It was only a matter of time before Dr. John Stevenson/Jack the Ripper (Josh Bowman) got his hands on H.G. Wells’ (Freddie Stroma) time machine in ABC’s “Time After Time.” In Season 1, episode 4, the serial killer was still in Dr. Brooke’s (Jennifer Ferrin) lab, being prodded and tested by the biotechnologist.
However, in order to gain John’s trust, Brooke told him that he fathered a son who also became a surgeon like him. His son was born in 1891 and died in 1918. She also revealed that the time machine was safely stowed away in Vanessa Anders’ (Nicole Ari Parker) house. Towards the end of the episode, John successfully broke into Vanessa’s house, stole Wells’ machine and arrived in Paris, France in 1918 for a quick family reunion.
Meanwhile, Wells and Jane (Genesis Rodriguez) travelled to 1980 in Long Island to a young Vanessa’s childhood home. There, they discovered that her father made money by stealing files for all the drug research on something called Project Utopia. He stole it by hiring a man named Robert Holland who stole the information from a man named Monroe, a.k.a Brooke and Griffin’s (Will Chase) father. Unfortunately, Vanessa’s father killed Robert.
The “Time After Time” executive producer, Kevin Williamson, told TVLine that Vanessa is an important part of the show’s plot. “Everything’s based on Vanessa Anders and her lineage,” he said, “and we see how Wells intertwines into that. It’s a big, huge, epic melodrama [about] these two warring families.”
While viewers learn more about Vanessa’s family, Jack the Ripper will be busy learning more about himself. Williamson revealed, “We open him up, and you see what makes him tick, and what kind of Achilles’ heel he may have that has power over him. It humanizes him, in a way.”
Bowman previewed, “There was something that was an emotional attachment to [John] that he goes in search for. In that episode, you see somewhat of a redemptive quality in the character.”
However, “Time After Time” isn’t putting John Stevenson on a path of redemption. Instead, it’s giving audiences enough information to understand the mass murderer.
Moreover, the focus of Season 1 will move from time-traveling to H.G. Wells. The producer explained, “The idea is that you see the inspiration for all his [novels]. You’ll start to see little elements of ‘The Invisible Man.’ In a lot of ways, Griffin in ‘The Invisible Man’ is a lot like John in terms of his character and his backstory.”
“Time After Time” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EDT on ABC.