21 November 2002 | T-Mad
Good show that jumped the shark too soon
I've been reading everyone's comments on the show. I thought it was a fun show with good potential (I didn't realize it was filmed in Australia as one person pointed out). To me, admittedly, it had elements of Quantum Leap (the time travel to the past to set things right aspect).
However, I thought they did a decent job with an interesting premise - have it take place 200 years in the future, have the evil genius (Dr. Sahmbi) create a time travel apparatus to send criminals and himself into the past where law enforcement isn't as advanced, have the good guy (Capt. Lambert) be forced to pursue him into the past when his love is killed, have him take an advanced computer/hologram with him to help out (even the hologram aspect is reminiscent of Quantum Leap), and have him not able to return home until he's caught the 100 criminals and Sahmbi and sent them all back.
Where I think the show jumped the shark was two things. First - having the big confrontation between Lambert and Sahmbi happen too soon. The episode where they became trapped in an underground cavern and Sahmbi used a modified version of the TRAX substance (normally used to send people back to the future) on Darien in order to brainwash him, turn him against Selma, and turn him onto Sahmbi's side. That episode was VERY well done but should have been saved as the series finale episode, where they have the final big confrontation. A slight rewriting of the episode's ending and it would have been perfect as a series finale. By doing that episode that soon, they played their trump card too soon so of course the rest of the series would be an anti-climax.
The second jump the shark moment to me was when they started toying with the idea of Selma loving Darien and vice versa. While it was cute and the episodes that dealt with this "subtext" were funny, they did constitute a jump the shark moment in the series. I mean, Selma didn't even have a physical female form - she was a female hologram housed inside a computer fashioned as a credit card, for crying out loud. The episode where Elizabeth Alexander did a dual role as Selma and as Darien's mother and it was revealed that Selma loved Darien was, again, a cute and funny moment to watch but really!
And after that, the series started playing with the idea that there were feelings between the two. The episode where Darien was undercover with his female agent friend as a married couple and the agent ended up brainwashed, Selma told Darien to take her to the bedroom (so she could emit some rays to determine the brainwashing patterns). However, the way the scene was done was obviously meant to be a cute subtext moment.
Those were the moments that I thought the show lost its focus. Otherwise, Time Trax was a decent show.