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Time After Time: Every Question You Have About ABC's Jack the Ripper Show, Answered

Is this show really about Sexy Jack the Ripper?

Sadie Gennis

Time After Time hasn't even premiered, and the new ABC drama is already quite the topic of conversation.

When promos for Time After Time aired during the Oscars, many viewers were baffled by the show's apparent premise: H.G. Wells (UnREAL's Freddie Stroma) chases his friend Jack the Ripper (Revenge's Josh Bowman) into the future. Oh, and did I forget to mention that both H.G. Wells and Jack the Ripper are total babes?!

So, is that really the premise of Time After Time? And more importantly, is it weird to find Jack the Ripper sexy? We answer every question you might have about Time After Time below!

Freddie Stroma and Josh Bowman, Time After Time
Bob D'Amico/ABC

Is this really about Sexy Jack the Ripper and Sexy H.G. Wells? Boy, is it! You see, back in the day, before H.G. Wells wrote any of his now legendary novels, he apparently built a real time machine. He was showing off this game-changing piece of machinery to his good friend John -- who, as it turns out, is actually the notorious anonymous serial killer Jack the Ripper. And once John discovers the authorities were hot on his tail, he uses the time machine to hightail it to modern-day New York City. Realizing he's the only one who can stop John from killing again, H.G. follows his old friend to the future, where the world's sexiest cat-and-mouse game begins!

Is it weird to feel attracted to Jack the Ripper? Yes and no. It's totally weird to be sexually attracted to a serial killer, but the charismatic power of Josh Bowman is also impossibly hard to deny. Plus, this version of Jack the Ripper isn't completely evil. There is a part of John that does want to change and leave his psychopathic, murderous tendencies behind. It's a small part, but it's big enough that you should feel slightly less confused by your newfound crush on the legendary murderer.

Will Freddie Stroma have that ridiculous mustache the entire season? Sadly, no. Upon reaching present day, H.G. Wells ditches his old-timey formal wear and 'stache for a more casual dress and barren face. RIP Freddie Stroma's mustache! We hardly knew ye.

Freddie Stroma, Time After Time
Giovanni Rufino/ABC

Don't we have enough time-travel shows on TV right now? While time-travel is definitely one of the TV trends of the season, Time After Time isn't exactly a time-travel show. In its second episode, the drama establishes its rules for time travel - ones which make it very dangerous to actually travel through time too often. That's why H.G. Wells doesn't simply go back in time to stop John from ever taking the time machine in the first place. It's also why the show only time-travels four times in the first season.

Instead, Time After Time is far more interested in exploring how H.G. Wells' adventures in modern-day Manhattan eventually inspire him to write The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The Island of Dr. Moreau and War of the Worlds, which is a fun way to fully take advantage of having H.G. Wells as the show's dashing protagonist.

Don't worry, Time After Time will explain it's time-travel rules

Does this mean I need to know a lot about H.G. Wells to enjoy Time After Time? Definitely not. Although dedicated Wellsophiles (which I'm assuming is the super cool, official name for all H.G. Wells fans) will probably enjoy hunting for the seeds of inspiration for their favorite Wells novels, Time After Time isn't a complicated puzzle box that expects viewers to have a working knowledge of 19th century literature. So even if you don't know who H.G. Wells is, you can enjoy the show just fine.

Is it at all inspired by the Cyndi Lauper song? No, but it is an adaptation of Karl Alexander's 1979 novel (which was, itself, the inspiration for the 1979 Malcolm McDowell movie). But if you're disappointed that this isn't a dramatic retelling of Cyndi Lauper's greatest ballad, don't worry: Each episode is titled based on a different lyric from the '80s classic.

Why did ABC cancel Forever?This is one of life's greatest mysteries. But if you're anything like us and still mourning the delightfully fun immortality romp, Time After Time can help fill that Naked Ioan Gruffud Waking Up in the East River-shaped hole in your heart. It's fun, it's dramatic and it doesn't take itself too seriously. It's just plain entertaining. What more do you need?

If this sounds like a show you'd love, don't miss Time After Time two-hour premiere this Sunday at 9/8c on ABC!