The Time Traveler’s Wife From Steven Moffat Will Adapt by HBO
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HBO Will Adapt The Time Traveler’s Wife From Steven Moffat With Some Notable Genre Stars

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BY March 5, 2021

It’s been a long time since Steven Moffat last dabbled with time travel as showrunner of Doctor Who. Now Moffat will return to the genre with a new adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife. The adaptation has been picked up by HBO as a television series, a big departure from the previous film incarnation. Game of Thrones alum Rose Leslie has also been tapped to play the titular character. Her husband – the time traveler in question – will be portrayed by Theo James of the Divergent franchise.

Steven Moffat Is A Long-Time Fan of The Time Traveler’s Wife

Time Traveler's Wife Moffat Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

The Time Traveler’s Wife is a novel by Audrey Niffenegger, published to wide acclaim in 2003. It is a beautiful and heartbreaking love story with a genre twist. The book has been adapted once before as a 2009 movie starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana. However, Steven Moffat has long been outspoken about his love of the novel. Reportedly, Moffat’s famous Doctor Who episode “The Girl In The Fireplace” was inspired by Niffenegger’s book.

“I read Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife many years ago, and I fell in love with it. In fact, I wrote a Doctor Who episode called ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’ as a direct response to it,” Moffat said “When, in her next novel, Audrey had a character watching that very episode, I realized she was probably on to me. All these years later, the chance to adapt the novel itself, is a dream come true. The brave new world of long form television is now ready for this kind of depth and complexity. It’s a story of happy ever after – but not necessarily in that order.”

The Girl In The Fireplace / The Time Traveler's Wife Moffat Sophia Myles and David Tennant in the Doctor Who episode “The Girl In The Fireplace” | Image via BBC

The Time Traveler’s Wife Will Be A HBO Series

Indeed, the description from HBO sounds an awful lot like a Doctor Who premise. They describe Rose Leslie’s character of Clare as “Fiery, clever and unstoppable. For most of her life she’s had an amazing secret. Since she was 6, she 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. And he’s not just from any old future — he’s from her future. Clare has a literal date with destiny. One day she’s going to meet a young man called Henry DeTamble — whom she’ll know very well but who won’t recognize her at all — and she will become the time traveler’s wife.”

Time Traveler's Wife Moffat Image via MacAdam/Cage

Time Travel Without Logic or Reason

The character of Henry is a time-traveler, but the twist is that he cannot control the ability. It is a genetic condition that he suffers from, that makes his life chaotic and unpredictable. It isn’t until he meets Clare, that he starts to discover that the ability can bring good things into his life.

The series marks Rose Leslie’s return to HBO, after departing Game of Thrones before the show went off the rails. The show is a priority project for the cable channel, after they won the rights in a hot bidding war back in 2018. No other casting has yet been announced for the project. But you can be sure we’ll be keeping a close eye on this series as it develops. To stay up to date, be sure to follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today.

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Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

Adaptation NewsAdaptationsAudrey NiffeneggerHBORose LeslieSteven MoffatThe Time Traveler's WifeTheo James

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