Wednesday, August 23, 2017

TIMELESS. Sci-fi series, Time After Time, finally coming to M-Net - but it will be on DStv's M-Net City where it doesn't really belong. And how many episodes will there be?

The new-and-great but cancelled American science fiction drama series Time After Time finally has a starting date on M-Net (DStv 101) - let's make that now M-Net City (DStv 115).

DStv subscribers can tune in for Time After Time from Monday 4 September 22:00.

UPDATE Wednesday 23 August 12:00 - I've just heard from M-Net that Time After Time has been pushed to December, so it will not be starting on 4 September. The 2nd season of Stan Lee's Lucky Man will replace Time After Time on 4 September at 22:00. Stan Lee’s season 1 was scheduled on M-Net Edge and its new home will be M-Net City. M-Net says more shows will be premiering on M-Net City going forward, Elementary having been the first.

First a bit about Time After Time, and then some questions.

I've seen some of episodes of the drama series and its excellent and intelligent and very clever.

Time After Time that has a 12-episode first season and got cancelled after just 5 of the 12 episodes that were produced were broadcast in America, revolves around the young writer H.G. Wells (Freddie Stroma) traveling from Victorian era London to modern-day New York in a time machine.

He tries to catch his doctor "friend" (now enemy) who stole his invention and who is actually the notorious, serial killer Jack the Ripper (Josh Bowman).

Time After Time is based on the 1979 film of the same name.

Now for the same-old questions about some inexplicable M-Net scheduling that is coming up yet again in my mind - and also one new question.

At the beginning of the year M-Net showed TV critics at MultiChoice's DStv Content Showcase 2017 that, yes, it has Time After Time (and Timeless) and would be having it on the channel.

I was soo specifically excited that these two shows (besides several others that also made me happy!) were acquired by M-Net.

While Timeless (that got cancelled in America and then renewed for a second season) remained on M-Net (DStv 101) where it is currently being broadcast and will end its first season on Saturday 9 September at 20:00, Time After Time that's the exact same type of show, got pushed away to M-Net City.

What I once again don't understand is why.

You'd think that M-Net would keep the same "type" of shows together on the same type of channels to get maximum ratings value from DStv subscribers who are in a sense over time [no pun intended] "trained" as to where they should tune to, to watch what and where you can expect to see what content.

Viewers watching Timeless and enjoying it on M-Net (DStv 101) at this very moment might have no idea that Time After Time also exists and is (going to be) on M-Net City.

I've watched and hugely enjoyed both - and if I'm very honest, Time After Time is for me the better one of the two, and the drama series that I've enjoyed a bit more in terms of the few episodes I've managed to see of it (although Timeless is cool too).

Question two: Will M-Net only be showing the 5 episodes of Time After Time on M-Net City that was broadcast in America on ABC before it was abruptly cancelled for a game show?

Or will South African viewers and DStv subscribers be seeing all 12 episodes that were broadcast in countries like Spain and that are available on Amazon Prime Video in certain territories?

I've asked M-Net several times the past month or so how many episodes of Time After Time's been been acquired to show in South Africa but haven't gotten a definitive answer back yet.

If it does happen to be 12 it will be great, and M-Net should actually make a much bigger song and dance about it.

It will mean that Time After Time will be another one of the very few instances where South African viewers and M-Net and DStv subscribers are actually getting to see more of a certain show than what American viewers did -  just like what M-Net did with Zero Hour and also managed with Friends with Better Lives that was great.

If I were M-Net I would have scheduled Time After Time in the exact same timeslot as Timeless and have it start and follow on seamlessly after Timeless since viewers watching Timeless would keep tuning in and very likely continue to watch Time After Time.

Of course it also makes much better sense to put Time After Time on the actual M-Net (DStv 101) channel instead of burning it off on the non-descript M-Net City where it just doesn't feel prestigey.

At least M-Net City is a high definition (HD) channel so South African viewers will be able to watch Time After Time in HD.

On the review site Rotten Tomatoes Time After Time holds a "67% fresh" rating, with a whopping "84% want to see" grade and a "71% liked it" audience score. Surely it more than complies with the standard needed to be your classic "must-see" M-Net show?

Purely personal irony to me is that out of all the new American TV shows of 2017 that I've watched so far this year, Time After Time (although it got cancelled) is my personal best American TV show of the season.

If shows like Hunters and Twin Peaks are good enough for M-Net (DStv 101) and the beautiful Forever was on M-Net Edge why isn't Time After Time good enough for the same channel when it's clearly so much better and so much more prestige-fittingly "M-Net" than something like Hunters?

There's a big overall mystery and several secrets as to how various characters are connected in Time After Time to both H.G. Wells and to Jack the Ripper and even I don't know the answers to these.

 I really hope M-Net shows all of the episodes because it's a fascinating series and I can't wait to discover the answers.