Time travel is something that both TV and film have been able to corner as far as the fantasy of it, and in some cases even the science of it, or at least what looks like the science of it. If time travel was possible it’s likely we wouldn’t know anything about it since the past would change in way that we would think would be completely historical, right? It’s an interesting concept since the different theories and approaches to this subject have been explored in many different shows throughout the history of TV.
Some of the shows only use time travel as a plot device for a few episodes here and there, while others rely on it entirely as their main plot. In any case it’s interesting to see the different ways in which time travel is conceptualized and how it’s brought into the public eye. So many different devices and methods are used that one has to wonder if any of them would have the kind of merit it would take to actually experiment with, or if they’re all just the wild, fantastical ideas of writers that have no basis in science and thereby can be called true fiction.
It’s interesting to think about isn’t it? In any case, here are some of the best time traveling TV shows that have been rolled out.
5. Time Trax
The protagonist in this story was a cop from the future chasing down convicts that had been allowed to escape and travel back to the past. Armed with a sort of guide/helper that assisted him in general knowledge of the past he sought each convict in an effort to capture them and send them back to their proper time. As you might expect one of his prime directives is to not change the past in any way, but if you think about it that’s kind of impossible since no matter how inconsequential a person might seem in this world they’re bound to interact with someone, something, and change the world in a way that might not be noticed at first. It only lasted a year, but it was a fun show all the same.
Any story written by Stephen King is going to be something with a healthy helping of twists and turns in it. But rather than any mystical or occult subject matter in this show King went straight for the jugular of reality when he poses the question of whether or not the killing of JFK could have, or should have, been stopped. The story itself was something that kept many a reader on their toes throughout the entire book, but the realization of it on TV was something that had to be seen to be believed. No matter how one changes history, history will attempt to right itself each and every time no matter what has to be done. Change one thing and another will change along with it to keep the balance.
3. 12 Monkeys
Sent back in time to stop a violent plague that has nearly wiped out humanity in the future, Cole’s main job is to find The Witness, the unseen leader of the 12 Monkeys that always seems to be a step ahead of him. Based on the movie starring Bruce Willis and Madeline Stowe, this show is one of the crazier productions in that it deals with a full scale extinction that has humanity on the brink and therefore is a lot more high stakes than a lot of the other shows that deal with time travel. Unlike the movie however the show does have the advantage of going into greater depth with the story.
2. Quantum Leap
Sam just wanted to go home after a while but instead kept jumping into one body after another, righting the wrongs that had gone on during the people’s lives and in some cases upsetting history since let’s face it, righting wrongs sounds like a great idea, but changing the history could have disastrous effects. Despite all that people absolutely loved this show and it ran for a good length of time before it was finally taken off the air. The great thing about it was that there weren’t a lot of episodes that were alike, his jumps usually took him to very different people that didn’t have a lot in common.
1. Doctor Who
You want to meet a fanatic then talk to a Dr. Who fan. People about lost their minds each time a new Doctor was picked, and this most recent time they about lost it entirely since the thirteenth Doctor was revealed to be a woman. There are some shows you can shake up with a lineup change but this one was probably not a good candidate right off the bat. It might be that history will eventually look favorably on this switch, but only time will tell.
Yes, that was a pun. You’re welcome.