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Trivia / The Ministry of Time

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  • Acting for Two: On episode 4, Juan Gea plays both Ernesto (his usual role) and Tomás de Torquemada. The two characters briefly come face-to-face toward the end of the episode.
  • Fandom Nod: One of the subplots in Episode 19 deals with the ministérico phenomenon, with the famous "gate photos" being mentioned.
  • Fan Community Nickname: "Ministéricos" (portmanteau of "Ministerio" - ministry - and "histéricos" - hysterical).
  • Follow the Leader:
    • In May 2016, NBC introduced during its Upfronts one of its upcoming series, Timeless, which was flat out accused by some Spanish media of being a rip-off. Series co-creator Javier Olivares, who has gained a reputation as a social media Snark Knight, added fuel to the fire by posting a text on his Facebook account in which he explained how both shows "are nothing like each other". In August, the controversy was revived when another Timeless trailer revealed further similarities with the series, and in early September it was revealed that Onza Entertainment and Cliffhanger, the production companies behind El Ministerio del Tiempo, were suing NBC and Sony Pictures for copyright infringement.
    • After the accusations, some people started bashing the producers and Olivares himself for supposedly believing any time travel series was a rip-off of theirs. Cue Olivares revealing that there had been earlier talks with Sony Pictures about a possible American remake, and that the real reason behind the lawsuit was that Sony had had access to all the season 1 scripts before talks were cut short and NBC suspiciously announced Timeless. The lawsuit was settled off court in May 2017, but that wouldn't prevent Olivares from throwing one last jab at Timeless on Twitter when it was cancelled for the second and definitive time in June 2018, sarcastically commenting: "Shame. It was a good idea."
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  • McLeaned: Julián's fate in the season 3 premiere after negotiations to keep Rodolfo Sancho in the cast failed.
  • Only Barely Renewed: Season 3 probably would have never happened had Netflix not stepped in, as creators had already stated that the crew was ready to dismantle the sets if the renovation didn't come soon.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Javier Olivares has stated that Julián's rage for not being able to save his wife and Federico García Lorca was influenced by his own rage for not being able to save his brother (and series co-creator) Pablo Olivares, who had terminal ALS when they were developing the show.
    • The constant mentions of the Ministry undergoing cuts could be made just as well about RTVE's limitations to the series' budget, which is why it can't hire more extras or have prolonged fight scenes.
    • Though the script doesn't mention either, Episode 13 is a brutal hour-long Take That! against former health minister Ana Mato and how she handled the 2014 ebola crisis. To explain: in 2014 a nurse got infected, and the regional Minister of Health made a snarky remark about how the special protective suits weren't that hard to put on (in fact, there are some strict protocols for the process, which the personnel weren't properly taught). Criticism was so huge (even worse, since he was a doctor himself and should know better) that he resigned. Cue an almost identical remark said by Susana Torres in the episode, and a reaction from a doctor and Ernesto.
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    • The Olivares brothers are (were, in Pablo's case) friends with Alatriste's creator Arturo Pérez-Reverte.
    • The dismay Ernesto receives the young queen Isabel II with at Episode 7 reflects how badly received was the queen's actress in the Alatriste TV series, where her role (along with many others) was panned by critics and fans alike. At the time, fans of El Ministerio panicked that the series might suffer if said actress happened to be added to the cast.
    • The two-parter about the Siege of Baler is Olivares' way to make up for a movie script based on it that he wrote back in the 1990s and was never picked up for production. The only time this event had received a film adaptation before El Ministerio (another movie about this premiered in December 2016) was in 1945, and you can figure from the episode that Olivares doesn't think very highly of it.
    • Pacino mentioning in "Tiempo de ilustrados" that some ideas are more original than others has been construed to be a Take That! against Timeless, whose creation and broadcast led to a demand by El Ministerio del Tiempo's producers for plagiarism.
    • During the finale, Ureña mentions that his series about the Ministry was a smash hit and that it's getting an American remake with higher budget and better looks. The line can be interpreted as another potshot at Timeless.
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • Many people saw this in the decision to change the series from its original Tuesday slot to Monday night, as it directly set it to clash with Telecinco's powerhouse series Los Nuestros and other strong TV competition.
    • The baffling airing hiatus after Episode 16, which was not announced until after the episode had been already aired. Olivares wanted two mid-seasons separated by months in American fashion; the network only agreed to two weeks.
    • The long, spoiler-ridden advances after each episode were considered to be a huge detriment for the series, as they esentially butchered every next episode and spoiled even its deepest plot details. The instance in which they nonchalantly unveiled the shocking twist of Lombardi pulling a gun on Salvador at the previous episode ending was the turning point.
    • The lack of promotion for Season 3 altogether (in contrast with Season 1, which was promoted discreetly but well before its premiere, and Season 2, which was advertised ad nauseam thanks to the success of the first) was noted with surprise, especially considering that the producers worked with a way bigger budget and had announced to have plans to strengthen the series.
    • With only three episodes left to finish Season 3, the series suffered a last-minute switch from Monday nights to Wednesday nights to make room for the revival of Operación Triunfo. Creator Javier Olivares, who was already pissed with RTVE because they kept on extending the controversial "access prime-time" show Hora punta, and thus delaying the start of the episode, was none too pleased. And the fans had reason to not be happy, too: the new timeslot meant El Ministerio was being set up to fail against Telecinco's La que se avecina, which still is a ratings juggernaut ten seasons into its run. Thankfully, Telecinco moved La que se avecina to Mondays, presumably to face off with OT.
  • Throw It In!: Raúl Cimas improvised many of his lines in episode 20 when playing episodic character Isaac Vila.
  • Un-Canceled: After its cancellation in late 2017, the series will be returning with a fourth season, which is expected to begin filming in 2019.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • TVE vetoed a Season 1 script called "The Count of Time", arguing that the subject was too obscure. It had the patrol traveling to 780 AD to rescue a missing agent, then accidentally creating the legend of Bernardo del Carpio, whose existence is rejected by modern historians. Elements of this episode found its way into the episodes "Time of Rascals", "Time of Vengeance" and "Time of Legend". The story was later adapted into the first part of the tie-in novel "Time is What It Is".
    • It's been confirmed that the intended storyline after Season 1 changed dramatically because of Rodolfo Sancho's inability to shoot El Ministerio and Mar de Plástico at the same time. Season 3 shelves the arc for good, killing Julián and (temporarily?) sending Amelia away because of Aura Garrido's own schedule conflicts.
    • Olivares wanted Season 2 to be divided in two mid-seasons united by a TV movie.
    • Olivares has also stated that there would be more episodes set outside Madrid if the series' budget was not so meager. In particular, he cited how he could not even make a trip to the beach to shoot Columbus arriving to America (thus when Columbus appears in the series it's his 1485 version, still looking for money to make his trip). It is rumored that Blas de Lezo and María Pita's appearances as agents in the Ministry HQ in Season 2 are a way to include them without the astronomical expenses that an episode centered on either's real life exploits would demand. The two other stories in the novel mentioned above were "coastal" episodes considered too expensive for the series: "After the fair weather [same word as "time" in Spanish], the storm", set in Cartagena, Cádiz and aboard a galleon bound for the Caribbean in 1603; and "Time of Spies", set in 1943 and revolving around Operation Mincemeat.
    • The issue above was solved with the injection of new cash by Netflix in Season 3, which has a good number of episodes set in coastal areas including "Time of Spies" (now with Pacino filling the role of Julián). The trailer of the second mid-season reveals at least one episode featuring the Spanish treasure fleet.

Alternative Title(s): El Ministerio Del Tiempo


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