History Main / TheTimeTravellersDilemma

31st May '17 6:35:10 PM nombretomado
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* The YoungAvengers team was started by the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror, who got a look at what he was going to grow into and ran away to our time to try and avoid growing into him. Which he did apparently succeed in, but unfortunately no Kang meant that none of the many fights he'd had with ComicBook/TheAvengers over the years and in some way that lead to almost all of them being killed, the small amount of the alternate world we see looking pretty dystopian, and the members of his team who were children of Avengers members (except for the daughter of the one whose death might actually have been ''prevented'' in the new timeline) fading out of existence. He realized that [[ButNowIMustGo he had to go.]] Although we've found out since that he's still time-traveling trying to find a way to avoid becoming a villain, he's just looking for a way that won't wreck things for everyone.

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* The YoungAvengers ComicBook/YoungAvengers team was started by the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror, who got a look at what he was going to grow into and ran away to our time to try and avoid growing into him. Which he did apparently succeed in, but unfortunately no Kang meant that none of the many fights he'd had with ComicBook/TheAvengers over the years and in some way that lead to almost all of them being killed, the small amount of the alternate world we see looking pretty dystopian, and the members of his team who were children of Avengers members (except for the daughter of the one whose death might actually have been ''prevented'' in the new timeline) fading out of existence. He realized that [[ButNowIMustGo he had to go.]] Although we've found out since that he's still time-traveling trying to find a way to avoid becoming a villain, he's just looking for a way that won't wreck things for everyone.
23rd May '17 11:20:20 PM EdwardGil
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* It never seems to occur to ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' that his goal, going back in time and stopping Aku, should it be successful will result in all the people who he meets and helps will stop existing due to how drastically Aku changed everything. [[spoiler: This becomes relevant in the last two minutes of the show.]]
31st Mar '17 9:21:24 AM shinkarom
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** There are other sides to Citizen Brown's chastising. Returning everything to Marty's timeline would erase Brown (replace him with Doc Brown from the first two episodes, who has different personality) and his family and everything in his world. Once he bitterly concludes that his opinion doesn't matter, because Marty will erase him anyways.
16th Mar '17 2:47:06 PM AthenaBlue
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* The ending of ''Film/TheButterflyEffect'' invokes this trope: [[spoiler: The main character goes back to the beginning, and ends his lifelong friendship/love (depending on the timeline in question) with the female lead before it starts. It works.]]



* The ending of ''Film/TheButterflyEffect'' invokes this trope: [[spoiler: The main character goes back to the beginning, and ends his lifelong friendship/love (depending on the timeline in question) with the female lead before it starts. It works.]]






* Handily averted in John Birmingham's ''Literature/AxisOfTime'' trilogy, where a multinational fleet from the 21st century ends up in the middle of WorldWarTwo with no way to get back. The question is moot, as the appearance of the fleet results in a battle between them and the American task force heading for Midway. By the time the main characters figure out what happened, history has already been affected in a major way. Also, according to the novel, the characters know they're not really in their own past but in an alternate reality, so any changes they make will not affect their own timeline. For bonus points, Einstein himself confirms this.
* Discussed and averted in ''Literature/IslandInTheSeaOfTime'' and ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'', both novels involving the permanent transplantation of a modern town to the past. They came to the conclusion that it was a once-in-a-universe cosmic event, so they were astronomically unlikely to go back, therefore they didn't have to worry about changing the future because they'd already changed it by their very presence.



* ''Literature/TheRifter'': Faced head-on. John, by going to Basawar at an earlier point than the point where he got the key to the gates from Kyle, changes history (and creates an alternate version of Kyle who never traveled to Nayeshi and lost the key); on the whole, the new history is for the better (thanks to American liberalism, the power of love, and perhaps the providence of Parfir), but bad things happen too -- for example, John destroys northern Basawar and all its living things, which wouldn’t have happened in the original time.



* Discussed and averted in ''Literature/IslandInTheSeaOfTime'' and ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'', both novels involving the permanent transplantation of a modern town to the past. They came to the conclusion that it was a once-in-a-universe cosmic event, so they were astronomically unlikely to go back, therefore they didn't have to worry about changing the future because they'd already changed it by their very presence.



* ''Literature/TheRifter'': Faced head-on. John, by going to Basawar at an earlier point than the point where he got the key to the gates from Kyle, changes history (and creates an alternate version of Kyle who never traveled to Nayeshi and lost the key); on the whole, the new history is for the better (thanks to American liberalism, the power of love, and perhaps the providence of Parfir), but bad things happen too -- for example, John destroys northern Basawar and all its living things, which wouldn’t have happened in the original time.
* Handily averted in John Birmingham's ''Literature/AxisOfTime'' trilogy, where a multinational fleet from the 21st century ends up in the middle of WorldWarTwo with no way to get back. The question is moot, as the appearance of the fleet results in a battle between them and the American task force heading for Midway. By the time the main characters figure out what happened, history has already been affected in a major way. Also, according to the novel, the characters know they're not really in their own past but in an alternate reality, so any changes they make will not affect their own timeline. For bonus points, Einstein himself confirms this.




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* Acknowledged and arguably justified in an episode of ''Series/{{Buffy|the Vampire Slayer}}'', involving not time travel but alternate realities. In the Season Three episode "[[{{Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS3E9TheWish}} The Wish]]", Cordelia wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, creating an alternate reality in which the town is overrun by vampires. Alt-Giles figures out how to reverse the effect, but at the last second, the demon responsible for it tries to stop him, asking why he thinks the alternate (original) universe is any better than the one he knows. Giles' response? "Because it has to be."



*** The series steadfastly refuses to explain how exactly time travel works, meaning the characters have no idea if they can change the future or not.
*** The protagonist begins the series believing that while her time isn't perfect, it still is worth saving. That is until she is forced to reassess her world and the horrible things that take place there.
*** If the future does change, then her son, husband, and family will be erased from existence.
*** If the future can be changed, then it changed the moment the time travel occurred.

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*** ** The series steadfastly refuses to explain how exactly time travel works, meaning the characters have no idea if they can change the future or not.
*** ** The protagonist begins the series believing that while her time isn't perfect, it still is worth saving. That is until she is forced to reassess her world and the horrible things that take place there.
*** ** If the future does change, then her son, husband, and family will be erased from existence.
*** ** If the future can be changed, then it changed the moment the time travel occurred.occurred.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** First turns up in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS12E4GenesisOfTheDaleks "Genesis of the Daleks"]]. The Doctor is given an opportunity (an order, even) to prevent or seriously alter the creation of the Daleks. The only obvious downside is that at that point the Daleks hadn't done anything wrong (yet), and so he'd be committing genocide against a thus-far innocent race, who he knew would turn evil and try to wipe out entire species... [[spoiler: he didn't, merely delaying their development for a while, for which [[TimeyWimeyBall causality]] is thankful]]
*** And according to {{fanon}}, enabling Davros to survive when his creations turned on him. When he was revived later in the original series, he eventually plunged the Daleks into civil war and undercut their threat to the universe for some time.
** The scandal surrounding Creator/JimmySavile turns [[Recap/DoctorWho1985JFIGSAFixWithSontarans "A Fix with Sontarans"]] into this for the Doctor and Tegan.
** Done beautifully in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E2TheFiresOfPompeii "The Fires of Pompeii"]]. The Doctor is saddled with the choice of not setting off Vesuvius, thereby saving Pompeii, or sending those people to their deaths in order to keep history intact [[spoiler:and to keep the Pyroviles from conquering Earth. Finally, with support from Donna, he sets off the volcano.]]
** Comes up again later in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E16TheWatersOfMars "The Waters of Mars"]], only this time, [[spoiler:the Doctor changes history by choosing to intervene.]]
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': Several have tried to save the past...and ''all'' fail miserably and ''cause'' the event, since everything that has or will happen has already happened. Most notably, Daniel's attempts to [[spoiler:reset time so that 815 never crashed by stopping the Incident]] not only results in [[spoiler:his death]], but probably ''caused'' the Incident, since [[spoiler:we see Pierre lose his arm]], a event referenced in the very first episode with him in it.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' does it in the episode "2010" with Carter's husband wondering if the other timeline will really be better and what happens to them if the plan succeeds. Carter then bluntly tells him that "they" won't exist or exist but in a different way and that the new timeline cannot be worse than the absolutely certain destruction of humanity in less than 200 years. As we know, despite the new enemies appearing later on, she was entirely right.



* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': Several have tried to save the past...and ''all'' fail miserably and ''cause'' the event, since everything that has or will happen has already happened. Most notably, Daniel's attempts to [[spoiler:reset time so that 815 never crashed by stopping the Incident]] not only results in [[spoiler:his death]], but probably ''caused'' the Incident, since [[spoiler:we see Pierre lose his arm]], a event referenced in the very first episode with him in it.
* Acknowledged and arguably justified in an episode of ''Series/{{Buffy|the Vampire Slayer}}'', involving not time travel but alternate realities. In the Season Three episode "[[{{Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS3E9TheWish}} The Wish]]", Cordelia wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, creating an alternate reality in which the town is overrun by vampires. Alt-Giles figures out how to reverse the effect, but at the last second, the demon responsible for it tries to stop him, asking why he thinks the alternate (original) universe is any better than the one he knows. Giles' response? "Because it has to be."
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Done beautifully in the episode "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E2TheFiresOfPompeii The Fires of Pompeii]]". The Doctor is saddled with the choice of not setting off Vesuvius, thereby saving Pompeii, or sending those people to their deaths in order to keep history intact [[spoiler:and to keep the Pyroviles from conquering Earth. Finally, with support from Donna, he sets off the volcano.]]
** Comes up again later in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E16TheWatersOfMars The Waters of Mars]]", only this time, [[spoiler:The Doctor changes history by choosing to intervene.]]
** Turns up even earlier in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS12E4GenesisOfTheDaleks Genesis of the Daleks]]". The Doctor is given an opportunity (an order, even) to prevent or seriously alter the creation of the Daleks. The only obvious downside is that at that point the Daleks hadn't done anything wrong (yet), and so he'd be committing genocide against a thus-far innocent race, who he knew would turn evil and try to wipe out entire species... [[spoiler: he didn't, merely delaying their development for a while, for which [[TimeyWimeyBall causality]] is thankful]]
** And according to {{fanon}}, enabling Davros to survive when his creations turned on him. When he was revived later in the original series, he eventually plunged the Daleks into civil war and undercut their threat to the universe for some time.
** The scandal surrounding Creator/JimmySavile turns "[[Recap/DoctorWho1985JFIGSAFixWithSontarans A Fix with Sontarans]]" into this for the Doctor and Tegan.



* ''Series/StargateSG1'' does it in the episode "2010" with Carter's husband wondering if the other timeline will really be better and what happens to them if the plan succeeds. Carter then bluntly tells him that "they" won't exist or exist but in a different way and that the new timeline cannot be worse than the absolutely certain destruction of humanity in less than 200 years. As we know, despite the new enemies appearing later on, she was entirely right.

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* ''Series/StargateSG1'' does it in In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "2010" with Carter's husband wondering if "The Song Remains the other timeline will really be better Same", the angel Anna goes back in time to kill John and what happens Mary Winchester before Sam and Dean are born in order to them if prevent Sam and Dean from kickstarting the plan succeeds. Carter then bluntly tells him that "they" won't Apocalypse. Sam and Dean follow her to save John and Mary but take the opportunity to try to convince Mary to remain childless, as Sam and Dean are willing to cease to exist or exist but in a different way to stop the Apocalypse. This plan fails because the angel Michael, who is pro-Apocalypse, stops Anna and that erases John and Mary's memories of the new timeline cannot be worse than the absolutely certain destruction of humanity in less than 200 years. As we know, despite the new enemies appearing later on, she was entirely right.event.



* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "The Song Remains the Same", the angel Anna goes back in time to kill John and Mary Winchester before Sam and Dean are born in order to prevent Sam and Dean from kickstarting the Apocalypse. Sam and Dean follow her to save John and Mary but take the opportunity to try to convince Mary to remain childless, as Sam and Dean are willing to cease to exist to stop the Apocalypse. This plan fails because the angel Michael, who is pro-Apocalypse, stops Anna and erases John and Mary's memories of the event.

















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5th Mar '17 11:57:27 AM nombretomado
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* In the "ComicBook/AgeOfApocalypse" arc of MarvelComics; set in a changed present where Charles Xavier was killed in the past; Magneto and Rogue have a son. The Time Traveler Bishop wants to change things back. Magneto supports Bishop in this, but reminds him that if they succeed; his son will be gone forever. Presumably this also bothered some writers; who later wrote that this world continued to exist as an AlternateUniverse. (Btw, Jean Grey stopped the nukes in the end.)

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* In the "ComicBook/AgeOfApocalypse" arc of MarvelComics; Creator/MarvelComics; set in a changed present where Charles Xavier was killed in the past; Magneto and Rogue have a son. The Time Traveler Bishop wants to change things back. Magneto supports Bishop in this, but reminds him that if they succeed; his son will be gone forever. Presumably this also bothered some writers; who later wrote that this world continued to exist as an AlternateUniverse. (Btw, Jean Grey stopped the nukes in the end.)
12th Feb '17 9:11:39 AM CurledUpWithDakka
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* This is the main focus of ''Series/Continuum''. The protagonist is thrown back in time with a group of WellIntentionedExtremist s who wish to avert the dystopian future. She is faced with the dilemma of either trying to stop them and preserve her future at any cost, or trying to make the future a better place by preventing historical disasters and/or preventing murders. However, there are several added hurdles:

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* This is the main focus of ''Series/Continuum''.''Series/{{Continuum}}''. The protagonist is thrown back in time with a group of WellIntentionedExtremist s who wish to avert the dystopian future. She is faced with the dilemma of either trying to stop them and preserve her future at any cost, or trying to make the future a better place by preventing historical disasters and/or preventing murders. However, there are several added hurdles:
23rd Dec '16 5:49:25 PM MurrayTheBlue
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* This is the main focus''Series/Continuum''. The protagonist is thrown back in time with a group of WellIntentionedExtremists who wish to avert the dystopian future. She is faced with the dilemma of either trying to stop them and preserve her future at any cost, or trying to make the future a better place by preventing historical disasters and/or preventing murders. However, there are several added hurdles:

to:

* This is the main focus''Series/Continuum''. focus of ''Series/Continuum''. The protagonist is thrown back in time with a group of WellIntentionedExtremists WellIntentionedExtremist s who wish to avert the dystopian future. She is faced with the dilemma of either trying to stop them and preserve her future at any cost, or trying to make the future a better place by preventing historical disasters and/or preventing murders. However, there are several added hurdles:
23rd Dec '16 5:49:25 PM MurrayTheBlue
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23rd Dec '16 5:48:04 PM MurrayTheBlue
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* This is the main focus''Series/Continuum''. The protagonist is thrown back in time with a group of WellIntentionedExtremists who wish to avert the dystopian future. She is faced with the dilemma of either trying to stop them and preserve her future at any cost, or trying to make the future a better place by preventing historical disasters and/or preventing murders. However, there are several added hurdles:
*** The series steadfastly refuses to explain how exactly time travel works, meaning the characters have no idea if they can change the future or not.
*** The protagonist begins the series believing that while her time isn't perfect, it still is worth saving. That is until she is forced to reassess her world and the horrible things that take place there.
*** If the future does change, then her son, husband, and family will be erased from existence.
*** If the future can be changed, then it changed the moment the time travel occurred.
24th Nov '16 8:46:19 AM CumbersomeTercel
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* Acknowledged and arguably justified in an episode of ''Series/{{Buffy|the Vampire Slayer}}'', involving not time travel but alternate realities. In the Season Three episode "The Wish", Cordelia wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, creating an alternate reality in which the town is overrun by vampires. Alt-Giles figures out how to reverse the effect, but at the last second, the demon responsible for it tries to stop him, asking why he thinks the alternate (original) universe is any better than the one he knows. Giles' response? "Because it has to be."

to:

* Acknowledged and arguably justified in an episode of ''Series/{{Buffy|the Vampire Slayer}}'', involving not time travel but alternate realities. In the Season Three episode "The Wish", "[[{{Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS3E9TheWish}} The Wish]]", Cordelia wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, creating an alternate reality in which the town is overrun by vampires. Alt-Giles figures out how to reverse the effect, but at the last second, the demon responsible for it tries to stop him, asking why he thinks the alternate (original) universe is any better than the one he knows. Giles' response? "Because it has to be."



** Done beautifully in the episode "The Fires of Pompeii". The Doctor is saddled with the choice of not setting off Vesuvius, thereby saving Pompeii, or sending those people to their deaths in order to keep history intact [[spoiler:and to keep the Pyroviles from conquering Earth. Finally, with support from Donna, he sets off the volcano.]]
** Comes up again later in "The Waters of Mars;" only this time, [[spoiler:The Doctor changes history by choosing to intervene.]]

to:

** Done beautifully in the episode "The "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E2TheFiresOfPompeii The Fires of Pompeii".Pompeii]]". The Doctor is saddled with the choice of not setting off Vesuvius, thereby saving Pompeii, or sending those people to their deaths in order to keep history intact [[spoiler:and to keep the Pyroviles from conquering Earth. Finally, with support from Donna, he sets off the volcano.]]
** Comes up again later in "The "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E16TheWatersOfMars The Waters of Mars;" Mars]]", only this time, [[spoiler:The Doctor changes history by choosing to intervene.]]



** The scandal surrounding Jimmy Savile turns "[[Recap/DoctorWho1985JFIGSAFixWithSontarans A Fix with Sontarans]]" into this for the Doctor and Tegan.

to:

** The scandal surrounding Jimmy Savile Creator/JimmySavile turns "[[Recap/DoctorWho1985JFIGSAFixWithSontarans A Fix with Sontarans]]" into this for the Doctor and Tegan.
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