Timelines: time travel in popular film & tv

Here’s a visualisation of time travel plots in various films and TV programs. I had a lot of fun doing this!

It was particularly cool to highlight potential plotlines for “meta movies” where time travellers from different plots could meet and paradox it out. Charlie Kauffman are you reading this??

(By the way, I allowed myself a +1 / -1 year fuzz around the paradoxes. So knives away nerds!)

This is a straight data visualisation, rather than information design. That is, it’s not particularly useful, nor useable, nor meaningful. The inspiration was the coolness of the idea, really. I was excited to see what shape all the plots would make, and whether it could be shaped into something beautiful.

What I really love about this image, though, is the idea that this information has never been seen before. Despite the fact that it exists, in some way,somewhere, wrapped in various plots, it’s never been given form. I have to say, it was a joy to untangle it all 🙂

Big thanks to talented designers Alice Cho and Dominic Busby for their invaulable contributions. And Jeremy MacLynn for essential art direction.

Getting Ridiculous

I guess it’s no surprise that there are a helluva lot of time travel plots centered around our tranche of time (1900-2100). But does it have to be this ridiculous?

Timelines II: Time travel in popular film and tv

Here’s a zoom in.

Timelines II: Time travel in popular film and TV

This concentration of temporal dislocation is why the final image for the book took four months, 34 drafts and the work of three designers.

Timelines: Time travel in popular TV and film

So who wants to work with me on the Dr Who one? I’m serious. Email me.