Sunday, April 12, 2015

Outlander 1.10: A Glimmer of Paradox

Hey, I really enjoyed Outlander 1.10 last night.  It had that glimmer of paradox that I always seek in my time travel stories.  Not that I didn't like the romp in bed at the beginning, and the nearly duel in the middle.  But, for me, it's the paradox that's the thing.

It happened with the arrogant toad, the Duke of Sandringham.  Jamie's hoping the Duke can be his ticket to getting the price removed that is hanging over his head.  Sandringham's name, however, rings a bell for Claire, and here's where the paradox begins.  She recalls her historian husband in her 1940s future mentioning that Sandringham was in some kind of league with Black Jack, which would mean the Duke certainly is not likely to do Jamie any good.

And, indeed, the Duke nearly, indirectly, gets Jamie killed.  But this seems to have nothing to do with Black Jack.   In fact, it doesn't seem that the Duke has much of a relationship with Black Jack at this point.  So here's where the paradox comes in:  will something Claire did, in what she said to Jamie, and something Jamie in turn did, as a result, now propel the Duke to say something to Black Jack and develop some kind of important connection between them?

Such possibilities are at the heart of many a time travel story, and they're always fun to think about. The basic form is: someone appears at your door, an older version of you, with information about how to build a time machine.  You employ this information to build a time machine, and, eventually, in the future, you travel back to you earlier self to provide him or her with this information.  So, the question is ... where did this information come from in the first place?

Of course, the time travel in Outlander is not via any invented machine, but via some kind of paranormal mystical spot in a forest.   Indeed, when Claire heard the baby crying in this episode, I thought maybe it was a cry from the future.   This primordial time travel does have its charms, and I'm looking forward to more.

See also Outlander 1.1-3: The Hope of Time Travel ... Outlander 1.6:  Outstanding ... Outlander 1.7: Tender Intertemporal Polygamy ...Outlander 1.8: The Other Side ... Outlander 1.9: Spanking Good

podcast review of the first half season

Sierra Waters series, #1, time travel


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