Debuting on October 9th 2017, Timewasters was created by Daniel Lawrence Taylor and starred Taylor alongside Kadiff Kirwan, Adelayo Adedayo, and Samson Kayo as a struggling four-piece South London jazz band who find themselves transported back in time to the 1920s via a urine-soaked lift in a block of flats. It ran for two seasons (12 episodes).
As mentioned, the band find themseleves stuck in the past after their time machine lift is destroyed but soon realise that being young and black in the Jazz Age is a lot more difficult and unpleasant than they had expected. The band must navigate the parties and pitfalls of the Roaring Twenties while searching for a way back home. This allows the band to not only explore the norms of society of the time but also hold up a magnifine glass so that today’s audience can experience those time through a lens they might not be used to using. This is all done through some great comedy moments that maintains a humour in the show that stops it becoming too headstrong and allows you to digest each moment and move on.
Whilst on their journey our new favourite Jazz band encounter John Logie Baird (played by Kevin Eldon) and Ronnie Scott (played by Tom Bennett) amongst others whilst not missing the chance to Jazz up the best tunes of the twenty-first century and claim them as their own.
As Season 1 concludes the band do find a way back home but at the start of Season 2 complications sees the band transported through time once again; this time to 1958. This time they find black people in Britain are far more common, but still unwelcome in the eyes of many. World War 2 may be over but there are now wars on the streets as Teddy Boys make their presecence felt! On the plus side, jazz is finally making its mark although rock’n’roll is creeping up on it!
Sadly, ITV who made the show passed on a third series, leaving our Timewasting heroes literally wasted. With so much more on to explore with a show like this and its ability to produce social commentary comedy in a way that was digestible to many who would usually scoff as such issues ITV really had something fresh in their hands. A show that had the ability to entertain and open eyes is rare – Timewasters was lightning in a bottle that ITV just pissed up against a lift wall in a council flat somewhere…