TTC: Commentary 26

“Time & Tied” PARTS 84-85

1. Original Date Of Completion: AUGUST 20, 2009
2. What I Was Doing: Full Time Contract Teacher in Ottawa
3. Changes of note:
-Now a bigger speech by Laurie, also teaching Beth cheerleading
-Scene with Mr. Waterson was new (previously offscreen)
-Beth spoke with a random student, not Chartreuse
-Scene with Clarke and Theresa was new (going to Julie’s)
-Beth had approached Megan, not the other way around
-Megan’s motivations (women’s lib used to be Claude’s birthday)

“Time & Tied” PARTS 86-87
1. Original Date Of Completion: AUGUST 25, 2009
2. What I Was Doing: Full Time Contract Teacher in Ottawa
3. Changes of note:
-Frank’s mental flashback with Tim moved a bit earlier
-CSI:Miami reference had included talk of “upcoming spinoff show” (NY)
-Glen originally escaped before they arrived at the airport
-Tracking device on Glen was new (had followed sound of a scream)
-Carrie had dressed like a stewardess rather than her mother
-Question for Question format now tried to make exposition interesting
-Had cut away for truth of Carrie’s mother; audience learned later with Frank
-Now a longer scene with the Elder Carrie
-Frank had lamented leaving the temporal gun behind

“Time & Tied” PARTS 88-90, completed by AUGUST 27, 2009
Information to follow in next Commentary.

CHARGING TO THE FINISH

As I mentioned in the last Commentary, I saw the movie “The Time Traveler’s Wife” in August 2009, and it’s what helped motivate me to write the conclusion for our “Time & Tied” storyline. Recall that I saw the current plot as “Season Two”, and one of the things I’d wanted to do in later seasons was visit the characters in the future. That’s why I’d had Shady’s future currency mysteriously stolen (back in “Season One”). Now, given that I wasn’t sure if I’d ever pick the story up again… here we go, into the future! The setup was great, since certain core members (Luci, Julie and Clarke) weren’t in danger of doubling up.

More on that future next time. For now, a quick look back at the parts involving Beth. I’d made a habit of starting into the next serial entry (“episode”), whenever I’d finished the last one. That way, I’d have a sense of where to go next, in case it was months before I got back to the story. So Part 84 (half an “episode”) was basically completed by March 21, 2008. It was dusted off over a year later, and finished through Part 85 (“after commercial break”).

The note I’d left myself in 2008 was that I wanted to include Beth’s point of view, and somehow wrap up the Megan angle, which had gotten away from me prior to the talent show. So it made sense to have them talk. The content was different with that first effort, as I referenced above. I prefer the new rewrite (see spoilers below for why).

Continuing on, I’d never been to the Miami International Airport (MIA) as of 2009, but WAS there in December 2014 (hence the photo in part 86). They lost the bags for our family as we went to a connecting flight (all but one bag, actually). This despite my in-laws upgrading us to first class. Not impressed. Yet the first hand experience didn’t cause any real change to the content of those parts in edits. I suppose I did pull up maps for reference, to avoid blatant mistakes.

As far as a car being left at an airport for three days, I didn’t do any research at the time, but (once again) stumbled on something later. Namely this article a couple years back: “Edmonton International Airport parking lots, home to 100 plus ditched cars”. So there is precedent. Alternately, here’s a hilarious tale of a BMW, lost in a UK parking garage for six months.

Even if later experience didn’t change the framework, you might have noticed the “changes of note” list is getting longer. That’s because lots of new elements are being draped onto that older skeleton. In fact, there are only two and a half episodes remaining in the 2009 material, which would mean five episodes – except there are, in fact, EIGHT upcoming (meaning 16 updates). Before discussing the repercussions of that in spoilers (below), an aside to talk about temporal inspirations.

TIME TRAVEL TV

You may recall that Beth’s first appearance in this story was in the “Back to the Future”/“Quantum Leap” tribute episode, analyzed in Commentary 7. I mentioned then that the name “Beth” was chosen because it’s the name of Al’s first wife from QL (a show about ‘putting right what once went wrong’ in individual lives). I didn’t point out that it’s another riff on Carrie’s middle name (“Elizabeth”). I’m not sure if that was a fluke, or me being forward-thinking.

Needless to say, “Quantum Leap” (1989-1993) was a huge influence on me, growing up. (Luci’s remark from Part 84, “Is that ethical? That can’t be ethical.” is another homage. The response in QL was “No, it’s television.” See also Clarke’s tow truck, “Sam & Al’s Garage”.) But there was another show influencing me back then too. “The Girl From Tomorrow” (1991-1993), an Australian television series that was shown in Canada.

That show has a teenager from the year 3000 (Alana) becoming stranded in the 1990s. She’s taken in by a family (which includes another teenage girl, Jenny), and the two work to retrieve her “time capsule” from the villain. The second season has them trying to fix a time error in the year 2500, introducing Nik (a teenager from that year) and the “time gate”.

Teenagers and time machines. Was my “Time & Tied” story all but inevitable? (And hey, speaking of inevitability, I wrote a guest post at the Time2TimeTravel site in March called “Models of Time and Fate” you can check out.)

Another show worthy of mention: “Seven Days” (1998-2001). In that show, they can go back in time and change things, but the trip is always seven days. I don’t think I ever caught this show as regularly (being at University), but you’ll see it took place as “Time & Tied” was first coming together. A sign there was a market. And I did use it’s theme music to make this Anime Music Video. (The anime was an OVA, “Natsuiro no Sunadokei”, or “Sandglass of Summer Colours”, about a boy living his summer out of order. Based on a video game.)

And another show: “Being Erica” (2009-2011). A Jewish woman in her thirties undergoes therapy, which allows her to literally revisit (even change) past experiences, by walking through doorways. This Canadian show actually began in January of 2009, meaning it was an additional kick towards getting the T&T story done in that year. I actually wrote the initial TV Tropes page for this show, after seeing that it didn’t exist yet. Further, an episode of my math serial (“Being Parabola”) was influenced by seeing it.

I suppose “Doctor Who” should also get a mention. I started watching it in the late 1990s, in reruns, while at University. (Third and Fourth doctors, if memory serves.) I caught the return in 2005, and have been following it since. Curiously, despite it being a serial itself, I don’t think it’s been as big an influence on me. There are also individual episodes of other shows that tackle time travel – in fact I created my own “TIME LOOPS” TV Roundup Page, which I maintain to this day. Let me know if you have a new entry.

In 2017, during this republishing, I’ve been watching the new “Timeless” show (shady organization tries to preserve their control of history). In fact, there’s a LOT of time travel TV out there now. “Frequency” (based on the movie of the same name). “Time After Time” (also based on the movie of the same name). “Making History” (a comedy on Fox). Plus “12 Monkeys” is in season 3, while “Legends of Tomorrow” and “The Flash” are established superhero shows doing time travel. Seen any of those? (I only caught “Time After Time”, until it was cancelled by ABC without airing filmed episodes. Not impressed, ABC Network!) Are there any other time travel shows that you have enjoyed, or which have influenced you in some way? Let people know in the comments!

SPOILER SECTION

Spoilers for the past are unavoidable, Book 4 pulls in all the plot lines.

As I mentioned, we’re heading into this storyline’s future. So, with the majority of the remaining action taking place there, it meant the present had to be wrapped up (mostly) with the conclusion of Part 85. I don’t want to say too much yet (there are flashbacks and the coda to come), but if something sticks out as a “loose end”, now would be the time to warn me. It’s why I had the new scene of Julie inviting Clarke to help out (via Mindy), for their relationship.

Regarding the school… I realized at the start of March (2017) that I had never drawn Megan Falls before. Ever. So that image of her is completely new. Did you see something different in your mind’s eye? (For any of the characters?) Megan’s feminist point of view (in conversation with Beth) was also new, but made a lot of sense, in my opinion. It harkens back to Julie’s parental issues, and certainly felt like a better reason for her hesitation on hooking up with Claude than in the original writing (concern over a birthday gift). It’s also in line with her hate on Corry. In general, I’m satisfied with how her character, and the school plots in general, closed out. Are you?

In terms of who would go after Carrie, the only primary characters who hadn’t time travelled yet were Tim, Laurie and Lee. (Chartreuse only had the single round trip, knocking her out, but it counts.) Laurie was a given here, Tim needed a chance to shine, and Lee, well, he was always the “satellite” member. Too bad for him. I didn’t want to overload the group, so “understanding Temporal” was selected as being more important than “being immune to Temporal powers”. Thoughts?

As to what happened in Miami, Laurie’s insecurities were a lot worse in the original writing, particularly when her father turned up in the airport. (A touch I couldn’t resist. I like how Mez picked up on the genetics.) Laurie’s mannerisms got tightened up here; her week of being in charge of the cheerleaders was apparently good for her. The bit with Carrie’s mother being pregnant, that had been the plan for a while, though I can’t give a specific date for the idea (probably by Book 2, given how it ended). “Anne” at the Miami hostel was a VERY subtle reference to Buffy (Season 3).

The other thing that deserves some mention – it’s Future Carrie! I’d always envisioned Carrie vs. Carrie, and it seems the elder version wins Round One. She numbed herself, and would have managed to strand the time group in the past, if not for Mindy’s efforts. In fact, with the “April Fools” update (you read that entry, right?) by Michael Fitzgerald, he portrayed her very well: More experienced, with better control, and a darker personality. How do you fight that? Well, first we’ve got to get a clearer picture of the future itself. Stay tuned through April, and thank you for all the recent comments!

Parts 84/85 were originally “Powering Up” which became the title of 84a, since we don’t even see the powered up time car until that part. In fact, “Powering Up” was meant to be the entire theme of Season Two, the same way “Coming Together” was meant to be the theme of Season One. Parts 86/87 were originally “The Plain Truth”, which became the title of 87a, because that’s where we learned about Elaine’s pregnancy. It’s a deliberate riff on “The Plane Truth”, the title of Parts 3/4, when we first met Carrie’s mother – get it? Parts 88/89/90 were originally called “Fight the Future”, and we’ll get to that in due course.

Remember you can VOTE for T&T at “Top Web Fiction” on a weekly basis. I’ve added a “science fiction” tag there for more visibility. I’m also now publishing from the start on Royal Road Legends (slightly re-edited, currently nearing the end of Book 1), feel free to give me a ranking there if you’re able. Phew, this was a longer Commentary than usual, thanks for reading!

Coming TOMORROW: It sinks in where the time travellers truly are.

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2 comments

    1. Cool. I’ve read “Outlander” (the first one), and personally I feel the story fits into what I’d call the “time travel portal” genre, wherein a time travel occurs to set the plot in motion, and then never really occurs again. I’ve never been as fond of those more genre pieces, probably because I’m not big on history… put another way, I guess it’s more about the journey than the destination for me. (Seems like “Continuum” is similar from looking it up, just swapping future to present for present to past, but I’m willing to be proved wrong. Yay for it being Canadian!)

      Thanks; we’ll see if anyone in from SciFi sticks around. And thanks for the comment overall, I wouldn’t have considered those shows otherwise.

      Like

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