A Continuum Community
Syfy (ended 2015)
When Paradoxes occur new timelines are created, but are there other reasons for timelines to occur? Star Trek: The Next Generation put up an episode in season six, episode 11 entitled "Parallels", in which it stated that there is a theory in quantum physics that says, "For every choice we encounter in life, a new timeline is spun off until another choice comes along, and then the process is repeated again and again throughout one's lifetime." This seems a bit much considering how many people there are and how many choices are encountered in a lifetime, but when you consider just how much room there is in infinity, it is theoretically possible. That would mean that there are millions upon millions of alternate timelines for each person in our single universe. Whether this is true, or not is a moot point, since it is neither provable, nor has ever been experienced by anyone able to tell the tale.

Timelines are, in fact, merely a literary device to explain what happens when a paradox occurs in a science fiction time travel tale--be it a movie, book or TV show. A good way to illustrate this is through Television. Take, for instance, Warehouse 13 and Eureka. Since they did several crossover episodes, they would be considered to be in the same reality as one another, or the same timeline. This brings up an interesting point, which is, since Eureka's timeline changed after the episode "Founder's Day", wherein, the main crew of Eureka went back in time to 1941 and changed the future, which also affected Warehouse 13's future. The crossover episodes occurred after the fact, but it still applies.

We also know that the only rule of time travel is that there be continuity within that story, or series of stories. In other words, shows like 24, and Scandal or Last Resort are considered not to be in the same reality or timeline, because they all have different Presidents of the United States in the same year, which would create a paradox.

The problem with timelines is that if you change the future like erasing the nuclear destruction of New York City in the recent SyFy movie Rewind, a new timeline is created, but it does not erase the timeline it replaces, which means that the people who survived the destruction of NYC must live out their lives in that same reality--it really doesn't change anything for them.

This all varies from story to story, depending on the circumstances. Like in the finale of Fringe, the Observers are never created so that reality ceases to exist and the timeline reverts to the moment of their arrival, which now, never happens. This all gets pretty complicated, but logic rules the day after the laws of physics are violated in the first place, and we realize that Olivia, Peter and Etta are not physically the same people we fell in love with as the series progressed.

If you apply all of this to Continuum, we get major complications, since this story is not yet complete. Anyway, this is just some food for thought for all you sci-fi buffs out there who love this kind of stuff. Any thoughts?
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