A closeted gay man endures a chilling interrogation about his private life in the trailer for “Fellow Travelers,” Showtime’s hotly anticipated, queer-inclusive new series.
Based on Thomas Mallon’s 2007 novel, “Fellow Travelers” follows a decadeslong romance between a newly minted college graduate, Tim Laughlin (played by Jonathan Bailey), and a U.S. State Department official, Hawkins Fuller (Matt Bomer).
The couple’s relationship begins in secret during the anti-LGBTQ “Lavender Scare” of the 1950s, during which thousands of U.S. government employees were fired or forced to resign because of their sexuality, and continues through the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the ’80s.
“Fellow Travelers” hits Showtime Oct. 29. Watch the trailer below.
The supporting cast of “Fellow Travelers” includes Allison Williams as Lucy Smith, a senator’s daughter with whom Hawkins appears to be in a relationship, and Jelani Alladin as Marcus Hooks, a Black political journalist.
Of course, much of the early buzz surrounding the eight-episode series has been focused on Bailey and Bomer’s love scenes, described by Entertainment Weekly as “some of the most erotic depictions of same-sex sex ever put to screen on a premium television network.”
In an interview, series creator and showrunner Ron Nyswaner told EW that he and his co-writers pledged not to depict “the same sexual act more than once, or the same combination” while working on the screenplay: “I remember when we were writing episode eight, my co-writers and I said, ‘What haven’t we done?’”
In an interview with Vanity Fair conducted before the Hollywood actors strike, Bailey said “a sweeping gay love story” like “Fellow Travelers” had long been his dream project. However, he feared that it would never be possible with actors like himself and Bomer ― who are both gay in real life ― as romantic leads.
“The nuance of a complicated, volatile queer relationship is the power balance— and that is what is amazing about Tim and Hawk. Every single sex scene is a meticulous examination of power,” said Bailey, best known for his portrayal of Lord Anthony Bridgerton on Netflix’s “Bridgerton.”
On the flip side, Bomer has embodied a number of nuanced gay characters in HBO’s “The Normal Heart” and Netflix’s “The Boys in the Band,” among other film and television projects. Still, he was excited by the chance to reflect queer love and intimacy across different time periods.
“Love is dangerous—it’s a threat to his very existence,” he told Vanity Fair of his character, “and Tim is really the only person who can challenge that.”