Time Travel TV Comparison: Dark vs 12 Monkeys vs Travelers

A reader requested that we write up a compare and contrast review between 12 Monkeys and Dark. Now that all of the Dark recaps are done, we thought we’d do that, and add in Travelers, the other fan favorite time travel show around here.

All 3 shows premiered and completed their runs between 2015 and 2020. They are all anchored in the present day, but also take place in the future and the past. They all deal with dystopian futures which the main characters want to prevent using time travel and the knowledge of events they’ve gained through time travel and advanced technology. All 3 also have ensemble casts that include time travelers, their handlers and mad scientists, though the groups tend to be fluid- almost everyone will time travel or have a good idea eventually.

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Dark: What Did It All Mean? Thoughts on Season 3 and the Ending

Dark S3Ep8 Jonas & Martha Disintegrate from Bridge

Because of the odd structure of season 3 of Dark, there were several ideas that I wanted to write about that didn’t fit into any of the recaps. I’m going to discuss some of the ongoing metaphors and and plot points here that I couldn’t easily explain in my regular posts without spoiling future episodes or making the final recap overlong.

Reader beware- spoilers for all 3 seasons and 26 episodes of Dark ahead!

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Agents of SHIELD Season 7 Episode 8: Why Use Avatar The Last Airbender as the Theme for an 80s Episode?

NATALIA CORDOVA-BUCKLEY, MING-NA WEN

Episode 8 Recap

Throughout S7, Agents of SHIELD has used film and TV themes and tropes from the eras it’s visited in each episode to help tell the story. In S7Ep8, After, Before, which took place in 1983, the show broke from this tradition and explicitly referenced two 21st century shows- Avatar the Last Airbender (2005) and its sequel series The Legend of Korra (2012), both from Nickelodeon.

I found this confusing, since both series were influenced by the Japanese animation style of anime and by Eastern cultures, but they are made by two white, American men, so they are actually neither anime nor Asian. It didn’t make sense to include them in this episode as 80s or Eastern shows. When I write it out like that in a single sentence and you’ve already seen the episode, I imagine the connection becomes obvious, but it took awhile for me to remember those facts about the Avatar series and make the connection.

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Dark Season 3 Full Length Trailer and Analysis: Gordian Knots and Second Natures

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Netflix has released another trailer for season 3 of Dark. This one is fast paced and full of intriguing images. I’ve learned one very important thing from it.

I refuse to live in a world without Jonas. Or Winden. Why only 3 seasons, Netflix, why?

Trailer and analysis after the cut.

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Moonlight Season 1/ Full Series Review

Moonlight 2007 Poster

Before Alex O’Loughlin moved to Hawaii and became a cop, he was a vampire private investigator in LA. Moonlight was a 2007-08 vampire noir, 16 episode CBS series starring O’Loughlin, Jason Dohring (iZombie, Veronica Mars), Sophia Myles (A Discovery of Witches) and Shannon Sossamon (Wayward Pines, Sleepy Hollow). It was created by Ron Koslow and Trevor Munson. The entire season can currently be streamed for free on the CWSeed site.

Moonlight takes place in present day (2007) LA, where vampire Mick St John (Alex O’Loughlin) works as a private investigator who solves murders. He also keeps an eye on a young woman he rescued as a young child from a kidnapping more than 20 years ago, Beth Turner (Sophia Myles). Beth is now an intrepid investigative reporter for up and coming online journalism outfit Buzzwire. Though Beth remembers her kidnapping, she initially doesn’t know who Mick is or that he’s watching her.

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Star Trek: Picard- Beautiful Minds and Beautiful Flower with a Side of Yridian Tea- Two Clues Explained

Star Trek Picard S1E8 Rios Looks at Drawing

Spoilers through episode 8.

In episode 8 of Star Trek: Picard, Broken Pieces, La Sirena’s emergency holograms complain that their memories have been tampered with. And it’s not just major pieces of information about Rios’ former ship the Ibn Majid that have been removed. Mr Hospitality claims that seemingly trivial bits were deleted by Captain Rios, using the example that now he doesn’t know the proper temperature to serve Yridian tea at. The emergency navigation holo mentions that his knowledge of Medusan astronavigation is gone.

These two bits seem like they might just be comedic throwaway lines, but I think they’re much more. Telepathy links Yridian tea and the Medusans. It’s also an underplayed aspect of Star Trek: Picard.

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Star Trek: Picard- Color Theory Explained (Through Episode 8)

Star Trek Picard S1E1- The Blue and Red Skies of Picard's Dream
Star Trek Picard S1E1- The Blue and Red Skies of Picard’s Dream

From the first moments of Jean Luc Picard’s dream in the pilot, Star Trek: Picard has been using a color scheme as part of its symbolism. Picard’s dream about Data, 5 queens, drinking tea and the attack on Mars is one prescient symbol after another. In this post, let’s examine how the creators of the show are using color.

The most symbolically important colors are red, green and blue. Gold/yellow, orange and white also play a lesser role. When the colors mix, the message is more complex. Fire/flames/explosions and the use of lighting are closely tied to the use of color. Often color will be expressed through lighting, sometimes as a hazy wash of colored light. Gold is particularly used this way on Chateau Picard and in Picard’s holographic study on La Sirena. Green is almost exclusively used in Romulan lighting, except for the greenery on Nepenthe, a few items of green clothing and Soji’s eyes. Red can be in the form of light, but if it is, most often it comes as a form of fire, tied to red’s core meaning of “real”.

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Star Trek: Picard- Is Zhaban a Member of the Zhat Vash?

Star Trek Picard S1E1 Jamie McShane as Zhaban
Is Zhaban a member of the Zhat Vash?

Since Zhaban/Jamie Mcshane is listed on IMDB as appearing in episode 8, I want to quickly write about a theory I’ve been considering since early in the season. Could Zhaban, who we know is a former member of the Romulan secret police known as the Tal Shiar, also belong to the even more secret Romulan spy agency, the Zhat Vash? It’s possible that he’s been living with Picard for the last 14 years as a deeply embedded spy, watching for a synth to arrive.

I don’t want to believe this of the kindly caretaker and vintner either, but hear me out.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 4: Official Trailer and Sneak Peek

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Amazon Prime Video has released a full length trailer for the upcoming final season of their alternate history series The Man in the High Castle. It’s packed with action and intrigue, giving viewers a glimpse into multiple realities. The future of the the series’ prime reality is at stake, and the trailer reveals the main characters who will decide its fate.

All episodes of season 4, the series’ wrap up, will be released on November 15, 2019.

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