Today the next installment of Hatman & Indigo #38, Hatman & Indigo's Excellent Adventure, went on-line. The title is a parody of the 1989 film Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
Bill and Ted was one of my favorite movies growing up. In addition to the quotable lines and goofy plot, I was sucked in by the fact that it was a time-travel movie. I've always been fascinated by the idea of time travel. After all, who hasn't at some point wished they could go back and correct a mistake, witness a great event in history or have a conversation with a past version of themselves?
Despite a lot of science-fiction writing on the topic and even some serious thought by some brilliant physicists, traveling backwards through time remains beyond us, and may very likely be impossible. And one of the biggest arguments that it never will be possible is that we've never witnessed a traveler from the future coming to the past. But is this really a good argument against time travel? Let's take a hypothetical, 3Twins look at why we don't seem to have experienced this phenomenon.
1) Maybe time travelers are very careful: As you'll see in Hatman & Indigo's Back to the Beginning, our time travelers realize that even the slightest change to the past could have devestating effects on their present. So any half-way intelligent time travelers wouldn't exactly broadcast the fact that they were from another time. They would more likely just observe the past.
2) Even evil time travelers would be careful: When the Terrible Trio traveled back in time, they did have the intention of changing the past. But even these less-than-genius guys kept their time-traveling a secret. Broadcasting their plans would have only made changing the past more difficult.
3) Who would believe the time-traveler? While we don't see this in Hatman & Indigo (or do we?), how many rational people would be quick to believe the claims of a time traveler? Most likely we'd deem them crazy and have them locked up. Even those who did believe the time-traveler would probably keep it a secret so they woudln't look crazy and maybe even so they wouldn't change the future.
4) Time-traveling creates an alternate timeline: Perhaps we live in the original time-line and any backwards time-travel would create a parallel universe (think Spock in the new Star Trek film). Thus we would never witness time-travelers because they would always be traveling to the parallel universes. By the way, if time travel created an alternate time-line in the new Star Trek, why didn't time travel create a new time-line in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home? Or did it?
5) Time-travelers aren't coming to our time period: Time travel has only existed as a sci-fi concept since the 1700's or so. Perhaps time-travelers just haven't found history since then very interesting and no one would have considered the possibility that strange visitors prior to that point were from another time?
Well, there you have it - my reasons why we haven't seen any time-travelers from the future. Of course the obvious reason is that there won't ever be any time-travelers... but it wouldn't be nearly as fun to explore that option.