(A note from Matt: Mike finished this nanoseconds before my latest post. I’m publishing it now because the first paragraph was relevant for a few minutes there. As usual, Mike is a great Yin to my Yang… or something. GREAT counterpoints, Mike!)
Where the hell is Matt? Why no blog posts? There must be something interesting to say about Green Bay, especially this week. Anyway, in his apparent absence and considering that my job blows and hasn’t “approved” me to work from home, I think I’m gonna make my own snow/homework day, and while I’m up, I might as well play Devil’s Advocate here for time travel.
Now I completely understand what Matt is talking about in regards to Heroes. I was one of the folks who told Matt it was fantastic but took a very sharp and sudden decline. You could blame a lot of that on time traveling samurai, but I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that they were completely directionless and their yearly bad guy plots were about 10 times worse than *my* worst D&D campaign. I’ll also agree that Star Trek has egregiously abused time travel almost at every corner and that the best thing that could be said about the latest movie was that “the time travel didn’t get in the way.”
Ahh… but what about mankind’s dream of time travel? The reason that it shows up so much in TV, Movies and Literature is because it is a concept that has fascinated us for a very long time. Is it fair to call H.G. Wells Time Machine trite? I don’t think so – Wells warns of the perils of society gone mad as well as abuse of technology – both arguments that were ahead of his time and influenced literature and society for the future. In a way, Wells influence on the future DID allow him to time travel – I can’t discount that.
Even going back to Star Trek, what about the original series Episode, City on The Edge of Forever, written by award winning Sci-Fi author Harlan Ellison? It’s argued to be the best Star Trek episode ever written and even won a Hugo award. Sure, this is what started Star Trek down the slippery slope of time travel, but the original is a piece of art.
What about humor and nostalgia? Time travel certainly was responsible for some of my favorite shows and movies growing up. Back to The Future, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Quantum Leap, Voyagers! For someone who waxes nostalgic about watching Voltron, Matt sure easily forget about some of these. As kids, we loved these shows and movies.
It’s hard to narrow it down to what it is that makes you like Time Travel and makes you understand why authors keep going to that well. Maybe it’s a love of history? Maybe hope for the future? The wish to correct mistakes? Maybe you’re British?
Anyway, I still think Time Travel has merit, certainly and can be very well done.