Saturday, 3 January 2015

A Journey Through Time And Space

I was watching a repeat of Dr Who the other day and I suddenly had a thought:

What I would do if the famous Timelord materialized in my house, popped out of his TARDIS and said:

“Dave, I will take on ten trips anywhere you want and anywhen. Where do you want to go?”

For those readers who do not know, travellers in the TARDIS have the ability to communicate with those whom they visit because it has a translation circuit that allows them to understand aliens etc.

I would need that.

Here’s where I would ask the Doctor to take me:

The Mesazoic Era

The first place I would visit is Earth in the period between 230 and 65 million years ago, known as the Mesazoic Era. As a kid I was fascinated by dinosaurs and I would want to see those legendary and enormous “terrible lizards” that roamed the planet. Top of the list would be Tyrannosaurus Rex, followed by the other popular creatures – any massive creature in fact. I would also push my luck and ask the Doctor to show me what really wiped them all out.

Jerusalem, between 30 AD and 33 AD

I was baptised a Roman Catholic and was indoctrinated, effectively from birth, via a Catholic school and church until, at around the age of fifteen when I started to rebel. As I’ve grown older, I’ve always been intrigued about the man called Jesus whose teachings I had to learn during that time. My first port of call therefore would be to Jerusalem and the surrounding area in an attempt to find the man himself and work out for myself whether he was just a prophet or whether he was indeed the Son of God.

Rome, 117 AD

I visited Rome in 2012 to celebrate my fiftieth birthday. I have always been fascinated by ancient Roman life and the entire mythos surrounding the Roman Empire, which reached its greatest extent in 117 AD. I learned Latin at school and I often wondered why it was compulsory. I guess it helped me to understand other languages but since it’s been dead for countless years (apart from in the minds of scientists) and it might be nice to hear the language spoken – assuming the Romans actually conversed in Latin that is. I would love just to spend a day wondering around the city, embracing the culture – and trying to avoid being arrested and throw to the lions.

I’d also be a little cheeky and ask him to pop back to 79AD Pompeii, just before Mount Vesuvius erupted. Having walked through the streets of the city a few years ago, I would love to see how the two compare.

England, 1543

Of all the kings and queens of England, the one that fascinates me most is the tyrannical Henry VIII, arguably the most infamous king in our history. He died in 1548 as an enormous bloated caricature of the man depicted in paintings. In 1543, he had just married his last wife, Catherine Parr, and she persuaded him to resolve his issues with his daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, both of whom are almost as infamous as their own father.

I figure that at this stage in his life, he would be most willing to chat to me about his life and what drove him to do the things he did. And it would also give me the opportunity to chat to the two future queens too.

A bunker in Berlin, April 1945

I’m a bit perturbed because although I hate the vitriolic preaching of extremists of any kind, I have a deep and disturbing fascination with them. I do not like them at all – in fact I would go as far as to say I hate them – but I am deeply fascinated by the way their mind works and, in the case of somebody like Adolf Hitler, how he managed to use his charisma to build an army of extremist fanatics, invade most of Europe and start a world war.

I would like to witness his last weeks before the end to see if I could get an insight into his despicable human being. More importantly, I’d like to find out whether he really did die or whether he was, as some conspiracy theorists suggest, managed to escape to Brazil or even to the moon (yes there really are some people who believe that).

A grassy knoll and a warehouse in Dallas, November 1963

I don’t really care about American politics but the apparent mystery surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy has intrigued me, particularly since reading a fictional account of the assassination written by Stephen King, called 11/22/63 (why do American’s show the date the wrong way round?). I would therefore like to just double check who was responsible for the death of JFK. Was it Lee Harvey Oswald or was it an unknown assailant on a grassy knoll? Or maybe even a spaceman or time traveller?

Roswell, July 1948

Travelling in the TARDIS with the Doctor would be proof enough that aliens do exist. However, the one episode in history that has spawned numerous conspiracy theories about extraterrestrials was the crash of an object in Roswell, New Mexico. I would just like to see for myself what actually crashed there and what the RAAF actually did with the wreckage and its occupants. Mind you, in truth I would be travelling around in a spaceship with an alien, so that’s a bit of a paradox in itself.

Space (generally ...)

I would ask the Doctor to take me on a voyage around the universe, starting with a slow orbit of Earth itself, a quick tour of all the astronomical bodies in our own solar system before embarking on a journey to any other planets, galactic highlights he saw fit to show me. I would draw the line at stopping on any planet, spaceship or other location likely to plunge me into a life or death situation that only the Doctor could resolve.

Future Technology

One of the main things that irks me about my life is the fact that it is far too short. We only have a limited amount of time alive and, being a massive technophile, I want to see how humanity progresses and the sophisticated gadgetry and technology that we as a species invent and the future. In my own lifetime, the pace of technology has raced ahead incredibly quickly and I imagine that over the next 500 years or so, it will explode – though having used that word, I hope that we don’t invent anything else that can destroy ourselves.

A Library in the Future, say in the year 5000

This would be my final visit and I would implore the Doctor to leave me here for about two years so that I could read up on history and see what happened between now and then. I would be particularly interested to see how future generations thought of those of us (i.e. you and me) and how they interpreted historical events that happened around our time.

I’d also see if I could find any traces of myself and this blog (though thinking about it, that might be a bad idea).

I would then steal a suitable history book and use it in 2015 for my own nefarious and selfish purposes.

I’m sure that the Doctor would stop me from doing that though.

And finally …

To be perfectly honest, I would really like Dr Who to teach me how to use the TARDIS myself and allow me to fly around and appear wherever I wanted to. I think it would be a perilous journey if he were to be the person to decide where we travel to, simply because he seems to be a magnet for destruction, alien invasions and galactic events that threaten our very survival.

He’s a bit of a Jonah to be fair.

The one final thing I would try to do, which would of course be very dangerous, would be to pop back to my own timeline and visit my younger self with a winning lottery ticket. Actually, that would cause a paradox and cause time to collapse in on itself and destroy the entire universe, something the Doctor is keen to avoid. With that in mind I would simply pop forward to next weekend and note down the winning lottery numbers.

I don’t think that would break the universe, do you?

Anyway, enough of that and over to you dear reader.

Where would you go, given the opportunity to travel anywhere in space or time?


Pandora Behr said...

I do like this concept - hmmm. MIght have to have a think about this topic... Good one.

River said...

Your final four choices seem like good ones, I would probably choose similar. Especially the lotto ticket one. And the future library. I would also like to travel back to ancient civilisations, way, way back, maybe to caveman times and then when the first houses and towns were coming into being. I wouldn't want to visit Henry VII, he might demand somebody chop off my head! Seeing my earth from space would be the coolest trip of all.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

Steal away ...




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

I'd just get the Doctor to protect me against Henry VIII.




H2B said...

Agree with all the choices except the library. Instead, I would like to witness the moment the universe is created.

I believe that future libraries may be just a building full of ancient paper books which cannot be toched and digital collections of books which you download to terminals.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi H2B,

Yes - by "library" I kind of meant whatever a library looks like way in the future. I would imagine that it would be something like the hologram in the remake of "The Time Machine".




JahTeh said...

Some of those sound like the "Time Riders" books by Alex Scarrow. Young adult fiction but an interesting twist on time travel especially the last one.

Personally I wouldn't go anywhere that didn't have flushing toilets and soft paper. I've seen Time Team and those stone poop chutes and the thought of some lowly servant emptying my chamber pot is too much. I wouldn't mind a day trip here and there as long as I could pop back to the Tardis for a hot shower.
Hovering over the battle of Baden Hill just to see if Arthur was the real deal would be a treat for me.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi JT,

When it comes to bad toilets - just go to China (now that's another post).