Against a snow-covered backdrop, an unidentified man in a blue jacket spins an incredible tale. Apparently, he’s part of an elite time-travel program, kept secret from the public. Unbelievably, he claims to have visited the year 6000 A.D. and has brought back a snap of our future Earth.
There are few things that capture the public 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 both forwards and backwards through the years. None did so more famously than novelist H.G. Wells, above, author of The Time Machine.
Today, time travel is more popularly associated with blockbuster movies such as the Back to the Future trilogy as well as television shows like Doctor Who. In them, the same themes crop up again and again. Although the actual mechanics are largely glossed over, much attention is given to the issue of how much a traveler can interact with the past – and what effect that might have on the modern world.