Erik Kripke said that one reason he wanted the Hindenburg in the pilot was financial. He said "They're going to give us more money to make a pilot, so let's go with the most expensive idea we can think of, that they would never let us do in a series. So we were like 'Alright, let's crash a freaking blimp!' "
The names of the three main characters are references to characters in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989). Lucy Preston and Wyatt Logan have the same last names as Bill Preston and Ted Logan. Rufus Carlin is a nod to Rufus, who was played by George Carlin.
A 2016 lawsuit claims that the series was plagiarized from The Ministry of Time (2015), a Spanish series about (in the lawsuit's words) "the adventures of a three-person government team (consisting of one woman and two men) travelling through time to thwart undesired changes to past events". At one point, the creators were courting Sony to make a US version. NBC and Sony argued that this premise is sufficiently generic that no individual can claim ownership, and that otherwise the shows are entirely different. The case was settled out of court in May 2017.
Although the premise of the show is that they are going back to prevent history from changing, most episodes end with changes to authentic history that haven't really occurred. The producers have stated they have a plan for dealing with these.
Abigail Spencer and Matt Lanter receive joint top billing in the opening titles. One's name appears to the left of the screen but lower, and the other appears to the right of the screen but higher. This method of providing equal billing was frequently used on Abbott & Costello films.
In episode 6 of season one, when Flynn is talking to Wyatt, Wyatt says to him "You are Jedi- mind tricking the crap out of me." Matt Lanter, who plays Wyatt, voiced Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008).
The 2012 series Continuum (2012) in Continuum: Minute by Minute (2014) revealed they used a time travel machine called a lifeboat for emergency time travel. This series regularly used a time travel machine called a lifeboat for time travel after the mothership was stolen.
'Timeless', co-created by Eric Kripke, is one of two new shows for the 2016 fall season that is created by a previous show-runner for Supernatural. The other is Frequency (2016), created by Jeremy Carver. Both shows revolve around Time Travel.
Eric Kripke likes to use the same names in his productions as , Rufus Turner played by Stephen Williams in Supernatural (2005), his name counterpart is Rufus Carlin, Jim Beaver was Bobby Singer (also the name of the executive producer) in "Public Enemy No 1" Jim Beaver calls out to one of the agents of the NSA "Singer, put her on ice"