The Ministry of Time Review - The Spanish are Doing Sci-Fi Now?

Deep within an ordinary-looking building are doors to history, and the people who are tasked with keeping it safe. Without them the future is history...

The Ministry of Time

The Ministry of Time (titled "El Ministerio del Tiempo") is a science-fiction series that is produced in Spain for Netflix. Science fiction isn't something shocking, and the series itself plays on a couple of well-known tropes of the genre. However, the surprising thing is that the series was even made at all. Moreover, The Ministry of Time is a very overlooked series because of the limitations of its language. Traditionally, Spain has dedicated itself to creating historical pieces, drama, contemporary romance, and comedy. There aren't that many Sci-Fi series coming out of Spain, and even Latin America doesn't have that many offerings. Culturally, Sci-Fi is something that appeals to people who like speculation. The Spanish are usually not in that subset, which makes El Ministerio del Tiempo such a breath of fresh air.

The Premise of the Story

The Ministry of Time

Sometime in the past, the Spanish government acquired a "hall of doors" that contained thousands of entryways into different points in time. Naturally, to preserve Spain's history, the government set up the ministry, funding its workers across all eras of time. Throughout the series, we follow the main and supporting characters as they frantically try to keep history the way it is and deal with individual struggles regarding their loved ones. The question that comes up most often in the series is a poignant one: If you had the chance to save the one you loved from certain death, would you take it?

Things to Love About the Series

The Ministry Of Time

From the get-go, we're introduced to a point in Spain's history that even those who don't know it well will recognize. The opening episode focuses on a pair of time-traveling (because what would you expect from this title) Napoleonic soldiers attempting to collect a handful of history books to take home to ensure that Napoleon retains Spain as a vassal state in the Spanish War of Independence. The series does a lot to help people who aren't part of the Spanish-speaking world to grasp their history and culture. While it focuses on Spain, it also allows us insight into things that Latin Americans are uniquely aware of, yet English-speakers are woefully ignorant of.

However, despite the number of things we can learn from this series, the humor and interplay of characters are what make this a uniquely enjoyable experience. The three main characters Amelia Folch (Aura Garrido), Julián Martínez (Rodolfo Sancho), and Alonso de Entrerríos (Nacho Fresneda) all come from different eras in History. Julián is a twenty-first-century paramedic with advanced medical training. At the same time, Amelia is a young college-age woman from the 17th century, and Alonso is a former soldier in the glory-days of Spain's imperial past. Each of these characters has their own personality, but are all products of their period. This disconnect leads to some hilarious exchanges between them. The depth of each character could have us spending hours exploring their individuality and quirks, but the best way to experience it is to watch the series for yourself.

Is This Series for Me?

Without us, the future is history.

If you're a fan of learning new things and aren't averse to reading subtitles, then this is worth watching. The humor is relatable, even though it's delivered in an entirely different language. The Ministry of Time intersperses drama with comedy to significant effect, and the plot twists and turns will have you on the edge of your seat throughout each season. If it's one thing the Spanish do well, it's drama, and this series certainly proves that. For fans of hard sci-fi, this might not be such a great fit. It doesn't have robots or artificial intelligence and isn't what a typical sci-fi viewer would come to expect. Star Wars/Star Trek fans might want to give this one a miss. If you're a Stargate fan, though, you should give it a try.

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