DC's Legends of Tomorrow Showrunner Explains the Rules of Time Travel

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 - 2:15PM
DC Comics
Legends of Tomorrow
Tuesday, 13 October 2015 - 2:15PM
DC's Legends of Tomorrow Showrunner Explains the Rules of Time Travel
Time travel in movies and TV is notoriously tricky; if the past can't be changed, then that limits the characters' actions considerably, but if everything can be changed, then nothing that happens has any stakes. At New York Comic Con, showrunner Phil Klemmer clarified the rules in DC's Legends of Tomorrow, indicating that the Flash/Arrow spin-off will forge something of a compromise between the two types of time travel.

When asked by Screenrant whether characters' deaths could be changed using time travel, Klemmer said:

Opening quote
"No, death means death; if you lose that, you get the kind of 'get out of jail free card.' You know, we do construct a rule on our show that if you kill me right now with a hatchet, the rest of the team can't just go on for a show, then go back in time and stop you from hitting me with the hatchet. Our rule is that when try to interfere in events that you participated in, that creates a time paradox, and black holes, and horrible things happen. So we want to keep those tensions alive; when our characters are in moments of mortal peril, that they do have consequences – that they're not just like, 'well, it's Groundhog Day, we'll start over tomorrow.'"
Closing quote

This is an interesting take on the time travel dilemma; it seems that the past can be changed to some extent, so long as the characters weren't directly involved in the events, but by adding that caveat, everything that happens to the characters themselves will have permanent consequences. (Granted, Caity Lotz's Canary already died and came back to life, so deaths still won't be all that permanent, but whatever.)

Above all, I just hope that Legends of Tomorrow stays consistent with its time travel rules, as it's a pet peeve of mine when movies or shows break their own rules (I'm looking at you, Project Almanac). From the sounds of it, this set-up will give the writers plenty of room for time traveling hijinks that won't get contradictory, so hopefully they'll be able to pull it off.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow comes out in midseason 2016.
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