Against a snow-covered backdrop, an unidentified man in a blue jacket spins a seemingly incredible tale. The man says he’s part of an elite time-travel program that’s kept secret from the public. And, unbelievably, he also claims to have visited the year 6000 A.D. and brought back a snapshot of our future Earth.
There are few ideas that capture the popular imagination quite like time travel. In fact, some of our oldest myths contain references to people who find themselves transported to different times. And as early as the 18th century, writers began to play with the concept, sending characters either forwards and backwards through the years. None, though, did so more famously than novelist H.G. Wells, author of The Time Machine.
These days, time travel is more popularly associated with blockbuster movies such as the Back to the Future trilogy and television shows like Doctor Who. In them, the same themes crop up again and again. While the actual mechanics of the process tend to be largely glossed over, much attention is given to the matter of how much a traveler can interact with the past – and what effect that might have on the modern day.