Days of Change

Paradoxical | October 5, 2016

There are three separate TV shows using changes in history as a plot device this season. There’s CW returning series “The Flash.” They’re retelling a DC Comics story line called “Flashpoint” where Barry Allen uses his ability to travel in time to change his tragic past. Unfortunately, the fundamental rule of TV time ravel applies, changing things only makes them worse. Timeless on NBC is the story of time travelers recruited to stop a group of history terrorists being guided with what looks like a journal from the future. Then there’s the FOX remake of Frequency, where a woman tries to stop one tragedy and instead creates more.

Memory is not a unique trait among human beings, but the game of “what if?” probably is. Regret is wishing you made a different decision, but sometimes one wonders what would happen if they made a complete left turn out of nowhere. I think stories about time travel, like much of science fiction, are about the human condition.

Many stories of time travel end up where the change to history is the wrong decision. In many cases, time tends to follow the path is was meant for. With that in mind, knowing who you are is more important that one or two things you did in the past.

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