Time travel has always been a source of fascination to me. I grew up on Dr Who and of course, just by mentioning my Doctors; Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee, I realize I’m giving a nod to my advancing years.
Saturday nights meant eating buttered crumpets in pyjamas, glued to the television screen watching rubber sea monsters and early cardboard-like daleks. It was the highlight of the week and we waited eagerly for the electronic and slightly techno soundtrack to kick in; the five of us rooted to the spot, ready to angrily hush the poor soul who dared make a noise during this golden hour.
The whole concept of a timelord, and a wisecracking one at that was devoured by our hungry imaginations. Dr Who was scary, exciting and adventurous all at once. In each episode we watched the Doctor in the grip of a horrible death and yet he always managed to outwit and elude the dark extra terrestrial entity at the last moment. It held us captive on the couch, our pyjama-clad figures stiff with tension.
I firmly blame this wonderful program for fuelling my subsequent love of Sci-Fi and horror. Many years later and I’m still obsessed with the concept of time travel. Books such as the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, Timeline by Michael Crichton and The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier are firm favourites and are my go to reads between book hangovers. Timeline has probably been read the most because the protagonists travel back to Medieval times and the concept of being thrown into a time period fraught with such personal danger hits just the right amount of terror and intrique.
Time travel of course is synonymous with quantum physics and the idea of parallel universes. I like to imagine myself living out my days as a scribe in Medieval Britain, or a merchant in Renaissance Italy. I quite fancy myself as a warlord in the Dark Ages, mastering a broadsword.
I feel a strange affinity to the past, to the person I could or would have been had I been born hundreds of years earlier. It’s a fascinating thought that there may have been a character such as myself who lived his or her life without the benefits of electric light or running water, when life was simpler but also more challenging; when people had to be skilled to survive.
And referring back to quantum physics, and the concept of parallel universes; it is possible that there may be many different universes (multiverses) existing at the same time, in different time periods. If so, would you take the quantum leap?
Now that’s food for thought and fodder for the imagination.
Picture by JoRockleyArt.