Paul Levinson had fun with the announcement that NBC’s decision to cancel the time travel TV show Timeless has been reversed, exploring the possibility that this change was a result of time travel – and what that would imply in the realms of philosophy and physics.
It was interesting during the last season to get involved in a conversation with a friend about whether the show’s depiction of time travel was incoherent – and if so, whether that was an issue with the show, or the very notion of time travel.
Here’s the question: Lucy gets into the time machine not being engaged. When she returns and finds herself engaged as a result of changes to the timeline, she is nevertheless known to the people at Mason Industries, and so they must have known an engaged version of Lucy and sent her off in a time machine. And so does that version of Lucy simply cease to exist? If it is just her memories and experiences that are overwritten by the arrival of this different Lucy, it isn’t clear why that should be the case.Do you find time travel stories of the sort that we see on Timeless frustrating or fun?
I personally find the notion of time travel problematic in all sorts of ways. But, as with Doctor Who, I find the potential for everything from education about history to interesting philosophical and religious thought experiments to be rich and rewarding.
Are you glad that Timeless will be returning?