Why We’re Fascinated By The Idea Of Time Travel

The possibility of time travel has always been more of an idealized concept rather than an actual, conceivable truth – something we only get to see in sci-fi movies. Yet, we’ve stayed fixated on the idea for centuries and consequently, time travel has infiltrated our pop culture today. It consistently resurfaces in books, movies and even television shows – from H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, published in 1895, to BBC’s Doctor Who.

But why are we so interested in the past or future, rather than the present? Well, according to Gisella Bustillos, the director of A Brief History of Time Travel, humans seem to be obsessed with time in general. Her film documentary, set to be released in Spring of 2015, further delves into the topic, exploring the history of time travel in conjunction with humanity. It asks the following questions: Why is the idea of time travel so fascinating? Is it engraved in our histories? How has this idea influenced some of the most prominent people today? And finally, what lengths are we going to in order to make time travel a reality?

The answers to these questions require us to revisit our pasts, several centuries in the past to be precise. In fact, the oldest reference to time travel dates back to as early as the 8th Century B.C in an ancient Hindu text called the Mahabharata.

From there, Bustillos continues the search. She’s interviewed some very notable people, including Bill Nye the Science Guy, game designer Tim Schafer of Double Fine Productions and professor of computer science at MIT, Erik Demaine among many others.

To fund the project, Bustillos, along with producer Wanda Bertram and editor Dani Creech, set up a Kickstarter campaign that successfully raised $10,688 over its $35,000 goal by the end of the campaign.

This goes without surprise. Time travel isn’t just a topic of entertainment. Rather, it’s the driving force – the ignition, if you will – behind scientific debates, technological innovations and sci-fi fanatics. Who knows what would unfold if a time machine were to come into existence soon. One thing’s for sure: it’ll certainly bring out a series of human emotions within us – regret and nostalgia to name a few.