I watched last night's debut episode of 'Traveler' with the hope that my plan on linking the show to 'Gilmore Girls' would not be the only connection I might make for it in Toobworld.
I went back into the archives of "The Medium Is Not Enough" - all the way back to July of last year! - for his review of the show because his encapsulation of the plot was really good:
A trio of Yale grad students make their way to New York to celebrate the end of their courses and their final days in academia. One's off to become a lawyer, the other - the son of one of the richest men in America - is off to the world of investment. Will Traveler? He's more of a mystery.
After a night of partying, it's prank time. So the trio of pals makes their way over to the Drexler Museum of Art for a little bit of rollerblading. While Traveler tapes them on his omnipresent camcorder, lawyer-to-be and investor-to-be zoom through the museum and into the outside world.
They wait, then get a call. It's Traveler. "I'm sorry I had to do this," he says, then one of the wings of the museum explodes.
It's not long before TV screens around the country are showing pictures of our heroes fleeing the museum (coincidentally, the one piece of security footage that survived) and the unlucky duo are soon being hunted by the FBI. There's help from investor-to-be's dad, who also suffered a mild bit of government persecution during the 90s and so has dummy bank accounts and other aids for runaways on hand.
Soon, it becomes clear that Traveler has set them up. There's no record of him at Yale. There's not a single photo of him from their two-year friendship that doesn't have him covering his face or turning away from the camera. And although his body is found, charred and unrecognisable, at the gallery, the suspicion is that Traveler is still alive and has had them in his sights since before they ever met.
But why did he blow up the museum? Why did he involve these two men? And why is the servile doorman from their hotel suddenly breaking them out of custody and murdering FBI agents? His advice - "Trust only each other" - seems like the best advice they're ever going to get...
[As always, the link to Rob's TV blog is to the left......]
My idea for linking 'Traveler' to 'Gilmore Girls' went smoothly - the three friends are identified by an onscreen caption that they've finished grad school at Yale. Rory Gilmore just got her Bachelor's degree there as well. It doesn't matter that 'Traveler' sat on the shelf nearly a year before it was broadcast - it didn't officially become part of the TV Universe until this year.
So Jay, Tyler, and Will are members of the Yale Class of 2007, just like Rory.
However, even though I stated that 'Traveler' is part of the TV Universe, it's not part of Toobworld.
Why? It's because of a piece of dialogue from FBI Agent Fred Chambers. He wanted the whole affair wrapped up before President Shears returned from Tokyo.
I've stated this often enough here in my blog: the President of the United States in Toobworld must reflect that of the one in the real world... whether you like him or not.
By creating a new POTUS, 'Traveler' automatically gets shunted off to its own little TV dimension.
I blame 'The West Wing' for this. In the old days, Agent Chambers would have just as easily said he wanted the case wrapped up before "the President" got back from Tokyo. That way we could assume that the President was George W. Bush.
But by stating his name, it seems obvious that the producers plan to bring the action right into the Oval Office. 'The West Wing' has made exposure to the President as an actual character almost de rigeur. Since it premiered, we've had '24', 'Prison Break', 'Vanished', 'The Dead Zone', and of course, 'Commander In Chief' bring us fictional presidents so that the showrunners can involve those in power to the very highest level.
Must be a sign of the times, eh?