Timeless Character Review: Rufus Carlin

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Timeless. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the first two seasons.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Timeless to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

Every ship needs a captain and every crew needs a conscious. In Timeless, the captain of the Lifeboat is Rufus Carlin (Malcolm Barrett). Rufus is an engineer and programmer who is assigned to pilot the time machine. He is also the conscious of the main trio of characters, due mostly to his skin color and the heavy reminder of racism in America. Rufus also dealt with betrayal when his mentor reveals that he was not kidnapped, he willingly joined up with the villain and made it look like a kidnapping.

But there is light in Rufus’s life. His relationship with girlfriend Jiya (Claudia Doumit) is going strong. They were colleagues before they got together, Rufus had a crush on Jiya for a long time, but was unable to give voice to his feelings.

To sum it up: When a character is the conscious of the story, he or she does not need to be 2D, dull or preachy. Rufus works as a character because though he is the conscious of the show, he is thoroughly human. As an audience member, we root for him when he stands up against racism, we love him when it comes to his relationship with Jiya and and we feel his pain when his mentor is revealed as a traitor. That is why Rufus Carlin stands out as a character.

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Filed under Character Review, History, Television

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