TTC: Commentary 10

“Time & Tied” PARTS 19 & 20

DAE_MathTans1. Original Date Of Completion: MAY 14, 2001
2. What I Was Doing: Looking For Work
3. Hard Date Change: Was Sun. Oct 7, 2001
4. Other changes of note:
Luci and Carrie. Practically their entire dialogue! Only the scaffolding survived.
-Carrie “not having” a cell phone became her not leaving it in her jacket. Look, it was the year 2001.


Back in Commentary 08, I mentioned finalizing the opening sequence for my “TV Show”. (Hey, show intros are important!) I present it below, but first a couple notes:

1) I never really knew what the “music with a good beat” might be. Then in 2004 came the Japanese visual novel “Shuffle!” (which later became an anime). WOW. That theme works. Even the visuals work – from the arrows (like timelines) to some of the words (“the innumerable possibilities”) to there being five main characters. LOVE. (Primula even has Luci’s twintails!) It works so much better than mine; I would merely need to replace their static images with what I have below. Well, and copyright issues. Here’s a link to check it out though.

2) The image I scanned in below is one I drew back in 2001. It was meant to be a commercial buffer image – sort of like how “Stargate” flashes up that image with that DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN vamp when going to break. In the context of this serial, it would have been appearing in between two consecutive parts (as two parts make up a single half hour episode). Yeah, my drawing kinda sucked, that’s partly why I’m showing it to you – see how much I’ve maybe kinda improved? (For that matter, I also overuse the word “suddenly” in the OP below! See? Progress??)

3) Finally, Facebook is kind of making fun of me. There’s a bit at the start of the OP where we ‘zoom in on Carrie’s body’ (rather than her head), to annoy her. And whenever I post updates to Facebook, the images I add to each post invariably crop to show the middle third. Well, seeing as I tend to sketch waist-to-head, that would be a zoom on Carrie’s chest. Really, Facebook? You had to parody my 2001 opening sequence back at me? (In fact, for Part 20, it happened not only on Facebook but Twitter too! I can’t win.)


Again, that link to some music, if you like:

-Current date for when episode is starting out flashes on the screen three times.

-In place of fourth flash, some music with a good beat jumps in as we have a close up on a blonde with long hair and a blue hairband, smiling. Pull back somewhat to note she’s in a gym, dressed like a cheerleader, waving pompoms and kicking her legs in the air.
-Zoom back in but away from her face. Before getting too close the blonde ducks back into the frame looking mildly irritated and she throws a pompom towards the screen. It fills the view, obscuring everything. Blur effect as if camera is spinning away.
-Refocus on a guy with short brown hair wearing glasses, working at measuring something out of a flask onto an apparatus in what might be a chem lab. He looks up, smiles amiably and waves with his free hand. He then adjusts his glasses and looks back down at his flask, pouring a few more drops of liquid out. An explosion results, smoke obscuring everything.

-Suddenly through the smoke comes the blonde from before, sitting on the covering for an enlarged open pocketwatch with the hands spinning around behind her in both directions, out of control. In her lap, the blonde has something vaguely resembling a cash register but it’s totally black with a lever on the ride. View parallels her briefly but she quickly outdistances us off one side of the screen and we are momentarily left with a view of the chain from the pocketwatch. Suddenly the guy with the glasses comes into view, and he’s clinging onto the chain with both hands while being buffeted about by wind.
-Pull back to a wider screen shot to see both characters, at the same time seeing that the backdrop isn’t smoke anymore, but is in fact a grey thundercloud. The pocketwatch turns and makes a flyby over a high school, the weather now generally seeming rather dismal and stormy. The characters riding the pocketwatch have begun moving perpendicular to our view, getting smaller. Then lightning flashes, sound of thunder and the view suddenly drops down and zooms into a classroom window.


Why am I showing you this?! >.<

-Standing there is a girl with medium length brown hair which is naturally curly, wearing a somewhat conservative sweater and skirt. She turns and folds her arms over her chest, tapping her foot on the ground, with an expression indicating annoyance and general discontent with being observed. Pursing her lips, she jerks her gaze up and to the right and we follow her gaze to where there is a taller athletic looking blonde guy with relatively long hair standing nearby. He simply shrugs then gestures towards the door, reaching for the doorknob.
-He opens the door and we go through it and turn, proceeding down a high school hallway, sweeping back and forth across it, dodging around people. The various types here are either walking by or are at their lockers and include a sad faced smaller guy who just stares quietly, fraternal twins with near identically styled shoulder-length red hair who lift their eyebrows in passing, a girl with colourful bows in her hair who seems to be meditating, and a guy with unruly hair smiling absurdly who gives us a thumbs up. At the end of the hall we encounter a wall, and standing in front of it is a fairly short oriental girl with dark hair brought back into two small ponytails. She is looking down. We partially zoom in, she looks up and blinks, then without otherwise changing her expression, lifts up a finger to point towards the right. Turning in this direction and exiting through a set of doors in the process, we find ourselves back outside the school, except it’s sunny.

-A car drives by, we zoom in to the man at the wheel, he’s looking sort of depressed and vacant, not acknowledging our presence. Shift view through the windshield and somehow he’s now driving up to a house. We depart the car and spin around the residence to the backyard. The blonde and the guy with the glasses are there, sitting in front of the device that was in the blonde’s lap before. The blonde drops a coin in, pulls the lever and a new background crashes down behind them, that of an airport. The process is immediately repeated by the blonde about ten times in quick succession with various backgrounds dropping down including a ravine, a 50s style hotel lobby, a van about to hit them, a sky full of clouds and possibly a few more.
-Finally an image of the school drops down behind them. The brown haired guy grabs the machine as the blonde grabs his arm and they run towards the building. We follow them in, though now they’re no longer in physical contact. They hurry down a hall and turn into a classroom where everyone seen inside the school before is now sitting, posed in two rows but with space in the middle front. The two characters who just ran in quickly move to fill the space. Flash snapshot effect.

-Pull back to take note of the frozen picture, making it slightly offcentre on the screen and revealing a caption underneath it reading “Homeroom 3; Class of 1950”. The 1950 is only there for a split second though, as the last two numbers quickly scroll up through the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, slowing through the 90s before finally ticking over to 2000 then 2001. Music concludes.


XoversCSpoilers (up to part 20) follow.

Carrie may not be the nicest person. That said, this episode was NOT originally her moment of self revelation (it would have been two parts later). Still, since the only review I’ve had over at “Web Fiction Guide” points to weak characters, with Carrie a problematic protagonist right from the start – more so than I might have thought – it made sense to me to rewrite things to have Carrie convert a touch earlier. Why?

In large part because the next four parts are denouement/setup for Book 2 – and with the few additional thoughts I’ve given Carrie over the last several parts, her personality peaking now coincides nicely with the machine breaking. Which did happen. The time machine is now broken. So honestly, Book 1 will finish up using the characters as the plot. Meaning if they’re weak, and/or you hate them, I AM SO SCREWED in terms of you sticking around. Which kind of terrifies me.

Then again, there’s always Book 2! The time travel will be back, so you can take a breather and jump ahead to that if you like; it would merely be like watching Season 2 of “Buffy” or “Stargate” without seeing all of Season 1. I think. But enough about my insecurities.

What was in the unchanged episode 10? WELL. For the first time, lots. Carrie was more upset with Luci, and less with herself. Ironically, to force Carrie to turn deeper inwards, Luci became even more antagonistic here, to the point where you being upset with Luci’s bluntness might have been equally justified. (The “meanest cheerleader” line wasn’t originally there, among others.) Also, originally the perspective when the machine breaks was from Frank. It obviously had to shift to Carrie, for her to be mentally reflecting upon her actions, all of which was new.

The ramped up Carrie/Luci dialogue then made Frank’s job of mediator even harder. My character push for him involves going from avoiding social interaction to needing to deal with conflict resolution. Somewhat ineffectually to start here, as he tries to please both Carrie and Luci at once, despite them both having a stronger Willpower stat than he does. (He also isn’t rolling high. He wasn’t doing well in the original ep 10 either, but now he’s having to physically restrain people.) Meanwhile, there’s still Julie, the master manipulator. Her plan was to get Carrie and Frank reacting to her, rather than taking action. I’d call that plan a success – it’s the only thing that didn’t get a revamp! (Well, okay, the bit with Hank Waterson didn’t change much either. Parents – they exist!)

Plot-wise, one could argue that a trip back to earlier than Friday’s dance might be an option to prevent what Julie did – but she’s been putting in lots of redundancies going forwards. After all, she’s confined to linear time, and had no idea of the limitations there were to Carrie’s time travel. Had no idea… UNTIL NOW. Mwa ha ha. Yeah, Carrie running to Julie at the end not only makes sense for her personality, but helps me out narratively, as you’ll see. Incidentally, I kept Julie’s dialogue reference to “time trippers”, but I swear “time and tied” will eventually make sense too.

Episode 10 was originally called “Fallout”, so I inserted “Dance Dance Redux” as part 19 and kept “Fallout” as part 20. The title name is meant to imply both the ‘fallout’ from the dance, as well as the ‘falling out’ between Carrie and Frank over the machine. Up next, how are the Veniti twins handling recent events? (Hint: Badly.)

Coming This Friday: Serious Matters


  1. I’ve read the story up to the end of ep 20 and I’m really enjoying it. I like time travel stories. I’m also reading your commentaries every 2 episodes.

    I don’t comment much but I liked your tv intro outline above so much that I thought I should let you know. You described it really well – I can picture it clearly and I think it would be perfect if this story was made into a tv show.

    Keep up the great work!


    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment – and about a commentary post! That must mean its impact was bigger than I realized. In fact, I sometimes wonder whether this history is interesting to anyone aside from me… glad to hear you’ve been giving these posts a look too.

      It’s great that I was able to convey the picture in my mind to you. (I suspect my imagery was influenced by anime, I watched a lot at University. Not sure if that had any impact.) It’s unedited too, so with any luck, my writing has improved since, while crafting the story itself. And you might be interested to know that, with the onset of Book 3, there’s a NEW intro (“season two”) that I pulled together… when/if you get that far on the site, maybe you can judge if it’s any better (or worse).

      Either way, thanks for the encouragement, it’s appreciated!


      1. Thanks – that is actually useful information. I know I float between 3 and 4 votes at the bottom of their “fantasy” subpage, depending on whether I remember to vote for myself… and I know I get at least a couple referrals in from there in a week… but you’re the first person who has said they’re here via TWF (who got past part 4). Good to know the voting was worth it!


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