The Final Countdown
Time Travel Movies and Television Shows  Buy the Final Countdown DVD

The Final Countdown can best be described as an extended very expensive episode of the Twilight Zone. An American nuclear aircraft carrier the USS Nimitz way back in 1980 ends up in a time storm and gets lost back a day before December 7, 1941 the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the start of World War II.  The movie stars Kirk  Douglas as Capt. Matthew Yelland, Martin Sheen as Warren Lasky, and James Farentino as Wing Commander Richard T. Owens. Very classy early 80's epic that really ushered in the Reagan era of movies. There's a very real sense of patriotism in this picture as well as unique scientific what ifs.  The biggest question of the movie is can time be changed? Back in 1941 a modern aircraft carrier filled with modern jets could probably destroy the Japanese fleet headed for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Should they try? What would be the consequences to time if they did attack the Japanese fleet? Luckily they have an expert on the bombing of Pearl Harbor aboard namely Richard T. Owens, and a very scientifically curious civilian named Warren Lasky.

I think as a child watching this movie really gave me that spark that curiosity to ask what if? As this movie likes to make you think. I've tried to throw in some subtle ideas and storylines in Time-Rider that do the same thing. One scene in particular from The Final Countdown really blows your mind. In a conversation of what if, Martin Sheen's character Lasky ponders the trouble with time travel.

Lasky: Think of the history of the next forty years...
Commander Richard Owens: I have a suspicion history will be a little more difficult to beat, than you imagine Mr. Lasky.
Lasky: I'm talking about the classic paradox of time. Imagine, for example, I go back in time and meet my own Grandfather. Long before he got married, before he had children. And we have an argument, and I kill him. Now if that happens, how am I ever going to be born? And if I can never be born, how can I go back in history and meet my very own Grandfather?
Commander Richard Owens: [angrily] I'm not half the theorist you are, Mr. Lasky. But I still have a gut instinct that things only happen once. And if they have happened, then there's nothing we can do to change them. Nor should we try.
Lasky: Well, how are you going to avoid it? It's already happening, and we're already involved!

The grandfather scenario is really a fascinating time paradox question isn't it?

Here's another interesting exchange of dialogue from the movie.

 Captain Yelland: If the United States falls under attack our job is to defend her in the past, present and future.

Lasky: And after that?
Captain Yelland: After that, we take our orders from the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces.

Lasky: Franklin Delano Roosevelt?

In Time-Rider I ask the question if you could go back in time could you change the past, maybe save someone who died in the past. This is also asked in the movie The Time Machine, but in my story Time-Rider must go back to Pearl Harbor to try and save his brother in issue 5. I also play around with the idea of what the world might be like if the bombing of Pearl Harbor had never happened. To get the whole story start at issue 1.

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Time-Rider Superhero copyright 2007 Tim Frady