New Buck Rogers movie happening if a court decides the name is public do… Stay on target Introducing a new TV series to the masses is always hard, especially when the premise involves anything complicated like time travel. You have to introduce all new characters, explain the premise of the show in a way that gets everyone watching on board, and tell a compelling story that lays out a blueprint for episodes to come. With all those plates in the air, it’s not surprising that one of them drops sometimes.After watching the pilot episode of NBC’s new time travel drama, Timeless, I don’t yet feel like I really know who these characters are. We’re told about their pasts. Delta Force Master Sergeant Wyatt Logan (Matt Lanter) is depressed over the loss of his wife. History professor Lucy Preston (Abigail Spencer) has dedicated her life to her department out of obligation to her dying mother. Rufus Carlin (Malcolm Barrett) is… well we don’t know that much. He’s a nerdy coder who has serious (understandable) misgivings about traveling back in time as a Black man. And that his boss, the inventor of the time machine, Connor Mason (Paterson Joseph) has asked him to spy on his co-travelers.TIMELESS — “Pilot” — Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan, Malcolm Barrett as Rufus Carlin, Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston — (Photo by: Joe Lederer/NBC)We don’t really know much about their personalities just yet, and in the pilot, they all come off as one-dimensional. Wyatt and Lucy are no-nonsense and focused on getting the mission done. What brief fun there is in Lucy being awestruck at suddenly being in the 1930s is quickly forgotten after Wyatt brings her attention to the task at hand. When she returns to the present to find out how things have changed, the only things we know for sure is that she’s happy her mother was now never sick, but distraught that her sister never existed. Reactions literally any human would have. The other news, that she has a fiance in this timeline, is glossed over. We have no idea how she feels about that or if she even wanted one in the first place.Wyatt meets a woman who looks a lot like his wife and learns she’s destined to die in the Hindenburg accident, and predictably tries to save her. (Hey Timeless writers, I too enjoyed “The City on the Edge of Forever.”) While that’s an interesting dilemma, it doesn’t tell us much about his character or what we can expect from him. Unless he’s going to meet a woman that looks like his wife in every time period, they travel to.Rufus ends up being the most interesting, partly because the funny nerd of the group will always stand out among flat characters, but mostly because he’s actually given something to push against. He steps out into 1937 and is immediately treated like a second-class citizen. He isn’t allowed to go into the same places as the other two. When the group is arrested, he is placed in a different cell and almost beaten. The stakes in this world are higher for him, and if future episodes focus more on his character, the show will be better for it.TIMELESS — “Pilot” — Pictured: (l-r) Malcolm Barrett as Rufus Carlin, Paterson Joseph as Connor Mason — (Photo by: Joe Lederer/NBC)All that said, despite the lack of character development, the pilot episode of Timeless gave us a fun, exciting time-travel adventure. The world of 1937 is recreated perfectly, and there is enjoyment to be had in guessing how everything the characters do is going to affect the present. The story itself is also intriguing. Goran Visinjic plays Garcia Flynn, a criminal who has stolen a time machine to unmake the United States by changing certain historic events. While our three heroes can track him to a specific time, they have no way of knowing his location.In the pilot, Lucy, Rufus, and Wyatt are sent to the day of the Hindenburg explosion, thinking he intends to kill someone in the explosion who was meant to survive. They are surprised to learn that he actually prevents the explosion. When Rufus discovers one of Flynn’s henchmen’s walkie-talkie has been converted into a detonator, they figure out that Flynn actually meant to postpone the explosion until the next day—when some very important historical figures would be on board.TIMELESS — “Pilot” — Pictured: Goran Visnjic as Garcia Flynn — (Photo by: Joe Lederer/NBC)The show also sets up an intriguing mystery to tease us into coming back next week. Flynn has a diary that Lucy will write in the Future and directs her to ask why she was really brought in on this mission. We’d all probably guessed there would be some bigger conspiracy going on. Nearly every new show has at least one. But that doesn’t mean I’m not at least interested to find out what it is.It’s possible I’m just easily won over by time travel stories, but Timeless delivers a genuinely interesting premise, with fun anachronistic one-liners, which helps overcome its weaker elements. The promise of seeing exactly how much each mission changes the present alone is enough to keep me coming back.