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Time Skip / Live-Action TV

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Time Skips in live-action TV.


  • 24: There is a timeskip of anywhere between one and four years between each season.
  • The 100:
    • Three months pass between Season 2 and Season 3. Since the first two seasons took place over the course of just two months, and Season 3 over just one more month, this accounts for a pretty large chunk of the characters' lives since the start of the series. During the time skip, Camp Jaha was renamed Arkadia, Raven's leg condition got worse, Bellamy got a girlfriend, Jasper became an alcoholic, Clarke went native in the woods, several characters joined the Arkadian Guard, and Jaha had his mind linked with A.L.I.E. And there were no less than three Expository Hairstyle Changes.
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    • At the end of season 4 is a six-year skip, due to Praimfaya irradiating the surface. Clarke has had yet another Expository Hairstyle Change, and has become a Parental Substitute for a young Nightblood named Madi. The status of every other character is unknown, though the entrance to the bunker is mentioned to be blocked off by rubble. Notably, this long skip helps to downplay Dawson Casting, as the formerly teen characters are now in their mid-20's.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • Season 3 ends with a six month time skip between its last two scenes, during which Coulson has been replaced as Director and Daisy has gone rogue, setting the stage for Season 4.
    • Earlier, there was a time skip of about a year between seasons 1 and 2, during which Coulson rebuilt SHIELD after the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Also enough time for Skye to take a respectable level in badass from training with May.
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  • Alias: Season two ends with Sydney passing out after a grueling fight, and waking up on the streets of Hong Kong. She calls her boss, and Vaughn soon arrives, telling her she's been missing and presumed dead for two years. Interestingly, over the summer quite a few fans theorized that the time skip wasn't real, and she wasn't talking to the real Vaughn. The following season premiere plays into this, with Sydney not believing Vaughn and beating him up, then getting hit with a tranquilizer dart. She wakes up back in America and discovers she really has lost two years. Oddly, because of how little time passes in between the remaining seasons by the time the series ended the real world's timeline had caught up with that of Alias.
  • 'Allo 'Allo!:
    • After the first seven seasons took place over a few months (most episodes took place immediately after the previous), the series jumped ahead two years for the last two.
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    • Also, the final episode jumped ahead from WWII to a time in the late 80s or early 90s (probably intended to be the actual year it was made) and showed how the characters finished up in old age. This was done deliberately because the creators did not want to continue the series any further.
  • The Americans: It had a mid-episode seven-month time skip where Phillip and Elizabeth are given a brief reprise from their duties.
  • Angel:
    • It had a timeskip of several months where Angel was buried at sea, and Cordelia ascended into heaven.
    • Every single season premiere of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel begins about three months after last season's finale. This is partly because early Buffy would begin around the start of the educational year (August-September ish) and finish at the end (May-June ish). The reasons that summers in Sunnydale and L.A. were very quiet, or that major events in the character's lives (The example above, the time Buffy fled to L.A., the time Buffy was dead for the second time, the time Willow spent in England) took about three months was never explained.
    • There was also a timeskip of 18 months between the last season 7 episode of the Buffy TV show and the first issue of the Buffy season 8 comics.
  • Arrested Development had a five-year timeskip between seasons 3 and 4 (4 being the first Un-Canceled season). The narrative plays with this a bit by jumping around to various points during the five-year gap to show how things ultimately came to a head in the present.
  • Ashes to Ashes (2008): If this show is really happening, and not all in the main character's head, there's been a timeskip of eight years since Life On Mars. In the 'present', Ashes to Ashes starts about one year afterwards.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): The show skipped forward one year during the second season cliffhanger, "Lay Down Your Burdens". For reference, the previous events had taken up only nine months.
  • Being Human (US): Skipped 15 months between the end of season two and the start of season three. It takes that long for Josh and Nora to find a witch that can bring Sally from Limbo and for the vampire situation to get desperate enough that someone digs up Aidan.
  • Blackadder: Edmund Blackadder presumably had to spend a year trapped in a dungeon with a lunatic having a year-long laughing fit in the last episode of season 1.
  • Breaking Bad is known for its five seasons taking place in a very short time span of about two years. There were a few time jumps, though:
    • The first occurs in the second season finale which skips over about five weeks after Walt's surgery, moving things up to when Skyler leaves Walt and the plane crash occurs.
    • A time jump of about 5 months occurs during "Gliding Over All" that is covered in a montage.
    • About 4 months pass during the penultimate episode that chronicles Walt's time in isolation in New Hampshire.
  • Caprica: Would have had one at the beginning of the second season, set five years after the end of the first season.
  • Charmed (1998) had one in the middle of season six, due to Piper's actress, Holly Marie Combs, being pregnant. Piper and Leo had sex in one episode, tying into the Kid from the Future story line currently going on, and then a six-month jump let them abandon the awkward Hide Your Pregnancy tactics that they had been doing up until that point.
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: They skipped eight months in the time it took for a character to enter and exit a closet in a third season episode.
  • Crossing Lines: Six months passes between seasons two and three, between which the team has been dissolved, with most members never to return.
  • CSI NY: Skipped six months between seasons 8 and 9, specifically between most of season 8's finale and the final scene of the episode. Justified Trope, because it took that long before Mac to recover from being shot and get back to work.
  • Dawson's Creek: The series finale skips five years ahead of the 2003 setting to the future of 2008.
  • Desperate Housewives: The fourth season finale ended with a "five years later" jump that saw most of the wives in radically different places in their lives. For instance: glamorous former fashion model Gabrielle Solis is now a frumpy mother of two chubby little girls. And Official Couple Susan Mayer and Mike Delfino apparently are long gone because Susan is now shown with a completely new guy.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Hartnell-era story "The Romans" opens with the TARDIS materialising on the edge of a cliff and about to drop off. We then skip four months later, by which time the crew has brought a villa and is fully immersed in the Roman lifestyle, treating it as a holiday.
    • Implied Trope in the classic series: the Doctor's claimed age generally keeps increasing, from 450 in his second incarnation to 953 in his seventh, with the latter getting external verification. That his age apparently dropped by the new series is one reason he's seen as unreliable. A few places where they are generally considered to lie — although it should be noted that some are very heavily implied in the show itself and others are just easily Fan Wanked into being:
      • "Season 6B", a series of hypothetical adventures following the Second Doctor over a series of hundreds of years, made possible by how much older he is and that he's travelling with an older Jamie when he appears in "The Two Doctors" et al.
      • After "The Deadly Assassin", as well as after "The Invasion of Time", both periods in which the Fourth Doctor was wandering solo. The timeskip after the first is about a year or so due to the fact that he gives his age to Leela in "The Robots of Death" as one year older than he'd given it to Sarah Jane a few stories prior (unless it was a lot longer and the Doctor was knocking off a decade or two to flatter himself in front of her much as he does to impress Romana in "The Ribos Operation"), but "The Invasion of Time" likely has a much longer one. The "The Invasion of Time" timeskip is complicated by the addition of K-9; Expanded Universe material set in this gap usually pairs him with the Robot Dog, suggesting there may even have been an entire incarnation of K-9 that existed in this space.
      • Between "Shada"note  and "The Leisure Hive", between which the Doctor appears noticeably older, drastically changes his style of dress, suddenly starts affecting a more mature and brooding personality, and goes from holidaying (his punting trip in "Shada") to attempting to have a holiday, with the stated justification that he hasn't been on one in ages (possibly a reference to "Shada"'s unaired status). At that time, his companions are a robot and a Time Lady, both of which are as ageless as he is.
      • Between "Time-Flight" and "Arc of Infinity", where the Fifth Doctor is travelling with a Human Alien who may not age at the same rate that people do.
    • Some further skips are implied by adventures the Doctor has apparently been on offscreen — like how the Doctor and Professor Zaroff in "The Underwater Menace" seem to know and recognize each other even though it's only the Second Doctor's third on-screen story, and the unseen Fourth Doctor adventure that led to "The Face of Evil".
    • There are two definite time skips within the 16-year hiatus: one between 1989's "Survival" and the 1996 TV Movie (Ace has gone, the Seventh Doctor has visibly aged, and the TARDIS interior has been remodelled), and one between the movie and 2005's "Rose" (the Time War, which, according to 2013's "The Day of the Doctor", involved an entire incarnation, who died of old age).
    • In the audio drama "Orbis" the Eighth Doctor spends 600 years trapped on the planet Orbis, and claims he doesn't always use the same definition of year.
    • "Last of the Time Lords" takes place one year after the events of "The Sound of Drums", as the audience is first informed by on-screen text at the beginning of the episode.
    • Off-screen due to time travel — in 2011's "The Impossible Astronaut" the Eleventh Doctor claims to be 1,103, even though Amy points out that two months earlier he was 908. Oddly plausible because of the time he apparently spent solo after bringing Amy and Rory home in "The God Complex", but complicated in that this was a future Doctor pulling a ruse to stage his own death with the Teselecta, and producer Steven Moffat's claim that The Doctor can't even keep track of his age anymore.
    • There is then a three-month one between "The Impossible Astronaut" and the following episode, "Day of the Moon", while Amy, Rory, and River find out the extent of the Silence.
    • By "A Town Called Mercy", he's apparently jumped to 1200, again plausible since he's just dropping in on Amy and Rory at this point.
    • There's two pretty massive time skips in "The Time of the Doctor" totaling almost 1,000 years. Left to defend a small town on a human colony world from a plethora of hostile aliens, the Doctor sends Clara home in the TARDIS because the situation is too dangerous. When she returns, 300 years have passed and the Doctor has visibly aged, needing a cane to walk. After she is sent home again, and is later returned, centuries more have passed, and the Doctor is decrepit with age and close to death, having no more regenerations to heal himself.
    • A time skip involving Clara Oswald is also made evident; when she joins the Doctor in "The Bells of Saint John" (broadcast in March 2013), Clara is said to be 24 years old, and working as a nanny, a job she continues to hold until the season finale, "The Name of the Doctor" (broadcast in May 2013). By the time of the very next episode, "The Day of the Doctor" (broadcast in November 2013), some time has clearly passed as she is now an established schoolteacher, acting more mature, and with her nanny days behind her. The very next episode, "The Time of the Doctor", leads directly into the episode "Deep Breath" in which it is established that she is now 27 years old.
    • There's a jump of at least 50-70 years between "The Return of Doctor Mysterio" and "The Pilot", as it's stated that the Doctor has been teaching at the university for at least fifty years by then. There's also a number of jumps during the events of "The Pilot", as it takes place over the span of most of one academic year at the university, starting in the fall and ending in the spring.
    • "The Woman Who Fell to Earth": Most of the episode takes place over the span of one night, with the denouement (involving Grace's funeral, the Doctor finally getting new clothes, and then building a teleporter to send her after the TARDIS) skipping ahead roughly a week.
    • "The Tsuranga Conundrum"'s first scene suggests it's been a while since the main characters left Sheffield at the end of the previous episode.
    • "Demons of the Punjab" also has a skip, since the protagonists have been reunited with the TARDIS and had a couple adventures, including a Noodle Incident involving a "Death Eye Turtle Army" which the Doctor apologized profusely for.
    • By Word of God, "Resolution" takes place "some time" after "The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos", during which time the Doctor has picked up a new scarf.
  • Fargo has a one-year Time Skip in the middle of an episode.
  • Fringe: The fifth season starts with a massive Time Skip to the year 2036, with most of the main characters having been frozen in amber for most of that time.
  • Ghost Whisperer had one immediately after Melinda had her baby, skipping forward to the baby's fifth birthday.
  • Glee: In order to keep the oldest members of the "high school" setting from graduating, season 4 was split into two years. After the winter hiatus, the second half of Season Five featured a time skip several months ahead. The sixth and final season was set after another skip, and the Grand Finale featured a mid-episode skip to 2020 for a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • Halt and Catch Fire: The first season takes place over a period of ten months; "1984", the season finale takes place over a nearly three month period, starting in early December 1983 and ending in early March 1984. The second season starts one year after the events of "1984". Season 3 starts in 1986 and ends in the fall of 1990. The fourth and final season takes place between 1993 and 1994.
  • In Season 3 of Hannibal, three years pass between the episode where Hannibal turns himself in and the one that starts the Tooth Fairy plot. Whether the setting changes from past to present, past to more recent past, or present to future is ambiguous.
  • House has a year pass between seasons seven and eight. In that time, Cuddy resigns as the Dean of Medicine and chief administrator, Foreman takes up her old position, and the rest of the Diagnostics team goes elsewhere (though most of them come back once House starts up the department again).
  • How I Met Your Mother had time skips during the off-season; Ted's narration usually covered it during the first episode, like when Barney learned to walk again, or the Summer of Togetherness. They even had a flashback episode showing little Marvin's conception happened during a hurricane the previous summer.
  • iCarly: Uses timeskips to try and establish that their random Guy of the Week is very important to whichever of Sam and Carly is about to get cheated on by them. Not huge ones, but 3 months such as in iParty With Victorious to establish Carly's relationship with Steven is a long time for a show set in high school.
  • The Last Kingdom had a particularly odd one in the middle of season two, which meant that Æthelflæd somehow remained a teenager for 12 years. Nobody else aged visibly either, but Æthelflæd was specifically stated to have come of age and be ready for marriage shortly before the jump, and then finally got to her wedding 12 years later.
  • Lost:
    • Has undergone a time skip in the major off-island action, which takes place three years after the Oceanic 6 were rescued. Of course, for those on the island, it's only been a few days.
    • Those on the island have caught up, except the people on the island were dislodged from time because of Ben which was eventually fixed by Locke. They landed in 1974. Most of the last 3 years to the islanders were 1974-1977, whereas the Oceanic 6 aged through 2004-2007. Four of the Oceanic 6 were dropped into 1977 upon returning, while the newly crashed people from Ajira Flight 316 remain in 2007 with 'Jacob's nemesis', Ben, Ilana, Sun, Richard Alpert and Frank Lapidus among them. At the start of season six, the DHARMA team, the Oceanic Six and the Ajira islanders are in 2007 thanks to "the incident". Locke is the only character to not age significantly during the timeskip he leaves the islanders' "present" to land three years into the Oceanic 6's "future". Then, in season six (because of the events of the end of season five) there now a "time skip" to an alternate 2004 where Oceanic Flight 815 landed safely in Los Angeles and, among other things, Hurley has good luck. It's... complicated, and going through all the time skips the island goes through in the first half of season five will make this even longer.
  • Mad Men has had a time jump between each season; the longest, between season 1 and 2, was about 15 months and the shortest, between season 6 and 7, is about 2 months.
  • Masters of Sex pulls a truly whiplash-inducing one of these in episode 2x07, "Asterion" — it jumps ahead two full years over the course of the hour, at one point speeding things up as a characters is walking up the stairs: at the bottom, she has one child; by the time it cuts to her at the top, there's a second baby.
  • The Mentalist has a two-year Time Skip in the middle of Season 6, starting from just after Jane kills Red John.
  • Merlin:
    • Skipped a year between season two and three and then another year between three and four.
    • Didn't it skip two years between Season 2 and Season 3? In this case, though, it was justified by plot, as they used the time in-between for Morgana's Face–Heel Turn to cement itself offscreen.
    • About two years passed between seasons 4 and 5, long enough for Morgana and Aithusa, the baby dragon, to get trapped in a pit for a while and for the dragon to get seriously big.
  • A Moody Christmas: As each episode covers one family Christmas, there is a jump of exactly a year between each one.
  • When it was initially a Sequel Series to The Munsters rather than an Alternate Continuity, The Munsters Today established that the monster family from the original 1960's show ended up in the late 80's after accidentally putting themselves in suspended animation for over 20 years.
  • Nashville has one during season three, skipping two months between "Nobody Said It Was Going To Be Easy" and "I'm Coming Home To You" and allowing the plot to catch up with (and the crew to stop hiding) Hayden Panettiere's baby bump; although her pregnancy was incorporated into the show, Panettiere was several months further along than her character Juliette Barnes at the time of production.
  • Once Upon a Time has a one-year time skip half-way through the third season. Doylistically, this was probably so that the show's timeline could at least make a gesture at catching up with child actor Jared Gilmore's real-world aging.
    • There's a skip of an unspecified number of years between Seasons 6 and 7, during which time Henry's grown up and had a child of his own.
  • One Tree Hill: Skipped five years between seasons, allowing the characters to be the same age as the actors portraying them.
  • Parks and Recreation has a three-year skip at the end of the sixth season finale.
  • Power Rangers had two time skips. The first was a thousand years from 2000 (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue) to 3000 (Power Rangers Time Force, although most of the action from that season took place in 2001), and the next season jumped back to 2002). The second was from 2004 (Power Rangers Dino Thunder) to 2025 (Power Rangers S.P.D.), and they again jumped back to the date of broadcast the next season.
  • Revolution: "Clue" has one explicitly occur over the course of 21 days with brief shots of Nora Clayton being tortured. Other than that, it's never stated how much time passes between the episodes. On an interesting side note, Rachel Matheson and Aaron Pittman were going by foot and on horseback from Maryland to Colorado. If they had access to a car, they could have got there in one day and two hours. As it is, they are covering at least 1740 miles, and on foot they would be travelling between 20 and 30 miles each day. Doing the math, you would see that they must have covered a lot of distance already if they got to Colorado on foot after 21 days passed in the episode.
  • Six Feet Under:
    • The series has a time skip of around a year during the first few minutes of the first episode of the third season.
    • A less disorienting time skip of a full year between the Season 4 Premiere (which takes place immediately after the Season 3 finale) and the 2nd episode.
  • Several months pass between seasons eight and nine of Stargate SG-1, during which SG-1 has broken up and its members moved to other projects.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation: Of course, there are the 80 or so years between these two shows. Due to being preserved by Applied Phlebotinum (Scotty) or Negative Space Wedgie (Kirk), they show up in TNG. McCoy, Spock, and Sarek take the long way there; McCoy is an extremely aged human (and as his actor has died, he probably did the same for the same reason), Sarek dies of natural causes, leaving just Spock. Then again, Vulcans and Klingons live a very long time. (That doesn't stop children, however, from growing up at warp nine.)
  • Supernatural:
    • The series has done it at least twice between season finales and premieres. The fourth season premiere began 4 months after the third season finale. The sixth season started a whole year after the fifth season finale.
    • Season 8 starts a year after the end of season 7.
  • Teen Wolf has a four-month timeskip between season 2 and 3, helpfully skipping over the kids summer holidays and allowing many of them to recover from the events of Season 2. There is also going to be a two month timeskip between season 3 and 4, skipping over the winter break.
  • Tracy Beaker Returns: Takes place five years after the end of the first series with Tracy now as a careworker instead of a child in care.
  • True Blood: The third season ends with Sookie being spirited away to the Faerie realm. In the fourth season premiere, she is there for less than an hour before escaping, but due to the funky way time passes there, a year and some odd weeks have passed on Earth, and the first episode largely deals with how everyone in Bon Temps has changed during that time.
  • Ultra Series: The Ultraman series Ultraman Mebius takes place in the same continuity as the original timeline, with all the cast of the original shows except Taro returning.
  • Underbelly: Unlike most episodes of the series, the season 2 finale takes place over 5 years.
  • Weeds:
    • Has a six-month timeskip in season 5 between the fifth and sixth episodes in order to advance Nancy's pregnancy.
    • And again in the seventh season, which is set three years after Nancy was sent to prison for the murder of Pilar.
  • Wonder Woman: Season 1 is set in World War II. Season 2 jumps forward to the 1970s complete with the explanation that Wonder Woman was saving Steve Trevor Sr. in the first season and resumed her job duties with his son, Steve Trevor Jr., from there on. Both father and son were dead ringers for Lyle Waggoner, of course. Wonder Woman is immortal so she just went back home to Paradise Island for a few decades.
  • The X-Files:
    • Probably the least noticeable, this show had roughly a 15 month time skip between its pilot episode and "Deep Throat". Though there are never any dates given in the episode "Deep Throat", the CD-ROM The X-Files: Unrestricted Access puts the episode during August, 1993. The pilot is dated March 6-22, 1992. Since this time skip is never mentioned by the characters and only evidenced in time-stamps and events mentioned in-passing, not many fans even know there is a time-skip, especially evidenced by many fanfics putting Mulder and Scully's meeting date as "September 1993".
    • There was also a three-month time skip at the beginning of season 8 episode "Deadalive", the skip encompassing the time between burying the supposedly dead Mulder and then digging him back up again.


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