The idea of time travel has fascinated people for quite some time. In 1895, H.G. Wells published the science fiction novel, “The Time Machine.” Wells is credited with popularizing the concept of time travel. The novel itself has been adapted into three movies, as well as two television shows, and many comic book adaptions as well as several works of fiction in many media productions.
The most recent incarnation of this idea is the television series, “Timeless,” where “an unlikely trio [an historian, a soldier, and a techie] travel through time in order to battle unknown criminals and protect history as we know it.” Recently I started watching this series On Demand. Just the other day I watched episode two of the first season, “The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.” In this episode, the trio goes back in time, not to prevent the assassination of President Lincoln, but to prevent a larger conspiracy to disrupt the American government – remember, Lincoln’s murderer, John Wilkes Booth, was a Confederate sympathizer – to coordinate assassinations of not only Lincoln but also General Ulysses S. Grant and Lincoln’s Secretary of State William H. Seward.
In “In the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the techie, played by Malcolm Barrett, has interesting exchanges with “Negro” Union soldiers. Towards the end, Rufus, African American, tells one of the Black Union soldiers to head North, that, despite the assassination of the Great Emancipator, although things get rough for descendants of Africans on American soil, they ultimately get much better.
Rufus, in my opinion, is the most interesting character in “Timeless.” In another episode, in an exchange with his Black handler, he comments about there being no “safe” era for him as a Black man when traveling back in time in American history – imagine, as an African American, having to go back to April 15, 1865 in American history!
In my next blog, I will write something about Oscar Lopez Rivera, “controversial” honoree at this year’s Puerto Rican Day Parade. Lopez Rivera, a Puerto Rican nationalist-revolutionary, served nearly 30 years imprisoned before President Obama commuted his sentence before leaving Office this past January. The organizers, in deciding to honor Lopez Rivera, had several sponsors pull out, including Univision, the Spanish language media giant. The connection is not obvious, but it is part of this “timeless” theme, “to protect history as we know it.”