Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hello again, and Picard is stupid.

It's good to see you all again. Yes, I know to you this is the first time I've blogged here.

Sigh. It's complicated.

I was thinking about the various Star Trek time travel episodes, from the ol' Kirk-Spock slingshot technique to the TNG alterna-dimension time travel eps. And it occurred to me: the Next Generation writers are real wimps when it comes to time travel. They're too afraid to have someone REALLY travel into the past or future, so they tend to set it up under quantum dynamics as an alternative permutation of reality. WUSSES. The JJ Abrams Star Trek movie also went this route, causing Old Spock and Nero to end up in an alternative past. They thereby avoid pissing off the trekkers who suckled on the crippled teat that is TOS.

That goes double for Deep Space Nine, who were so afraid of Sisko time travelling that they had to make him a delusional writer for it to work!

You know what show wasn't afraid of ballsy time-travel? Voyagers! Gimme an Omni and Phineas Boggs any day over the knock-kneed futurists of Starfleet.


Scott B. said...

Fun Fact 1:
The guy who starred in Voyagers! accidentally shot himself in the head with a prop gun.

Fun Fact 2:
Since he was hooked up to life support, his mother apparently gave permission for all of his organs to be given for transplants.

Fun Fact 3:
An escort service owner got his heart.

Matsby said...

It's an interesting suggestion. Does it take more guts as a time travel fiction writer to maintain one changeable (or unchangeable) timeline than it does to just make all changes take place in diverging and parallel timelines?

Although both are possible theories I think I would agree that diverging timelines can sometimes feel like a cop-out to the reader/viewer.

Maybe it's because I want the person's actions to mean something - to have changed something. I want consequences to their actions. And when it's done as an alternate timeline, they just can do whatever they want with no consequences - and little explanation other than "oh don't worry no paradoxes because the timelines diverged".

Steve Evans said...

Precisely right Matsby - there are no stakes at play if there are no consequences on the time traveler's own timeline.

Robert Vollman said...

If we traveled back in time, would we go to our own timeline (with all its paradoxes), or create a divergent timeline?

Maybe Spock has the answer. It depends HOW we travel in time. Because he has done both!

Maybe both forms of time travel are possible, and it all comes down to how you do it. If you slingshot around a sun, or use weird artifacts left behind on alien planets or libraries, then its your own timeline. But if you do it with that weird substance from Abrams' movie, then you go to a divergent one instead.

In the Abrams' universe, is there any way for (old) Spock to get back to his own timeline? A slingshot won't do it, nor weird alien artifacts, because those just move you about in the timeline you're already in.