'Traveler' Creator Reveals EVERYTHING To TVGuide
Hello Porters, fans of Traveler, and any folks who may have randomly found this page. First off, on behalf of the cast, writers, and everyone involved in Traveler, I want to thank all those who fought so hard over the past two months to get our show back on the air. It was inspiring to see your effort and devotion. And you fought valiantly. But, in the end, I think the same thing that doomed our show — lack of awareness — also made it impossible to muster the kind of numbers needed to save it. So, while I will never forget the great — albeit frustrating — experience of Traveler, the time has come for all of us to move on to new season passes, new webpage bookmarks, and new "save the show" campaigns, as I'm sure there will be some deserving series this fall that will get the short end of the marketing/ratings stick. But before I get to your much-deserved (and lengthy) Traveler answers, I also wanted to say that it's been a blast interacting with you here and on the Traveler IMDb message board. Speaking with you and answering your questions was the best and most fulfilling part of the show's summer season. I hope our discussions can continue with my next show, DARWIN'S LAW, a one-hour action comedy about a CIA hitman who becomes a homicide detective, which you will hopefully see on ABC (yes, I aim to woo all angry Porters back to the network) in the fall of '08. Now, in my efforts to provide closure before people have completely forgotten what happened in our fun and fast 8-episode run, I offer this final blog entry… the once promised and now delivered closure that you guys deserve.
Q1. What is the Fourth Branch?
This was to be the driving mystery of Season 2, as Will, Jay, and Tyler attempt to expose the clandestine organization which Jack Freed mentioned moments before his limo exploded in "The Exchange." The Fourth Branch is a secret society comprised of the oldest families in America. Many people forget that when this country was founded, Democracy was not a proven, accepted form of government. There had not been a successful western Democracy since Athens. And, in many ways, America was looked at as a great experiment. Our founding fathers wanted independence from England, and they needed to unify a fledgling country populated by a multinational constituency to win the war. What better way to rally a disparate army against the oppressors than to promise the common man a voice in the new government? This was the great promise of early American Democracy. But what if the founding fathers were also scared of the common man's power? Would they have perhaps put safeguards into place? A branch that sits above the people's three official branches of government? That, my friends, is the Fourth Branch. A group comprised of the oldest families in America who implement checks and balances on the government to guide the true course of our country. Think about the iconic families of American politics. The Kennedys. The Tafts. The Bushes. Did you ever wonder how they managed to wield so much power and influence? Their membership in the Fourth Branch plays a big part. And while our Founding Fathers believed in using the Branch to foster a youthful nation, today the Branch has become a shadow government that uses economic, political, social, and legal influence to maintain strict control. Right now, their senators are making sure that their latest Supreme Court nominee gets appointed. Their members on the New York Stock Exchange are keeping the price of oil high so we support the effort to bring democracy to the Middle East. What is the Fourth Branch? It is the realization of one of our worst fears, that though we live in the world's greatest democracy, we are not the ones steering the ship.
Q2. What's with the Painting?
The second season was meant to have a DA VINCI CODE-esque historical fiction element, and Trumbull's "The Declaration of Independence" was the key that would start that engine. Trumbull is a fascinating figure. In 1773, he graduated Harvard at the age of 17. He went on to fight in the Revolutionary War. Then he traveled to London in 1780 and studied painting under Benjamin West. There he was captured and imprisoned as an American spy. Later, he returned to the United States, where he went on to become one of the most famous painters and politicians of his time, including a stint as Governor of Connecticut. He died at the age of 88 and was interred beneath the Art Gallery at Yale University… a crypt that Will, Jay, and Tyler would most certainly visit in Season 2. If you have looked into "The Declaration of Independence" painting, you know that the "signing" was a complete fabrication in regards to the document itself, and historians have always wondered why there are five people in the painting who were not actual signers of the Declaration of Independence. This sent our little, hyper creative minds spinning in the writers room, though I will admit that the painting was the object of much debate. But we came up with the idea that the painting was in fact the holy grail of the Fourth Branch. Because in truth, this painting does not depict the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but rather it captures the formation of the Fourth Branch itself. And looking into the families of the men present in the painting holds the key to finding the current members of the Branch. At the time of our story, rumors of the Fourth Branch have increased in the corridors of Washington. Freed and others have decided to start a campaign to increase their control of the country with the Drexler bombing. A bombing that would serve two purposes: to strike a new chord of fear in the American public, as suddenly young, well-educated white males would be seen turning against their own country; and to destroy a piece of evidence, which if discovered, could expose the existence of the Branch itself.