History Main / TemporalMutability

4th Mar '17 3:25:06 AM skadooshbag
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***[[FridgeBrilliance Maybe that's how Hitler got into power in the first place!]]
2nd Mar '17 11:38:49 AM Synch
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Seeing as time travel is currently just a pipe dream, there's really no saying what would be possible when traveling to the past in RealLife. Writers are thus free to invent and follow whatever chronophysics they like, and as long as it's consistent the fans will usually accept it.

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Seeing as time travel is currently just a pipe dream, there's really no saying what would be possible when traveling to the past in RealLife. Writers are thus free to invent and follow whatever chronophysics they like, and [[MagicAIsMagicA as long as it's consistent consistent]] the fans will usually accept it.
28th Dec '16 9:27:38 PM ImpudentInfidel
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* ''Series/DoctorWho'', being the ''TropeNamer'', flirts with both this and Enforced Immutability (see above).

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* ''Series/DoctorWho'', being the ''TropeNamer'', flirts with both this and Enforced Immutability (see above). Basically, the rules of time travel are fixed and immutable... within a single story. The writers don't even pretend it's consistent beyond that. This gets a lampshade in [[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor The Day of the Doctor]] when Ten is terrified at the idea of changing history, only for Eleven to blow him off since they do it all the time.
14th Oct '16 8:34:56 PM DarkHunter
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* This is how time travel works in the ''Franchise/DragonBall'' universe, and the reason killing larval Cell in the main timeline didn't do anything to stop the fully-grown one from another timeline. Trunks isn't able to prevent his BadFuture from happening, but he can use the power he gained in the past to stop it from getting any worse.

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* ''Franchise/DragonBall''
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This is how time travel it works in the ''Franchise/DragonBall'' ''Dragon Ball'' universe, and the reason killing larval Cell in the main timeline didn't do anything to stop the fully-grown one from another timeline. Trunks isn't able to prevent his BadFuture from happening, but he can use the power he gained in the past to stop it from getting any worse.


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** In ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'', Beerus claims that when a god alters the timeline, no split occurs and the future is actively rewritten. Whether this is actually true or not is dubious, [[spoiler:as his destruction of Zamasu did not affect Future Trunks's timeline at all. Nor did it affect Goku Black, who has been implied to be the same Zamasu Beerus just destroyed, who hopped between timelines. Black himself claims his Time Ring removes him from causality.]]
12th Aug '16 7:54:13 PM nombretomado
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* ''{{Achron}}'' is a fantastic ''multiplayer'' example of the 'Overwriting the timeline' alteration style. Which is to say... the old timeline ceases to exist, and is replaced by the new series of events resulting from the time travel (time itself existing in a sort of [[SanDimasTime Meta-Time]]). The change to the timeline causes a DelayedRippleEffect, allowing you to race against SanDimasTime to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong (or MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight) before you find your forces RetGone. You are [[RippleEffectProofMemory achronal]]. Overwriting the timeline can cause {{Temporal Paradox}}es, but they don't tend to happen accidentally.

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* ''{{Achron}}'' ''VideoGame/{{Achron}}'' is a fantastic ''multiplayer'' example of the 'Overwriting the timeline' alteration style. Which is to say... the old timeline ceases to exist, and is replaced by the new series of events resulting from the time travel (time itself existing in a sort of [[SanDimasTime Meta-Time]]). The change to the timeline causes a DelayedRippleEffect, allowing you to race against SanDimasTime to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong (or MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight) before you find your forces RetGone. You are [[RippleEffectProofMemory achronal]]. Overwriting the timeline can cause {{Temporal Paradox}}es, but they don't tend to happen accidentally.
12th Aug '16 10:30:27 AM ChronoLegion
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* The ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'' spin-off appears to go back to the RubberBandHistory option with the oft-repeated phrase "time wants to happen". Apparently, one has to try ''really'' hard to make a major change to the timeline, since it will always try to "snap back" to the proper course. It also doesn't help that the [[TimePolice Time Masters]] are there to ensure no undue changes to the timeline (FridgeLogic ensues when you start wondering why they allow speedsters to do it at will). Near the end of season 1, [[spoiler:the device that allows the Time Masters to monitor the timeline is destroyed, rendering them impotent. Savage uses the opportunity to try to destroy the timeline with three {{Doomsday Device}}s at different points in time, which, as he claims, will roll the timeline back to Ancient Egypt, allowing him to start over]].

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* The ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'' spin-off appears to go back to the RubberBandHistory option with the oft-repeated phrase "time wants to happen". Apparently, one has to try ''really'' hard to make a major change to the timeline, since it will always try to "snap back" to the proper course. It also doesn't help that the [[TimePolice Time Masters]] are there to ensure no undue changes to the timeline (FridgeLogic ensues when you start wondering why they allow speedsters to do it at will). Near the end of season 1, [[spoiler:the device that allows the Time Masters to monitor the timeline is destroyed, rendering them impotent. Savage uses the opportunity to try to destroy the timeline with three {{Doomsday Device}}s at different points in time, which, as he claims, will roll the timeline back to Ancient Egypt, allowing him to start over]]. Also, Rip claims he tried to save his family multiple times, only for something to always prevent him from doing that ([[spoiler:he later finds out it was the Time Masters' doing]]).
12th Aug '16 10:29:29 AM ChronoLegion
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* This appears to be the case in ''Series/TheFlash2014''. It's eventually revealed that the show's timeline is not the original one, as [[spoiler:Eobard Thawne]] (AKA the Reverse-Flash) has traveled back in time to try to kill Barry Allen (AKA the Flash) when Barry was little. He fails, as Young!Barry is saved by his future self from the same timeline as the Reverse-Flash. Barry's mother dies instead, his father goes to prison, and Barry is raised by Detective Joe West instead of the Allens. Despite this, he still becomes a forensic scientist but with an interest in anything "weird", given his experiences on the night of his mother's death. In the original timeline, Barry's transformation into the Flash may have indeed been a random accident. In the new version of events, [[spoiler:Dr. Harrison Wells, AKA Eobard Thawne]] deliberately engineers Barry's transformation several years ahead of "schedule", which also results in dozens of other "meta-humans" now roaming the city. When Barry finds out that there is evidence of his future self traveling back in time to that night, he is both excited and dejected, as the fact appears to indicate that he's destined to fail. However, other episodes appear to indicate that time is indeed infinitely mutable, especially when Wells warns Barry to let the events play out exactly as they had after Barry accidentally travels back in time by one day, claiming that averting one disaster will likely cause an even greater one to strike.

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* This appears to be the case in ''Series/TheFlash2014''. It's eventually revealed that the show's timeline is not the original one, as [[spoiler:Eobard Thawne]] (AKA the Reverse-Flash) has traveled back in time to try to kill Barry Allen (AKA the Flash) when Barry was little. He fails, as Young!Barry is saved by his future self from the same timeline as the Reverse-Flash. Barry's mother dies instead, his father goes to prison, and Barry is raised by Detective Joe West instead of the Allens. Despite this, he still becomes a forensic scientist but with an interest in anything "weird", given his experiences on the night of his mother's death. In the original timeline, Barry's transformation into the Flash may have indeed been a random accident. In the new version of events, [[spoiler:Dr. Harrison Wells, AKA Eobard Thawne]] deliberately engineers Barry's transformation several years ahead of "schedule", which also results in dozens of other "meta-humans" now roaming the city. When Barry finds out that there is evidence of his future self traveling back in time to that night, he is both excited and dejected, as the fact appears to indicate that he's destined to fail. However, other episodes appear to indicate that time is indeed infinitely mutable, especially when Wells warns Barry to let the events play out exactly as they had after Barry accidentally travels back in time by one day, claiming that averting one disaster will likely cause an even greater one to strike. A later episode reveals the existence of [[ClockRoaches Time Wraiths]], who hunt down and suck out the life force of speedsters who meddle with time. [[spoiler:At the end of season 2, Barry goes back to that night and saves his mother, watching the Barry from the end of season 1 vanish. Season 3 is focused on the new reality he has created, which Thawne dubs Comicbook/{{Flashpoint}}]].
* The ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'' spin-off appears to go back to the RubberBandHistory option with the oft-repeated phrase "time wants to happen". Apparently, one has to try ''really'' hard to make a major change to the timeline, since it will always try to "snap back" to the proper course. It also doesn't help that the [[TimePolice Time Masters]] are there to ensure no undue changes to the timeline (FridgeLogic ensues when you start wondering why they allow speedsters to do it at will). Near the end of season 1, [[spoiler:the device that allows the Time Masters to monitor the timeline is destroyed, rendering them impotent. Savage uses the opportunity to try to destroy the timeline with three {{Doomsday Device}}s at different points in time, which, as he claims, will roll the timeline back to Ancient Egypt, allowing him to start over]].
8th Aug '16 5:36:51 PM ErikModi
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* Just about all of these are [[DiscussedTrope discussed]] in Ray Bradbury's short story "A Sound of Thunder," involving time travel used to let rich folks hunt dinosaurs for amusement. They aren't sure exactly what rules time travel operates under, but discuss the prevailing theories: you can't change the past because you've already changed it, you can only change the past in minor ways, you can only change the past in direct and predictable ways, or the simple act of stepping on a butterfly in the past leads to chain reaction of events that completely alters the present in ways no one can foresee. [[spoiler: Turns out, in the end, Temporal Chaos Theory is correct.]]
1st Jul '16 8:48:06 AM longWriter
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** And then back to the StableTimeLoop in the finale, when [[spoiler: an Autobot shuttle wasn't on the records of the Ark because the protagonists used it to save the day and get home.]]Pa

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** And then back to the StableTimeLoop in the finale, when [[spoiler: an Autobot shuttle wasn't on the records of the Ark because the protagonists used it to save the day and get home.]]Pa]]
9th May '16 10:10:04 PM erforce
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* The first ''{{Terminator}}'' movie fell squarely into this category. Later movies retconned it into... [[TimeyWimeyBall something a lot less straightforward]].

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* The first ''{{Terminator}}'' [[Film/TheTerminator first]] ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' movie fell squarely into this category. Later movies retconned it into... [[TimeyWimeyBall something a lot less straightforward]].



* In ''{{Gargoyles}},'' the Phoenix Gate allows the user to travel through time, but every attempt to change things runs into YouAlreadyChangedThePast, resulting in the world as we always knew it and letting us know that ''this'' is why it was always that way. There at one point was a degree of "Enforced Immutability:" When Golaith saves a character who vanished and was thought dead and tries to allow him to return to his old life, increasingly improbable DiabolusExMachina events happen to said character to make his death a certainty. Eventually, Goliath realizes that the universe just won't let him send that character home, and brings that character to the present. And now we know why he disappeared in the first place: he was brought to the present by Goliath!

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* In ''{{Gargoyles}},'' ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}},'' the Phoenix Gate allows the user to travel through time, but every attempt to change things runs into YouAlreadyChangedThePast, resulting in the world as we always knew it and letting us know that ''this'' is why it was always that way. There at one point was a degree of "Enforced Immutability:" When Golaith saves a character who vanished and was thought dead and tries to allow him to return to his old life, increasingly improbable DiabolusExMachina events happen to said character to make his death a certainty. Eventually, Goliath realizes that the universe just won't let him send that character home, and brings that character to the present. And now we know why he disappeared in the first place: he was brought to the present by Goliath!



* In his preface for ''TheGreatDivorce'', Creator/CSLewis cited as an inspiration a short story (whose author he could no longer remember) from an American SF magazine about a man who traveled into the past "and there, very properly, found raindrops that would pierce him like bullets and sandwiches that no strength could bite--because, of course, nothing in the past can be altered."

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* In his preface for ''TheGreatDivorce'', ''Literature/TheGreatDivorce'', Creator/CSLewis cited as an inspiration a short story (whose author he could no longer remember) from an American SF magazine about a man who traveled into the past "and there, very properly, found raindrops that would pierce him like bullets and sandwiches that no strength could bite--because, of course, nothing in the past can be altered."
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.TemporalMutability