Gentlemen Out of Time (Why We Love Them)


gentlemen out of time
Forever. Photo: ABC

There is something about gentlemen from another time appearing in our modern world that stirs our hearts. Shows like Forever, Time after Time, and the Korean drama Queen In-Hyun’s Man are great examples. Not to mention the numerous other films, books, and shows with this same theme.

Queen in Hyun’s Man. Photo tvN

I find there is something highly romantic about falling in love with a man from the past. Perhaps it’s the excitement of showing them around our time and introducing them to our technology. Or perhaps, it is how different they are from the men of our time. No doubt, it stirs the feelings of old-fashioned romance in many of our hearts when we watch (or read) these stories play out.

So, let’s examine a few of the reasons why these heroes capture our hearts on the screen.

Related Forever: Three Takes on the New Entertaining Series

Why We Love Them

First, it’s their mannerisms. Let’s look at Dr. Henry Morgan from Forever. He dresses in scarves and overcoats, looking like the romantic English gentleman on the streets of New York. He is polite, witty, and has the manners of a British Lord. And his tough as nails partner, Detective Jo Martinez, is certainly not immune to his charms.

In this fast-paced society, romantic gestures and the adventure of getting lost in Paris is not that common. Dating instead happens on the phone or online. Henry, on the other hand, has all the best qualities of old-fashioned gentlemen without the sexist attitudes. Furthermore, he appreciates the advancements women have made in history. His knowledge of the past and appreciation for the “now” adds to his appeal. Not to mention gentlemen out of their time (like Henry) help us see our time in a different light.

Jo and Henry Photo Credit: ABC

Another attractive feature of out of time men is their fascination with the modern world. There is something magical about guiding them through today’s technology and ideas. People are jaded to the modern world and its devices. The idea of seeing it as brand new through another’s eyes is exciting. A walk in the park or a mall becomes a new adventure with a time traveler. I think we are all looking for magic in our everyday lives. Finally, nothing is more magical than someone from another time seeing a movie for the first time or taking a car ride.

H.G. and Jane Photo Credit: ABC

Is it Forever?

Finally, there is a poignancy in loving a gentleman of another time. It’s the possibility that the man will return to their own time. This exploration characterizes Jane and H.G. Wells’ romance. The fact that their time together is likely limited brings a new level of emotional depth to the love. Additionally, there is also the choice of whether he will return to his time or remain with his lady love. The lady inevitably faces the choice to stay in her time or follow him, and everyone wants their romance to be timeless.

The fact is, falling in love with a man from another time is an experience in both an old-fashioned and modern romance.

Do you love immortal and/or time traveling gentlemen in stories? Would you like to have your own “Mr. Darcy” in the present day? Feel free to share your favorite gentlemen out of time in the comments!

Mandi Harris

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Mandi Harris is a freelance writer and blogger. If she isn't writing, she has her nose in a book. Books are her ultimate addiction. Her other weaknesses include period dramas, chocolate, and her pets. She is working on her own novels now and hopes to one day get published. You can read her book blog over at thepennedpiper.com.

  • Brittaney B

    I was so sad when they cancelled Forever. It was such a good show. One of my favorite authors, Nichole Van writes time-travel romantic comedies and I love it when she brings the Regency gentlemen characters into a modern timeline. There is something about that stiff upper lip meeting a fast-paced technologically advanced world that makes a great fish out of water story.

  • Christina Boyd

    Well I do have an affinity for the handsome, rich, powerful man who changes for the better–for the love of a worthy woman…to me that is timeless. And of course, that’s MrDarcy. And countless others to follow his example.

  • Wonderful article! Yes, I am a huuuge fan of men out of time, lol! I especially love the K-drama versions: Queen In-Hyun’s Man, Rooftop Prince, The Great Doctor, etc. “Magical” really does describe how fun and exciting it is to see someone (from the past) view ordinary technology with wonder. And it can be hilarious, which is a great plus. 😀

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