This review is based on the pilot of "Timeless" which aired 10/3/16.
I am usually a huge advocate for extremely fast pacing, lots of action and keeping insignificant scenes to the absolute bare minimum. Knowing this about me, I still felt timeless was very rushed. Like designated survivor, a 2-hour pilot would have been better suited. One second, Lucy Preston (Abigail Spencer) is learning about an actual time machine and a dangerous man who has stolen it, and in the next 45 seconds (literally) she's on another time machine going to stop him!! HOLD YOUR DAMN HORSES!!! There was very minimal character development and set up, and the show dove right in to going back in time and saving the world. Now GRANTED, this IS what we want to see from this show, and everything it did was smart, and fun, and exciting -- but it felt very sped up for a pilot, and seeing as how this review is based on the pilot, I can't give it 5 stars because of this rushed factor.
Now, criticism of the pacing aside, the pilot establishes that this is going to be a very fun show. First of all, we've got 3 characters who will be going back in time, and simply by having one of them be black they can create a lot of juicy drama, as was seen in the pilot. We've got the historian, the soldier, and the tech guy. They need to work together to complete their missions while making extremely minimal changes in history. The stakes are VERY high with this show, and its going to be one heck of a ride.
I've noticed that some fellow TV reviewers over on vox.com said that this show was "monumentally stupid" and really "dumbed down" the concept of time travel. I can't say I agree at all. I'd say rather, that while Timeless is a show about timetravel, it really isn't about time travel at all. 12 Monkeys is about time travel. They get into technicalities, concepts, and mind-blowing paradox theory. Timeless is simply using time-travel as a concept to have a high-stakes show where they save the world each week and can do so in exotic but well known historical settings. So the fact that we just have to accept there is a working time machine with no real explanation really just suits the theme of the show. I don't believe it makes it "monumentally stupid"