Nerd Lunch Podcast 23: Time Travel in Pop Culture



We gotta get back in time! No, we’re not revisiting episode 2 about Back to the Future, but we are talking about some of the best and worst uses and methods of time travel in pop culture. Of course, Doc Brown and his DeLorean are mentioned, but we also dig up some gems like The Final Countdown and Timecop. In our Nerd To-Dos, we hear about Pax’s preparation for seeing Phantom Menace in 3D, find out why CT will soon be hanging out on the Banzai Institute Facebook page, and discuss a little news (gasp!) about the long rumored Star Wars TV show.

14 comments:

Chrisloc1701 said...

Excellent episode guys. Time Travel is a great theme in sci-fi, especially Back To The Future, Terminator, Quantum Leap and in Star Trek. One of my all time favorite time travel stories was in Babylon 5, the 'War Without End' 2 part episode. And although I was not a big fan of 'Star Trek: Enterprise' I did like their long running 'Temporal Cold War' storyline: Future Romulans trying to change history was just awesome. Dr Who is a great series to follow. I have become a fan of the Matt Smith 'Doctor', I don't really care for any other Dr Who.

Looking forward to episode 25 and other future episodes!! See you in the future!

Jack said...

Wow. Just tried to listen to this, and (repeatedly) got a screen from Jellycast saying that your bandwidth allotment had been exceeded, and I should try again next month. That's too bad, this looked interesting.

Apparently, I no longer have to actually comment in order to kill a post; just showing interest is now enough...

CT said...

Sorry, Jack. We are going to fix our bandwidth problem tonight. We hit a sudden surge of popularity and have to turn the level up to 11, I guess. Hopefully it will be in working order by tomorrow.

My most humble apologies!

CT said...

Well...sorry Jack and anyone else wanting to listen. We've got Chewbacca working on the problem but things are still not resolved yet. Hopefully we'll get this fixed soon and will not experience down time again.

CT said...

Okay...we're back up and running, sort of. The last three episodes are on the new server and should work now. And with this change, we shouldn't run into bandwidth problems again for a long while.

Jack said...

Aha! I was finally poleaxed by the uncanny similarity between you guys, and another group of nerds you may be familiar with. You guys need a permanent 4th chair, occupied by a blonde valley girl named Penny. Kuthrapali would fill a 5th, but you don't really need him, because he can't talk in front of Penny anyway.

Seriously, fun episode, and well worth the wait. I highly approve of your new service.

Put my vote down for the original "The Time Machine." Not only is Rod Taylor one of my all time favorite actors, but that subtle little move he made at the end to try to save future-girl just blew my socks off.

You mentioned Superman, and that whole deal represents my whole problem with time travel as a possibility: Jeopardy is nonexistant. "Earthquake... Ground shift... Lois died... No, wait..." It reduces the movie to a video game experience. You know the drill: Make your way to Big Bad's lair. Save game. Arm your frannifizzler. Enter lair. Get your ass handed to you. Load save. Arm your fusionational grenade launcher. Enter lair. Repeat until something works. Ho-hum.

Speaking of games, for a treatment in a format you didn't mention, check this out: http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1857/time-war

Let me add my vote to The Final Countdown. Much deeper story than the subject matter would suggest. As well as Martin Sheen, it stars Kirk Douglas and James Farentino. An altogether excellent piece of work.

As was this episode. Another fine job, gentlemen. In the words of another famous time traveler, "I'll be back!"

CT said...

Interesting that you bring up video games. I'm not much of a video gamer, but there are a couple of video games I have played in the past the dealt with time travel. I should have brought them up. And I'm not familiar with Time War, but RPGs and board games is another category we haven't even really delved into at all yet.

But regarding Superman, your comparison is apt. And it's even worse in the Superman II: Donner Cut when they do the same ending for that movie (for reasonable reasons).

I think I was trying to hit on this and never really articulated it, but time travel should either be so hard that not anyone can do it or so easy that it's easy to really mess things up. I think Star Trek IV speaks to the first category and Back to the Future the second.

Glad you approve of the new service. I'm really hopeful that this was a great upgrade for us.

Robert said...

Great topic. I like to think that Superman was just flying really fast and went back in time, rather than flying so fast that he reverses the Earth's rotation which causes everything to go back in time. I'm honestly not sure which of those theories is supposed to happen in the film.

Pax mentioned Time Crimes and I actually really like that crazy little film.

Primer is another good one, not sure if anyone brought that one up.

I'm excited for an upcoming time travel flick called Looper. Bruce Willis is assassin Joseph Gordon Levitt's future self.

CT said...

I didn't elaborate on my problems with Superman nor how I have resolved the issue in my mind. I agree that he did not actually reverse the rotation of the Earth but that was merely a visual cue that he was reversing time itself. My issue with that scene is much like Jack was talking about in that it seemed in reversing time, he also stopped much of the destruction from happening in the first place. Except, he didn't stop all of it. And where was his past self once he arrived on the scene before Lois died? I can't think about it too much or my head explodes.

Primer is a good movie that we did not mention but should have. One of the best executions of time travel in a movie from a "realistic" standpoint.

Looper sounds interesting but I wonder if Bruce Willis is going to start suffering the ill effects of too much time travel (12 Monkeys, The Kid). If he starts getting nose bleeds, he may want to back off on the time travel.

Matt said...

I know there are no explosions, or cyborgs or cool sci-fi effects but who forgot "Somewhere in Time?" It's a classic film, and every year fans meet for a convention and their own style of cosplay. That should be geek cred enough to warrant a mention :)

Jeeg said...

I meant to bring up my favorite time travel video game, a JRPG on the Super Nintendo called Chrono Trigger, but never got around to it. I guess we'll have to talk more time travel again... in the future. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Matt, given the love for Christopher Reeve and Christopher Plummer on this podcast, I was waiting for one of the guys to bring up Somewhere in Time. Explain yourselves, CT and Pax.

CT said...

Uh...I blame the host. Which wasn't me this time.

Jeeg said...

I only just realized how odd this episode title is. Did we need to distinguish the topic from all the time travel in real life?

CT said...

As a follow up to Jeeg's last comment on this post, turns out we did eventually do an episode that was essentially about time travel in real life. Or what we'd do if we had time travel as a resource in real life.

Time Travel Scenarious

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