With all the crap going on right now- global warming (which obviously isn’t a real thing……), the threat of escalation to nuclear war, the political global shitstorms- it’s no wonder people are in the dumps. The silver lining to this though is that conditions like these triggered creatives like Isaac Asimov, H.G. Wells, Kurt Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury just to name a few, to put pen to paper and write tales about time travel. They created great pieces of fiction to maybe give us hope that not all is lost— or warn us that ultimately despite of our best efforts to make it otherwise.
Let’s take a look at a few shows that have popped up recently that may be worth the time.
5. Legends of Tomorrow – Super hero franchise mash-up meets time travel. Flash did it in his own show so why not combine all the other folks and make a show about it and have them face off against immortal enemies like Vandal Savage. this show is clearly trying to cash in on both themes and as convoluted as it may seem, the show is campy enough with a cast that is amusing to say the least.
4. Stephen King’s 11.23.63 – You might not be a fan of James Franco but this adaptation of the “What if JFK…”” scenario plays out quite well. it doesn’t hurt that JJ Abrams produced it. Lens Flares? Maybe =)
3. Making History – It is the only intentional comedy in the bunch. Adam, a 21st-century guy finds a way to travel to Revolutionary times and back every weekend. he eventually starts dating Paul Revere’s daughter and get his BFF to join in on the shenanigans.
2. Timeless – This is all about fixing the wrongs of the present via the past. A time ship is invented and falls into the hands of Garcia Flynn who is hell-bent on preventing the murder of his wife and child. An operational prototype is put into action with a historian, a soldier and a geek at the helm with multiple conspiracies weaving itself in and out of present history.
1. Dr. Who – We can’t talk of time travel on TV without mentioning this show that has been a major part global sci-fi pop culture. The good Dr travels space and time in the TARDIS which looks like a British police box, from the 60s which is when the series first aired. In every episode, he saves the universe from a variety of villains with his trusty companions and his even more trusty sonic screwdriver. Guest star/cast appearances can be compared to that of the Simpsons and Law and Order- a veritable who’s who of acting and it’s impact on science fiction is global enough to have a cult following comparable to that of Star Trek.
So maybe the present time isn’t so awesome. Maybe the timing is just right that we see another uptick in the time travel themed entertainment that we last saw in the 80s with Back to the Future, and the 90s with Quantum Leap. There are a few others worth mentioning like 12 Monkeys the series, Travelers, Life on Mars and Terminator Salvation.
Please look forward to a future post where we tackle time travel in anime.. or have we done that already?