“Debunkers” of Time Travel logic say that anytime a time traveler moves in time they won’t land in the same space. Here are some fictional examples of why a time traveler is smart enough to think of that as well.

When time travel in movies and television is looked at from a reality based point of view the debunker says that logic contends when the time travel arrives in the past or the future because we are constantly moving they would actually be floating in space. 

Let me ask you this, if someone has figured out how to travel in time what makes you think they didn’t think about this fact as well?

Traveling through time in early literature was often achieved but the traveler being transported by some mystical being or spell.

Or the character would just discover themselves in the past without explanation. Such as Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court Published in 1889

It is HG Wells that is credited with having created the first mechanical means of time travel with The Time Machine 1895.  The fantasy stories are taken as they are – fantasy.  It is when you put the moniker of the “Science” in Science Fiction that opens these machines up as targets

There are a number of time travel films I could talk about but I’m going to talk about 3 examples that are pointed to as being the key offenders. Star Trek IV’s The Voyage Home slingshot, Back To The Future’s time machine Delorean, and HG Well’s The Time Machine  

There’ll also be a bonus at the end of the article of one of the most laughed at non-machine offenders.

Remember, I’m talking about the idea of proof in the film that the inventor thought of this from the films, I do realize that it is all still fiction.

Let’s start with an easy fictional idea, Star Trek.  

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

In this film the idea goes back to the original series that a ship in warp under extreme gravity and speed can use that gravity to create a slingshot effect around the sun and thus enter time warp.  I recently heard this talked about on a popular trek site commenting it was one of the dumbest thing about the movies.  But was it?

The time travel is dumb thought – once you entered time warp you are basically chasing the sun that is hurling away from you to be at a point different in space than where you were when you started.  So how could the ship be close to the sun and earth the moment it arrived in the past?

The answer is that very same gravity and a very smart Vulcan.  The idea of gravity is that space is curved by the weight of the body in space and it is that curve that causes objects to be pulled towards it.  

If a ship is using that very same gravity to create the time warp the calculations would be made so that the ship would literally ride the wave of that curve and would stay with that curve even if it is changing its point in space.  When the trip is over the ship is catapulted out of the curve winding up at earth. 

This is why at the end of the film Kirk asks Spock about the new variable of the weight of the whales and the water.  With the ship now heavier than before the trip new calculations had to be made to ride the wave home.  Cowabunga, ship winds up where it’s supposed to be because it’s held by gravity. 

Back to the Future 

The stupid thought – As soon as the Delores left it’s current time the earth will have moved out from under it leaving the Delorean alone in space just like Elon Musk’s Spaceman Spiff. 

Looking at the design of the machine in this film, the means of traveling through time is achieved by an energy device called a flux capacitor.  Basically a capacitor stores low amounts of energy until the storage releases capacitor and then release that energy as a stronger force.  And Doc says the capacitor makes time travel possible, not that it is the time travel device.  The whole machine, circuits, and displays are all working parts of the machine. 

Since the flux capacitor is pushing the Delorean through time it must be pushing it through the theoretical mix of space time.  So Doc is really creating a localized wormhole.  For a wormhole to work as a travel device you need to program your time machine to not only open a hole on your side of the hole, you have to open a hole on the receiving end.  

The machine of one giant portal gun.  The machine departs in one point and is portaged to the same point on earth it left even if the earth moved the wormhole exit moved with it. 

The Time Machine

I finish with the one that started it all because there have been two film versions and one very interesting take on the story called Time After Time.  

Here the idea is once the machine moves though time the earth would fling out from underneath the machine.  Here we are relying on gravity again.  

In the film, the Time Travel – identified as George by dialog and H George Wells on a plague on the machine.  Here he has created a barrier against time.  The dish on the back being likened to shield.  Once again we must rely on the thought that all discussion about time always refers to space time.  In the film the Time Traveler says that the machine is occupying the same space as before it is only moving through time.  

The machine still has the same gravity, occupies the same point in space, so it is gravity, just like in Star Trek that keeps the machine rooted.  All the time traveler did was unlock a means for the machine to slip between the cracks of time.  The machine is still in the same space. 

In the 2002 version of the time machine this is even better represented in the use of a bubble.  Here the time traveler seems to be aware of that paradox and most likely using it as an anchor to allow his machine to travel though time and absorb the gravity of the situation to keep him in one place. 

Time After Time takes a weird tact with the idea that two objects cannot be in the same space at the same time.  He makes it that the machine is programed to keep itself rooted to itself no mater where in space it may be at a particular time.  So when it is discovered and moved, since the machine is connected to it’s existence space, the machine winds up in San Francisco. 

Bonus Superman The Movie!

This one is even easier that Star Trek.  You’re angry, the woman you love is dead.  You run away and then realize you can go back in time and save her.  Being AN ALIEN THAT CAN FLY you can go with the idea of a rotating mass at high enough speed can travel though time. 

You begin to fly around the earth, faster and faster until finally you break the time barrier and start traveling back in time.  Just as had been said in all these other time travel jokes the earth is going to move through space.  So let me ask you, if you were out in space and started traveling backwards in time, wouldn’t it appear that the earth had reversed course. 

Once done you need to get back to where you were.  So completing the trip forward the earth appears to halt and return in the proper direction.  So know turning the earth in reverse is not what was happening with time. 

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

But for all of this, remember what they say in MST3K – tell yourself its just a show, you really should relax. 

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