Andy's Anachronisms
Time Travel Television Reviews

Crime Traveller
Principal Cast
  Det. Jeff Slade
Holly Turner
Michael French
Chloe Annett


Crime Traveller was a short-lived British series that ran only 8 episodes during 1997 and starred Michael French (Eastenders) as Detective Jeff Slade and Chloe Annett (Red Dwarf) as Holly Turner. The premise was simple enough, using a time machine invented by her father, Holly Turner teams with Detective Jeff Slade to travel back in time and solve crimes.

Unable to change time, the best the duo can hope to do is collect evidence to determine the guilty party. The concept of the series came to creator Anthony Horowitiz while working as a writer on the Poroit mystery series for television.

Getting Around In Time
Employing a classical time machine, the detectives are able to travel only to the past. Once in the past the travellers are forced to re-experience time's normal flow, reliving the same slice of time to get back to the present. While in the past they aren't permitted to run into themselves since it would apparently have catastrophic consequences. In order to avoid becoming stuck in a continuous time loop a hand held timer associated with the time machine must be replaced on the machine before the time period expires. Apparently Holly's father found this out the hard way, becoming stuck in an endless loop.

Another apparent limitation of the time machine is that it prevents the users from returning to the same time period more than once.

Not having seen this series personally, I have little insight share at this time.[Since when has that ever stopped me from having an opinion?]

However, I would like to comment on the apparent rules governing time as outlined by this series. I liked the need for the travellers to return the countdown timer to the time machine before the clock ran out as a way to avoid getting stuck in an infinite time loop. Not only does the timer add tension to the story as the episode inevitably becomes a race against time, but it also allows the writers to neatly explain how the travellers close the loop and avoid having the travellers meet themselves coming and going as it were. This explanation of how they avoid meeting themselves leaving in the time machine is a much better job than in the series Seven Days, where it is never satisfactorily explained how the main character avoids meeting himself leaving on the mission he just completed.

Some of the rules however appear to be more governed by the writers than the nature of time travel itself. The limitation that the travellers are not allowed to travel to the same period more than once is an obvious attempt by the writers to avoid confusing the viewers and silencing the critics who might otherwise poke holes in the plot.

While I can't do the series justice in this review there are a number of British web sites dedicated to this series. The Crime Traveller Homepage, owned and operated by Liane Broadley is by far the most comprehensive site I have seen out there dedicated to this series. [See below for link.]

I hope this series gets aired in North America sometime in the near future or that the tapes become available for sale. I would be very interested in viewing this series first hand.

Related Links
The Crime Traveller Homepage

As I noted above, this is the most comprehensive Crime Traveller fan site out there that I have come across. Among the various features are a FAQ, an episode guide, pictures and even a section for fan fiction. Check it out you won't be disappointed.

Crime Traveller at Cult Television Webpage

This brief yet through one pager contains a list of episodes, synopsis of the series, list of principal actors, and a few comments from the reviewer.

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