Time's Arrow question

  • Avatar of finebo21

    finebo21

    [1]Apr 7, 2007
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    Something about the end of Time's Arrow has always really annoyed me.  Riker is unsure as to whether or not Clemens has made it back to the nineteenth century, and Worf says that they have no way of knowing.  Can't they just look in the computer and see where and how he died?  If he didn't make it back, his death would have been different.  Perhaps this is just one of those time travel things that the writers had to change a little to fit the plot.
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  • Avatar of Tronman100

    Tronman100

    [2]Apr 9, 2007
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    It's all about the ripple effect.

    Some stories treat time travel with an 'instant change' effect, I.E. if you go back and the change the past, the causality will change the future instantly. (Star Trek: First Contact, when the Borg change the past and they see Earth instantly changed)

    Others will adapt the idea that the time line changes over time, i.e. the effects felt are not instant. For an example, think of Back to the Future 2. When Biff changed the past, he was still able to return to the SAME future that Marty and Doc were in, which he would not have been able to do if the effects of his tinkering had been instant.

    You can think of this with Times Arrow, the effects of effects of flipping Twain around through time aren't felt instantly, it takes time to catch up.

    That being said, its really just a plot device, they use either effects interchangeably, and sometimes both at the same time, which makes it more interesting.
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  • Avatar of finebo21

    finebo21

    [3]Apr 9, 2007
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    Very interesting interpretation. Thank you.
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  • Avatar of pjhasham

    pjhasham

    [4]Apr 13, 2007
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    They didn't use the ripple effect in City on the Edge of Forever, Yesterday's Enterprise or First Contact, the present just changed instantly. When did they ever use the ripple effect in Star Trek?
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  • Avatar of Tronman100

    Tronman100

    [5]Apr 14, 2007
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    You're right, the preference in Trek does seem to be instant change. I think there are at least a few other ripple effect examples, but I can't say for sure. In any case, Time's Arrow is at least a possible example.
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  • Avatar of darkthunder84

    darkthunder84

    [6]Apr 25, 2007
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    Another couple of instances where the change is instant in Trek:

    - ENTERPRISE, "Shockwave Part 1". Daniels bring Archer to the 31th century from the 22nd century, and immediately after bringing Archer to the future, Daniels "history" has been destroyed. Except for him of couse, who remembers exactly what history was like before the change, and after

    - DEEPSPACENINE, "Past Tense Part 1". Sisko accidently gets an important figure of Earth's past (early 21st century) killed, and the effect is felt immediately in the 24th century.

    What bothers me when they tinker with the timeline in "past history", to the point of changing history entirely is when people in the "altered" timeline remember how things were before the change. For example as in the above DS9 example, the Defiant mysteriously is the only Federation ship capable of withstanding changes in the timeline.
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