Doctor Who & Time Travel
Cause and Effect
Siena Heights University
Squish a bug in 1 million B.C. and suddenly people have tentacles in the present! This is the surviving thought of time travel. While time travel is fictitious it is a lasting and interesting idea from science fiction that many writers have plied their talents to in order to explain or change the world. Some authors show that every moment is important to the outcome of the world. Some authors say that history cannot be rewritten or reshaped for a different outcome. Other writers speak of paradoxes that cannot or should not happen. Still other writers think that it is worth exploring and discovering new consequences for actions. In essence time travel is all about cause and effect.
The popular British television show Doctor Who explores the consequences of both action and inaction through its main character, the Doctor. He travels through time and space exploring worlds, time periods, and usually saving people from disaster. The theory on the show is that time is ever in flux; with few fixed periods in time that must happen no matter what lest the outcome of the universe is forever altered. Very few times has the Doctor come across a fixed period in time which he could not alter the course of events.
One such event was the eradication of Pompeii by the explosion of the volcano Vesuvius in an episode titled “The Fires of Pompeii” (Moran, 2008). In this episode the Doctor and his assistant, Donna, landed in Pompeii assuming it was ancient Rome. In fact, the Doctor’s slightly broken space ship took them to ancient Pompeii. Upon realizing the date, the Doctor tries to get Donna to leave the city since it was the day before the explosion of the volcano. Here is where the idea of cause and effect come into play. Donna refuses to leave and instead tries to warn the city of the coming explosion. The Doctor refuses to help because he knows that this moment was meant to happen and will...