The Issue with Time Travel

There is a common belief that when time travel is used in a television show, it’s because the writers wrote themselves into a corner and can’t find a way out, so they introduce time travel, a tricky element to handle. Some use it as a panic button and expect their audience to just go along, while some do give it some thought. Analyze some examples in popular culture and discuss whether or not there is a good way to handle time travel. Possible examples include Rick and Morty, The Flash, and other science fiction and fantasy works.

  • This is a great topic which I would love to see written in depth! This is a thing that is always bugging me in movies, for example the use of time travel in the Avengers: Endgame, which had a lot of unanswered points and hardly believable moments and slippages. Another great example would be Looper where the story is, in my opinion, extremely powerful. – Kaya 5 years ago
  • This is certainly an interesting topic but it will need to be kept in mind the different kinds of time travel portrayed in media. So shows and movies have strict rules on the subject, like the Flash where time is described as fragile, as opposed to Bill and Ted in which a time machine is used with no apparent consequences. Still an article I want to see written. – Unquotable 5 years ago
  • It would also be great to see where it's done well. Like Safety Not Guaranteed and Back to the future, where the narrative is constructed with time travel in mind, as opposed to the plot device to get out of a jiffy. – Lousands 5 years ago
  • I think it is important to look at the physics involved; ideally, fictional time travel (and travel through space as well) will not violate rules of physics (and my understanding is that some time travel is thought to be possible, at least in theory). – AlanLibert 5 years ago
  • I think its interesting how in Endgame, the film discredits multiple other films usage of time travel being incorrect or violating some law of physics. But I think another time travel film that can be added to the list is one that was mentioned fondly of in Endgame: Hot Tub Time Machine. While it plays off as being a college teen-style comedy film, the original point of the film is for everyone who goes back in time to repeat everything that they had done the exact way that it had happened, which of course fall apart half-way through the film but at the same time, when they arrive back they discover that the changes they made helped resolve their previous struggles at the beginning of the film. – Kevin Mohammed 5 years ago

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