“The Time Traveler’s Wife, A Modern Love Story”: Interview with Steven Moffat and David Nutter -Producer and screenwriter Steven Moffat and director David Nutter spoke with Tiempo from Series by Cats about ” The Time Traveler’s Woman,” a miniseries based on the homonymous novel by Audrey Niffenegger, available on HBOMax.
Based on the homonymous original by Audrey Niffenegger, the science fiction miniseries, The Time Traveler’s Wife ( The time traveler’s wife, 2022) tells us the love story between Clare (Rose Leslie) and Henry (Theo James), a couple that has to face a very particular situation: time travel.
Henry is a rare genetic dysfunction librarian that allows him to time travel. On the extra hand, his wife, Clare, is an artist. Although the couple aspires to lead an everyday life, Henry’s trips to the past and future challenge the relationship, producing compromising and other fun situations.
Written and produced by Steven Moffat, co-creator of Sherlock and several episodes of Doctor Who, and directed by David Nutter ( Game Of Thrones ), this new version of the story (remember that in 2009 Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams starred in the movie of the same name), has six chapters that can be seen on the HBO Max platform.
We spoke with Moffat and Nutter about the making of this new adaptation of history, time travel, and love stories.
Table of Contents
What was the Approach you Took to Adapt a Well-known and Beloved Story by the Public? – Time Traveler’s Wife A Modern Love Story
Steven Moffat: You always have to start from the assumption that you will tell a new story. You cannot assume that everyone knows it and remembers it, so you must write it providing your point of view. Even if you see a new version of Sherlock Holmes, you must thrill the audience with something new. The most challenging audience to seduce is the one that already knows the story, so you must give it something new.
David Nutter: As a director, I am guided by the script of the Series, regardless of whether it is based on a book, because for me, the writing is my original material, my Bible, and that is where I start to tell the story visually.
We know that the Series Began Produce During the Covid 19 Pandemic. So how was that Work via Zoom? – Time Traveler’s Wife A Modern Love Story
SM: Not the best! (laughs) I wish we were all sitting at the same table face-to-face, but Zoom worked (laughs). We worked with the right people; Theo and Rose’s chemistry was excellent, and these video calls helped us get to know each other. The castings by Zoom responded to the moment that we were living, but it is something that I would not continue with.
DN: One exciting thing about Zoom was that I could be more attentive to Rose and Theo’s reactions when they read together. I felt an immediate connection between them which was fantastic.
How is The Time Traveler’s Wife a modern love story, and how is it different from other love stories?
SM: I think time is the doom factor in this story, and it is the enemy of this couple. The woman of the time traveler is a love story different from all the others because, from the beginning, you know the end; from the beginning of the Series, you know that this relationship has a limited time. What the Series and the novel tell you is that no matter how happy the characters are, no matter how much in love they are, “happily ever after” is a lie because, in love stories. People are so glad for a while, and It’s the best anyone can hope for. So I adapted this story to combine a happy relationship with tragedy because, like everything, it’s always going to end. Sorry to spoil your day, but that’s the way it is.
DN: Exactly. Of all the works and great projects I have done. I can tell you with certainty that this is the best and I assure you that you will not find a better love story on television or in the cinema. I guarantee it. Because as you mention. It is a modern love story because it is timeless and timely at a similar time when we have been separated and alone in many situations due to Covid. This show brings us together again around what is worthwhile, like love.
What was it About the Story that Fixed your Attention, and How did you decide to Turn it into a Miniseries?
SM: When the book first came out, back in 2003. I had the opportunity to read it, and I loved it. The story seemed beautiful to me. I was writing Doctor Who at the time. So I suggested to Russell T Davies (showrunner of this Series) that we should do an episode like this. So that’s how I wrote the episode called The Girl in the Fireplace. Which is similar to The Time Traveler’s Wife. In those, Audrey, the writer of the novel, published another book, which I also liked very much. So we got in touch with her, and we became friends. Audrey came to the screening of one of the episodes of Riversong from Doctor Who and then to talk several times about The time traveler’s wife in Doctor Who. The last day Brian Minchin, the producer mentioned that he had been looking into the rights to the book and that maybe we could do a version for television and in a concise space of time in terms of television, hahaha, they endorsed us, and we began to develop the project. It was a quick process and came from the best possible place: a love of the book.
DN: From my experiences, I have learned that if the script doesn’t make me feel anything, I can’t portray it; if it doesn’t move me, I can’t recreate it; that’s why it was fascinating when I read the script for The Time Traveler’s Wife because it was very personal, revealing and ambitious, I think it was the most emotional story I’ve ever read, every moment of reading it was extraordinary, so it was something I couldn’t refuse.
What do you Find Most Interesting About Time Travel?
YE: I would love to travel back in time because it would give us a different way of seeing life. That’s what the book does brilliantly: it gives you perspective on life, but in a messy order, lol. For example. Time travel allows you to see that love and loss are inextricably linked and that one implies the other. I think this is a huge thing: it makes you see that happiness means sadness. That union also occurs when we are separated, and that light is equal to shadow. The appeal of science fiction is that you can go places you can never go if you don’t travel back in time. You and I can’t go to yesterday or last week. We can’t go to the next 100 years unless we live an excessive amount of time.
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