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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Deep Space Nine

Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old January 31 2013, 02:32 PM   #1
Hando
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Past Tense vs timeline

I would like to know everybody's view on the timeline changes that occurred in this two-parter. Here I don't mean the actual temporal mechanics, as those were already explained by Christopher.

Now, the story is quite straightforward
Sisko and co. arrive in the past -> there is a muck up and Bell dies -> timeline leads to a devastated Earth -> Sisko and Dax save the day -> everybody goes home aka Happy ending

So it would appear that there are 3 timelines:
Timeline A - original timeline: Bell saves the day
Timeline B - destroyed timeline: Bell dead, Earth destroyed, Romulans at Alpha Centauri
Timeline C - corrected timeline: Sisko saves the day, pretty much like the original one


But here is the problem: we as objective, external observers have seen that as Bell is killed Timeline B is created. BUT lets look on who corrects the timeline, is it Kira and O'Brian? No, the same 3 people who were still in the past correct the timeline by themselves.
Do you see the problem? If the same people who make the mistake and created a different timeline repair it still in the past, why was a different timeline created to begin with?

Let me modify The City on the Edge of Forever to follow in the same lines as Past Tense:
On Gateway/Time planet Kirk and co see McCoy jump into the portal. they are then unable to contact Enterprise so they follow McCoy into the past.
In the past McCoy saves Keeler, lives with her for some days and is inadvertently saved by her.
As she is dying McCoy is reunited with Kirk and Spock, who arrived in the past just some minutes ago.
All three return to the future.

You see my point?

Now I think there are 2 possibilities:

1.)
There are only 2 timelines:

Timeline Alpha - original timeline
Timeline Beta - timeline with the predestination paradox

I believe that this set-up would still follow Christopher's temporal rules.
Here in Timeline Alpha is the one where Bell is alive, but as he would not have the right contacts to media would in the end effect lead to the same future shown in Timeline B.
Timeline Beta: Bell's death forces Sisko to take his place and actually lead the Bell Riots to a favorable end, WWIII and UFP.

The problem here is that Sisko studied the history. He ought to have stumbled over the Bell/Sisko picture, therefore he should have been forewarned, BUT he was not.

2.)
Here the 2. time-travelers actually correct the timeline.
The 3 timelines set-up is correct, but it is not Bell's death that creates Timeline B, but it is Sisko, Bashir and Dax living in the 21st century post-Bell Riots.
I don't know what changes they could make: Dex not keeping shut to the media; discovering that "Bell" is still alive could put him on trial and roll back the better conditions introduced post-Riots...

Well, what do you think?
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Old January 31 2013, 04:01 PM   #2
dub
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Re: Past Tense vs timeline

Hando wrote: View Post
Well, what do you think?
I try not to over-think mirror universe or time travel episodes (or movies). There are all sorts of questions and problems that come to mind if you think about the "how." Usually, these episodes are either about a great story or great fun. How they got there and back, how everything was put back into place, how nothing ended up changing the future, etc. -- yeah, the time travel stories are better for me if I don't ask those questions. Haha!
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Old January 31 2013, 04:20 PM   #3
F. King Daniel
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Re: Past Tense vs timeline

The prophets made it all okay!
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Old January 31 2013, 04:59 PM   #4
Hando
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Re: Past Tense vs timeline

dub wrote: View Post
Hando wrote: View Post
Well, what do you think?
I try not to over-think mirror universe or time travel episodes (or movies). There are all sorts of questions and problems that come to mind if you think about the "how." Usually, these episodes are either about a great story or great fun. How they got there and back, how everything was put back into place, how nothing ended up changing the future, etc. -- yeah, the time travel stories are better for me if I don't ask those questions. Haha!
The classic "close your eyes and sing la-la-la" defense.
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Old January 31 2013, 05:29 PM   #5
dub
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Re: Past Tense vs timeline

Hando wrote: View Post
The classic "close your eyes and sing la-la-la" defense.
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Old February 1 2013, 02:54 AM   #6
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Past Tense vs timeline

In Star Trek time travel rules, the moment you travel to the past you are invulnerable to the effects you have on the past.

Now, that doesn't explain why the future was ruined while they were in the past.
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Old February 1 2013, 03:57 AM   #7
Tosk
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Re: Past Tense vs timeline

The Defiant was "protected" from the changes though, so is it really that unreasonable to believe that they were able to observe the malleable future being reshaped? Think of it like Back to the Future, where things still happen in real-time, regardless of the time travel.
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Old February 1 2013, 04:10 AM   #8
Rķu rķu, chķu
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Re: Past Tense vs timeline

Maybe Sisko was always supposed to be Bell.

IIRC, the only time we ever see the 'real' Bell is during the 2024 scenes. Nobody in the present (24th century) ever looks at his picture until the episode is all over.

So for all we know, it's a predestination paradox - Sisko was always supposed to go back and become Bell. If anyone had looked up his data entry even before the episode took place, they'd still have seen Sisko.
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Old February 1 2013, 04:51 AM   #9
dub
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Re: Past Tense vs timeline

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
So for all we know, it's a predestination paradox - Sisko was always supposed to go back and become Bell. If anyone had looked up his data entry even before the episode took place, they'd still have seen Sisko.
*Closing my eyes and singing la-la-la...*
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Old February 1 2013, 05:04 AM   #10
Rķu rķu, chķu
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Re: Past Tense vs timeline

^ The point is, there's no evidence for or against it (nor is there any for/against any other suggestion in this thread), so every POV is equally valid.
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Old February 1 2013, 03:01 PM   #11
dub
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Re: Past Tense vs timeline

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ The point is, there's no evidence for or against it (nor is there any for/against any other suggestion in this thread), so every POV is equally valid.
My apologies, Mr. Laser Beam. I totally agree and your explanation does make sense. I was just pretending to be overwhelmed and cracking a joke based on Hando's earlier response to me in the thread. Somehow it was funny in my head but it didn't translate here (story of my life).
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Old February 3 2013, 02:12 PM   #12
free2131
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Re: Past Tense vs timeline

Any time that I watch a TV show/ movie about time travel, I usually just go by this advice.
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Old February 3 2013, 02:53 PM   #13
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Re: Past Tense vs timeline

To quote the Chief. "I Hate Temporal Mechanics"
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Old February 3 2013, 04:09 PM   #14
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Re: Past Tense vs timeline

"The Prophets work in mysterious ways..."
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