Screenwriter Steven Moffat is known for his work on BBC series such as seasons of doctor who with Matt Smith and Karen Gillian, the sherlock of Benedict Cumberbatch or the last television Dracula. But, after drawing the attention of American critics, it is his turn to also conquer the ground from within the industry with the adaptation of The time traveler’s wife produced by Warner Bros, which bears the HBO seal and that the HBO Max platform premieres this Monday.
The public is perhaps familiar with the argument because it is the third time that we can see the same story in this 21st century. Author Audrey Niffenegger published the novel in 2003, Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana brought it to theaters in 2007, and this new adaptation brings it to television. It is a love story: that of Clare and Henry, a marriage marked by his condition as a time traveler, who leaves the present involuntarily to make an appearance in moments of the past of both.
It is a love story: that of Clare and Henry, a marriage marked by his condition as a time traveler, who leaves the present involuntarily to appear in moments of the past of both
Moffat’s fascination goes back a long way. Before seriously considering adapting Niffenegger’s work, whose rights Warner Bros owned, he had tried to convey its essence in an episode of the second season of drwho, when the series was creatively captained by Russell T. Davies. He sought a way to use time travel as a prison from which to see “love, meet someone, fall in love with a person,” he explained to the podcast. TV’s Top 5.
The detail did not go unnoticed by the author, who later referred to the episode titled The girl in the fireplace in one of his books. And, when Moffat approached Warner Bros about adapting the novel for television, he, too, approached Niffenegger. While she is not listed as an executive producer, nor is she part of the writers’ room, the British creator did want to let her know how she planned to translate her text to the screen and the changes she would make. She, for her part, only made one request: that the resulting work be as popular as sherlock either Doctor Who.
In the first episode of this version of The time traveler’s wife the bases of the series are known. Henry has the involuntary ability to travel through time: he is in the present when, suddenly, he is in pain and finds himself in another point of his own existence and naked (because clothes do not have the same ability to travel). This leads him, for example, to introduce himself to Clare’s childhood, who will end up being his wife, or even to introduce himself in front of other versions of himself.
This time the lovers trapped in a time-loop-scented relationship (a theme Moffat loves) are played by two faces well known to TV fans. Clare is Rose Leslie, whom we met in the service of downton abbeymoved to Beyond-the-Wall in Game of Thrones and lately we’ve seen in The good fight or the thriller vigilant. And Henry is Theo James, the handsome guest who died in downton abbey while having sex with Lady Mary, and that he was in sanditon acting as Jane Austen’s heartthrob.
While the first season consists of only six episodes, let no one take this short request as a miniseries. Steven Moffat has already reported that he wants it to be a multi-season television series. “I have a plan of how to start, develop and finish”, he has explained in interviews where he indicates that, at the moment, he has covered a third of the book. HBO, for the record, has not yet renewed The time traveler’s wife for more seasons, possibly waiting to see its reception among the public.
Steven Moffat has a plan to tell the story in multiple seasons and estimates that, at the moment, he has already adapted a third of the novel.