Time for some time travel

With an upcoming move I haven’t been able to focus much on reading. Instead TV-series have been my main source of entertainment, which has lead me to a curious observation, several of my current favourite series involve time travel in one way or another. In a way this is perhaps not surprising, I grew up with Star Trek (Voyager), which taught me to appreciate good adventures, characters who mostly cooperate without too much drama, a little bit of technobabble, and of course, a good time travel plot. It is probably also relevant that I’m looking for escapism and relaxation when I watch TV, if I wanted something challenging I would be reading. These are a few of the series I have been watching lately:

Travelers

Travelers is a Canadian time travel drama in which the consciousness of travelers from the future take over the bodies of people in the present day right before they are supposed to die. These travelers are tasked with the mission to save Earth from the disaster that is the future, but they also have to keep on living the lives of their host bodies with all the challenges that involves. It is an interesting premise which I think works really well. It also means that everything takes place in the present day, which I’m sure was good for the budget.The story is a bit uneven and not every story line is equally interesting, but it is still my favourite on the list.

Legends of tomorrow

Superhero series are everywhere these days but Legends of tomorrow is the only one that I follow. It is a completely ridiculous story about a bunch of misfit superheros who travel through time to save the world from various threats, but it embraces its ridiculousness and makes the most out of it. The main reason I watch it is for the character interactions, I love the way these misfit characters (mostly) support each other during their adventures. Avoid the first season which is terrible. Motto: We screw things up for the better.

Parallèles

My latest addition to the list is Parallèles, a French time travel drama in which four teenagers end up in different time lines after an incident. It is probably the most derivative of all the series on my list, a fairly straight forward time travel plot that I think would be a suitable also for rather young teenagers, but it was well acted, had likable characters, and was intriguing enough to keep me interested to the end. Unlike the other two series on my list it was also fairly short, which I’m sure helped to keep it interesting.

Have you seen any of these series? What did you think? Can you recommend any other time travel series that I should watch?

9 thoughts on “Time for some time travel

    1. I wouldn’t call them great, to me that implies something that challenges me and makes me think (I prefer books for that), but they are good and fun series that are perfect for an evening when I’m to tired to read.

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    1. I really like Travelers, I believe it is a fairly low budget production and there are some odd story telling choices, e.g. the most famous actor gets the most screen time despite having the least interesting character arc, but the premise is great and I do care for several of the characters, which to me is what makes or breaks a story. If you do end up watching it I’d be interested to hear what you think of it!

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  1. I spend SO MUCH TIME thinking about time travel! It began as a kid, reading comics and watching cartoons, but it’s followed me into adulthood, too. Whether it’s ‘Doctor Who’ or ‘Outlander’ or that Stephen King novel which came out a few years ago (and was turned into a series for…Hulu, maybe?) ’11/22/63,’ I’m here for all of it. I’ve often said I understand more about the nature and rules of the science of time travel than I do chemistry XD.

    So here’s my question for you. I think about this ALL THE TIME. In fact, I was just talking about it yesterday! Let’s say you had the ability to travel through time. Let’s say you had a device or ship or portal or whatever that let you control the where and the when of your destination. And, to make it easier/more fun, let’s say the device, like the TARDIS, automatically translates all languages for you in your head and allows others to understand you, too, so you can go anywhere without fear of not being able to communicate. For your very first time travel trip…where do you go?? Do you go into the past first or the future?

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    1. I’m a geologist so obviously I would travel back in time, but when and where, that’s the harder questions. I would like to travel to central Sweden at the very end of the last ice age when the Baltic sea (which was then a lake) suddenly drained 25 m in a very short amount of time as the ice front that had blocked the water retreated northwards. That must have been a really impressive sight and I know the perfect mountain from which to view it in safety. I would also like to travel to the middle of the southern Baltic Sea 40-thousand years ago when an island existed there that has now been flooded. It would probably not be that much to see there but I’ve spent years during my PhD researching it (among other things) and would really like to see it in reality. And of course, assuming that the time machine is suitably safe and dinosaur proof, I would need to bring my dinosaur-crazy nephews on a short trip to the Cretaceous. Where would you go?

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      1. What’s the point of any time machine that isn’t dinosaur proof?? So yes, I think we can safely assume it would be :). Similar to yours, I think my studies would influence my choices. Given my twenty-odd years studying and teaching religious studies, I’d want to sit at the feet of those mystics and sages when they were preaching. To see Jesus or the Buddha or Muhammad or Moses or Lao Tzu or Rumi or Hafiz and just HEAR them teach free of doctrinal development and historical reconstruction would be, well I don’t even have the words! So I think I’d have to start there.

        As much as I wish I was brave enough to venture into the future first (and I equate a bit more bravery there as, given my studies, the past feels a bit more “familiar” than the absolute unpredictability of the future…even though I know my knowledge of the past is shaped and skewed by the prevailing perspectives of when I studied it and it wouldn’t be at all what I expect it would be), I’d have to begin in the past. But jumping ahead 5,000 or 10,000 years could be fun once I got used to time travelling :).

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