The Pitfalls of Saving The Titanic Via Time Travel


I recently watched the first episode of this old 60’s TV show called Time Tunnel.

So you know how usually in time-travel shows they really agonize over not changing history? Like even in that Star Trek episode, they couldn’t save that lady because if she lived then Hitler would have won and everybody would be like in The Man In The High Castle territory?

But not in Time Tunnel. Oh, no

First, the younger guy runs into the untested-on-humans Time Tunnel to prove it works to the skeptical U.S. Govt. guy…just runs in with like nothing but his too-tight 60’s slacks and too-tight 60’s turtleneck. Doesn’t carry any gear, any way to get back, nothing.

But we forgive him because he’s cute.

So now he winds up on the Titanic. Because you know on your first trip on an untested time-travel device you’d end up on the deck of the Titanic. And so he finds the captain of the Titanic and tells him:



Zero regard for radically altering the timeline. Zero. Even though he is supposed to be this genius scientist who helped build a time machine.

Hopefully, his older colleague, who has followed him in the Time Tunnel, will help fix all the potential timeline damage.

Nope. This guy carries a copy of the newspaper from the day after the Titanic crash, and then when he gets on the ship finds the captain and shoves the paper in his face and goes:



Now both guys are in the ship’s brig. “We’re goners,” the younger guy says. “This ship will crash and sink in like 30 minutes.” The older guy replies with a Captain Kirk-esque twinkle in his eye: “But does it HAVE to?”

HECK YES IT HAS TO SINK! You can’t prevent the Titanic from sinking! If you do that, you change the timeline in who-knows what profound ways.

So they break out of the brig and confront the captain again. The boat’s already hit the iceberg, so the captain decides to listen to them when they tell him to send the lifeboats early. But then the older time-travel guy’s like: “Well, that’s not really going to help anyhow. Everybody knows that the Titanic didn’t have enough lifeboats. All those people are going to die anyhow, just in the history books.”


The captain shrugs his shoulders and says something about the will of God. Then the younger guy—with the tight pants and the tight turtleneck—follows that up with something about how maybe it was really God who sent them on the mission.


Lastly, before the two guys get beamed to safety, the captain asks them if he himself survives the Titanic. They demure at first, looking away. Then right before they leave they’re like:

“Yeah, you die.”



So the show has disregarded basic tenets of time-travel to attempt to save the Titanic, then says that it wasn’t really going to help anyhow, and then finally concludes it might be all part of God’s Mysterious Plan.

Time Tunnel, everyone.