The TV show ‘Timeless’ in an inclusive world
While we’re still waiting for more shows that feature LGBTQ people that aren’t token characters, the TV show Timeless has been garnering fans because of its rare inclusivity.
Done with its second season and hoping for a third, Timeless on NBC features an inclusive cast, with one of the characters a lesbian with her own family.
Given the prevalence of the “Dead Lesbian” or “Bury your Gays” trope, it’s gratifying to know that there’s one show that’s not going in that direction.
Timeless: A lesbian in a time-travel story
The lesbian character in this case is Indian-American Homeland Security Agent Denise Christopher (played by Sakina Jaffrey), who guides a team of time-travelers to stop others from changing history.
Believing she’s the next target of their enemies, Christopher reveals she’s a lesbian in the second season’s eighth episode to one of the time-traveling characters, Lucy (Abigail Spencer).
While some other shows would have killed off Jaffrey’s character as part of the story, the team pulls off their mission to save the present-day Christopher while convincing the younger version to accept who she is.
What’s great about the show is that Christopher is shown being a lesbian as part of the story: no dramatic flourishes and with no deadly result.
Kimberly Terasaki of The Mary Sue wrote about this, saying that Christopher’s story shows how “LGBTQIA representation should be done, by addressing the angst and the possibility of death that many characters face in dramas, but still treating them as characters and not cannon fodder.”
Timeless: Hidden characters in history
This TV show’s other strength is how it features characters that were not white men who had a hand in the making of history: women, people of color, and queers.
These range from the bisexual Josephine Baker, chieftain Nonhelema of the Shawnee tribe, Harriet Tubman who created the Underground Railway, actress and scientist Hedy Lamarr, and NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson.
There are also renowned blues guitarist Robert Johnson, attorney and sleuth Grace Humiston, Benjamin Franklin’s mother Abiah Franklin, and US Marshals Bass Reeves, and Grant Johnson (who gave birth to the Lone Ranger and Tonto stories).
As Casey Cipriani of Bustle wrote, “What the Timeless writers are doing here isn’t just taking us on a fun romp through history, with all the glorious costumes included.”
“They’re asking us to reconsider what we might think of as significant historical events, and who really were the key players in making some of the biggest changes in the world,” Cipriani noted.
With these kind of stories in Timeless, who’s up for watching (and supporting) this TV show, especially as NBC ponders on whether to renew it for another season?