Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Time Machine, a brief history on time travel

Ever since watch the 1960's version of H G Wells classic time machine I loved the concept of traveling in time. I think I like the idea that one point in space can change over time, plus when you add in a bit of Einstein grandfather paradox and a bit of Shakespearian plot twisting it makes a weird but good hay ride to  take your mind off things.
My mind seems to think what would be the next cool trend for the viewer to be hooked on. A while ago it was vampires, or fashion, or singing using auto tune while making a teen drama about some insignificant child related subject (GLEE).
As a scifi fan I don't think there was anything that grabbed my attention since Dr who ( a time traveling half alien doing good deeds). But now a new show Continuum seems to be catching my eye.

Roughly it goes on the plot of future terrorists that are angry at corporate Government ( like a more aggressive version of the occupy wall street protestors the "we are the 99%"), seem to take action against the dystopian government. The group get caught and then at their execution, seem to have a device to allow them to travel about 60 years in the past. But somehow a law enforcement officer travels back in time with them, and so begins the crazy roller coaster ride of a police capture drama but with a 4th dimensional twist.
It almost reminds me of the two season show Sarah conner Chronicles which is a spinoff on the film "The Terminator". A robot Apocalypse film with a main plot line to prevent rebel leaders from being born.

It seems to be a reoccurring theme where by prevention is the universal key to solve most problems in a time travel movie. Other theories of multiple universes seem to explain a no change effect of killing your own grandfather. The idea being that you have popped into a neighboring universe and any wrong doings you commit will not have any effect to your own time line.

In ancient Hindu mythology the Mahabharatha (a 3000 year old text) is one of the two sanskrit epics of ancient india, mentions a story of king Revaita who travels to a different world to meet the creator Brahma. The king is shocked to find in his return to earth that many ages has passed.
Urashima Taro is a legend about a 15th century fisherman who rescues a turtle and is rewarded for this with a visit toRyugu-jo The palace of Ryujin (the Dragon god) After 3 days staying at the palace, he finds his way back to his village only to see 300 years has gone.

Washington Irvine wrote a story about Rip Van Winkle who sleeps for 20 years some time in 1819, while Charles Dickens told a tale of Scrooge who saw glimpses of the future and past. Even mark Twain wrote a story of a Connecticut yankee in the court of King Arthur in 1889, six years before HG Wells story of the time machine.

I would say that time travel of some kind, has been a fascination that never gets old over the years. Writers, film plots and scientists seem to come up with different variations with the concept of time. I even think that it deserves it own film genres, among the cowboy westerns, the action, the horror and comedy listings.
Most time travel stories have a recurring theme of changing the past, protecting the time line, preventing a apocalypse, or unintentional time change. With variations of the four concepts add in some drama and clever script writing you might have a TV show.
To me I always have a soft spot for time travel films it kind of makes me think in a dystopian future, despite how bad things can get even in death. Time travel is a great equalizer and that everybody and anybody can shape the future.

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