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The Time Traveler’s Wife comes to HBO as a series, helmed by Doctor Who’s Steven Moffat, who claims it isn’t science fiction.

The Time Traveller’s Wife was the first book by author Audrey Niffenegger, that became a hit film in 2009 starring Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes) and Eric Bana (Star Trek 2009). And now it’s a prestige 6-part series on HBO, developed by Steven Moffat and starring Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) and Theo James (Divergent).

Trailer park

Clare is our heroine, and says: “I married a time traveler. It’s complicated,” at the end of the first teaser for TTTW. That’s an understatement: Her husband, Henry, just randomly slips out of time sometimes, leaving the water running and a pile of clothes on the floor. Henry travels light.

HBO says “Clare Abshire is fiery, clever and unstoppable — and for most of her life she’s had an amazing secret. Since she was 6 years old, Clare has had an imaginary friend: a kind and funny man, sometimes old, sometimes young, who appears in the woods behind her house and tells her tales of the future. Visits from the mysterious Henry are the bright spots in the tedium of her childhood. As the years pass and she grows into a beautiful young woman, she starts to realize her friend is not imaginary — he’s a time traveler, visiting from the future.”

Cover of the novel

Further: “Since he was 8 years old, Henry DeTamble been a time traveler. It’s not a superpower, it’s a condition; he can’t help it. Sometimes, when Henry is stressed or worried — and sometimes for no reason at all — he loses his grip on the current moment and falls naked into the past or the future. One minute he’s making breakfast, the next he’s naked at a hoedown in 1973. He can be stuck there for any amount of time, he never knows. His life is a rollercoaster of constant danger and white-knuckle survival, until one day he meets a beautiful redhead in the library where he works. Her name is Clare Abshire, and although he’s never seen her before, she claims to have known him all her life.”

Before developing this adaptation, Moffat had been a fan of The Time Traveler’s Wife for years; he’s said that he wrote Doctor Who‘s “The Girl in the Fireplace” in response to the novel. “This is a story of loss but it’s not a tragedy,” said Moffet. “It’s about a time traveler but it’s not science fiction. Despite Clare and Henry’s time scrambled relationship, this is the tale of a grand, ordinary love – but not necessarily in that order. This is a dream project for me. I have always loved Audrey Niffenegger’s extraordinary, moving novel and it has inspired me many times, so to be adapting it for television is the thrill of a lifetime.”

Rose Leslie, Caitlin Shorey and Everleigh McDonell who portray Clare at different ages

The HBO and Warner Bros. production based on the book by Audrey Niffenegger, is executive produced by Steven Moffat (Doctor WhoSherlock), Sue Vertue (SherlockCoupling), and Brian Minchin (Doctor WhoTorchwood), Joseph E. Iberti (HBO’s Watchmen and Boardwalk Empire) and David Nutter (HBO’s Game of Thrones and The Sopranos). Nutter will also direct Season 1.

“This is a story of loss but it’s not a tragedy,” said Moffet. “It’s about a time traveler but it’s not science fiction. Despite Clare and Henry’s time scrambled relationship, this is the tale of a grand, ordinary love – but not necessarily in that order. This is a dream project for me. I have always loved Audrey Niffenegger’s extraordinary, moving novel and it has inspired me many times, so to be adapting it for television is the thrill of a lifetime. Working with David Nutter is a joy and an honor already, and with Rose Leslie and Theo James as Clare and Henry, and Natasha Lopez and Desmin Borges as Charisse and Gomez, this is going to be the love story we need right now.”

Not science fiction, but it has time travel as its core conceit. Ummmmm, yeah.

No, it’s science fiction.

HBO has announced The Time Traveler’s Wife will premier this May, but so far no specific release date has been given.

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David Raiklen
David Raiklen

David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.

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