"The Visitor" Timeline-Was it really erased?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Ketrick, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. Ketrick

    Ketrick Commander Red Shirt

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    Was the timeline shown in "The Visitor" erased? The quick answer would be "of course it did". However, I'm not so sure. Some of the comments the adult Jake made suggests at least the possibility that somehow while Captain Sisko returned just before the accident that created "The Visitor" timeline and thus the timeline should have been erased that it actually went on. What makes me wonder is the comments about publishing posthumously and the advice he gave to Melanie just before she left. Sure, he may have said these things in case his plan failed. I mean, he had no margin for error as far as timing went. If he had taken the drug and died before his dad arrived, nothing would change (timeline-wise) and by the same token, had he died just after his dad disappeared, nothing would change. So that's possible. However, the adult Sisko besides being a writer was a scientist and was shown to have had a good grasp of physics. Therefore, perhaps he realized that by setting his dad free a new parallel timeline would be created where the 18-year old Jake wouldn't lose his father and he himself would no longer have the pain and regret because he would be dead. What do you all think?
     
  2. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral In Memoriam

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    The timeline was overwritten when Ben was successfully retrieved, is how I interpret it.

    It's an emotionally difficult episode for me to watch, and I've only seen it two or three times. I have it on disk, but avoid it. Its message seems to be to cherish your parents for as long as you can while you have them. Unfortunately, my situation was much like Jake's.

    I was 19, but everything else is the same. That was 43 years ago. And I know he's never coming back.
     
  3. Ketrick

    Ketrick Commander Red Shirt

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    I used to interpret it that way too and I'm not sure that isn't the right interpretation. It's just that on re-watching the episode I picked out those lines that at least make it seem possible that the timeline wasn't overwritten.

    On the more personal note, it's a hard episode for me to watch too. I remember crying the first few times I watched it. The first time was especially hard for me because my dad had disappeared just a few months before. I was only 12. It was a year before the police found my dad's remains. So, I know where you're coming from and where the adult Jake was coming from. Losing a parent or both parents leaves a hole that is never completely filled.
     
  4. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral In Memoriam

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    Yeah, the tough part of it for me is I never had the benefit of Dad's advice as an adult, like my much older (15-20 yrs) siblings did who were already out of the house with lives of their own. It's one of those "if only" situations.
     
  5. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That was easily the most moving episode of the whole franchise for me.

    To the question... who knows? Time travel in Trek isn't consistent in any way except it bends to serve the need of the plot. In this case Sisko remembered everything, and got his life back. And Jake unknowingly got his father back and went on with his life.

    Despite the horrible episode it happened in, I did like the continuity of Jake writing Anslem later on in the Muse.
     
  6. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    According to Data in "Parallels", "anything that can happen, does happen, in alternate quantum realities" with a chart of infinite possibilities branching off on the screen next to him - so even if Jake did erase that timeline in one branch of history, he failed in another.
     
  7. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If I am not mistaken, Jake could potentially have his life unfold in the exact same way in spite of any restoration of his original timeline. Perhaps instead of studying physics in order to undo the timeline, Jake will study metaphysics in order to storm the Celestial Temple.
     
  8. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    I've seen scifi do the whole 'Every time you go back in time you are creating an alternate reality' thing. I've never seen Star Trek do it, in Parallels it's more 'An infinite amount of realities already exist so any possibility will happen'.
     
  9. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Time travel is a "possibility" just the same as anything else. In timeline A the Enterprise-C vanished from Narendra III, leading to war with the Klingons. In timeline B it didn't. Not much different from Timeline C where Riker and Data saved Picard from the Borg and Timeline D where Picard died and Riker stayed on as Enterprise captain.