It looks as though HBO’s The Time Traveler’s Wife won’t be a limited series at all – because it’s clearly setting up a second season to finish it off. It’s now becoming clear that The Time Traveler’s Wife will set up a second season. When former Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat signed up to write and produce The Time Traveler’s Wife, it was generally believed he was making a limited series. That no longer seems to be the case, however.
HBO’s The Time Traveler’s Wife has moved at a slow pace, with Moffat taking the time to establish the main characters and the rules of time travel that govern their lives. He only really began fleshing out their social circles in episode 4, which introduced Clare’s best friends, Gomez and Charisse, and it wasn’t until episode 5 that viewers got to know Clare’s siblings. Her younger sister, Alicia, and older brother, Mark, are immediately given much more development than in the 2009 film adaptation, however, seeming to set them up for major roles going forward. That decision seems rather surprising given The Time Traveler’s Wife only has six episodes.
The TV series is based on the bestselling debut novel of the same name by Audrey Niffenegger, which tells the full story of Henry and Clare, from the moment of their first meeting to Henry’s death when he is 43 years old. However, HBO’s adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife is clearly ending on the couple’s wedding day; it’s signposted in episode 5, and promotional photos have shown the ceremony. This event is about halfway through the book, clearly signifying Moffat’s intention to make a second season.
The Time Traveler’s Wife’s glacial pace. Moffat knew viewers needed to connect with Henry and Clare above everybody else, and so he spent three episodes focused tightly on them by introducing supporting characters who are actually deeply important to the post-wedding narrative. There have already been hints of these, with a future Henry unwittingly hinting at a tragedy that will strike the Abshire family.
It’s possible The Time Traveler’s Wife season 1 will end on a cliffhanger, building on some of its more gruesome Easter eggs, such as Henry discovering two of his amputated feet, or the blood that keeps following him around. “I know that really bad stuff is coming, Clare. I know I’m going to be frightened and bleeding, and I know that one day I’m not going to survive it,” Henry warned Clare in The Time Traveler’s Wife episode 2. This is not so much a love story as it is a tale of fate and destiny; neither Clare nor Henry ever had any real choice about their relationship because each was shaped by and for the other, and it will come to a tragic end. One future Henry is wounded and dying, and it’s possible that season 1 will end with Henry and Clare catching a glimpse of this. It’s true that Moffat’s adaptation would be deviating from the book a little on this, but it would work rather well as a dramatic conclusion to The Time Traveler’s Wife – setting up season 2.