Friday, December 6, 2013

Time Travel: Star Trek and Doctor Who

In a recent author interview I was asked if I could travel back in time what would I change. I said nothing because I like the life I have and if I changed anything I might not have my wonderful family. Then I got thinking. What if we could go back in time and change something major? The Mongol Horde, Hitler, September 11th, Al-Qaeda.

Credit: IMDB
In Star Trek, the Prime Directive orders no interference in the development of alien civilizations. Of course, we know Jim Kirk doesn’t exactly follow that order all the time. Consider the most recent movie Into Darkness. At the beginning, Kirk has to reveal the Enterprise’s presence in order to save Spock who is trying to stop a volcano from wiping out the inhabitants. That’s interference for a good reason, right? Not according to the Powers That Be and Kirk is punished.

What a difference in Doctor Who. He is always interfering. Or so it seems, since
Credit: Wikipedia
I’m new to this series. Yes, I just wrote new. I’m embarrassed to say I just discovered Doctor Who a few weeks ago. I’d read references to the series in various blogs until my curiosity finally “made” me look it up. Did I ever pick the right week to start watching! Right before the 50th Anniversary. Right before the Doctor Who marathon. I set the DVR to record the episodes and specials. Wow. Talk about a crash course in Whovian culture. I think there are over eighty episodes I haven’t watched yet, but I’m working my way through.

Back to my original topic. Time Travel and changing history. What if someone went back in time and killed Genghis Khan, Hitler, or Osama Bin Laden before they came to power? Would we be better off or would our history be worse?

Diane Burton


Jessica Subject said...

That's a tough question, Diane. Hard to say, but if they were eliminated, would those who have done good also not exist. Many ethical issues, but great "what if?" ideas. :)

Diane Burton said...

Good point, Jessica.