice: on episode 6, when he disguised himself as a preacher to save Lázaro by calling upon God's wrath on the true culprit, and on episode 20, when he pretends to be a demon to scare Don Fadrique and his men out of the present.
    • Tomás de Torquemada, who decides who burns HERE!
    • Goodness gracious with Antonio Lancha in episode 8 chewing the scene of his play at the Residence, with decibelies Up to Eleven.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The superior who got Alonso sentenced to death (see above) is left to die in his place when Ernesto recruits the soldier for the Ministry.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall / Self-Deprecation: In episode 9, Salvador tells Ernesto about the things that could happen if the secret of the Ministry is ever revealed to the public, including the possibility of "some absurd television series about this Ministry" being made.
    • In the same episode, Spinola is heard muttering "Fucking Olivares" when remembering the Count-Duke of Olivares... which could also be taken as a barb against the series' creators, Javier and Pablo Olivares.
    • Episode 19 leans on the wall by showing photographs made by fans of the series in front of the Ministry's "official" door.
    • The Grand Finale decided to wreck the fourth wall by imagining how a 1966 version of El Ministerio del Tiempo would look like, with the main characters named after... the series' main characters.
      Salvador: This isn't a matter of taste. It's a shitty show, period.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Julián when he was a Death Seeker.
    • Alonso charging against the two hidalgos in episode 6.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Every one seen so far.
  • Literal Metaphor: In 1808, a maid Alonso has just saved from two French soldiers offers him Rescue Sex. She asks him how long has it been since he last was in bed with a woman, and he replies "Centuries". Which is technically correct since he was recruited in 1569, and he had a wife who was pregnant by then (but the latter part isn't revealed until the next episode).
  • Lost in Translation: Plenty. The pun on the title is just the beginning ("Ministry" and "Mistery" sound almost the same in Spanish; it is easy to imagine this pun being the thing that inspired the series in the first place). The plot is full of references to particular events of Spanish History and pop culture that are not familiar to most non-Spaniards.
    • The episode called El Monasterio del Tiempo is a direct pun that swaps only two letters from the series' title, with both words being almost identical in sound. In the English translation, it doesn't work as Ministry is far more different to Monastery and both words have their accents in different syllables. It doesn't work in the Portuguese adaptation either, as Mosteiro is also too different from Ministerio.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Inverted. Alonso discovers that the young man that bears his name and is set to travel in the Spanish Armada is his son.
    • The Reveal of Ernesto. He tells Torquemada that he is Pedro Fernández de Torquemada, his father.
    • Ernesto discovers that he has another child, this one in modern times.
  • Magic from Technology:
    • Invoked by Levi when he reveals the time doors to Queen Isabel. "Science before its time is always called magic."
    • Exploited by Alonso when he pretends to be a demon to scare a couple of university students in 1520. All he does is shouting and shooting a handgun in the air.
    • Exploited repeatedly by Julián, who seems to love the idea of tricking Medieval Morons with guns and explosives.
  • Magicians Are Wizards: Houdini is revealed to have supernatural powers for real, among them the capacity of going back in time.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: What the villains seek to do.
  • Manly Gay: Marshal Ney in Episode 12.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Played with quite a bit in Episode 14, which is called "Time Of Magic" after all. At the end, seems that the first option was true.
  • Meanwhile, in the Future…: The present is our own, and even the employees of the past ministries are aware of it. Time travelers use phones to call their colleagues in the present in real time and missions are watched from the present at the same "time" as they unfold in the past. We can assume that new doors open or are discovered as "current" time progresses.
  • Meat-O-Vision: Invoked in Episode 16, when Alonso mistakes Julián's use of modern slang for a cheat sheet (chuleta, lit. "steak") and believes that he has gone mad from hunger.
  • Mega-Corp: Darrow Ltd., an American company that permits time travels... and steal works of art. They're after the Ministry in 2016.
  • The Men in Black: Irene and Ernesto rock the look and attitude in the first episode.
  • Meta Twist: Normally, when Ernesto asks for the patrol, he receives a call from them. however, in "spell time" they do not.
  • McGuffin: In episode 22, Pacino, avowed film enthusiast, explains this to Amelia and Alonso. Hilariously, Hitchcock himself becomes the McGuffin in this episode.
  • Mercy Lead: In exchange of her aid in episode 6, Lola gets half an hour.
  • Miss Fanservice:
    • Irene in Season 1. She cedes the spotlight to Susana in the first half of Season 2. Not that it matters a lot, because they are a couple. Lampshaded on episode 14, when Argamasilla uses his X-Ray Vision to see Irene's body through her clothes:
    Irene: You like what you see?
    • Elena Castillo in the second half of Season 2, in stark contrast to her 16th century doppelganger. She has a lingerie scene in Episode 19.
  • Mission Briefing: Most episodes feature one.
  • Mistaken for Afterlife:
    • One of the 1520 university students that steal a time door in Episode 6 believes that it is a gateway to Hell, thanks to a well-timed encounter with Ministry agents dressed as devils for Carnival.
    • Don Fadrique's guards think the same of the time door in his castle, while Don Fadrique himself is not quite sure of what it is.
  • The Mole:
    • Irene was one in Leiva's group, helping Salvador stop his coup attempt.
    • The Ministry has one in Season 2, who is tipping off Susana Torres. It's Irene, too.
    • Susana Torres is one for Darrow Ltd. She briefly becomes a Mole in Charge before being ousted from the Ministry for good.
  • Mood Whiplash: Episode 11, "Time of Hidalgos", is a fairly funny one, with Amelia and Alonso driving Cervantes mad with their antics at the theater rehearsals, but when the King orders all theaters closed, it turns to Cervantes attempting to commit suicide.
    • Episode 17, "Óleo sobre tiempo", has Philip V, whose madness episodes can be quite fun... until the scene that shows he is a broken man, controlled by his wife and unable to gain some happiness.
    • Episode 19 is a supremely silly comedy episode... until Sonia runs into two deadly serious assassins tasked with finding and murdering Columbus.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: Amelia and Alonso are surprised by all the things from the 21st century... at least, at the beginning.
    • By Season 2, they have learned enough to amaze other people, such as Spinola when Alonso shows him a fire lighter in Episode 9 or Pacino when they lecture him about USBs and computers in Episode 11.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • How do you get DNA samples of a guy that has been dead for nearly a thousand years? Use a time door that takes you to when he was a kid and get one of his baby teeth.
    • Francisco Franco's Body Doubles: great for tricking and cornering would-be murderers, even better for skipping all those boring receptions to go hunting.
  • Mysterious Past: Ernesto. Not even he remembers where he comes from... or at least that's what he says. See The Reveal for the answer.
  • Naïve Everygirl: Amelia. Justified because of her upbringing. Julián calls her out for this after she sleeps with Lope de Vega.
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Christopher Columbus introducing himself in episode 19.
    • Bennett quotes the line in 1924 New York City.
  • The Napoleon: Franco in episode 3.
  • National Stereotypes:
    • The arrogant, money-driven, always scheming Americans of Darrow Ltd., who create plenty of trouble including to themselves.
    • The Argentinian Lombardi is a self-aggrandized man who never shuts up and thinks that the whole world is against him. And naturally, he swears on Diago Armando Maradona.
    • While pretending to be Portuguese in Episode 19, the patrollers claim to be traveling merchants of cod and towels.
  • Neutral Female: Subverted in Episode 2. Amelia doesn't fight her attackers harder because she realizes that it is all an act staged by Lope to seduce her. It works all the same.
    • Elena when she is abducted in Episode 20.
  • Never My Fault: Susana Torres is all too ready to blame the nurse that accidentally spread the Spanish Flu virus for the entire mess, when it was her that clearly went against procedures and the warnings of the Ministry's doctor to bring an ill Irene back.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Irene out of pity offers medicine to her former mentor Armando Leiva during his imprisonment in The Middle Ages. If she thought she could redeem him, she was proved wrong as Leiva fakes his death and becomes an Ax-Crazy inside the Ministry.
    • It then turns out that Salvador was the one that gave him what he needed to fake his death.
    • Susana Torres' attempt to save Irene from dying of Spanish flu nearly causes an epidemic.
    • After Amelia fires Enriqueta for stealing, Enriqueta discovers the Ministry... and that she will become a Serial Killer.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Two time-traveling Americans buy Don Quixote's original manuscript before Cervantes sends it to the printer. After Amelia, Alonso and Pacino arrange things to get him to rewrite the book, Cervantes cannot remember the name of the town he had put in the original version... and he hits on the name of which I don't want to recall.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In the season 3 premiere, Pacino beats down a Soviet spy badly enough to scare Amelia out of the room.
  • No Name Given: Until Episode 13, the Security Clerk was just credited as El Bedel ("The Clerk"). In an example of Hypocritical Humor, Angustias scolds Pacino for not knowing the Clerk's name, before finally identifying him as Germán.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: A motto of the Ministry is "no agent gets left behind". Susana Torres takes it too literally in Episode 13, bringing an infected Irene back to the headquarters against the doctor's advice and laying the foundation for the Spanish Flu crisis that is the main plot of the episode.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. Irene gives Amelia a tampon and mentions that traveling in time always throws off her period. Amelia was too embarrassed to ask, being from a more reserved era.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent:
    • Andalusians Diego Velázquez (from Seville) and Pablo Picasso (from Malaga) both speak with a Madrid (central) accent instead of their respective Southern accents. Ditto for main character Alonso, who's from Seville too.
    • Averted for most of the Catalan characters. They even say a word in Catalan now and then.
    Amelia's father (after hearing his daughter's supposed fiancé's moving speech about love and loss): "Collons!"
    • Also averted for the Andalusian poet Federico García Lorca, who does speak with a Southern accent. It seems that accents are only used in characters born from the Modern Age onwards (apart from Picasso), while Translation Convention applies for older periods.
    • Alonso's lack of Sevillian accent is lampshaded by Elena Castillo the mysterious modern activist that looks just like his late wife in Episode 17 but is not elaborated on. Meanwhile, Velázquez's accent slips sometimes, implying that he changed it when he moved to Madrid when he was 12 years old.
    • Subverted with William Martin in episode 23. Despite being born in England, his mother was Andalusian, and he has been living in Punta Umbría for enough time to "get perfectly adapted", as other character puts it, which explains why he has Andalusian accent instead of an English one.
    • Columbus has no trace of a foreign accent in 1485, despite having just arrived in Spain. This might be actually a reference to real-world conspiracy theories about Columbus's place of birth, which are addressed elsewhere in the episode.
  • Not So Different: Salvador reveals to Julián that he, too, considered changing the past to save his wife, but he never did it.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Alonso and Spinola fight in El Cid's last battle, in a type of war they are not used to, and they come out of it with just a few bruises.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Episode 12
      • Pacino when he realizes Marshal Ney is coming on to him.
      • Amelia and Pacino after Angustias tells them she convinced Napoleon to free the prisoners... after the two of them managed to get them to escape.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: A dramatic version in Pacino's first reaction to Morán disappearing in the wardrobe. The reason why the situation was familiar to him is explained later in the episode.
    Pacino: Not again, fuck. Not the same thing again, damn it.
  • Older and Wiser: Lope de Vega in his second appearance in the series, in episode 11 (the action in this case is set in 1604, nearly two decades after the events of episode 2, in 1588).
  • Older Than They Look: Most characters, since they are from different ages, will joke about it.
    Angustias: I joined the Ministry after my husband died in the war.
    Julián: The Civil War?
    Angustias: I wish! The War of Cuba!
  • Only a Flesh Wound/Hollywood Healing: Alonso is able to get back on his feet barely a few hours after being shot in the abdomen.
  • Only One Me Allowed Right Now: Some doors work in this way, running on a "Groundhog Day" Loop. If you enter it at the beginning of the day, what the previous you has done before is erased.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Lorca and Dalí in episode 8. Both start with Andalusian and Catalan accents but they lose them on the way.
    • Episode 14 takes place in New York: Most of the American characters slip back to Spanish accent in a couple of words, specially when pronouncing "Argamasilla". The most surprising fact, however, is that Amelia speaks a pretty good British-accented English, which is uncommon even for a 19th Century Spanish mid-upper class girl.
  • The Paragon Always Rebels: Lola Mendieta is described as one of the best former agents of the Ministry.
    • Armando Leiva too. All because he wanted to save his sickened son.
    • This never stops. Now it's Irene Larra the rebel against the Ministry.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": When Argamasilla has to go to a speakeasy, the password, obviously, is Swordfish.
  • Predestination Paradox: In episode 5, when the Ministry has to fake the bill that secured Spain's ownership of the Guernica, Amelia wonders if the receipt actually ever existed.
    • In episode 6, Julián wonders whether El Lazarillo de Tormes would have existed if him and Amelia had not given Lázaro the idea of getting it written down.
  • The Peninsular War: The first episode takes place in the early stages of this, as Thibaud, a Frenchman, aided by an afrancesado (a Spaniard who sided with the French in the war), attempts to take advantage of learning about the future to give victory to the Napoleonic troops.
    • Episode 12, too, happens at its beginning, as the Ministry must replace the Tordesillas' monastery's Abbess to convince Napoleon to let three men accused of spying go.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Both Salvador and Ernesto, with the first one leaning more into The Comically Serious territory.
  • Pet the Dog: Napoleon in Episode 12. He treats Angustias (disguised as the Abbess) very nicely, volunteers to help her cook dinner and in the end agrees to not only free the prisoners, but bring much needed money for the abbey instead of taking it.
  • Portal Door: Each of the doors of time leads to a different place and age.
  • Power Walk: About once every two episodes, with the patrol showing off their clothing for the mission.
    • Alonso and Elena in Episode, even though the poor woman barely understands what is going on.
  • Precision F-Strike: Hitler in episode 3 (translated from German).
    Hitler: I'd rather cut off my penis than see this guy again.
    • Menéndez Pidal to Charlton Heston in episode 9:
    Menéndez Pidal: The only relationship between them is the letter C. Of Cid, of Christopher, of Columbus and of how much of a cunt you have to be to ask those questions.
    • Lola in episode 17 while she holds a gun in front of the Darrow boss, ready to shoot him dead:
    Lola: You were the liar, you son of a bitch...
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Julián flees the Ministry to help the Spanish soldiers in the Cuban War in Episode 9.
      • The radio show actually shows that Julián had Salvador's permission.
    • Per his own request, Pacino is reassigned to the 1981 Ministry in Episode 16.
  • Real-Life Relative: Jan Fresneda, Nacho Fresneda's (Alonso) son, appears twice in the series. The first, Alonso's son as a pre-teen in "Tiempo de gloria", and the second as Alonso's younger self in "Deshaciendo el tiempo".
  • Reality Ensues:
    • One-Man Army Alonso decides to take on a group of mutinied Napoleonic soldiers. He is arrested and thrown into jail. Subverted in that being captured was part of the plan.
    • Fitting the very comedic tone of the episode, the patrol makes an impromptu, cliche-ridden attempt to pass themselves as Portuguese merchants when they are dealing with Columbus. Columbus, who has resided in Portugal for many years, is not fooled in the less.
  • Really Gets Around: Lope de Vega, who pretty much jumps on every pretty woman he finds. Truth in Television, because he had many lovers and bastard children around.
    • Irene Larra somehow manages to penetrate inside women's minds and find their inner lesbian.
    • Angustias' husband, who had three wives in different time periods.
    • Pacino in the 21st century. Lampshaded by his roommate, Alonso:
    Alonso: You like fornication more than Lope de Vega did.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Salvador Martí. He is willing to give his agents some leeway, but he has no problem in chewing them out if they screw up.
  • Recognition Failure: Played for laughs in "The Monastery of Time" (where else). After Pacino gets bothered by Amelia's seemingly complete knowledge of Spanish History, he asks her about several celebrities and pop culture characters from the mid-20th century onwards just to show that she doesn't know everything. Irene later mentions Andrés Iniesta in passing and neither, of course, have any idea who she is talking about.
  • Red Herring: Lola Mendieta, specially in episode 8 even if she is a recurring antagonist.
  • Red Shirt:
    • The 1844 Ministry Guards in Episode 7. They probably hired Spínola's men as security because so many of them died. Their Red Shirt nature is made even more obvious in the scene where Leiva kills three of them with one shot each, but only injures and imprisons Alonso, despite having the same relationship with him (i.e., none).
    • In Episode 13, six employees catch the Spanish Flu: Irene, Alonso, Velázquez, María Pita, the Clerk and a male nurse. The nurse is the only one to die, while the Clerk is ascended to named character: Germán.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Lola Mendieta tells Amelia that this is the reason why she deserted, because she believes the Ministry should be doing its best to fix history and help people, instead of just keeping history as it is.
  • Regional Riff: The accordion that accompanies Marshal Ney.
  • The Remnant: The Spanish soldiers in Baler, known as "Los Últimos de Filipinas" ("The Last Ones of Philippines").
  • Rescue Sex:
    • In Episode 1, Alonso helps an inn maid that has been assaulted by one of the French soldiers in the tavern. The girl rewards him with a night of sex — and later her help is useful to deal with the Frenchmen.
    • Subverted in Episode 2, where Lope de Vega stages such scenarios to sleep with women, but Amelia sees through his ruse. Double subverted as she sleeps with him anyway.
  • Ret-Gone: Implied with Amelia's future daughter, who vanishes from her family photo with Julián after she sleeps with Pacino. This also might mean her granddaughter Silvia, seen in the season 1 finale, may never be born either. However, in Season 4, the photo is restored, meaning there might yet be a chance for them.
  • The Reveal:
    • Ernesto is Tomás de Torquemada's father.
    • In episode 5: The United States have (or will have) access to some form of nuclear-powered time travel.
      • This time travel method is in private hands, not the government's. Further episodes present the company as Darrow Ltd.
    • Episode 8 is almost a Wham Episode. First, it's Irene the one who was sending very personal photos to the Trio in envelopes and it was Salvador who helped Leiva to escape.
      • And, of course, Silvia being Amelia's granddaughter
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Lope de Vega in episode 2, even when it is not the best moment. Of course, when Julián does it, he lampshades it.
  • Riddle for the Ages: The Ministry workers say there are two. The first is that no one knows where in time does Ernesto come from. He turns out to be Torquemada's father. The second one is why Alfredo Di Stefano played for Real Madrid when it was F. C. Barcelona that signed him up.
  • Ripple Effect Indicator:
    • In episode 11, after the Americans escape with the manuscript of Don Quixote, Alonso's copy of the book starts fading away.
    • In episode 25, someone inflicts several cuts on Goya's painting "La maja desnuda" in 1799 attempting to destroy it... and the stabs are reflected in the painting in the present at Museo del Prado.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory:
    • Pacino's nightmares about the suicide of his father even though he avoided it by way of preventing Morán from becoming a Serial Killer.
    • In Episode 19, after Lombardi changes the past to make himself the discoverer of America, Alonso, Amelia and Julián are the only ones who remember the truth.
    • In Episode 21, Alonso, Amelia and Julián keep their memories again, but this time the King and his main advisor remember the true history, too.
  • The Roaring '20s: The team has to travel to the 1920s to prevent Joaquín Argamasilla from revealing the truth about the Ministry to J Edgar Hoover.
  • Rock Beats Laser: The "security staff" of the Ministry mentioned by Martí is apparently composed by the historic Army of Flanders, or alternatively, rugged guys with daggers and arquebuses who are perfectly able to overpower a platoon of 1940's Nazis.
  • Running Gag:
    • Alonso always crosses himself whenever he enters a time door.
      • Spínola also does the same.
    • Salvador and Velázquez's Straight Man-Bunny-Ears Lawyer clashes.
    • Somewhat happens with Lola's allies. Most are Heel–Face Turn to her because of their greed and cowardice.
    • The best agent always rebels. First Lola, then Leiva and next Irene.
    • The cuts to the Ministry's budget affect operations at every level.
    Carrasco: They are cutting our Christmas' bonus?!
    • In Episode 9, people from the past ask what DNA is.
    • In Episode 12, the unnamed third prisoner keeps repeating "we are gonna die! we are gonna die!" When they are freed, it's "we are not gonna die! we are not gonna die!"
    • Pacino getting annoyed when neither Amelia nor Alonso — who come from, respectively, one and four centuries before Pacino's own time — understand his cultural references.
  • San Dimas Time: Most doors run on this, so any time spent in the past is time that passes in the present.
    • Best seen in episode 7, where the action runs parallel on the 1844 and 2015 Ministries at the same time.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!:
    • In Episode 11, the team has to prevent Miguel de Cervantes' play "The Argel Baths"'s premiere - which historically was never performed. Eventually, as he sees Cervantes' despair over the wrong turns in the rehearsals, Alonso decides he cannot further work against Cervantes.
    • Lola's decision to rebel. Napoleon lost the Peninsular War? So what, his brother was a better king than Ferdinand VII. She puts saving lives above preserving History, as seen in the World War II episode.
    • Pacino attempts to change the past in order to save Lola from being captured by Díaz Bueno. This ends up causing too many problems, until Pacino undoes his changes.
  • Self-Deprecation: Among Salvador's stated reasons to preserve the Ministry's secrecy is to prevent that someone makes "a stupid TV series" about it.
  • Serious Business: Any mission can become this. For example, one of Leiva's missions in 2005 seems to be about ensuring the patent of the modern mop remains owned by Manuel Jalón.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The mission of the Ministry, whether it is caused by past-timers seeking the knowledge of the future or future-timers trying to change the past.
    • When Julián asks Salvador Martí why they don't try to use the gates to change the world for the better, the latter replies that trying to change things could cause grave problems, and that what they have is the best possibility out of many bad ones.
    • Episode 21 does this twice: King Philip II changes history in order to make sure the Invincible Armada wins the British Navy and the Spanish Empire keeps growing til 2016, making the current timeline an old-fashioned monarchy. Amelia, Julián and Alonso must make sure things are as they knew, as they're the only ones who know the real history.
  • Ship Tease: Some between Julián and Amelia. It's getting into Because Destiny Says So territory, though. In the last episode of the first season, they discover photographs that portray their wedding back in the 19th century and their daughter.
  • Shout-Out: So many, they're now on their own page.
  • Show Within a Show: On episode 19, it's mentioned that Lombardi used to host a paranormal research TV show called Tiempo de lo Oculto which is revived at the end of the episode, when he agrees to work for the Ministry.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Alonso realizes in episode 2 that, the last time he saw his wife, she wanted to tell him she was pregnant. The boy he meets in the episode, which has his same name, is his son.
  • Space Cold War: According to Word of God, the third season will feature two secret societies of opposite ideologies that have managed to get their hands on the Book of the Doors, and are now fighting across the history of Spain to change it in their favor, with the Ministry in the middle trying to restore normal history.
  • Spanish-American War: Julián takes a solo mission there for several weeks.
  • Spot the Imposter: Amelia does not take long in realizing that El Cid is not the real one, because he speaks of events that only take place in El Cantar de Mío Cid.
  • Springtime for Hitler: In "Tiempo de magia", upon realizing what he really got himself into, Argamasilla tries to deliberately botch his demonstration for Harry Houdini so that the FBI will lose interest in him. Unfortunately, he tries so hard that he picks all the wrong boxes, which, as Amelia points out, had he really been selecting randomly, would have been just as unlikely as picking all the right boxes. Houdini sees right through the ruse and even congratulates him for showing him his powers while hiding them from the press.
  • Squee!: Amelia when she meets Lope de Vega.
  • Stab the Scorpion: In episode 7, when Irene and Julián go to 1844, it appears like Irene is going to shoot Julián, but she actually shoots one of the rebels that was sneaking behind Julián.
  • Stable Time Loop: Several events, both great and small, seem to imply many events of importance are founded on this.
    • In episode 6, Amelia suggests Lázaro to tell someone of his story, saying it would make for a wonderful novel. At the end of the episode, it turns out he did (El Lazarillo de Tormes) - and Julián wonders one thing: would his adventures have been written if they had not read about his adventures?
    • A tragic one discovered in Episode 8: Julián's attempt to save his wife Maite from being run over ended up causing it indirectly, thus prompting his past self into the actions that would allow him to such an attempt.
    • Would El Cantar de Mío Cid have been written if the man that took over his life had not used it as a guide on what to do?
    • Tie-in comic Tiempo al tiempo indicates the reason why Julián was hired for the Ministry was because he saved a young Salvador's life from an attack and told him about what he would do in the future.
  • Start of Darkness: Armando Leiva's was when Salvador told him that they could not save his son.
  • Steampunk: The intro contains a bit of this.
  • Super Cell Reception: Zig-zagged with the Ministry's cellphones. They can call to and from any time period, but only work within Spanish territory, and even then can suffer the same reception issues as regular phones. In episode 3, a 1945 agent mentions that the phones are essentially "props" in the mountains.
  • Tae Kwon Door: There are two instances of doors used in brawls: Julián slamming a bedroom door open in Lope de Vega's face in episode 2, and Alonso doing the same to Dr. Madrigal with the door of his office in episode 18.
  • Temporary Substitute: Pacino replaces Julián in Amelia's team during his absence (see Walking the Earth below). He eventually becomes his full-time substitute after Julián dies at the beginning of season 3.
  • Tempting Fate: Alonso's moment of Misplaced Nationalism in Episode 13. No prize for guessing who was the only member of the main trio that got infected.
    Dr. Vargas: It's a very particular flu that must be treated from its first symptoms.
    Amelia: What's so particular about it?
    Dr. Vargas: It's... Spanish Flu.
    Alonso: If it is Spanish, it cannot be that bad, right?
  • The Needs of the Many: Alonso and Julian's main struggle in Chapter 21. Do they remain in this strange timeline with the women they love - but who do not behave like their real selves - but where democracy does not exist, the Inquisition keeps going and their female friends are discriminated against, or do they help restore the original timeline?
    • In "Deshaciendo el tiempo", Pacino attempts to save Lola (with whom he is involved) from being captured by Díaz Bueno, but as he tries to change things it keeps getting worse until he accepts that it is impossible to get through.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Julián spent some time in psychological treatment between the end of Season 1 and the beginning of Season 2, trying to recover from the shock of trying (and failing) to save his wife.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Enriqueta escapes into the future through Gate 1313.
  • This Is My Boomstick: Used twice by Alonso in Episode 6.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: The enemies in Episode 3.
  • Time-Travelers Are Spies:
  • Time Travelling Lesbians: Irene so bad, who also manages to encourage all the women that join her to show their gay colours.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The effects of time travel vary as needed by the plot:
    • Several times (especially in the first season) they seem to be stable time loops
    • in episode 13 History changes completely
    • Similarly, in episode 27 they manage to make King Alfonso XII never suffer the assassination attempt, with the murderer who was going to finish it disappearing in front of those who were going to stop him and remember what had happened, but now the king is well.
  • Title Drop: Several episodes have one of the characters drop the title.
    Salvador: No. Time is as it is.
    Alonso Jr.: It is time to fight. It is time for glory.
  • Toros y Flamenco: Repeatedly teased and subverted in Episode 13:
    • Irene goes on a mission to help future Flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya. Since the mission is helping her mother birth her, there is no dancing nor reference to it.
    • The team dresses in typical Flamenco garb... for a mission in Seville's Fair, 1991. The release of the Spanish Flu virus in the Ministry prevents them from ever going there.
    • Alonso, who is from Seville but was born centuries before Flamenco was invented, has no idea what the dresses are for.
    • Amelia is surprised to learn that Sevillian dancer figurines are sold as souvenirs in her native Barcelona in modern times.
    • The only time bullfighting is mentioned at all is when Amelia thinks that the "Torete" Pacino mentions once must be a famous bullfighter, but he actually was a common criminal turned actor.
    • Turns up again in Episode 28, when Pacino and Alonso smuggle the Viridiana original out of Spain in a touring troupe of bullfighters (which is Truth in Television). Alonso mistakenly believes that he has to show up dressed in bullfighter garb. He has not.
  • Tragic Bromance: Julián and Lorca. Julián had grown very fond of him that he pities his Truth in Television fate in the Spanish Civil War.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Susana Torres in Episode 12, getting the government to dismiss Salvador Martí. She even uses the "things are going to change around here" on the agents. But not for long, as Salvador is reinstated in episode 14.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Lope de Vega, as he tells Amelia why he was unable to join the San Juan crew. He tells a tale of how a storm impeded his way, but actually he was having sex with a woman.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • In episode 13, one of the nurses taking care of infected Irene absentmindedly scratches the back of his head with his gloves, spreading the infection into the Ministry. He becomes the only casualty of the epidemic.
    • In episode 27, the black servant of the Marquis of Comillas has a breakdown when he discovers that he actually enslaved him as a child and sold out his mother and decides to shoot him. While this would probably trigger a mission, his bad aim makes it worse when he hits Alfonso XII by mistake. On the other hand, he also unwittingly spells doom for the "New Sons of Padilla" trying to kill the king at the same time by sheer coincidence.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: All the old garb (and people) at the Ministry's headquarters.
  • Walking the Earth: Julián starting in Episode 9, realizing that there are hundreds of people in all times that need medical aid.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Amelia's proffessionality is compromised the times she coincides with Lope de Vega.
  • Wedding Episode: Episode 20 takes place in Ortigosa's wedding.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Philip II initially only wanted to ensure the Armada's victory, but then takes over to ensure the Spanish Empire will always be the most powerful, and so that his time's moral remains preserved.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 5: It turns out that, sometime in the future, traveling to the past will be not just possible, but there will be private companies controlling it. One of its workers comes to 1939 and 1981 to destroy any proof that the Spanish government is the owner of the Guernica.
    • Episode 8: Irene was sending photos to the Trio to avenge her mentor Armando Leiva, Salvador helped Leiva to escape, and Julián and Amelia will get married and have children.
    • Episode 12: Salvador Martí is dismissed and replaced with Susana Torres.
    • Episode 17: Features the complete destruction of Darrow Ltd. and the deaths of all their named members: Walcott, Bennett and Ferguson - the last one at the hands of Lola Mendieta no less, after making a deal with the Ministry that she proposed herself.
    • Episode 38: A giant machine resembling a building appears out of nowhere in 1937. An elevator descends from it, and out comes Díaz Bueno, who was supposed to be interned in a psychiatric in 2020, to take Lola hostage.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Episode 3: Amelia discovers that she will die in 1885, leaving behind a husband and daughter.
    • Episode 18: Amelia's tomb has disappeared.
    • Episode 19: And now, the baby has gone missing from the photography she had of herself, Julián and their daughter.
    • Episode 21: Philip II kills Salvador and takes over the Ministry.
    • Episode 22: Season 3 begins with Julián's death.
    • Episode 39: Lola is about to die inside a crazy flying time machine after every other member of the crew has been shot by World War II planes in 1945. In a desperate last action, she sets the machine to travel to a random date well into the future in order to escape.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: A slow burn one, related to how Spain's leaders have normally dealt with its heroes.
    Ambrogio Spínola: Yes, I made the mistake of reading in the books how my life ended, bankrupt and vilified. That is how Spain treats its heroes. That is what I have learnt since I work at the Ministry. Do you know what my last words to my son were? Honor and reputation. I left this world without both things.note 
    • Ernesto, again against Spain:
    Ernesto: What is it about this country that the dumber you are, the higher you get?
    • The Ministry itself does rather questionable things, such as sending people to a Medieval prison for life without a trial.
    • Episode 16 ("Time of the Brave, Part II") has Julián decry the fact that each and every soldier among "los últimos de Filipinas" are poor men that did not have the money to avoid being forced to join the army. In the end, the only man to earn decorations is the surviving officer, who ironically spent most of the time overruling orders and prolonguing everyone else's suffering under the delusion that his side could just not lose.
    • On Episode 19, Salvador reveals that the Ministry rigged the television viewership figures so that Lombardi's show was cancelled and he could not expose them.
  • World War II: The mission in Episode 3 is to stop Spain from joining the Axis, which the Nazis want so as to take control of the time doors.
  • Write Back to the Future:
    • When the team fails to recover the receipt of the "Guernica", they create a new one by getting Picasso's signature in the 1890s, then going to the 1930s to type the receipt and leave it with instructions to be mailed to Irene in 1981.
    • Seeing something strange on Leiva's behavior, the 2005 Angustias sends a fax to her 2015 self (who is terrified to receive it).
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: In Episode 28, Irene is taunted by her pious mother, who points the fact that she looks "like" she has aged ten years after not seeing her for only one, and attributes it to divine retribution for her "pecaminous" lifestile.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • In episode 1, Thibaud kills the Spanish afrancesado as soon as he gets his hands on modern weaponry.
    • In episode 3, Ángel, the Spanish fugitive who was forced to show the time door to the Nazis, is killed as soon as they take Lola Mendieta prisoner.
    • In episode 7, Armando Leiva to the 1844 Ministry agents after they capture Alonso, Amelia and Ernesto.
  • You Will Be Beethoven: In Episode 19, Lombardi (somehow) replaces Columbus as the discoverer of America.
    • In Episode 9, Rogelio Buendía is plainly told by his superior to replace "El Cid" after he has him killed early by accident.
  • Young Future Famous People:
    • The Velázquez who works for the Ministry is still years away from painting Las Meninas. Not that this refrains him from claiming credit for it.
    • The servant girl in the Folchs 1880s home is Enriqueta Martí, 30 years before she became Barcelona's most infamous Serial Killer.
    • Lope de Vega appears first as an unknown 26 year-old soldier in the 1588 Spanish Armada, who has only written some short comedies and comes across more as a fanboy of Orlando Furioso than as a writer in his own right. In the next episode he appears in, set in 1604, he is now a celebrity, but Miguel de Cervantes is not. In the next episode they are in, set in 1605, Lope teases Cervantes about how he will be remembered as the greatest Spanish writer of all time, while Cervantes will be forgotten.
    • In Episode 8, Luis Buñuel appears as a college student who has no interest in filmmaking; similarly young Lorca and Dalí are also present as fellow students. Twenty episodes later, Buñuel appears as a celebrated 61-year-old director, while future singer Miguel Bosé has an unexpected cameo as a 5-year-old kid in one of Buñuel's receptions - due to Bosé's uncle Domingo Dominguín being one of Buñuel's producers.
    • In Episode 13, Irene travels to 1918 to help in the birth of Flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya.
    • In Episode 27, Amelia meets a young Eusebi Güell in 1881, congratulates him on his recent decision to bankroll Antoni Gaudi, and suggests him to "maybe build a park".
    • The season 4 premiere has Irene meet film director Luis García Berlanga before his career began.

Alternative Title(s): El Ministerio Del Tiempo, The Department Of Time


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