Here’s your first look at Jonathan Bailey and Matt Bomer in the upcoming historical drama Fellow Travelers.
Back in 2022, Showtime announced that the two openly gay talents would be teaming up on the limited series created by Ron Nyswaner, who earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay in 1993 for his work on the critically-acclaimed gay drama Philadelphia.
Based on the 2007 novel of the same name from Thomas Mallon, Fellow Travelers is described as “an epic love story and political thriller, chronicling the volatile romance of two very different men who meet in the shadow of McCarthy-era Washington.”
Bailey is set to play Tim Laughlin, a “young man brimming with idealism and religious faith” who is optimistic about a post-WWII world. His life changes when he meets Bomer’s character Hawkins Fuller, who “maintains a financially rewarding, behind-the-scenes” political career.
Laughlin and Fuller’s romance blossoms just as Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn declare war on “subversives and sexual deviants,” with the series chronicling their relationship through “the Vietnam War protests of the 1960s, the drug-fueled disco hedonism of the 1970s and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, while facing obstacles in the world and in themselves.”
Over the last few months, LGBTQ+ TV enthusiasts have been eager to learn more about the decade-spanning series.
Fortunately on 25 May, Showtime finally released a handful of first-look photos from the highly anticipated series via Vanity Fair.
In one of the snapshots, Bailey and Bomer’s characters – Laughlin and Fuller – are shown frolicking on the beach. In another set of photos, the couple are featured having a tender moment in a nightclub and on their bed, respectively.
The sneak peek also gives viewers a first look at Allison Williams as Hawk’s childhood friend and eventual wife Lucy Smith, Chelsea Russell as Stormé, Noah J Ricketts as drag artist Frankie Hines and Jelani Alladin as Marcus Hooks, who appears to be romantically involved with Frankie.
In an interview with the aforementioned publication, Bomer and Bailey opened up about the series and its powerful tale.
“The story had been marinating with Ron for a solid decade before I ever came on board,” Bomer explained, who’s pulling double duty as actor and executive producer.
“Ron had an almost religious zeal about this project, this world and these characters that just washed over everyone involved, and made it the profound experience that it was.”
Robbie Rogers, who also serves as an executive producer, echoed similar sentiments about Nyswaner’s story.
“The ambition of going through the different decades and finding a really compelling story – nothing like that had been done, where it’s an epic gay love story that has this political element that’s woven through it,” he added.
Towards the end of their interview, Bailey opened up about the series’ intense and emotional sex scenes, which he described as a “meticulous examination of power.”
“The nuance of a complicated, volatile queer relationship is the power balance – and that is what is amazing about Tim and Hawk,” he explained.
Bomer added: “There’s a level of trust and intimacy that’s even more valuable when society is against you. You keep your secrets together.”
Check out more photos from the LGBTQ+ drama below.
Fellow Travelers is set to air this fall on Paramount+ with Showtime.