Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Doctor Who's on First?

I've always been fascinated with the idea of time travel. I've studied it somewhat, and I've written about it on several occasions.

One late night a few days ago, I was watching PBS and stumbled upon an episode of the long-running BBC series Doctor Who. Actually, it's the renewed series from 2005, with the ninth incarnation of the otherwise nameless Doctor. No, I am not an expert on Doctor Who; I am just regurgitating what the Wikipedia tells me.

Anyhow, I caught the last few minutes of one episode where the heroes fight a slug alien that was controlling a bastion of humanity living in a space station. (Say that three times fast.) For those few minutes I watched, it seemed to be an all right episode, but nothing prepared me for the next episode that PBS broadcast that night.

The next episode was entitled "Father's Day," which involved changing the past, the consequences of changing history, the shattering of idealized memories of the past, and a sacrifice to make things right again. It was smartly written and had the right amount of emotional acting. It currently ranks up there as one of my favorite stories involving time travel.

Check out the first six and a half minutes of the episode. If you want to watch the whole thing, either buy the season on DVD (series 1 of the rejuvenated Doctor Who franchise) or search Youtube (shh...I didn't just write that!):

(You can always use the menu function on the above Youtube widget to see if the other six parts are available for viewing.)

I do have one complaint for this episode, and it doesn't involve the different eye color of adult Rose (the Doctor's companion/student) and baby Rose from 1987. It does, however, involve the paradox that the Doctor asserted, that adult Rose shouldn't hold baby Rose since they are the same person. I understand that Time Travel X and Time Traveler X from five minutes before shouldn't touch each other because they are mostly the same matter. However, Time Traveler X and baby Time Traveler X from 20 years before have different skin cells, and therefore if the two were to touch, matter wouldn't touch the same matter. And thus, Rose holding baby Rose (having different skin cells) wouldn't constitute a time travel paradox for that reason alone.

Am I right?

Wormhole credit: User:Benji64.

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