Time traveler’s wife lets Moffat do what the doctor would NEVER allow
HBO’s Time Traveler’s Wife lets Steven Moffat explore the riskiest tropes common in science fiction that Doctor Who would never have allowed.
This article contains spoilers for The Time Traveler’s Wife episode 2.
HBO The Time Traveler’s Wife lets creator Steven Moffat do what previous shows like Doctor Who would never allow. Based on the best-selling 2003 novel by Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife tells a story that Moffat himself originally borrowed when creating a story for the Eleventh Doctor: a man with the power to time travel meets a woman at many points in his life and they fall lover. Where Moffat’s earlier work on Doctor Who was largely family, The Time Traveler’s Wife gave him leeway to explore things of a more adult nature.
The Time Traveler’s Wife In Episode 2, Henry (Theo James) meets for a reluctant second date with his future wife Clare (Rose Leslie) when she begins to dig into Henry’s past and powers. At one point in the conversation, he mentions that his father discovered his powers when Henry was 16 because he came across two versions of Henry in a decidedly sexual situation. He cancels the event and explains it by pointing out the fact that he was 16 years old.
This trope is unlike anything seen in Doctor Who. It’s the kind of joke and trope that Moffat could never have used in such a family-owned property. However, in a series where the protagonist is still shown naked after time travel, Moffat has a bit more leeway to explore sci-fi tropes that don’t sit well with Doctor Whobrand or image.
The idea of sleeping with yourself is often repeated in time travel stories and jokes. Popular examples include David Gerrold’s 1973 Nebula-nominated novel “The Man Who Folded Back” and Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “—All You Zombies—”. Whereas Doctor Who is heavily invested in sci-fi tropes and has itself had a significant impact on the genre, the restrictions of its specific brand do not allow for the exploration of tropes like The Time Traveler’s Wife Is. That Moffat is able to pay homage to these established tropes in a new property is exciting and fun to watch.
Moffat is a huge fan of Niffenegger’s 2003 novel and showed her affection by leaving The Time Traveler’s Wife radiation Doctor Who. That he now gets to work on an adaptation of it and that said adaptation allows him to spread his wings in sci-fi tropes that Doctor Who won’t touch is satisfying and interesting. Just wonder what other potentially risky tropes Moffat could explore in the remaining episodes of The time traveler’s wife.
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