Where and when would you go in a time machine?
It’s a question I’m pretty sure a majority of people have asked themselves. Most people I’ve talked to about time travel just answer with their favorite time period in mind like traveling to Renaissance Italy or to speak with the Greek philosophers. Maybe they want to go to the future and look up some winning lottery numbers? I’m old enough now and have watched enough time travel movies and TV that I’ve got a few answers depending on a different set of variables.
Number One, what type of time machine are we talking about? The DeLorean is severely limiting especially if it’s the older non-flying model (or after the flying feature broke). H.G. Wells Time Machine doesn’t travel through space either. The phone booth (Bill & Ted) can at least travel through space as seen when they traveled from the USA to everywhere in Europe (practically) to pick up the famous dead people. Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five where I can only travel back and forth on my own timeline? Lame. The most versatile time machine I’ve ever seen conceived is the Tardis.
This brings me to Number Two, who am I traveling with? My limited scope of watching Doctor Who has led me to surmise that as long as you travel with the Doctor, the companions race and gender are not as big a deal as they would otherwise be. It’s not a variable completely dismissed on the show, but it’s a variable that could cause a big freaking problem otherwise. In the movie Timeline this is illustrated when a group of people including those from the US, Great Britain, and France, travel back in time right to the smack middle of a European war. I am a hispanic woman who only speaks two languages. I have to take that into consideration when time traveling.
And number three, where do I think I’m going and for how long? Unless I’m traveling with the Doctor, my time traveling option are going to be small. The Tardis allows for language translation on top of the seeming protection of being accompanied by the Doctor. It would be pointless for me to take the Bill & Ted phone booth to see what Cleopatra looked like because chances are I would wind up dead. I’m a girl, I don’t speak or read the languages of the land in that time period, I’d have no currency. I’d be dead after a short while. Taking that kind of leap in time travel needs a guiding hand.
Obviously I’ve thought about this long and hard through the years, and this is only a short list of considerations. To make a short story long, the best time machine is the Tardis. And if I had access to the Tardis I know exactly where in time, on Earth, I’d go with the Doctor – I’d go meet Jesus. Not because I’m so incredibly religious, but because whatever you might believe, his existence is fucking pivotal to society today. I plan to grill the dude with questions. I would give him “hypothetical” scenarios about things actually happening today in society and ask his opinion about them. I’d be the freaking 13th apostle because I’d have to come back periodically and see the whole story; his birth, life, and death.
I couldn’t do that with the DeLorean, the time sled, or the time turner (Harry Potter). But I have some ideas for those as well. The time sled is a bit more forgiving in it’s design and I might be able to travel further back. Let’s say I was in England like the story by HG Wells. I would go see a performance of MacBeth during the time Shakespeare was alive.
The DeLorean limits me a bit to places that had cars (and roads). Let’s say I was in California where the movie takes place. What would I do with a cool car in American history? I’d drive all of Route 66 sometime in the 1960’s.
As far as the time turner goes? I’d just get an extra few hours of sleep in the morning.
If I had the phone booth from Bill & Ted that gives me more options, yes, because it can travel through space not just time. But because of certain factors I’d still be limited. So I think I’d just keep it in the spirit of the movie. I would want to visit the future, look out the window to see which SciFi rendition got it closest to accurate. Then I’d go back and watch every band in history I’ve ever wanted to see starting with Led Zeppelin. The Who, David Bowie, man I could go see Queen. I could go into my own timeline for when I was too young or just not in the right place. I’d go visit Seattle in 1988 and watch Alice in Chains. Then I’d go to the summer of 1992 and watch the Metallica / Guns n’ Roses / Faith No More tour (before Montreal).
I don’t know how to top that. The End.
* from To The Future! on blogspot. http://teamfox-tothefuture.blogspot.com/2014/03/time-travel-pavilion.html