Forget the dorky image of lab coats and giant machines blooming with arcs of lightning when you encounter these cool time travelers from TV shows. No longer the domain of B-movies, time traveler shows on prime time TV now features decent sized budgets and actors who weren’t pulled out of a Der Wienerschnitzel on their lunc break. Take a moment to map out a plan for revenge or success should time travel start happening, just make sure you do it with style.
Being a father has enough trials without being tossed back in time at random moments. Dan doesn’t come with super powers or a life he can ignore in order to serve whatever higher authority in Journeyman has decided to play twister with his timeline. With a brain and a dedication towards helping the people he encounters on his journeys, Vasser is a cool time traveler that is caught up in the chaos of something he can’t control but still works towards juggling saving people in the past and saving his relationships in the present. Substance beats style and gets a nice twist with his inability to control his unique “events”.
The Ninth Doctor
Doctor Who gets to show off the warrior facet of the time lord with this incarnation played by Christopher Eccleston. There are cool time travelers and then there’s The Doctor, an immortal regenerating last of his kind explorer who tends to show up where and when needed. Eccleston gets to give old and new fans of the series a quietly raging doctor, one who is ready to go to war over his grudge and that’s an aspect up until now The Doctor never much evidenced. A harder, most driven character in this generation, the ninth Doctor shows off the terrible power and fury that up until now has been hidden behind a thick veneer of Zen-like calm and that is fascinating.
A scrapper and officer of the law, Danny Quinn seethes with the regret and loss of his brother and doesn’t enter into the idea of time travel without serious skepticism. Played by Jason Flemyng, Quinn feels like the eye of the storm, calm for now but venture too far out and destruction will reign. One of the cooler time travelers out there, this Primeval star won’t fall in love with time travel anytime soon but he won’t run with his tail tucked between his legs either.
Not many time travelers get as cool a partner as Zach Galifianakis. Davis, played by Zach, is Tru’s supervisor, confidant and enabler as he encourages Tru whenever she hits rough spots in her quest to save the dead who ask for her help. Although only getting to go back a day in Tru Calling, Tru gets enough terror and mystery to fill her plate as she works to guide the living away from the path that leads to their death. Funny, sincere and well ensconced in her small tribe of friends, Davies gets to be one of the cooler time travelers out there as she tries to better the lives of others while being in the grips of a much larger and unseen conspiracy.
The Eleventh Doctor
Quirky dress sense meets quirky personality and the eleventh Doctor comes ready to play. With an aura of intuitiveness and a drive to help others, this version of Doctor Who as portrayed by Matt Smith blends the warrior caste with the healer cast and throws in a sprinkle of occasional aloofness that makes him one of the coolest time travelers ever. Bringing bow ties back into popular dress wear might be beyond this Doctor but conveying other worldliness well taking the best bits of humanity is not. Smith keeps his companions and his encounters simultaneously at a distance and within his embrace with a powerful sincerity that makes it look easy.