Time's Winged Chariot
Time and Space
Time Travel Novels, Anthologies, Movies and Television Shows
Novels and Novellas
1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1943)
2. Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne (1873)
3. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (1895)
4. Dr. Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks by David Whitaker (1964)
5. Doctor Who and the Crusaders by David Whitaker (1965)
6. Dune by Frank Herbert (1965)
7. Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock (1969)
8. Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert (1969)
9. Children of Dune by Frank Herbert (1976)
10. Doctor Who and the Talons of Weng-Chiang by Terrance Dicks (1977)
11. Replay by Ken Grimwood (1986)
12. Time's Arrow by Martin Amis (1991)
13. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1994)
14. The Alchemist's Key by Traci Harding (1999)
15. Tablet of Destinies by Traci Harding (2001)
16. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (2003)
17. Queen of Iron Years by Lyn McConchie and Sharman Horwood (2012)
1. Break Time by Pat Bertram, Joylene Butler, Dale Cozort, Suzanne Francis, J. Conrad Guest, Jan Linton and Rod Marsden (release date through Blue Shift Books, Second Wind publishing, scheduled date of release May, 2014)
1. A Christmas Carol starring Reginald Owen (1938)
2. The Time Machine starring Rod Taylor (1960)
3. The Time Machine starring Guy Pearce (2002)
4. Around the World in 80 Days starring David Niven (1956)
5. Around the World in 80 Days starring Jackie Chan (2004)
6. Beyond the Time Barrier starring Robert Clarke (1960)
7. Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol starring Jim Backus (1962)
8. The Three Stooges Meet Hercules starring Moe Howard (1962)
9. The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze starring Larry Fine (1963)
10. Doctor Who and the Daleks starring Peter Cushing (1965)
11. Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150 A. D. (1966)
12. Planet of the Apes starring Charlton Heston (1968)
13. Planet of the Apes starring Tim Roth (2001)
14. Beneath the Planet of the Apes starring Kim Hunter (1970)
15. Escape from the Planet of the Apes starring Roddy McDowall (1971)
16. Superman starring Christopher Reeve (1978)
17. Time After Time starring Malcolm McDowell (1979)
18. Somewhere in Time starring Christopher Reeve (1980)
19. A Christmas Carol starring George C. Scott (1984)
20. Back to the Future starring Michael J. Fox (1985)
21. Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home starring Leonard Nimoy (1986)
22. Scrooged starring Bill Murray (1988)
23. Blackadder's Christmas Carol starring Rowan Atkinson (1988)
24. The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey starring Chris Hayward (1988)
25. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter (1989)
26. Back to the Future II starring Michael J. Fox (1989)
27. Back to the Future III starring Michael J. Fox (1990)
28. Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey starring Keanu reeves and Alex Winter (1991)
29. Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray (1993)
30. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III - Turtles in Time starring Elias Koteas (1993)
31. Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death starring Rowan Atkinson (1999)
32. A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey (2009)
33. The Time Traveler's Wife starring Eric Bana (2009)
Comic Books Featuring the Occasional Traveling through Time
1. D.C.'s Superman
2. Marvel's Iron Man
3. Marvel's The Avengers
4. Marvel's The Fantastic Four
5. Marvel's The Mighty Thor
Animated Television shows that have Featured the Occasional Traveling Through Time
1. Futurama (USA)
2. The Avengers (USA)
3. The Fantastic Four (USA)
Live Action television shows including mini-series that have Dealt with Time Travel
1. Doctor Who (U.K.)
2. Star Trek (USA)
3. Red Dwarf (U.K)
4. The Avengers (U.K.)
5. The Time Tunnel (USA)
6. My Favorite Martian (USA)
7. It's About Time (USA)
8. Star Trek - The Next Generation (USA)
9. Star Trek - Deep Space Nine (USA)
10. Star Trek - Voyager (USA)
11. Star Trek - Enterprise (USA)
12. Stargate (USA)
13. Adventures of Superman (USA)
14. Bewitched (USA)
15. Smallville (USA)
16. I Dream of Jeanie (USA)
17. The Big Bang Theory (USA)
18. The infinite Worlds of H. G. Wells (U.K.)
19. Life on Mars (U.K)
20. Life on Mars (USA)
21.Seven Days (USA)
22. The Girl from Tomorrow (Australia)
23. Charmed (USA)
24. The Simpsons (USA)
25. Sabrina the Teenage Witch (USA)
26. Dune (USA)
27. Frank Herbert's Children of Dune (USA)
Time Related Novels
The titled Time's Winged Chariot is from Andrew Marvell's 17th Century poem To His Coy Mistress. It deals with love and how time can and does come into play.
Time seems to slow down when we are in a hurry to be elsewhere and seems to speed up when we are having a good time. Our past tends to get sugar coated and becomes the good old days while the future looms dark and unpredictable.
One short story about time travel that has always grabbed me is Fredric Brown's Black Future in which a man from the future travels back in time to find out what the 20th Century was really like since records of that time are scarce because of a devastating war.
Since it was an African country that brought civilization back from the brink, future people take pride in saying they have any African blood. The time traveler does not fare very well, however, when he reveals he has some of this ancestry for he landed in the south of the USA.
There have been many time related novels over the years. Generally they are of a science fiction nature. It might surprise some readers to note that some have been fiction fantasy and have even touched upon magic as a form of transportation from present to future or to past. It has been said though that magic is just science we don't as yet understand.
Time is featured in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol in that Scrooge is taken back in time to his youth by the Ghost of Christmas Past. He is also shown the possible future by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to come. This is a much treasured tale that can be enjoyed in novella form, as a stage play and as a movie. A version of a Christmas Carol was done by the makers of Blackadder and also by makers of Doctor Who.
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne may not seem to have anything to do with time travel but there the casual reader would be mistaken.
If not for the direction taken by Englishman Phileas Fogg in going around the world, he might well have lost his wager with the members of London's Reform Club, that it could be done in eighty days.
In crossing the international date line he had theoretically and, in terms of time keeping, gone back in time. It was thus he was saved.
On a personal note, and to illustrate how different places in the world run on different times, I recall what happened the day after my birthday. Friends from the USA on Facebook wished me a happy birthday not realizing they were out by one day. Since I live in Australia there's at least one international date line between mainland USA and Australia. Even so I appreciated their good wishes.
One of the best loved novels to do with time travel is H. G. Wells' TheTime Machine. There have been numerous movies based on this book. It has even been said that Doctor Who owes its existence to some extent to the writings of H. G. Wells. As a kind of tribute to Herbert George Wells, the sixth Doctor had Herbert as a passenger for one adventure.
Dune by Frank Herbert, a rather complex science fiction novel, came out in 1965. In Dune it is possible to catch glimpses of the probable future through a special spice produced by worms on a particularly barren planet. In partaking of the spice there are many dangers yet it is extremely valuable.
Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock remains a rather strange and at the same time magnificent work. A traveler in search of the true Jesus goes back in time. What he discovers shocks him into becoming part of the history and the very nature of Christianity. Written in 1969, it still has the power to surprise and intrigue the reader.
In Ken Grimwood's 1986 novel Replay Jeff, a 43-year-old journalist, dies of a heart attack in 1988 and awakens in 1963 in his 18-year-old body. He lives for 25 years and again dies of a heart attack to once again awaken in 1963 in his 18-year-old body. He meets up with Pamela who is also experiencing this phenomenon. The replays for both of them continue and become shorter.
In Time's Arrow by Martin Amis (1991) time seems to be in reverse for the main character, a German holocaust Doctor. In this book we have reverse dialogue, reverse narrative and reverse explanation.
Of the Harry Potter novels, Harry and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling (1994) deals directly with time travel. In this book Harry's friend Hermione uses a device known as a time-turner in order to double-up on classes. It also comes in handy when Harry, Ron and Hermione need to go back in time in order to save both Buckbeak, a winged, powerful creature and Sirius Black, Harry's uncle.
In The Alchemist's Key by Traci Harding (1999) an estate in England holds mysteries concerning the past, present and future. Ashby Manor may be rich in exquisite art and furnishing but the echoes of four hundred years of habitation ripple through the rooms. It is possible at times for the people of the past to enter the present and for the people of the present to enter the past. In this work those from the past are not always friendly to those from the present.
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (2003) puts forward the idea of time travel as a genetic happenstance. A man time travels unpredictably because he is genetically predisposed to doing so and his wife, an artist, must cope with his frequent absences.
In Queen of Iron Years by Lyn McConchie and Sharman Harwood a man condemned as an undesirable in the time he was born into travels into the distant past to make a new life for himself. In doing so he changes history for the better but at great cost to himself.
Coming in May 2014 is Break Time - a Steampunk collection of stories centered around Al, a time traveler determined to kill steam power. Among the people Al meets in his quest include Frank "Iron" Glover, a man given the responsibility of protecting the first prime minister of Australia, Charlotte Leonard, a woman designer of steam devices, and Dakota David, a North American mystic.
There have been numerous films made based on A Christmas Carol. There has even been a Muppets version. Scrooged starring Bill Murray (1988) happens to be one of my favorite adaptions. Here a television executive who has lost the meaning of Christmas is visited by the ghosts and is reformed. His trip down memory lane is particularly sad. A lump of meat as a Christmas present from his dad? Yeesh!
Around the World in Eighty Days has also been adapted to film quite a few times. The closest to the novel is the 1956 movie by the same name starring David Niven.
The most fun version is The Three Stooges go Around the World in a Daze (1963). There's plenty of action and daring-do in the Jackie Chan 2004 effort making this film very watchable.
When it comes to The Time Machine, there are two movie versions I know of. My preference leans toward the 1960 effort by the same name starring Rod Taylor. The 2002 version seems to rely too much on special effects and in my opinion has less heart.
The 1960 film Beyond the Time Barrier starring Robert Clarke presupposes that, if there is a sound barrier to break, there must also be a time barrier as well. A jet pilot does manage to break this second barrier and in doing so ends up in the future. In getting back to his own time he meets with disaster.
In The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962) a modern day weakling travels back in time with the Stooges via time device and, through many a hardship, transforms into a muscle man. There are some great scenes in this well made comedy.
Doctor Who had been going for a few years in black an white when it was decided to make a movie in color based on one of the show's more popular adventures. Thus in 1965 Doctor Who and the Daleks came to be. It was decided to have Peter Cushing in the lead role as the Doctor instead of William Hartnell and also to opt for a younger granddaughter when it came to Susan. This movie and the one that followed in 1966 are not an accurate portrayal of the television show but rather a hearty salute.
Planet of the Apes, based on a French novel, hit the screens in 1968. Astronauts crash land on what they perceive to be an alien world in which humans are not the dominant species. In fact they are on future Earth and the human race is no longer in charge because of some war that took place while the astronauts were lost in time and space. In 2001 a re-make of this film was made. It lacked heart and, despite better up to date special effects, was not well received.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) was not quite a sequel to the first movie even though characters from the first movie were mentioned. It involved new astronauts going into their future and new difficulties for the human race. There was not only talking apes to deal with but also mutants who worship a nuclear bomb. A novel based on this movie was put out around the time of its release but was not very well written. This film, however, was good enough to bring about more ape related films.
For many fans Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) is second in popularity to the original 1968 film. After seeing their world destroyed from space, chimpanzees from the planet that was once dominated by apes are thrown back in time. They emerge from a space capsule in our time to discover that humans talk and apes are dumb. They decide at first to play dumb but a female chimpanzee breaks their silence. There is a lot of heart and humor in this movie along with a somewhat tragic ending.
In the Superman blockbuster of 1978 the man of steel travels back in time through super speed in order to save Lois Lane. As in many scenes from this film the way in which this is captured for the audience is spectacular.
Time After Time (1979) has Malcolm McDowell as Wells. He has to go forward in time with his machine to a strange future place where, as a British gentleman, he doesn't belong. The place in modern America. He is after Jack the Ripper who has escaped from his own time and is set to menace the 20th Century. It appears, however, that their are those already menacing this century and so Jack decides he just wants to join in the fun.
Wells is aided by Amy, a woman from 1979. She's played by Mary Steenburgen in one of her roles as a strong but compassionate woman. Bloody Jack is played in excellent fashion by David Warner. There is a scene in which Wells tries to seek aid from a church only to find the doors locked. This seemed to say and probably still says a lot about our times.
Somewhere in Time (1980) starring Christopher Reeve has to be one of the more usual time traveler movies. Is it possible to will yourself into the past? Can an old photograph be the trigger? Here we have the human mind as the time machine.
Put a young lad and a mad scientist with wheels that can take you to the future together and what have you got? The answer is Back to the Future (1985) starring Michael J. Fox as the kid and Christopher Lloyd as the mad scientist. Marty, played by Fox, goes back in time and wrecks his chances of ever being born. Lloyd as Doc must help him to make sure his parents actually get together.
Back to the Future II (1989) had Michael J. Fox playing numerous roles in futuristic settings. The plot here was more complicated than in the original Back to the Future and suffered for it. Even so there was a third movie made.
Of all the Back to the Future films I personally like Back to the Future III (1990) best with its slick references to old Clint Eastwood movies. Marty, played by Fox, discovers that Doc, played by Lloyd, is not safe back in his own town's frontier past. Thus Marty sets out to rescue Doc and bring him literally back to the future. In the past Doc meets the love of his life Clara, played beautifully by Mary Steenburgen. He doesn't want to leave but it has to be better than getting ventilated by a thickheaded desperado with a gun. Suffice to say there is a happy ending or perhaps we should say beginning.
Directed by Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home (1986) is considered by many to be one the better Star trek films involving the original crew. In order to save save the Earth, this crew must go back in time in a Klingon vessel to rescue two humpback whales (three if you register that the female is pregnant) and then spirit them into a time when humpback whales no longer exist. This film has a lot of heart.
The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988) is a highly unusual New zealand and Australian production. In this film a cavern and a feverish boy result in Medieval peasants from 14th Century England journeying to late 20th Century New Zealand.
The Moon Altered Shape and the Sun was not Always in the Same Place in the Sky
The Origins of Time
The concept of time was probably born when one of our ancestors came to realize that night follows day followed by night. Then there was the positioning of the sun in the sky during the day. It appeared to move. What's more, the stars at night appeared to also move.
Just to add more interest to what was happening in the sky, the moon altered shape from full to quarter and back again. In many places the fishing was better during the full moon. At certain times of the year it was colder than at other times. It was as if the sun had turned away but would eventually turn back.
Out of a desire to urge the sun to give more warmth the gods were born. And then came astrology to explain what was happening above us. Could the stars we were born under have something to do with the direction of our lives?
I was born on the cusp between Capricorn and Aquarius. I have strong doubts this means anything at all. If it did my preference would be Aquarius over Capricorn. But can distant stars that are suns really affect the way we live?
Astronomy came along with its less mystical and more scientific approach. The Ancient Greeks and possibly the Ancient Egyptians got this ball rolling.
When the telescope came along during the Middle Ages it became possible to have a good look at the sky. Astonishing finds were made.
At given times of the year it is possible to notice with the naked eye that the moon is not as perfect as the Medieval Church would have us believe. There are pock marks which we now know are craters. The telescope could be used to confirm this. How could the home of the one true God not be perfect? It was a real problem for the Medieval scholar. It was also a fact not easily accepted by the religious.
For the Church it got worse. Earth was at the center of all creation. We were all God's children and that was our place. Therefore the sun, the moon and the stars circled the Earth. Even back in Ancient Greece problems had emerged with this view of the universe. There came a counter view that the Earth circled the sun. This explained the various seasons and why time functioned the way that it did. Come the Middle Ages, however, and such a counter view was blasphemous.
In the latter half of the Middle Ages, the dreaded Ancient Greek counter view to how we fit into existence re-emerged and was even added to. The early scientists didn't always get it right but at least they were working from a stand point of observation and calculation rather than religious mythology and blind faith.
There was suppression of science but this became more and more difficult when the movable type printing press came into being in Europe. Books and especially pamphlets could be printed more rapidly and be in circulation before they could be banned, collected and destroyed.
Does the moon have an affect upon the Earth? For some time this was thought impossible by scientists and part of superstition that it did. Then Newton, introduced the concept of gravity. If gravity on Earth kept us all on our native planet instead of floating off into space then maybe gravity from the moon did something. Hence the idea was drawn forth that the full moon affected the tides in a positive way and thus improved the fishing.
Can the moon affect humans since we do contain a lot of water? The answer seems to be yes. Certain serial killers such as Bundy preferred to kill under a full moon. Some research in recent years tends to indicate that humans are more amorous during a full moon and if not amorous then apt to act more insane than usual. Certainly I've noticed more crazy behavior on trains during a full moon.
During and after the age of enlightenment there were ships from Europe capable of traveling distances that had never been traveled before. It was discovered that in certain parts of the world the seasons were markedly different from those of Europe. This affected how people dressed and behaved. It also affected their sense of time and place.
The European calendar (the Julian and then the Gregorian), with its days and months, reflects what is happening seasonably in Europe and also the USA. It is a standard for understanding the nature of time but cannot reflect seasonably what is happening, say, in the Congo or in, say, New South Wales, Australia. Christmas, for example, in the northern hemisphere is a cold time whereas in Australia it is Summer.
Easter in the north is in Spring whereas in the south it is Autumn. Chocolate rabbits and eggs seem more appropriate in the north but Easter is still celebrated with chocolate rabbits and eggs in the south as part of a celebration that unites the Christian world.
If time and what produces our understanding of time isn't an absolute constant on planet Earth, can it be an absolute constant in outer space and/or on other planets? The answer is no.
Can time be regarded as a straight line radiating forth from planets such as our own or is it curved? This question ties in with the question of how our universe was born and also to string theory. Time has to begin with the first moment of creation but when was that? Scientists search for the answer.
The Sun and the Moon - the Passage of Time on Earth
Wandering Doctors to Avengers and Misplaced Detectives
1. Doctor Who (U.K) has always been about traveling through space and time. The Show began in the 1960s and has spawned many a paperback novel, comic paper, comic book, T-shirt and model. I There have been stage productions as well as movies.
Recently in 2014 there was a stage production held in Australia. There were Daleks and Cybermen.
The television television show was cancelled for a while but only after it had racked up enough time on air to be the longest continually running science fiction program ever. Since its return to the small screen it has become once more a must see.
2. Star Trek (USA) was a must for science fiction buffs in the 1960s. Though basically about space travel, a number of stories involved time travel as well.
There's Tomorrow is Yesterday where going back in time results in moments of dry humor as well as difficulties for the American air force. In the end the Enterprise has to be chalked up as just another unconfirmed UFO sighting.
The award winning The City on the Edge of Forever, however, is a different matter. Bones returns to depression era USA via the use of an alien gateway device. He manages to change the past. Kirk and Spock follow to undo what ever Bones has done. Done this mean that an insightful woman Kirk falls in love with must die or be saved?
In the story Miri the people of a planet similar to Earth remain children for a long time but as soon as they begin to become adults they are doomed to insanity and death.
3. Red Dwarf (U.K) is a space comedy where the characters aboard the mining spacecraft Red Dwarf have played merry hell with time on a number of occasions. There is an episode where they went in search of Jesus as in Michael Moorcock's famous novel, Behold the Man. In another episode, after interfering with the assassination of President Kennedy they talk Kennedy into assassinating himself in order to put history back on track. Possibly the most fun episode dealing with time is titled Backwards. Here the crew find themselves in what appears to be 1990s Earth only everything, including the people, operate backwards. Apparently time does stretch and when it reaches a point where it can stretch no more it goes back on itself. This is crazy and very entertaining.
4. The Avengers (U.K) in the mid-1960s centered around the adventures of the fab super spy team Mrs. Emma Peel and John Steed. In one episode a criminal mastermind has rigged a mansion in such a way as to con those who wish to escape the present into believing that it is possible to travel into the past.
5. The Time Tunnel (USA) concerns a big U.S.A military project dealing with time. Here we have huge machinery, many underground floors and personnel dedicated to, yes, a tunnel that can take you anywhere in time. The device is used prematurely and at first one and then two men find themselves going from one time period to another. not knowing where they'll end up next. Interestingly enough, the two men on this journey are great at fighting and seem to be able to take on just about any warriors from anywhere so long as there are only a handful of them.
6. My Favorite Martian (USA) has a man from Mars crash land on Earth and befriended by a young journalist. Since the Martian has a time device, there are a number of episodes dealing with the problems of interfering with the course of human history. One of the more memorable, am exciting two-parter, takes the Martian and his journalist companion to the Wild West. Here we also have My Favorite Martian in color for the first time.
7. It's About Time (USA) had two U.S astronauts travel back in time to the stone age where they have quirky adventures with stone age people. This ran on for a season. Then it was the turn of a stone age family to find themselves trapped in the 20th Century.
8. Star Trek - Deep Space Nine (USA) had one outstanding episode of time travel in which member of Deep Space Nine go back in time to where Kirk's trouble with tribbles, fur balls that eat grain, breed like crazy and don't like Klingons, began.
9. Adventures of Superman (USA) goes from a black and white television show to color during an episode dealing with time travel from what was then present day USA to cave dwelling times.
10. The Big Bang Theory (USA) is a comedy dealing with people who are up on science but down on street smarts. In one episode the Big Bang crew purchase the time machine prop from the 1960s film The Time Machine. In another episode there is a tribute to the Planet of the Apes films.
11. Life on Mars (U.K) is about a police officer who is hit by a car and travels in his mind back to the 1970s. He becomes part of a 1970s police force as he tries to figure out how to get out of the comma he is in and back to the 21st Century. There's an American version of this show that only ran for one season and was not as successful as the original British version.
12. Seven Days (USA) is a different take on time travel. The Backstep Sphere can only take a single person back seven days and not without knocking that person's body around. It is alien and was discovered at Roswell. In the show it is used to avert disasters. Sometimes doing so isn't easy as time can be complex. In averting one disaster one or more might open up requiring more travel back seven days until everything that can be sorted out can be sorted out.
Time and the Twenty-four Hour Clock
Time Measured from Stick to Watch
How We Work and How We Regard Time has Changed
1. Back in the early part of the Middle Ages most people worked hard in the hope of producing enough food to stay alive. In terms of time, the sun was enough to go by.
2. In the latter half of the Middle Ages more people lived in towns and cities where work required a more precise knowledge of the passing of time.
3. Today there are jobs that require even more precise knowledge of time and how it affects other humans. Trains, for example, need to run on schedule to keep passengers as happy as possible with the service.
Some ancient ancestor of humanity discovered that a simple stick shoved into the ground could help a person tell time. At noon the stick does not cast a shadow. Just before dark the stick casts a rather long shadow. As time went by more sophisticated ways of doing this were devised. Hence the creation of the sundial.
Mechanical clocks date back as early as Ancient Greece. The first of such mechanical devices to tell time was no doubt either based on falling water or sand.
Sand dials for measuring minutes in the preparation of food are still with us today. Experiments in the re-creation of Ancient Greek water clocks have taken place on campuses in such places as California, USA.
By the latter Middle Ages, with the growth of towns and cities, there came a need for precise measurements of time. Prior to this most people were peasant farmers. They got up at the crack of dawn, had breakfast, went to work in the fields, had lunch when the sun was high in the sky, worked some more, then had a meal before it got so dark candles were needed to see by. There was no need to measure how many hours they put in.
A peasant who did not work the land well enough could be turfed out and, prior to this, would starve. In town and cities, however, a person's labor was not so easily measured hence the increasing need for towns and cities to have clocks. Many town and city clocks of this period were well crafted with pin wheels and other moving metal parts.
Carrying time around in your pocket became popular in the 17th Century. Having time on your wrist has been popular from the 19th Century on.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and Other Wonders
Peeling Away the Time Choices
Of the following television shows related to time which one do you find the most enjoyable?See results without voting
Time as an Onion
Just when I think I'm at the end of the road when it comes to novels, novellas, anthologies, movies and television shows about time something inevitably turns up. It is very much like peeling an onion. There are a great many layers and they all cry out to be recognized.
In terms of the American scene, I have so far neglected Mark Twain's great work, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
It has spawned numerous movies including one starring Bing Crosby (1949) and another with less adherence to Twain's work titled A Knight in Camelot, starring Whoopi Goldberg (1998). In the original book an American travels back in time and shakes thing up at Camelot. It has a darker, less of a pleasant ending than in the films.
The Final Countdown (1980) starring Kirk Douglas has a modern aircraft carrier travel through time to the day before the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. The question is what, if anything, can and/or should be done about the attack.
A fun movie of 1986 is Biggles: Adventures in Time starring Neil Dickson. One of the highlights of this film is a modern helicopter turning up over the trenches during World War One. Not much here for fans of the Biggles books but you can't have everything.
There's also the Terminator movies starting with The Terminator (1984) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a mechanical creation from the future out to make sure the present unfolds in ways best suited to his kind. Other movies have Schwarzenegger as a "friendly" mechanical creature from the future out to save humanity from its own shortcomings.
In Total Recall (1990) Arnold plays a man whose memories have been altered and whose past may be the key to a better future for those living on Mars.
A great spin-off television show to the terminator movies was Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. In this show the sexy Summer Glau plays a mechanical being out to protect the future savior of humankind. She appeared as herself in the famous train episode of the second season of The Big Bang Theory.
An unusual jump into the bizarre for American television was Quantum Leap starring Scott Bakula. In this show a quantum physicist from the near future travels through time temporarily taking the place of another person until his next leap into the unknown.
Scott Bakula was later to travel back to World War Two as the intrepid Captain Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise.
In Night at the Museum 1 (2006) and 2 (2009) starring Ben Stiller, ancient Egyptian magic brings to life the exhibits at night. The highlight of the first movie is man versus monkey.
One of the highlights of the second movie is the gun-ho spirit of Amelia Earhart (played by Amy Adams) as this into it boots and all aviatrix takes to the air. There's also the wobbly head Einsteins, reminding us that the real Albert Einstein, the famous scientist, did in fact have a sense of humor. Apparently there is going to be a third Night at the Museum film.
On the British scene, there have been some great documentaries and factual books dealing with time. For example, there's Stephen Hawking's 1991 documentary A Brief History of Time.
And there's the factual science book The Universe in a Nutshell (2001). Here perhaps it should be mentioned that Hawking appeared as himself on a Star Trek - The Next Generation episode as well as on The Simpsons. He has also appeared as a guest star on The Big Bang Theory.
David Attenborough in his documentaries First Life (2010) and Rise of Animals (2013) has been examining time in terms of evolution through the examination of strange plants and animals that still exist on Earth and also through the fossils of extinct plants and animals.
The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England starring Ian Mortimer is a very clever look at life in Elizabethan England from the point of view of someone new to England of the period.
The BBC spent a great deal to get this documentary just right with computer animation as well as live action scenes so that it is a marvelous glimpse into a past age. In the episodes we are shown how vagabonds are treated, how the plague years affected London, how learning through reading and writing increased and what to look for in terms of accommodation.
Traveling on foot was extremely dangerous, cities smelled of human and animal waste and on one entrance into London the traveler was greeted with the sight of the gallows - sometimes occupied.
On the plus side, more women were able to read and there were even women writers, goods were coming in from all over the world, and the English language was at last taking its place among the great languages of Europe such as French and Italian.
This series was first shown in Australia in April, 2014. It is based on the book, The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England (2012) by Ian Mortimer. There is also The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer (2008).
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