Crime Traveller is a 1997 science fiction detective television series produced by Carnival Films for the BBC based on the premise of using time travel for the purpose of solving crimes.
Anthony Horowitz created the series and wrote every episode. He got the idea while writing an episode of Poirot. Despite having over eight million viewers on a regular basis, Crime Traveller was not renewed after its first series, because according to Horowitz, "The show wasn't exactly cut. There was a chasm at the BBC, created by the arrival of a new Head of Drama and our run ended at that time. There was no-one around to commission a new series...and so it just didn't happen." Other sources cited at the time that the BBC was concerned by a steady decrease in viewing figures from 11m to 7m by the end of the show's run, and feared viewing figures would continue to decline if the series was recommissioned.
Jeff Slade is a detective with the CID department of the local police force led by Kate Grisham, although unusually for such a position he is an armed officer; carrying a handgun as routine. Slade is a good detective who gets results although his approach is somewhat maverick and his methods do leave a lot to be desired and have more than once landed him in trouble. Amongst Slade's colleagues at the department is science officer Holly Turner who has a secret that Slade manages to uncover. Holly owns a working Time Machine that was built by her late father. The machine is able to take Slade and Holly back far enough in time to witness a crime as it happens and discover who committed it. As a result Slade's track record with crime solving goes through the roof with case after case being solved in record time.
Rules of time travel
The rules of time travel in the series are as follows:
(Played by Michael French) Slade is not what could be described as a conventional detective. His style is maverick to say the least and he is more prone to go on instinct rather than cold hard facts. This approach invariably gets him in trouble with his superiors but nine times out of ten they will result in an arrest. Slade clearly enjoys his job and is very dedicated to it even though his attitude sometimes suggests otherwise. He was inspired to join the police because of his father Jack who was a highly respected detective himself until his false arrest and imprisonment for theft in 1992. Jeff took this very hard as he had always admired his father and refused to believe he was capable of such a thing following such a distinguished 30 year career. Slade was once married but very little is known about how long he was married and indeed how the marriage ended but it is thought that his wife died as he keeps a picture in his flat of a girl he tells Holly is now dead. Outside work Slade tends to keep himself to himself and rarely if ever socialises with colleagues such as Morris and Nicky. His only real friend at work is science officer Holly Turner. They have clearly always been on friendly terms but it is suggested that before her telling him about the machine they didn't socialise outside of work. Since his finding out about the machine the two have become a lot closer and spend a lot of time together outside work. It is hinted throughout the series that Slade is attracted to Holly but for whatever reason he has never seen fit to tell her how he feels. As well as making them closer personally their use of the machine has also shown that professionally they are a very good team and together they have solved several crimes including who set up Slade's father five years before and getting him released.
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