MacKenzie Porter and Patrick Gilmore Talk Travelers Season 3

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Travelers stars MacKenzie Porter and Patrick Gilmore talk about the upcoming third season and the fear of Artificial Intelligence.

PVH: Marcy and David have been through a lot in Season Two, both separately and together. What can you tell us about their relationship in Season Three after what they have experienced?

MP: I think Marcy is definitely sensitive to the fact that she put David in a lot of unsafe positions that caused him a lot of stress, just being around her and the Travelers kind of second hand. So at the start of Season Three she is just very worried about his safety and protecting him, and that kind of goes throughout Season Three. I can’t give away too much, but then a bunch of crazy stuff happens where her main mission with that relationship is to protect him throughout the whole season. And that gets harder to do as more stuff happens.

Eric McCormack, Brad Wright, MacKenzie Porter, Patrick Gilmore, Carrie Mudd. Photo Credit: George Pimentel

PG: Going into Season Three and talking to Brad Wright (the show’s creator) and asking “What can we expect?” It was framed to me like, if you think they’ve been through a lot now, wait until you see what happens in Season Three. It’s beautiful and painful to watch at the same time; it’s remarkable that here are two characters who have fallen in love not once but twice, given that she had lost her memory and had it completely reset. Their roles kind of reverse in Season Three, in that the first two seasons David’s instinct is to take care of Marcy; that’s his job and that’s how he’s expressing his love for her. And the roles kind of reverse in Season Three, and there’s this sense that Marcy realizes the importance of David in her life and is trying to protect that. So that sets off a whole lot of other ways that it could go wrong.

PVH: And that’s the nature of television, to keep upping the conflict and tension.

MP: Totally. We definitely don’t have that problem on our show. It’s like, every episode there is another thing that causes tension and raises the stakes.

PG: In a scenario like this, which is fantasy based, it adds that much more complication to it. You know, sure, relationships are tough, how about dating a time traveller? (laughs)

MacKenzie Porter, Patrick Gilmore_Photo Credit: Netflix

PVH: How have Marcy and David changed as a result of those experiences?

MP: I think nobody expected, when they traveled back in time to 2016, to be dealing with emotions as much as they are. In my instance falling in love and with Carly (Nesta Cooper) it’s falling in love with her son. So that really plays throughout the season too where their emotional lives are affecting the mission much more than Seasons One and Two because they have been here much longer and developed those relationships more. Was that a good answer? It’s so tricky to answer the questions without giving any details away.

PG: The opener for Season Three, David has this realization that what he’s doing to try to protect Marcy isn’t working, and perhaps he needs to change in order to keep up with the way that her life exists. This has always been the fish out of water for David, and this just adds another element of that. Maybe he’s biting off more than he can chew with trying to keep her in his life.

MacKenzie Porter_Photo Credit: Netflix

PVH: With the Travelers’ existence leaked to the world, what can we expect to see in the third season?

MP: So obviously the FBI is on their case, and it’s slowly leaking out to everybody so they have to clean up a huge mess and try to convince people that that wasn’t actually the truth. So we’re cleaning up that mess throughout Season Three and weaving more lies and more lies and more lies to cover up the whole Traveler program. In the meantime, more and more and more Travelers are coming who have to do so, and people are starting to feel changes in the people they are around now that a Traveler has come into their body. People are starting to question everything really.

PG: The Travelers’ mission was difficult to begin with, just the nature of the mission and you throw on top of that the threat of exposure and how to complete the mission while having the knowledge of them on their tail the entire time, so it doubles the stakes, it doubles their complications and – oh, I almost blew that one (laughs), I almost let something slip – and it becomes a central theme of is this possible and to be able to pull this off, because you have people – regardless of their internal conflicts – you have the Faction and you have the general public. Brad and the team have decided that they are going to take every character and push them to their extremes, and that all plays into it.

Patrick Gilmore_Photo Credit: George Pimentel

PVH: So the Travelers get to create fake news.

MP: Absolutely. Actually Eric (McCormack) just said that today and I’m like, that is like a perfect analogy of it. I guess we could blame it on that. Today that slogan actually works.

PG: I don’t know if that was serendipity or intentional, but it’s very (laughs) now, isn’t it? And that might play into the Travelers’ benefit; no one listens to this stuff anymore because we don’t know what’s real, we don’t know what’s true, so you hear on the news that there’s a terrorist cell of people claiming to be time travellers. Okay, we’ve heard it. What else you got, climate change? Sure. (laughs)

MacKenzie Porter, Eric McCormack_Photo Credit: Netflix

PVH: Has working on the show altered your preconceptions of Artificial Intelligence?

MP: It has, my boyfriend is very, very into that kind of stuff; he talks to me about it a lot, and he believes one day Artificial Intelligence will be even scarier and more prevalent than it is today. So it definitely makes you more aware of the possibility and to me it’s a little scary. I feel like it’s proven these days even with the technology we have that people to people relationships are suffering because of it so I can only imagine that’s going to get even harder.

PG: Yeah, It’s not something that would enter my everyday life, I’m just flirting with the idea of buying one of those Oculus Rifts. So we don’t really think of things like Alexa or Siri as Artificial Intelligence but I guess it’s the precursor, and when I hear people like Elon Musk and these great minds of our generation warning us, it’s very similar to what we were talking about in news, my brain only has the capacity to worry about x amount of things and Artificial Intelligence just doesn’t fit in to that, but I’ve worked on a show for three years that that’s one of the central themes and it does kind of pop up; it’s one of those things that itch at the back of my mind that are we being a little too complacent in allowing this to take place? It feels like a retelling of Frankenstein where we’re creating something that we don’t know the power of.

PVH: And then one day Skynet goes active and Terminators come after us.

PG: Yeah (laughs), there’s another perfect example. I mean, it seems silly and we all kind of giggle at our Austrian accents, but this could happen in our lifetime. What do they call that, the Singularity when Artificial Intelligence becomes self-aware? I hope I’m not being naïve in even suggesting it could be in our lifetime, I don’t know what the stats are on that, but the way that technology has progressed from Pong to Oculus Rift, why not in our lifetime?

MacKenzie Porter_Photo Credit: George Pimentel

PVH: And we’ve seen sci-fi stories where Artificial Intelligence has gone wrong, like The Terminator and The Matrix. And Travelers has the idea of transferring consciousness form one body to another across time, what about the idea of transferring consciousness to a computer?

MP: I think that is really scary. It’s interesting and cool from a technical point, but I don’t really know what that means for humanity and the problems that it would create. Maybe it would just be great, I don’t know.

Travelers Season Three premieres on Netflix December 14.