The modern television version of Time After Time is a remake of a classic science-fiction film from 1979. The TV show shares an additional connection, a dubious one, with entertainment from the 1970’s. The TV was canceled after six episodes aired. 12 episodes were filmed for the first season. The remaining six won’t be given an airing on the ABC network.
The original 1979 film featured an intriguing premise. H.G. Wells invents a time machine in order to travel into the future to chase Jack the Ripper. The evil Ripper plans on continuing his murderous ways in the United States of the 20th century. The film was quite enjoyable and did well at the box office. After nearly 40 years of building a small cult following, the movie was resurrected as a TV show. The result were underwhelming and akin, ironically, to failed TV shows of the 1970’s.
In the 1970’s, competition for TV viewers was fierce. A show that did very poorly in the ratings would be shelved quickly. The networks would often cut their losses by removing a television show from the prime time schedule even if original episodes had yet to be aired. Quick cancellations are not uncommon in the present day, but this very abrupt cancellation of Time After Time is somewhat shocking. The show was pulling in 2.2 million viewers. Fear the Walking Dead draws about as many viewers on AMC. Yet, the zombie apocalypse show is deemed a hit and is hyped for an upcoming third season.
Time After Time, of course, is born of a different genre and has a different fan base. Zombie and action-oriented science-fiction fans are going to buy tie-in merchandise related to their favorite programs. A lower-rated show can still generate revenue. Time After Time is more of a melodramatic time travel series. No one is going to produce a video game based on the program.
The unaired episodes of Time After Time are sure to turn up on home video or streaming. The mere fact the DVD collection contains unaired episodes should appeal to sci-fans and collectors.