Loved ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’? Here Are 7 Shows to Watch Instead

The Time Traveler’s Wife starring Rose Leslie and Theo James has been canceled by HBO Max after just one season. Based on the 2003 novel from Audrey Niffenegger, the series explored the challenges, consequences, and pressures that time-traveling can create — especially in a relationship.

If you loved the six episodes of The Time Traveler’s Wife, here are seven time-traveling TV shows to watch that will take you on an adventure into the past, present, and future.

The Time Traveler’s Wife Theo James and Rose Leslie
Theo James and Rose Leslie in ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ | Barbara Nitke/HBO

7. ‘Timeless’ looked in on famous events in history

The short-lived NBC series Timeless told the story of a stolen time machine and the man who wanted to change the course of history. The theft leads to a history professor, a soldier, and an engineer being tasked with traveling back in time to ensure that the man doesn’t change monumental historical events.

From the Hindenburg disaster to the capture of Benedict Arnold to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Timeless is a fun adventure series that gives audiences a unique look at famous historical events, moments, and characters.

Like the Time Traveler’s Wife, a major theme in Timeless is the catastrophic effects of time travel and how the “Butterfly Effect” can change everything you know to be true. There’s definitely less romance, but the visuals of modern characters being part of major past events is a treat for any American history and pop culture fan. 

Both seasons of Timeless and the special finale are available on Hulu.

6. ‘Quantum Leap’ is a time-traveling TV classic from the 1990s

From 1989 to 1993, Scott Bakula starred as Dr. Samuel Beckett in the time-traveling science fiction drama Quantum Leap. The story begins in the “near future” of 1995, when physicist Dr. Beckett theorizes that time travel is possible in one’s own lifetime. 

He gets a government grant for his “Quantum Leap” project and supercomputer Ziggy, and he works on the project with his friend, Admiral Al Calavicci (Dean Stockwell). 

Right away, Sam gets trapped in time and starts leaping into different bodies. The only way he can leap is to “set right what once went wrong” at that moment in the other person’s life, and correct specific events that should have never happened to improve the timeline. But, the ultimate goal is to leap back home. 

Just like Henry in The Time Traveler’s Wife, Sam never knows where or when he will leap. But he holds onto the hope that he will one day get to go home. Quantum Leap is available for free on The Roku Channel. There’s also a reboot coming to Peacock in the fall of 2022.

5. ‘Sleepy Hollow’ mixes classic literature with the modern-day

Based on Washington Irving’s 1820 gothic story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Sleepy Hollow put a modern twist on an old tale. This adaptation was, of course, about the life of the well-known character Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison). But in this story, he is transported from his home of Sleepy Hollow in 1781 into 2013.

Alongside an FBI agent, Crane attempts to stop the Headless Horseman and other evil entities in order to save the world. This series features flashbacks to the late 18th century and a touch of the supernatural.

All four seasons of Sleepy Hollow are available on Tubi and Hulu.

4. James Franco attempts to save JFK in ‘11.22.63’

Based on the book by Stephen King, 11.22.63 centers around the assassination of President John F. Kennedy who was killed in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. The limited series stars James Franco as Jake Epping, a man who discovers a time portal and attempts to stop the tragic event from happening.

But while he is trying to gather info on the events leading up to the president’s untimely death, he is ignoring the woman he is madly in love with. Just like Henry in The Time Traveler’s Wife, Jake has to make some tough choices between his mission and the love of his life.

This intense and suspenseful series takes some shocking twists and turns, while being a compelling tale of one man’s determination to change this crucial event in American history. The series is currently available to stream on Hulu.

3. The British version of ‘Life on Mars’ is way better than the others

Back in 2006, BBC One aired the short-lived, yet fascinating series Life on Mars starring John Simm as police detective Sam Tyler. The story begins with Sam getting involved in a fatal car accident but then wakes up to find himself in 1973. 

As he continues his job as a police officer, Sam faces some serious culture shock between the 21st century and the 1970s. He struggles to adjust to the past while solving crimes and attempting to uncover the truth about his time travel.

It’s a captivating psychological drama with a mystery that will keep you hooked. But we only recommend the British version on Amazon Prime Video. The American version that aired on ABC in 2008 — plus the international versions from Russia, the Czech Republic, and South Korea — don’t live up to the original.

2. The ‘Doctor Who’ revival in 2005 is must-see TV for those who love time travel stories

The creator and writer of HBO Max’s The Time Traveler’s Wife was Steven Moffat, a man who is known for his success making time-traveling TV shows. Moffat wrote numerous episodes of the Doctor Who revival in 2005 before taking over as showrunner when Russel T. Davies stepped down in 2010.

Doctor Who is about a Time Lord who travels through time and the universe in his TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space) with his various companions, as he combats foes, works to save civilizations, and helps people in need.

While we have a special place in our hearts for the classic Doctor Who era and the first eight doctors, those episodes aren’t necessary unless you are a hardcore sci-fi, time-traveling fan. Instead, we recommend starting with the revival era in 2005 starring ninth doctor Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper as his companion Rose. 

The story really gets out-of-this-world good when 10th Doctor David Tennant arrives in season 2.  A few seasons later, he’s followed by 11th Doctor Matt Smith and those episodes shouldn’t be missed either. 

We’ll admit that once the change is made to the 12th doctor, things get a bit confusing and it’s quite alright to stop right there. By the time you get to the 13th doctor, the series is unrecognizable.

Seasons 1 through 7 of Doctor Who — featuring the ninth, tenth, and eleventh doctors — is available on Amazon Prime Video and The Roku Channel.

1. ‘Outlander’ has 6 seasons in the books, with another expected to premiere in early 2023

If you love time-traveling romances and have not seen Outlander starring Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe, then we advise you to drop everything and head straight to Netflix to watch the pilot. 

Balfe stars as British WWII nurse Claire who travels back in time to 18th century Scotland, where she meets Heughan’s Jamie, a Highland warrior. Just like The Time Traveler’s Wife, Outlander focuses on a passionate love affair. With Claire — just like Theo James’ Henry DeTamble — dealing with the burdens of time travel and its consequences.

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HBO Cancels ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ After 1 Season

This epic fantasy romance raises numerous ethical questions while diving into different parts of Scottish and American history. It’s one of the greatest love stories ever told, set against a gorgeous backdrop of 18th century Scotland and Colonial America.

The first five seasons of Outlander are available on Netflix, and season 6 is streaming on the Starz app. Outlander Season 7 is expected to premiere on Starz in early 2023.