Print Story Television involving time travel.
Star Wars
By gzt (Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 12:49:58 PM EST) gzt, lunch, chess, winning, zoidberg, time travel, time travel is lonely (all tags)
Time travel comes up a lot in science fiction, I suppose, but it seems to me that there aren't many good shows that use it regularly as a part of their plot. Star Trek, for instance, doesn't count, it's an occasional odd anomaly. Doctor Who does, it's an integral part.

So here's an almost exhaustive list of the decent ones.

*Doctor Who
*Heroes Season One (the only season worth watching)
*Quantum Leap
*Dinosaur Train
*The Mr Peabody segments of Rocky and Bullwinkle

I think time travel has been less frequently used as a central conceit in television than in the movies because, paradoxically, there are fewer places to go with it. It's easy enough to get away with one cool story, but it takes a lot more to sustain an episodic narrative. So Superman and Star Trek only travel in time on a few occasions, even though it would seemingly solve a lot of their problems.

I think I'm reading Dune again. It's a very good book.

I won at chess last night. It was an easy game, I blitzed through the first moves of the Dragon as White, then my lower-rated opponent made a mistake that gave up a pawn. I got a second pawn and then gave it back. At that point, I was ahead but he had drawing chances since we both had rooks on the board. But then he traded both rooks into a dead lost pawn endgame. Here's a hint: pawn endgames are decisive, you know the result going into it, while rook endgames have wiggle room. I used up less than 10 minutes of my time because all the decisions were easy in the opening, and then they were easy when he dropped the pawn, and then they were easy when he wanted to trade down to a dead lost game. When it was down to rooks, I was digging in and getting ready to calculate a lot, but he made it simple. Then I went home and played some blitz. Kept winning there.

People keep asking for silly BS from me while I'm trying to do something actually important. Bah.

I found some youtube videos of Zoidberg dubbed in German. They are hilarious.

Okay, time for lunch. I got a bunch of stuff done, at least.

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Television involving time travel. | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 hidden)
You forgot The Time Tunnel, young one by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 01:22:57 PM EST
or maybe it wasn't decent, if someone a time-opera with a ginormous hypnotic spiral couldn't be decent.

There's also Primeval, and wiki sez Charmed counts. I haven't seen either, so I don't know how good they are. The Twilight Zone had a few time travel episodes, IIRC.

In a related bit, fifteen year old was talking about wormholes yesterday, how to make one, how they're all over science fiction, etc.

I had to explain they were a common plot point, and found a few books for her, The Mote in God's Eye, Young Miles and The Cassini Division.

s/someone/somehow by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 01:23:17 PM EST

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The Twilight Zone by gzt (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 02:36:55 PM EST
...used it in the same war Star Trek and Superman used it - not as a central aspect of the show, just another occasional story-telling device.

Maybe I did forget Time Tunnel. If it's a good one, it can go on the list. The others, I don't know about. If they're actually good, maybe they can go, but neither of us are familiar with them, so I'll just assume they aren't awesome.

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I'm a frequent time traveler. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #3 Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 01:31:27 PM EST
I usually move forward in time, at around 3600 seconds/hour.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

time travel is kind of a bad plot device. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 02:37:54 PM EST
it has a way of making everything pointless. doctor who gets around that by making everything about randomly running around on whimsical adventures, not really doing anything in particular, plus occasional breakdowns and such. quantum leap makes the time travel aspect so uncontrollable you don't ever ask, "well, why didn't he just travel to this point in time and do this." mr peabody usually follows an introduction like "and now here's something we hope you'll really like" and has the word "improbable" in its title, so plot points get little examination from the viewer, whatever happens.


and for the most part... by gzt (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 02:57:49 PM EST doctor who, the tardis lands, they walk around outside the tardis, and they don't fly anywhere until the serial/episode is over. they changed that a little in the new series, but that is, for the most part, how it works, because the thing has only occasionally been reliable at getting from point A to point B as planned. the first doctor was hopeless at it, the second about the same, the thing was completely grounded for the entirety of the third doctor's run, but the fourth got decent control until he intentionally mucked it up to prevent anyone - including himself - from knowing where he was going. etc etc.

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"I may not have..." by Vulch (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 03:25:17 PM EST
"...taken you where you wanted to go, but I always took you where you needed to be."

Best Tardis line evar.

Not that it gets many, but still...

The third Doctor got to use the Tardis again after The Three Doctors at the start of his fourth series...

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I only find two shows on your list worth watching by lm (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 08:10:18 PM EST
The first season of Heroes and Mr. Peabody.

Tera Nova isn't horrible. I'm not quite certain it qualifies as `watchable.'

My wife quite liked the The Sarah Conner Chronicles during its brief run.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
Terra Nova by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 08:55:30 PM EST
Did it get better after the first 4-5 episodes?  I got bored with it quickly.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
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I don't know by lm (2.00 / 0) #12 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 05:40:53 AM EST
I only watched an episode here and there. There aren't many series I follow serially.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
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but... by gzt (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 10:31:08 PM EST
...dinosaur train has dinosaurs and trains and time travel. what's not to like? and then there's scot bakula on quantum leap...

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best captain since picard. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 12:59:24 AM EST

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is that really saying much? by gzt (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 10:31:39 AM EST
that's kind of a serious question, as my knowledge of star trek doesn't really extend past Picard and probably won't, really. I mean, I have seven or so seasons of TNG and a few movies to catch up on before getting there, there's a lot of other things I need to watch before I can do that and I watch, on average, maybe 2.5 hours of programming per week, it's my one vice besides heavy alcoholism and relentless internet abuse.

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it's saying almost nothing. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #16 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 03:34:55 PM EST
the two series in between would have been better if they hadn't had captains at all. 

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however, by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 04:17:13 PM EST
enterprise was legitimately not bad. it had the best crew since next generation (which is saying a little more -- deep space nine had okay noncaptain characters). it also had more compelling writing than voyager or deep space nine, occasionally bordering on gritty. still had some ridiculously silly episodes, and not in a fun and zany way.

all in all, if you feel like watching a star trek series, enterprise is a good bet. 

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Well, I'll consider it as a potential option by gzt (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 04:35:06 PM EST
I do look like Scott Bakula, after all.

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at our house by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #19 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 11:33:48 PM EST
we love dinosaur train. Dinosaurs and trains, two things little boys love- what more could you want?
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
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it didn't last long by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #14 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 12:05:37 PM EST
and the adult me would probably hate it if he watched it, but i have a huge soft spot in my heart for Voyagers!.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
It's all in books! by gzt (2.00 / 0) #15 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 12:07:39 PM EST
That was sort of the original intent of Doctor Who, but they rather quickly gave it up.

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Television involving time travel. | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 hidden)