There was a time it wasn’t so easy to watch Travelers in the US. Netflix saved us all when it began airing the exciting sci-fi program, and now it’s a Netflix original.
Travelers Season 3 just dropped, and like the seasons before it, there is a lot to digest!
We had the opportunity to chat with Patrick Gilmore who plays David, the non-traveler heart of the series, and he shared his thoughts on the world watching at once, Travelers secrets to success, his love of Christmas, and more. Enhance your viewing experience by getting to know Gilmore, and read on!
Travelers has captured the hearts of pretty much everyone who’s watched it. Has moving to Netflix made any difference at all to the series for the third season?
Patrick: Yeah, I think so, because now the whole world is going to be around the same water cooler. Canada, unfortunately, the sad irony was, we bragged that we were a Canadian show from top to bottom, and we had a co-production with a Canadian production that aired it on TV.
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So they would air the season and then you would have to wait an entire year for it to show up on Netflix. By that time, the entire world had already seen the second season. It gets confusing, the timeline, appropriately, of who saw what when. Now that Netflix has got both hands on the wheel, we’re seeing some promotion that’s lovely.
We’ve got a Billboard in Times Square, which we’re all very excited about. Everybody, Canada included, is going to experience season three at the same time. I’ll be glued to my social media just waiting for the reviews and responses to come in.
That’s always been my favorite time the last two years, is watching the reactions roll in around Christmas time.
That is difficult. Canada has such great shows, and they get sold off to other countries, but we’re often late to the party.
Patrick: Yeah, for the last two seasons, it’s been just a complete headache trying to promote and tell Canada and tell everyone else when and where and how. But this year, it’s one answer, Netflix, December 14th, worldwide.
Has it made any difference to the production value itself? And not just the production value, but what you were allowed to do on the show versus what you were allowed to do when it was on broadcast?
Patrick: Not much. I mean, we had a lot of freedom in the first two seasons. I know that the Canadian distributors, they had a lot of notes. But Netflix is just so trusting and so encouraging of thinking outside the box. It’s a creative haven. They were really hands-off, as far as I know. They’re so excited about the show, which is so fun.
Well, they were lucky. They knew how popular it was going into it, so it was not a risk for them.
Patrick: No. And it’s a relatively low budget show, too. When you compare it to shows like Altered Carbon, which was one of the most expensive TV shows ever made, we’re just a drop in the bucket. Or Sense 8. The same fan base almost, but we’re a drop in the bucket, money-wise, so I think we’d be a dream to Netflix.
Coming off of season two, there’s a pretty big event at the end of season two that’s going to play out right into the beginning of season three. Can you give us a hint of what we can expect from the fallout of the big kidnapping?
Patrick: Yeah. Every season, they write these finales that we have to … We read, and we go to Brad Wright, our showrunner, and say, “How the hell are you going to get us out of this one?” The end of season three is no different. Every season, the stakes just rise and rise and rise.
The end of season two … Yeah, it’s hard for me to describe it because it’s not like … With regular TV, you get one episode at a time, so I can leak little things here and there. But, the entire show is going to be dumped in one day, so anything I say is a spoiler.
The repercussions at the end of season two, although they’re able to put out some fires, there are a couple embers that continue to burn that will eventually, sticking with this metaphor, that will eventually turn into a full-on forest fire. So, yeah, the repercussions at the end of season two will play out significantly by the end of season three.
That gives you nothing. That tells you nothing.
No, it tells me nothing. But that’s good because I’ve seen the first three episodes.
Patrick: Oh, you’ve seen more than I have.
I think that you’ve probably been a part of more than I’ve seen.
Patrick: That’s true, that’s true. I read them and acted in them. Yeah, so in season three, you get a sense of … You kind of get back to the formula of the show, and then it all starts kind of aiming one way, and then by, I think, the last four episodes … The last four episodes could play out as a full-length movie. It’s pretty dramatic.
I think it’s not a formula, though.
Patrick: No, but I mean just the kind of the everyday … How do I put it? I may have misspoken there.
The everyday shenanigans.
Patrick: Yeah, of their missions and navigating. Yeah, it’s kind of hard for me to remember, exactly, what goes on in season three.
I like that there’s a switch up again. Every season they manage to make things justifiably different from the season before, and I think fans are going to be excited to see just how different things can be, with regard to the story.
Patrick: So it should be. I think that’s what kind of gives us some credibility among the fan base, is that we’re willing to change up the formula, change up the focus, because of the consequences of the season before.
It would be so disappointing if you were to watch the second season or the third season, and it’s just basically monster of the week, the same thing that you saw in season one, and nothing really has changed.
I remember reading the first season and comparing it to … Not to say we are anywhere near Breaking Bad quality, or the legendary show of Breaking Bad, but what Breaking Bad offered was everything that’s introduced has a repercussion. They don’t leave loose ends.
They tie them up, and everything’s going to have a consequence. So everything that happens in season one, completely altered the direction of seasons two, and you’ll see the same thing for season three.
Right. And David, of course, is one of the few people who, as of what we’ve seen so far, hasn’t been replaced by a Traveler.
Do you think he would ever be read into their history, without being replaced?
Patrick: What do you mean by that?
Like, that he could remain a present-day person, and not be replaced. Like he could be David, the same person he is, and yet be a part of … And I’m asking this question for a specific reason, but I don’t want to say why, so just roll with it. [laughs]
Patrick: For spoilers.
Patrick: That’d be hard. Right?
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It would. Or would it? I don’t know.
Patrick: All the characters that we’re introduced to and love we met in episode one, season one. You get to know Marcy. We call Marcy original Marcy, which if you follow the show, you know that’s not necessarily Marcy Prime, and then there’s Marcy 2.0 and Marcy 3.0. So you kind of fall in love we all those characters.
David’s the guy that hasn’t changed, and if he were to have a Traveler in him, it wouldn’t be David. He would look like him, but it would be a completely different David. So you don’t want to lose that.
However, again, using the Breaking Bad scenario, if you compare Walter White in episode one to Walter White to the finale, they’re completely different people because of the consequences and everything that they’ve been through has changed them, as people do. They change.
I hope that you kind of see that with David. Although, I think he maintains a lot of what you love about David, his optimistic view of humanity. You can’t help but be changed if you’ve been kidnapped and beaten and the women you love is having personality disorders. Yeah, I think season three, you see the kind of results of being traumatized.
What if he learned their secret?
Patrick: What if he did?
Patrick: Well, I mean, at the end of season two, you see that. It’s too much to take. I don’t even know if he believes it. How do you take that information in? I think that you kind of see that play out a little bit in season two finale, and you see repercussions of it in season three.
At the end of it, he boils it all down, the thing that remains is that he loves Marcy, and that might ultimately be his weakness or downfall.
Or his saving grace.
Patrick: Or his saving grace. 100%. I think one of my favorite-
It doesn’t have to be a weakness.
Patrick: No, but, I mean, he’s such a positive character, and everything is kind of can-do attitude. A character needs faults to make them interesting. If he had one, I think it’s just blind faith in humanity, and his love for MacKenzie, or Marcy. And this is an analogy that I overuse, but it just sums up David so well.
He’s built a life, a very controlled life, around him. He’s like a house of Cards. He has his tea, everything’s in its right place. He lives a very solitary life, but he gets out and he does exactly what is in him, which is to, as a social worker, to help humanity in any way he can.
Then when Marcy comes, it opens up a window of fresh air, but it also knocks the house of cards over. It’s him trying to tip to balance all that.
Well, to risk spoiling everybody, we do find one of his faults, and something that he can’t do well, in season three. He may be a good bike rider, but he can’t exercise.
Patrick: Oh god, no. He’s terrible. Right to the point of, what is he wearing? He’s gone into a Dick’s Sporting Goods and said, “Yeah, I’ll take what that mannequin’s wearing.” When he dives into things, he’s very enthusiastic about it. But he’s not really … Yeah.
You got to have some fun. You got to have some fun with David exercising.
Patrick: Exactly. Being a physical hero is maybe not what he’s cracked up to be, but you do get some fun out of that. That’s right, you do get to see that. That was fun.
I want to ask you some things non-Traveler related as well. But my last question about Travelers is, what would you ultimately like to do with David, as a character, if given the opportunity?
Patrick: Well, I have two answers to that, and one is as a fan and one is as a storyteller. As a storyteller, find the stories that have realistic endings are more compelling. They’re more relatable, they’re more real. I’m being very cautious here.
As a fan of the show, of course I want him to marry Marcy and live happily ever after in a white picket fence cottage, but that’s not the show we’re making. So it’s a question of, can you marry those two? No pun intended. Can you find a middle ground where you can have your cake and eat it too?
I think a lot of the show is like that. We’re trying to save the future, but while doing it, we’re also kind of destroying the present and destroying lives in the hopes that we can right the course. It’s that catch-22. If there’s a theme that this show has, it’s catch-22.
Right. There is no room for happiness when you’re trying to solve the greater good.
Patrick: Well, we’re trying. We have to believe it’s possible, otherwise, why would they travel that far into the past to do something so epic? You hope. And I think that’s what kind of fuels all the Travelers.
And David, his hope that humanity will right itself, in his small little world, and the Travelers are hoping for the sake of humanity that they can do it. It’s such a beautiful balance of humanity versus … You know, MacLaren and Kat’s marriage. We hope.
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Maybe that’s why David’s so important to the equation. His optimism and perpetual happiness are necessary to keep everyone else, who can fall to the dark side, from going there.
Patrick: Yeah. Also, what are we trying to save? We’re trying to save people like David, who have that optimism and want to make things right and finding the beauty in the smallest things.
In fact, that’s one of my favorite scenes, I think of the pilot, where Jared Abrahamson goes to school and he has … Is it mashed potatoes or something like that? Just everything slows down and he just savors the taste. Those are things we’re fighting for, the small things and the people like David.
Right. So let’s talk about Christmas.
I hear you’re a Christmas fanatic.
Patrick: Oh, nutty. Absolutely nutty about it. I’ve just been listening to Doris Day and eating shortbread, and just doing some shopping online.
Why is it so important to you?
Patrick: I think that, as a kid … The reason I’m an actor is I really had an overactive imagination, and I really believed in the stories I was telling with my G.I. Joe, and I could spend hours just lost in these worlds. Throughout the entire year, Christmas was the time where it seems like everybody was make-believing, although I didn’t think it was make-believe, obviously.
Everyone was kind of in on the creative, positive energy and magic. It felt magical. I remember coming home from Christmas Eve mass with a radio on, bundled up in the back of my parents’ car, listening to the radio talk about NORAD has tracked Santa.
It fueled my imagination for the rest of the year, that magic was possible, that these stories are real. It’s been a fight as I grow older to maintain that sense of magic, but there are ways to do it. I don’t know what the formula is, but as I’m figuring it out, I will throw everything at the wall that I can.
Whether it’s starting Christmas tunes in November, fine by me. Putting up all my decorations December 1st, great. Eating candy canes and wearing scarves and watching Charlie Brown Christmas ad nauseam, absolutely, I’ll do it. It’s like I’m a drug addict. I’m just looking to maintain that high of magic.
It saddens me when I hear people talk about, “Oh god, I was at the mall today and they’re already playing Christmas music. Barf.” That makes me sad. I’ve been really lucky that I haven’t found that line where, “Okay, that’s enough.” The more, the merrier.
I was just talking to my parents about finding one of these streets that has all the decorations. I said, “We should get some hot chocolate and drive up and down that road sometime this weekend.” The cynical way of looking at it, too, is I’m just trying to relive my childhood. Desperately refusing to grow up. So it’s one of those two theories. I prefer the first.
That’s wonderful. What are your favorite family traditions?
Patrick: This is a really obscure one, but every Christmas Eve, we gather around, after everyone’s gone home, all the family, and we get in our pajamas, and they have to be red flannel pajamas. Have to be, that’s the rule.
And then we’ll get some scotch or eggnog and turn off all the lights and get the Christmas lights on, and then we’ll listen to this radio reading of the story The Shepard. Do you know the one I’m talking about?
I think I do.
Patrick: It’s about a pilot. Hold on, I’m going to find the author. The Shepard by Frederick Forsyth and we listen to a retelling of that, and we’ve been doing it every year, and we’ll be doing it again here in a couple weeks.
Well, I hope you have the merriest of Christmases, and that December treats you very well with the return of Travelers.
Patrick: Oh, thank you. I hope you enjoy it.
And Santa brings you all kinds of wonderful presents.
Patrick: And likewise. Thank you so much.
Now, if you haven’t already, scurry over to Netflix and watch Travelers! All three seasons are streaming right now!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.