If you are a devotee of time travel...

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Orville 2.13: Time Travel!



I've said many times in my many places that time travel is my favorite genre of science fiction.  The best episodes of Star Trek TOS and TNG were time travel stories - "City on the Edge of Forever" in TOS, "Yesterday's Enterprise" in TNG.  So I was expecting that sooner or later The Orville would check in with a time travel story - if not quite as superb as the TOS and TNG stories, right up there in excellence, anyway.   It did so tonight.

The time travel goodies in episode 2.13 come in three parts:

1. Kelly, seven years younger, arrives on The Orville, after some quantum force or whatever amplifies the power of a nascent time-travel device.  On the deck, the main characters discuss how that could be - wouldn't current Kelly remember that her younger self appeared on The Orville?  Everyone agrees that the answer to this paradox is the multiple worlds hypothesis - a new reality in which young Kelly appeared, right next to older Kelly and older Ed, was created at the instant young Kelly traveled to the future.  That new reality is separate from the original reality in which we have been watching The Orville. Good for The Orville for (a) recognizing the paradox (not every time travel story does), and (b) coming up with the best solution (multiple worlds).

2. Isaac et al figure out a way to send young Kelly back to her time (after some fun romantic interludes with Ed, and some soul searching conversations with her older self).  But ... if young Kelly successfully returns to her past, which would be the same as the past she left, how come older Kelly has no memory of her time as her younger self in the future?  Claire can give her a memory wipe.  Another good solution to a temporal problem, and I liked the deft way the metaphysics switched from multiple realities to time travel in a single reality frame.

3.  Young Kelly gets back to her past, but when young Ed calls her the next day, she tells him that they shouldn't see each other.  Nice touch!  The memory wipe may have erased the memories but not the visceral feelings Kelly brought back with her from the future.   Of course, the two will have to get together sooner or later, otherwise the stories we've been seeing on The Orville the past two seasons would be completely undermined.  My guess is young Ed will be persistent and young Kelly will choose him over her misgivings from the future.

And there could be an implicit part 4 to this, as well.  The experience tonight will get older Kelly and older Ed to get back together in the future. Or - maybe they'll read this and decide not to, because they don't want their future prescribed by some blog review.  Either way, tonight and its aftermath will make for a great story (and continued fine acting by Adrianne Palicki and Seth MacFarlane).

See also The Orville 2.1: Relief and Romance ... The Orville 2.2: Porn Addiction and Planetary Disintegration ... The Orville 2.3: Alara ... The Orville 2.4: Billy Joel ... The Orville 2.5: Escape at Regor 2 ... The Orville 2.6: "Singin' in the Rain" ... The Orville 2.7: Love and Death ...  The Orville 2.8: Recalling Čapek, Part 1  ... The Orville 2.9: Recalling Čapek, Part 2 ... The Orville: 2.10: Exploding Blood ... The Orville 2.11: Time Capsule, Space Station, and Harmony ... The Orville 2.12: Hello Dolly!

And see also The Orville 1.1-1.5: Star Trek's Back ... The Orville 1.6-9: Masterful ... The Orville 1.10: Bring in the Clowns ... The Orville 1.11: Eating Yaphit ... The Orville 1.12: Faith in Reason and the Prime Directive


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