Timeless: You Can't Go Back

2017.02.01 - Downtown Vancouver
2017.02.02-03 - South Vancouver

Timeless has been a little bit of an enigma for me since it’s been in Vancouver.  Originally, when I heard of the pilot, I was excited about Goran Visnjic coming here to work.  I LOVED his character in ER and really always had a soft spot for his character of Kovac, the handsome, mysterious, inherently sad (and IMO underdeveloped) widower that appeared from Croatia partway through the series.  I put meeting him on my ‘to-do’ list.  The show, though, wasn’t always high on my priority list.  I was thinking about watching it.  That is until they cast Sean Maguire.  Then I was sold.  When Sean was here in town I was actually out of town in the case of the worst timing ever.  Finding their set has always just kind of been the thing that I’ll get to. 

Eric Kripke announced they cast Jim Beaver and suddenly it got pushed up the list.  I was in my apartment getting some stuff done one Sunday when I heard about their location downtown.  I knew that Jim had left town so I figured I’d wait.  A decision I regretted later when 1) they announced the next day that Misha Collins was going to be in the show 2) He shared photos from set that day and then 3) later on they released promo photos from that episode where Goran, the main cast and Misha were all on that location.  Frustration. Bad choices.

Misha and Jim both wrapped out and I started to get a little panicky.  The end of the show’s filming season snuck up on me and suddenly I was on a deadline.  Unsure of the exact date of their wrapping (February 2nd, 7th – seemed to be a few dates floating around) I needed to commit to this to get a chance to meet Goran.  After a few inaccessible sets including one down by the side of a highway with train tracks on a river on one side and a long, wet, dark, muddy not-road to walk that was an interior we really were starting to feel the push.

Wednesday, February 1st I headed to downtown Vancouver where mercifully they had an exterior outside of the Art Gallery in the busiest part of downtown for foot traffic. Sure enough there were a lot of random people stopping to look as they had dragged in a bunch of 1950’s cars. If a film set isn’t enough to attract attention with extras and blue screens, pulling in classic, vintage cars into downtown in rush hour will get lots of curious onlookers.  The scene we saw filmed was Matt Lanter and Abigail Spencer both coming up the stairs of the art gallery, being approached by someone with a badge and then taken in.  I’m assuming this is a police station.  Then, right away they moved into the two of them coming down the stairs likely being chased and then him grabbing her and pushing her behind the edge of the concrete stairs before leaning over her to hide her from the same guys that arrested him. 

During the shoot not a whole lot of eventful things happened.  There seemed to be stress about getting it done before they lost their light, which sure made sense since it was nearly sundown and it gets dark quick in the city because of all the buildings.  Once when Matt was pulling Abigail across she very nearly tripped in her heels and he caught her.  She seemed to take it well.  People seemed to be in good spirits. They wrapped just in time and there seemed to be a round of applause as the finished.  I was a little panicky because the amount of applause and the happiness of the crew made me worried this was their last location of the season. 

With so many random people around there’s no way the cast would come over to meet fans.  There’s no way to tell who is a fan and who is just passing by. As fans if we wanted to meet someone we’d have to make ourselves known.  Moving slightly out of my comfort zone we crossed the street and went away from the set as we saw Matt heading that direction.  He wasn’t too far away from the set when he stopped to slip out of the jacket he was wearing for the scene, grab his personal stuff and get on his way.  He was with a handler and we stopped a little way back so as not to box him in.  We stood awkward and obvious as he collected himself and the handler leaned in to ask if he was alright with this.  He must have said yes because the handler waved us over.

We approached him and my friend had something for him to sign and asked for a photo.  I took the chance to grab a photo too.  I thanked him and told him I enjoyed the show.  I admitted I started watching when I heard Sean Maguire was cast.  Matt seemed happy to hear Sean’s name and I hope I was clear enough that I watched the whole series.  I wished him good luck on the pick up and he didn’t seem to enthusiastic when he thanked me.  Off he went with his blue printed backpack and I was happy with that.
The very next day there was a tip that they were going to be at the Women’s Club on McRae near Granville Street in South Vancouver.  This was a popular location for filming and I headed out in a hurry after work to try and catch Goran. The weather on Wednesday was nice but cool.  Thursday was starting to get cold and there was a prediction of snow on Friday though the weekend. I was already unhappy about the idea of standing out in the snow but time is of the essence.

I arrived there in time to see the crafty truck pulling out.  The good was that they were post dinner, closer to wrap.  Bad news is that sometimes dinner is a good time to catch actors.  I parked on the side road nearby and quickly walked back down the hill to the set.  Looked like they were all set up inside and my friend wasn’t there yet so I walked down onto the Granville shopping area to kill some time.  I didn’t really want to stand there alone and if they were inside there wasn’t going to be anything to see anyway.

I walked back a while later when my friend arrived.  We set up across the street to watch and see what we were going to be able to figure out. The old cars had been towed here from downtown and while we hung out there were a couple more brought in.  Okay, exteriors sometime. No movement from anyone that appeared to be cast but there were extras hanging around at the little tent inside with coffee and snacks.  A couple people talked to us, most of them quite friendly.  One of them told us that they were all holed up inside and wouldn’t be out for hours.  Then a different person said they’d be wrapping soon.  It’s always interesting when everyone has a different piece of information for you and it’s hard to know who is going to be helpful and who is trying to get you to go away, and for what reason.

I had just found out that Goran had an Instagram account. I had kept an eye on Twitter, where he has an account he never uses, and Facebook but it appears to be a personal account.  I had not really ever checked Instagram.  I figured if he wasn’t using Twitter he wouldn’t be using Instagram.  But he was.  I took a photo of the location and @’d him in it, positing it to my own Instagram.  I knew it looked desperate but to be honest, I was. When I arrived on set that day I knew that that could very well be their last day filming. Luckily for us, the no parking signs on the street for the trucks were valid until the 5th.  We had a few more days.

A few hours in I hadn’t been really paying attention when I saw a red mini pull out with a dark haired man behind the wheel.  Part of me thought it was Goran.  It would be weird for him to drive himself to set but stranger things have happened. 

It got colder and colder and later in the evening a worker came over and said that they were going for another few hours and that they would come right out into the vehicles.  This was almost immediately after someone had said they were almost finished.  Felt like a ruse by the double negatives of the time and the leaving right away.  I was willing to wait.
Sure enough, not long after and while we were downright freezing now, there was a huge group of guys that came out at once dressed in 50’s garb.  Then, not long after, we saw Matt come out and get into a transport van.  He waited around a bit inside the car and then it took off.  I was waiting to see if Goran would come out of the building.  As Matt’s vehicle came out we couldn’t exactly hide as we were exposed across the street.  We felt like we’d bothered him enough yesterday and he did wave as he went by.  We were relieved when he didn’t stop.

A few minutes later we saw Abigail exit and she kind of wandered around on the property before getting into an large pickup truck, which is rather unusual for cast.  She left while looking at her phone and didn’t see us.  We hung around a bit longer and didn’t see anything at all that looked like Goran coming out.  Figuring I’d missed him if he was even on set that day and we headed up to the car but then passed another vehicle.  It looked like one of the cast ones and so I went back down the hill to double check to ensure Goran wasn’t there.  As it turned out he was called down for no reason.  Someone inside the compound approached and they talked, the crewbie shrugged and the car left.  Bummer.  No Goran.  I became convinced that I had seen him leave in the red Mini.

Defeated, we left.

From talking with crew we learned that there was to be an exterior on Friday.  After work again I was going to head out.  I went home and puttered around first and was just thinking about leaving when I got a notification that Goran had posted a video on Instagram.  I watched it and saw that he was standing  basically where my car had been the day before.  In the middle of the street enjoying the snow.  If I had gone when I had originally planned, I would have been there.  Crap.  I responded to the video (not that I thought he’d see anything on his social media) that I was coming there. To keep an eye out for us. I laughed at my own stupidity and jumped in the car.  I took more stuff this time, wore boots, multiple layers, multiple gloves.  I didn’t want to be frozen like I had the previous night.  My toes still hurt from the cold.

I drove to the set and managed to get my car up the hill.  It had absolutely dumped snow all day in Vancouver.  It was cold and miserable.  But there was no time.  If I wanted to meet Goran, this is what it would take. They were wrapping in days and there is no guarantee for a second season. I knew he was there.

The spot I was in the last day was taken and I took the next side road and dropped my car off. I grabbed my stuff and jumped out, walked up and when I got to the road I saw a black SUV coming.  As it drove by I saw Goran in the front seat.  Lunch was over.  I went quickly around the block and passed the same red mini, but this time snow covered, right near the lunch tent.  When I got to the set and saw the same black SUV coming out.  I had missed him. If he was inside he was in there until the end of the night now.  The long, cold, snow, later than last night, night.
My friend showed up and we hung out and waited.  We hadn’t heard people calling rolling and cut so we figured they were still on lunch but that maybe the actors were inside hanging out.  We chatted with some of the people from before and the manager of the building who came out to chat with us asking what we were up to.  We were straight with him as we had been with everyone. If they weren’t going to be outside, which it didn’t look like right now, then we were trying to catch the cast.  Not my favourite pastime but sometimes staring at the sides of buildings is the only way.  Unfortunately, this day it was in the snow as well.  We had been up front with everyone we’d met and told them that I was really wanting to meet Goran and my friend really wanted to meet Abigail.  Everyone had excellent responses to Goran saying that he is a really nice guy and a ‘sweetie’.  Also they had good things to say about Abigail.  You never know who might get a chance to tell them that there were people there for them.  Often times half the battle is being noticed. 

Our friend the manager offered to give us a tour of the building.  Like, right then.  We were both kind of like ‘Erm… well…’ and he said he’d let us think about it.  We were really hesitant because we didn’t want to get in the way or also be too creepy.  Matt had seen us yesterday, I’d been IG’ing Goran and if he saw it, it would be just too close and a little creepy to get that close.  Plus, the crew had seen us and been talking to us so they knew what we were there for.  Not that we would even want to talk to the cast if we were given a tour and got near them.  Not the place.  It just felt really intrusive.  As much as I would give pretty much ANYTHING to see the inside of a working set, it felt like a backwards way to get in.  If it was like, the director that had come out to chat and offered, that would be different.  This guy was in charge of the building. He wasn’t with the production.  It felt like crossing a line into their space.  This is the kind of thing that gets turned into online legend stories like “did you hear about those two chicks that snuck onto the Timless set?” or “Did you hear about those two that bribed the guy to let them on set?” or that kind of thing.  Also, it bares noting that this is also the advantage of going to sets with like-minded individuals.  We both have the same sense of boundaries and personal space, respect for the production and the workers/cast.  We both had the same reaction.  It would have been really difficult if one of us wanted to go and the other didn’t for those reasons.  I believe we made the right call, even in light of what happened almost right after.

Soon after that, a the same (or maybe one of two?) black SUV’s came rolling down the hill to the set.  Inside was a dark head in the passenger seat.  Unmistakeably Goran Visnjic.  The window was down a crack on the drivers side and I said loud enough to my friend ‘That’s Goran’ that there’s a chance he heard. We started to get antsy being this close but so far away and we paced around our side of the sidewalk (opposite the building and out of the way).  We saw the SUV park right near the entry and both car doors open.  The driver jumped out with an umbrella (did I mention it was snowing, A LOT?) and run around to Goran’s side. He popped it up and Goran emerged, taking the umbrella and heading in the general direction of the coffee tent.  We were like ‘you want coffee, Goran’ hoping that if he stayed outside for a few minutes we could catch his attention. We saw him pass behind the tent and then toward the door.  We were all set to be defeated but then he stopped at the door.  I said ‘He stopped’ and then he was talking quickly to the people there.  He turned an about face and came right our way.  I thought maybe he was getting coffee but he kept going, past the tent and out the edge of the property. I’m pretty sure we were both saying ‘He’s coming over here, he’s coming over here.’

The poor PA that had been shoveling snow for hours on the same hill and was in the middle of the street was right in front of us but facing the other way.  I didn’t want to cross over to their side of the street without the green light from them but I didn’t want Goran to have to come to us over the snow banks that had been created and the snowy road and sidewalk.  I tried to ask the PA if we could cross the street but he didn’t hear me.  I asked again but Goran answered “I’ll come to you.”  I wasn’t asking him, hahaha. 

He wasn’t wearing a coat, gloves or anything but did have the big black umbrella.  I was a little shocked and wasn’t ready.  Usually I’d have my stuff out, camera and anything I wanted signed if I knew there was a chance for someone to come over but we thought he was inside for the long haul.  I would have grabbed my stuff at wrap.  All I managed to do was to take my three pairs of gloves off.  He stopped partly on the road (I really wanted him to take like 2 steps closer to the sidewalk as I was a little nervous) and I introduced myself to him, shook his hand.  And then I commented that he was tall.  It’s really not often that I meet someone taller than me.  He’s like Jared Padalecki tall.  I said something like “Wow, you’re a lot taller than I thought you were.” Then I asked him if we could take a photo.  He was happy to oblige and I threw my umbrella down in the snow and started digging though my bag.  Somehow in that time he said something about coming over to see us.  I think maybe we said we thought he was going to go inside and then he said that he knew we were there (I wonder if it was from my borderline pushy Instagram posts) and I cut him off and said something about coming to see the crazy fans.  He said something that made me feel better but I can’t remember exactly what it was.  I finally emerged with the camera, pulled it out of the case and handed it to my friend to take a photo.  I moved next to him and he put his arm around my back and I gripped onto him. I didn’t even process any of it.  My fingers were too cold and I was still in a little bit of shock. I switched places with my friend and I snapped a photo for her.  I started digging in my bag for my ER Final Season DVD that had been signed by Scott Grimes previously and said, “I have something for you to sign.”  I realized this was going to take a minute and I paused, looked up right at him and said, “Is that alright?”  I wanted to make sure he was alright with waiting for a minute while I searched for my crap.  He smiled and said ‘Yeah!’ so I went back to digging.  I found the DVD cover and handed it to him and then went on a mission to find a sharpie.  I came out with a handful, silver, gold and blue.  Told him to pick. He seemed to consider it for a minute and then grabbed the blue one.  I asked how he liked Vancouver and he said that it was his 5th production here so he knows it really well.  I took a second to ask about the Mini from yesterday asking ‘Hey do you drive yourself to set?’  He kind of looked at me quizzically and I explained that yesterday while we were there I saw someone in a red Mini leaving that looked a lot like him.  Part way through the sentence I realized that this probably sounded really, really creepy.  Too late now, I’d already stepped in it.  He explained that no, he drives himself to circus and he gets a ride from there.  Indicated they all do.  He said the circus was quite a ways away today.  I didn’t want to get any further into sounding like a stalker but I did silently marvel that they don’t get picked up at home like some shows.  I tried (probably with minimal success) to continue to sound less creepy by saying that I hadn’t been paying attention and then saw the car go and it sure looked like him behind the wheel.  He echoed the red Mini part and then actually thought he knew who it was.  He said a name that I didn’t remember and I felt a little better.

I mentioned that we came today because we thought there was an exterior but he didn’t know anything about one.  I said something about the snow and he said he liked it, or that it wasn’t too bad.  He mentioned that they have more locations next week.  My friend grabbed her item for him to sign, a still from the show and I picked my umbrella back up shook the snow out of the inside.  I tried to help cover while he signed for her as well. 

He seemed to be getting ready to head back over to set and I wished him luck with the pick up.  He said that “I’m not really allowed to talk about it but… I’m optimistic.”  Well, that sounded better than Matt’s reaction the previous day.  We thanked him and my friend asked him to send Abigail out if he could.  I told him that we’d bugged Matt enough (we really didn’t want him to come over or feel like he should after the way we got him the other day). Goran headed off and left us in our excitement.

Not long after, Abigail arrived on set in the back of the same SUV that Goran had been in.  She had 2 people with her as well as the driver and she headed right inside upon arrival.

My friend still really wanted to see Abigail and I wouldn’t have complained either.  It was cold.  I was wearing boots and 2 pairs of socks but evidently my boots aren’t waterproof.  My feet and toes were hurting.  The previous night my toes had been sore overnight.  I was a little worried about frostbite, to be honest. It was getting colder and colder.  We could hear cars skidding on the road near us and the dump truck that is in the background of the photo with Goran is actually abandoned there.  It was heading down the hill earlier in the day and started to skid.  It hit the curb and the driver just left it there instead of taking the chance of it sliding down onto a busy street.  As time wore on I started to worry about getting home as well.  However, one of the PA’s got called in to shovel for the exterior.  I guess Goran isn’t in that scene so he didn’t know about it.  We learned that it is supposed to be summer in the scene they were doing outside.  Well that should be interesting.  More crew came to chat with us including one who had told us earlier that Goran was really sweet.  She asked if we saw him and we said yes.  She was excited for us and said that he had come to the door and then said he was going to go see the fans.  So I guess he knew we were there already when he came to set.  She said they had been looking for him on set and the person at the door had told them upstairs.  I apologized for making them wait but she was more than happy for us.  She even wanted to see the photos. 

It was still snowing a lot. I waited as long as I could but it didn’t seem like they were moving outside any time soon. If there’s anything that will keep me on set it’s actual filming.  The area the PA had shoveled had covered itself in snow again in the time we waited.  I was just making the decision to go when the black GMC was on the move again.  It didn’t go right to the door but we saw it pull up near the coffee tent.  Goran emerged from the building and yelled across with a smile “You’re still here?”  We yelled that we were waiting for Abigail.  Goran immediately turned to the person he was with and said something to them.  I don’t know what it was but it seemed like a reaction to what we had said.  I don’t know for sure though.  He said to have a good night (or something to that effect) and got in the car.  As they pulled out we waved goodbye and he rolled the window down telling us to stay warm.  We thanked him and again wished him a good evening.  Off he went. 

About 20 minutes later I had had my fill and took off.  I couldn’t wait for the exterior.  I couldn’t feel my hands or feet and was worried about the roads.  Sure enough when I got to my car I saw a bus stuck on the street right in front of me.  I carefully navigated a way out of the area and headed home.  Not long after I got home my friend texted me that Abigail had come out saying that the crew were worried about us (now only her) in the cold.  Said she was really nice and seemed happy to come over and sign and take photos.

Two days later my toes still hurt. I think I got a little bit of frostbite from my soaking wet shoes.  But it was worth it.  And it was my own stupid fault. If I hadn’t procrastinated I wouldn’t have had this problem anyway.  

Still worth it.
Click through below for photos.



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