Understanding the space-time continuum can be a total head fuck – has the future already happened if the past has changed? Is it incest if your pre-birth mum kisses you? How easy is it to go back and buy shares in Microsoft? It boggles the mind. Fear not, though, movieland has all the answers*. Here are the industry’s top ten tips to transcending the decades…

terminator2 The movie industry's ten easy steps to time travel...

1 Get a medical condition…

Based on Audrey Niffenegger’s best-selling novel, the star of this summer’s The Time Traveler’s Wife (released 14 Aug) suffers from Chrono-Impairment – a  medical condition that propels him, unwillingly, from one point in time to another – normally at times of anxiety.
Key requirement in time travel: Stress and a medical condition.
Past of future: Both.
Rule: You can’t take anything with you into the future or past.
Flaw in science: Surely the circular nature of the main characters relationship would have had to have unfolded in real time to be able to become circular?
Conceivability: 7 out of 10

2 Invest in a flux capacitor…

Back to the Future’s Emmett ‘Doc’ Brown came up with his theory for time travel after bumping his head; after calculating the workings of a ‘flux capacitor’, he integrated it into the DeLorean – a vehicle that could travel up to 88 mph and contain 1.21 gigawatts of power, originally powered by a plutonium-based nuclear reactor (eventually replaced by a lightening rod and later still by garbage). The rest is history – or is that future?
Key requirement in time travel: A souped up Delorean.
Past or future: Both.
Rule: When you change the past the future ‘instantaneously’ changes.
Flaw: What happened to the Marty from the new future – does he have the same memories as the old one?
Conceivability: 5 out of 10

3 Read some childhood diaries…

The star of The Butterfly Effect suffers from blackouts during periods of anxiety, thus a psychologist recommends he start keeping a detailed journal of his life to help him deal with his inexplicable memory loss. Years later, when he’s turned into Ashton Kutcher, he starts rereading his journals and discovers that by doing so he can travel through time.
Key requirement in time travel: Reading.
Past or future: Past.
Rule: You can change the past, but it doesn’t always lead to the future you desired.
Flaw in science: Ashton contentiously tries to change different pasts to get just one right – surely only one attempt is necessary?
Conceivability: 2 out of 10

4 Sprinkle yourself with magic dust.

While most of us wish we were younger, the teen star of 13 Going on 30 longs to be ‘thirty, flirty and thriving’. With the help a closet, dollhouse and some magic wishing dust, she not only gets her wish but also finds herself miraculously transformed into Jennifer Garner (what more could you wish for?).
Key requirement in time travel: Magic wishing dust.
Past or future: Future.
Rule: Be careful what you wish for.
Flaw in science: A 1987 girl would never choose a 2004 wardrobe.
Conceivability: 1 out of 10.

5 Utilise the technology of the Ministry of Defence

After the Ministry of Defence learns that Dr Evil has developed a time machine, it sends the star of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me back to 1969 with its very own travel device – a pimped up and ‘groovy’ convertible Volkswagen New Beetle, obvs.
Key requirement in time travel: A Beetle with ‘Destination’ imputer.
Past or future: Past.
Rule: ‘Don’t worry about the science and just enjoy yourself’.
Flaw in science: Erm, let’s not even go there.
Conceivability: 1 out of 10.

6 Become the core of future society

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure opens in the distant future where an apostle is preparing a time machine disguised as a phone booth (aren’t they extinct already?) to travel back to 1988 and ensure that Bill and Ted pass their history paper and thus continue to make the music that will later become the centre Utopian society.
Key requirement in time travel: A phone box.
Past or future: Past.
Rule: ‘The clock in San Dimas is always running.’
Flaw in science: Disorder rules – characters meet themselves in different times and past figures appear in the present, yet the future remains intact.
Conceivability: 2 out of 10.

7 Learn to fly, like, really fast

Superman circles the Earth at such a tremendous speed that he breaks the time barrier. As time starts to go backwards, so does the Earth, which means he can travel back far enough to stop the earthquake created by Lex Luthor.
Key requirement in time travel: The ability to travel beyond the speed of time.
Past or future: Past.
Rule: The neutrons and protons in the molecules that make up mass all move in the same direction.
Flaw in science: Some say the kinetic energy to stop and reverse the earth in the time shown would boil the oceans.
Conceivability: 3 out of 10.

8 Leave it to the cyborgs

A cyborg called The Terminator is sent back in time from 2029 to 1984 to destroy humanity by killing the future mother of its future saviour. Only living tissue or an object covered with such living tissue can be sent through time, preventing the Terminator from bringing any advanced weaponry.
Key requirement in time travel: An egg-shaped bubble.
Past or future: Past.
Rule: It’s an ontological paradox
Flaw in the science: Why not just send back all kinds of Terminators to 1800 and have them take over then?
Conceivability: 5 out of 10.

9 Planet of the Apes

Planet of the Apes’ Charlton Heston goes on a mission to space in the late 20th century. Travelling faster than the speed of light means that the craft has journeyed 320 light years from Earth in just 18 months. However, due to relativistic time dilation, around 2,031 years have passed by back home – where they find that apes have taken over.
Key requirement in time travel: A space ship and electromagnetic storm.
Past or future: Past.
Rule: There’s no rule – the medium that caused time travel is not defined so there’s no pattern.
Flaw in the science: Radical breakthroughs in physics are required before we can propel large ships at meaningful fractions of the speed of light.
Conceivability: 6 out of 10.

10 Create a black hole

In the year 2387, the galaxy is threatened by a volatile supernova, which Star Trek’s Spock plans to destroy by creating an artificial black hole. Before the mission is completed, however, the supernova destroys a planet and the space ship gets caught in the black hole’s event horizon before being propelled into the past.
Key requirement in time travel: A space ship and black hole.
Past or future: Past.
Rule: If you travel back in time and change something, you don’t alter the future but break off a completely alternate reality.
Flaw in the science: How can Old Spock still exist in the past after it has been altered?
Conceivability: 7 out of 10.

*Unlike the studios, I’m no scientist so won’t be held responsible for any inaccuracies.
VN:F [1.9.13_1145]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)