Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Getting Confused About Time Travel

One of the longest running shows on TV is “Doctor Who” which started all the way back in 1963 and is about to get their eleventh actor to play the lead role of an alien who is able to regenerate into a new appearance with a new personality wheneversomething happens to him that would kill an ordinary person. He also travels through time and space in a machine which disguises itself as something you’d expect to find in the local environment but where that circuit has failed leaving it looking like a 1963 London Police phone box.

For a couple of special anniversary episodes and also on a few other rare occasions a past version of the Doctor has crossed paths with the current one and they have teamed up to solve a problem that would be too much for one to handle. Unfortunately these particular episodes almost without fail get the Doctor’s mixed up as to which is the older more experienced and which the younger less experienced. They always seem to take the person who played the part first as being the oldest Doctor where in fact that person is the youngest Doctor. Why would an older Doctor choose what his younger self suggests rather than the other way around?

Another “problem” with the current show is that a war has wiped out the civilisation that the Doctor came from however no explanation has ever been given as to why he can’t just travel back to before the war in order to still be a part of that society. There should of course also be other travellers from that civilisation who had travelled to various times and places that should still be accessible to the Doctor as well.

These sorts of issues are typical of anything involving time travel since most writers do not think the concept through to its logical conclusion. That doesn’t prevent being able to enjoy the show though.

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