Friday, January 5, 2018
Time Waits for No Man
I have stated before that one of my favorite science-fiction tropes is the concept of time travel. With the proper machinery, or spell in some cases, or even a map showing holes in the fabric of the universe, one can travel back in time to witness or even interact with events that occurred years or centuries ago.
Want to witness the birth of Jesus Christ (or prove that it didn't happen, depending on your perspective)? Want to see the signing of the American Declaration of Independence? Or that red letter day when Dr. Emmett Brown conceived of the flux capacitor? All could be achieved if you had the proper equipment. And it doesn't even have to be a souped up DeLorean.
Depending on your concept of the theme, there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of potential viewing possibilities that cover the concept of time travel and the potential dangers therein. "Dangers?" you ask. Well, of course. The classic Grandfather Paradox is an example. Suppose you went back in time and accidentally (or intentionally, if you were so minded...) killed your grandfather before he met your grandmother. You would therefore not have been born and thus could not have gone back in time to commit the deed in the first place.
You could create even greater havoc if you chose to eliminate a prominent historical figure like, say, Adolph Hitler. While you might think that would be a good thing, it may not necessarily be so. Some theoretical historians believe that without Hitler's influence the Nazis could have won WWII.
An IMdB poster, with apparently a lot of time on his hands created a list that runs up to (so far) 587 titles that cover the concept of time travel. Admittedly some are a stretch, and some (he includes It's A Wonderful Life) don't really fit in my opinion, but that is still a fairly exhaustive list. I haven't seen nearly as many of them as I would like. In previous blog entries I have discussed the Bill and Ted Movies, The Final Countdown, Time Bandits, and a couple of TV show episodes, one from The Twilight Zone and two from Star Trek.
Future entries will include more. Later this year I am planning an entire week dedicated to H. G. Wells, whose output included a classic in the genre, The Time Machine. I am considering comparing and contrasting the two theatrical versions, with maybe some references to an equally interesting movie along the same lines, Time After Time. The Back to the Future trilogy is also on the horizon for an entry. I also owe some long time readers a piece on Twelve Monkeys which I was forced to leave out of the Monty Python Blogathon last year due to unforeseen circumstances.
I am, however, interested in your ideas, dear reader. Do you have any favorite time travel movies? Leave your comments, and I assure you I will at least TRY to track them down.