HBO’s The Time Traveler’s Wife axed after just one season

 (©2022 Home Box Office, Inc. All)
(©2022 Home Box Office, Inc. All)

The Time Traveler’s Wife has been axed less than two months after its premiere, with HBO declining to commission a second series.

The six-part show, which was based on Audrey Niffenegger’s 2003 novel, was released on Sky Atlantic and Now TV in May.

Written and executive produced by Steven Moffat, the man behind the BBC’s successful Doctor Who and Sherlock revivals, The Time Traveler’s Wife was directed by David Nutter, whose past credits include episodes of Game of Thrones.

An HBO spokesman said to Deadline: “Though HBO will not be moving forward with a second season of The Time Traveler’s Wife, it was our privilege to partner with master storytellers Steven Moffat and David Nutter. We are so grateful for their passion, hard work and care for adapting this beloved book.”

The show details the relationship between Henry DeTamble and Clare Abshire. The twist is that Henry has a genetic disorder which means he time travels involuntarily.

Rose Leslie, who is best known for her role as Wilding Ygritte in Game of Thrones, played Clare, while Theo James, whose past credits include Underworld: Awakening and London Fields, played Henry. Other cast members included Desmin Borges (Living With Yourself), Natasha Lopez (Runner Runner), Michael Park (Dear Evan Hansen) and Josh Stamberg (WandaVision).

Niffenegger’s book has sold millions of copies, debuted at number nine on the New York Times bestseller list, and was featured on NBC’s The Today Show and the Richard and Judy Book Club after its release. It won the British Book Award for Popular Fiction in 2006. Then in 2009 it was turned into a major Hollywood film starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana.

However, Henry’s unplanned time travelling means the couple meet at odd times throughout their life - including when they are not at the same age. At one point in the series, Henry turns up when Claire is just six years old. Whenever he time travels he arrives naked, and some criticised the scene. The Independent called it “creepy”.

Reviewers also took issue with the premise: “Perhaps there is, in the end, nothing all that romantic about learning to live with some dude you don’t even like that much, but can’t ever escape for reasons outside your control,” said The Hollywood Reporter.

“Niffenegger’s story is built around Clare’s passivity. Her happiness depends on his random visits. More profoundly, her whole being and sexuality are shaped around him from the very earliest days,” said The Guardian.