Vector design of a TV screen with a clock face and swirling time vortex, highlighting the theme of time travel in television.

The Best Time Travel TV Shows to Watch Right Now (And Where)

The allure of time’s elusive dance has, for eons, beckoned to the curious heart. Who hasn’t pondered the notion of stepping into yesteryears or peering into tomorrows yet to dawn?

This allure isn’t solely about chronological escapades. It’s a deeper, almost primal call. A longing to relive moments lost to time, an urge to amend choices, and a curiosity to gaze upon the horizons of the future.

The medium of television, with its expansive canvas, has adeptly mirrored this fascination, crafting tales that span eras, civilizations, and galaxies.

However, in our current age of television abundance, a dilemma arises for the discerning viewer: amidst this sea of chronicle-chasing narratives, which tales truly stand the test of time? Herein lies my expertise.

After immersing myself in a myriad of temporal tales, I’ve curated a compendium of the quintessential time-travel series.

So, I invite you: make yourself comfortable, perhaps with a beverage of choice in hand, and journey with me as we traverse the epochs, all from the intimate ambiance of your abode.

1. “Doctor Who”

A Classic Among Time Travel TV Shows

“Doctor Who” is not just a show; it’s a cultural phenomenon. Launching in 1963, this British sci-fi series has become synonymous with time travel television.

At the heart of the series is the Doctor, a charismatic Time Lord from the distant planet Gallifrey.

Using the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), a time machine that externally looks like a British police box but is vast on the inside, the Doctor journeys through various epochs, from the distant past to the far future.

The charm of “Doctor Who” lies not just in its time-traveling adventures but also in its ability to reinvent itself.

Over the years, the Doctor has regenerated into different forms, portrayed by various actors, each bringing their unique style to the character.

Companions join the Doctor on these adventures, offering fresh perspectives and grounding the often otherworldly tales in human emotion.

Notable Episodes:

  • “Blink”: A chilling tale involving statues that come to life when not being watched.
  • “The Day of the Doctor”: A multi-Doctor story celebrating the show’s 50th anniversary.

Where to Watch:

“Doctor Who” can be streamed on BBC iPlayer and is available for purchase on platforms like Amazon Prime and iTunes.

2. “Outlander”

A Romantic Twist on Time Travel

“Outlander” beautifully merges the romance genre with the complexities of time travel. The series, based on Diana Gabaldon’s novels, is as much a love story as it is a historical drama.

Claire Randall, the protagonist, is not just navigating the challenges of 18th-century Scotland but is also torn between two men from different times: her 20th-century husband Frank and the 18th-century Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser.

The lush Scottish landscapes, detailed period costumes, and intense character dynamics make “Outlander” a visual and emotional feast.

The series delves deep into the Jacobite uprisings, providing viewers with a rich historical backdrop against which the personal dramas play out.

Notable Episodes:

  • “The Wedding”: Claire and Jamie’s relationship takes a significant turn.
  • “Dragonfly in Amber”: The season 2 finale with high stakes and emotional moments.

Where to Watch:

“Outlander” can be streamed on STARZ and is also available for purchase on platforms like Amazon Prime and iTunes.

Top Time Travel TV Shows
The allure of time travel has always been a captivating subject for many. The idea of venturing into the past or the future, correcting mistakes, or simply exploring different eras has been a staple in the realm of television.

With a plethora of time travel TV shows to choose from, it can be daunting to pick the best. But fear not, fellow time travel enthusiasts!

We’ve curated a list of some of the top time travel TV shows that will transport you to different timelines, all from the comfort of your couch.

3. “Dark”

A Complex Web of Time Loops

“Dark” is not your typical time travel series. Hailing from Germany, this critically acclaimed show intricately weaves a narrative that spans multiple timelines and generations.

At its core, “Dark” explores the interconnectedness of four families in the town of Winden, as they grapple with the repercussions of time travel on human nature and relationships.

The series masterfully blends elements of drama, mystery, and science fiction, creating a unique viewing experience.

The atmospheric cinematography, haunting score, and compelling character arcs make “Dark” stand out in the crowded genre of time-travel TV shows.

It’s a tale that requires attention to detail, as the narrative intricacies are as deep as the show’s philosophical ponderings on fate and free will.

Notable Episodes:

  • “Sic Mundus Creatus Est”: Revelations about the cave and its mysterious link to the missing children.
  • “An Endless Cycle”: A pivotal episode that further dives into the complexities of the time loop.

Where to Watch:

“Dark” can be streamed exclusively on Netflix.

4. “Quantum Leap”

Righting Wrongs, One Leap at a Time

“Quantum Leap” offers a unique twist on the time travel trope, focusing on the moral dilemmas and personal growth of its protagonist, Dr. Sam Beckett. Sam’s time-traveling adventures are not of his own choosing; instead, he finds himself “leaping” into various individuals throughout history.

Each episode presents a new challenge, as Sam assumes the identity of the person he’s leaped into, aiming to correct a mistake in their life.

Accompanied by his holographic friend Al, Sam navigates these situations with a mix of wit, empathy, and determination.

The show skillfully balances episodic adventures with an overarching narrative, as Sam hopes each leap will be the one that finally takes him home.

Notable Episodes:

  • “The Leap Home”: A two-part episode where Sam leaps into his younger self, giving him a chance to reconnect with his family.
  • “M.I.A.”: Sam leaps into a police detective in the 1960s, leading to an emotional journey involving the Vietnam War.

Where to Watch:

“Quantum Leap” can be streamed on NBC’s official website and is also available for purchase on platforms like Amazon Prime and iTunes.

5. “12 Monkeys”

A Race Against Time

Inspired by the groundbreaking 1995 film directed by Terry Gilliam, the “12 Monkeys” TV series expands upon the original’s storyline, adding layers of complexity and depth.

The show follows James Cole, a determined time traveler from a post-apocalyptic future where a deadly virus has decimated the human population.

His mission is clear: to stop the release of the virus and rewrite the course of history.

Throughout its run, “12 Monkeys” skillfully juggles multiple timelines, intricate character relationships, and the looming threat of the enigmatic “Army of the 12 Monkeys.”

The series delves into themes of destiny, sacrifice, and the nature of time itself, offering viewers a thrilling and thought-provoking experience.

Notable Episodes:

  • “Splinter”: The episode that kicks off Cole’s time-traveling journey, setting the tone for the series.
  • “Die Glocke”: A high-stakes mission in World War II-era France with significant implications for the future.

Where to Watch:

“12 Monkeys” can be streamed on Hulu and the SYFY network’s official website. It’s also available for purchase on platforms like Amazon Prime and iTunes.

6. “Travelers”

A Future-Focused Mission

“Travelers” offers a fresh take on the time travel genre, focusing on the consciousness-transfer method rather than physical time travel.

The show paints a bleak picture of the future, with humanity on the brink of collapse. To change this outcome, special operatives, the “Travelers,” have their consciousness sent back to the 21st century, taking over the lives of unsuspecting individuals.

The series expertly blends action-packed missions with personal drama, as the Travelers grapple with the duality of their existence.

They must maintain their host’s lives while carrying out high-stakes operations to prevent future catastrophes. The show delves into the ethical and emotional challenges of their situation, raising questions about identity, relationships, and the greater good.

Notable Episodes:

  • “Protocol 6”: The team faces a moral dilemma when one of their missions puts a child’s life at risk.
  • “17 Minutes”: A unique episode format where the Travelers race against time to prevent a disaster, with multiple do-overs.

Where to Watch:

“Travelers” can be streamed exclusively on Netflix.

7. “Continuum”

A Cop From the Future

“Continuum” takes a unique approach to the time travel genre, grounding it in a blend of police procedural and speculative fiction.

The story centers on Kiera Cameron, a dedicated law enforcement officer from a future where corporations govern society.

When a group of anti-corporate terrorists known as “Liber8” escapes their execution by traveling back to the early 21st century, Kiera is inadvertently dragged along with them.

Now stranded in a past that is not her own, Kiera must navigate a world without advanced technology and the comforts of her time.

While she is determined to stop Liber8 and their attempts to alter the future, she also faces the challenge of working with the Vancouver Police Department without revealing her true identity.

As the series progresses, “Continuum” delves deeper into the gray areas of morality, exploring the consequences of one’s actions and the fluidity of good and evil.

Notable Episodes:

  • “A Stitch in Time”: The pilot episode sets the stage, introducing Kiera, Liber8, and the complexities of time travel.
  • “Second Skin”: Kiera’s future technology becomes a target, leading to intense action and revelations about the nature of her suit.

Where to Watch:

“Continuum” can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video. It’s also available for purchase on platforms like iTunes and Google Play.

8. “Time After Time”

Historical Figures in Modern Times

Based on the 1979 novel of the same name, “Time After Time” offers a thrilling cat-and-mouse game between two historical figures: H.G. Wells and Jack the Ripper.

In this fictional portrayal, Wells has constructed a time machine which the infamous Jack the Ripper uses to escape to the present day.

Determined to capture the notorious killer, Wells pursues him to modern-day New York City. As Wells navigates the complexities of the 21st century, he also grapples with his own morals and the realization that his utopian beliefs might not hold up in this new world.

Notable Episodes:

  • “Pilot”: The inception of the chase, setting up the premise of the show.
  • “Picture Fades”: Wells confronts the consequences of time travel on personal relationships.

Where to Watch:

“Time After Time” can be streamed on ABC’s official website and is also available for purchase on platforms like Amazon Prime and iTunes.

9. “Legends of Tomorrow”

Superheroes Through Time

A spin-off from the popular “Arrow” and “The Flash” TV shows, “Legends of Tomorrow” assembles a team of heroes and anti-heroes to prevent time aberrations.

Led by Time Master Rip Hunter, the team travels through various eras, from the days of ancient Egypt to the futuristic world of 2166, to stop the immortal tyrant Vandal Savage and other threats to the timeline. The series combines action, humor, and heart, offering a fresh take on the time travel genre through the lens of superhero tropes.

Notable Episodes:

  • “Moonshot”: The team travels to the 1970s to retrieve a piece of the Spear of Destiny from the Apollo 13 mission.
  • “The Good, The Bad, and The Cuddly”: A showdown in the Wild West against a demon and its minions.

Where to Watch:

“Legends of Tomorrow” can be streamed on The CW’s official website and app. It’s also available for purchase on platforms like Amazon Prime and iTunes.

Concluding Our Timeless Journey

Diving deep into the realm of time travel TV shows, we’ve unearthed a treasure trove of series that challenge our perceptions, tug at our heartstrings, and ignite our imaginations.

The unyielding grip of time travel on storytelling showcases our collective desire to escape our temporal bounds and experience epochs beyond our own.

For the curious newbie or the seasoned aficionado of the genre, this list stands as a definitive guide to the best temporal tales on television.

So, as you ready your remote and cozy up in your cherished binge-watching spot, remember: each click is a doorway to a new era. Set your course, time traveler, and enjoy the odyssey!

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