If you are a devotee of time travel...

Saturday, November 5, 2022

The Peripheral 1.4: Who Took Lev's Tea?

Who took Lev's tea? The disappearance of his tea in episode 1.4 of The Peripheral up on Amazon Prime Video since yesterday was an another signalic moment, just like the coffee container materializing in thin air in what now seems like a much earlier episode.  The tea gone and the coffee appearing just like that symbolize the immense forces at play in this so far delicately powerfully rendered series, which as far as I can tell so far hasn't missed a step.  (Reminder: I haven't read the book.)

Everyone, certainly in the near future, is struggling to understand what's going on.  "It's not time travel, it's data transfer," Flynne says, after Burton tells her traveling to the future caused her seizure.  But Burton is more right than his sister here, since the transfer of data from the future to the present (or past, depending on how you look at it) is indeed a kind of time travel.  (See Gregory Benford's 1980 Timescape if you don't believe it -- that's a book, by the way, that I did read.)

Also in the near future, Connor wants to know if the data visits to the future come with real bodies?  This is another key to what's really going on.  As we well know, the bodies in the future are both real and not.  As in countless science fiction stories about cyberspace, the original flesh-and-blood bodies can be seriously injured if not killed when their avatars in the future are hurt or killed.  That in itself makes those entities real enough.

Speaking of science fiction entities, I liked that android that Cherise is starting to school in the distant future, especially how he's able to moderate the percentage of sarcasm in his attitude.  That one, brief scene struck me as one of the best I've seen or read in any android story, starting with Isaac Asimov's stories back in the 1950s.

And last but not least -- last is an apt word for for this -- I thought the end of our civilization sequence was top-notch, too.  Given the deadly perils we're currently encountering -- pandemics, climate change, the resurgence of fascism in the U.S. and all over the world -- I found that very appropriate to be watching tonight, too.

Don't forget to turn your clocks back tonight if you live in the U.S.

See also The Peripheral 1.1-1.2: Cyberpunk, Time Travel, and Alternate Reality ... 1.3: John Snow

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