HBO orders adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife from Dr. Who’s Steven Moffat


Writer-producer Steven Moffat may no longer be involved with the long-running British series Dr. Who, but that doesn’t mean he’s done with time travel!

Deadline reports that the producer’s adaptation of the novel The Time Traveler’s Wife has been given a straight to series order from HBO after competition from several outlets, including Amazon.

The network had been working on the deal for the series for over a month.

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This is the third high-profile series from an A-lister that HBO has added to its roster recently. It also acquired Demimonde from uber-producer J.J. Abrams and The Nevers from beloved Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon.

Moffat will write the series. He will also serve as executive producer with Sue Vertue and Brian Minchin for their company, Hartswood Films. Warner Bros. Television will also produce.

Of the adaptation, Moffat said,

"I read Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife many years ago, and I fell in love with it… All these years later, the chance to adapt the novel itself, is a dream come true. The brave new world of long form television is now ready for this kind of depth and complexity. It’s a story of happy ever after – but not necessarily in that order."

Based on the 2003 novel by Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife focuses on Clare, an artist, and Henry, a librarian. The pair fall in love and marry, but their marriage has a unique problem — Henry has a genetic condition that causes him to involuntarily travel through time. The show is said to be intricate, magical, and romantic.

Of course, the HBO series won’t the first time The Time Traveler’s Wife has been adapted for the screen. In 2009, New Line, a division of Warner Bros. which still has the rights to the novel, produced a feature film of the story starring Eric Bana and Rachel Mc Adams.

While the film was successful financially, it was panned by critics and only marginally more enjoyed by viewers.

Yet, as Moffat observes, long-form television may be the perfect vehicle through which to do the complex story justice. Serialized TV provides the breathing room needed to make sure the audience can get to know and care about Clare and Henry and understand the intricacies of their situation.

In fact, Moffat wrote a somewhat similar plot into Dr. Who during his tenure on that show in which the titular Doctor met his wife, River, across time and space at different points in both of their individual timelines.

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In addition to Dr. Who, Moffat is best known for co-creating and executive producing the Benedict Cumberbatch-starring Sherlock. He has won multiple Emmys and BAFTA Awards.

Are you excited to see HBO’s adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife? Have your say in the comments.