So you want to travel through time? But which time travel device is the best way to go?
For me, it would have to be a time device you could actually control. There are so many accidental or happenstance ways people travel through time. Such as time rifts or broken donkey wheels. But really who wants to travel through time with no control of when you might end up? Sure it might be grand for a while, but it would get old, just ask Dr. Samuel Beckett.
Therefore, if you want to transverse that timey wimey wibbly wobbly stuff that is time, you’ll need something that can be relied on. A device that will actually get you where and when you want to be.
The Stargate and The USS Enterprise: Granted neither of these were built with the intent of time travel, but they can both achieve it with relative accuracy. Not all together simply, but with the right information and enough time easily enough. Coincidentally to accomplish time travel they both requite extremely complex mathematical equations and close proximity to a star.
The Enterprise does have an advantage that once it travels through time it can quickly fly most anywhere in space. However, if you are traveling by Stargate and you have a Puddle Jumper you can get around much easier in your destination time.
The Terminator’s Time Displacement Bubble: Although the details behind how this time machine works are few, it does appear to be able to get the traveler to most any time and space they might want to go. However, it does have the disadvantage of not being able to transport non-organic materials and it is generally a one-way trip. So yes, it gets points for accuracy, but arriving naked with no way back is a diffident downside.
Dr. Evil’s Time Portal/Power’s Time Cars: While Evil’s machine can take you to any point in time with some accuracy, it cannot take you any other place other than Dr. Evil’s lair. Austin’s Beatle and Pimp Mobile solve some of the space issues given you can drive it about, but lack the ability to pin point exact dates. Apparently, the best they can do is take you to a given year, not a specific day or hour. However, all of them run into serious paradoxical and logic issues and if you come across one, it is best to not think about it too much and just enjoy yourself
HG Wells’ Time Machine: This time machine will get you to the exact time you want, but you had better already be in the right spot because mobility is certainly an issue. Sure you can push it over some nice grass or slide it across the even floor of a laboratory, but try getting it over some rocks or up a hill. Also, remember to keep your arms in legs inside the machine while traveling. You would hate to have your arm in 1899 and the rest of you in 802,701.
Hermione’s Time Turner: While the Time Tuner is not as exact as a digital readout, you can fairly predict how far in time you will be traveling. Although I would not want to use it to travel any great amount of time, given that you would be turning the thing for several minutes to get a few decades. It also has occupancy issues if you want to bring along more than one friend. It does get some points for portability though. You can easily slip it under your shirt or in to your pocket.
Doc Brown’s DeLorean: It is hard to beat the style and all around coolness of a time machine that is also a DeLorean, but there are some diffident drawbacks. Granted you can control the when you arrive, but the where is fixed to wherever you are. This is somewhat remedied by the addition of flying capabilities. Also, there is the fuel issue, plus some serious faulty wiring problems.
Bill and Ted’s Phone Booth: This most excellent time machine can do it all. Take you any time and anywhere, at least on the planet. Although there is the question of space. It’s compact size may make it easy to hide, but it is crap for leg space. (Is it just me or does everyone assume strange things are afoot when they drive by a Circle-K?)
The Doctor’s TARDIS: The choice option for the would-be time traveler would have to be a TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimensions in Space). Not only can you control when you’ll be in time, but where. Plus it is quite roomy. However, be sure to get a physical before boarding, because you can bet there will be an awful lot of running.
Time travel has been such a staple of science fiction I’m sure I’ve missed a few that work just as well or better than the ones contained here. If you’ve got another one, let us know about it.