How Does Time Travel Work in The Time Traveler’s Wife?
The Wife of Time Traveler took an unusual approach to the idea of time travel – making it less of a love story than it was a celebration of fate.
This article has spoilers for The Wife of the Time Traveler stage 1.
HBOs The Wife of the Time Traveler introduces viewers to a very different form of time travel – and here’s how it works. Based on Audrey Niffenegger’s bestselling 2003 debut novel, The Wife of the Time Traveler tells the story of Henry DuTamble, a time traveler whose ability is more a curse than it is a blessing. At the age of 28, Henry learns that he is set to love and marry Clare, a woman who has met his future self many times.
Time travel is a theoretical science, and some movies and TV shows actually explore the concept in a consistent way – simply because they tell stories rather than present a treatise on the temporal mechanic. The Wife of the Time Traveler quite remarkable because it only explains his time travel in the most general terms; there is no TARDIS or DeLorean, and its stars are not scientists who specialize in their understanding of time travel. It’s easy to see why this approach caught attention in the first place Who doctor showrunner Steven Moffat, whose love of the book was shown to her Who doctor character River Song. He is currently the writer and producer of the new HBO series, The Wife of the Time Traveler.
The Wife of the Time Traveler presented as a romance, with the lightest touch of science-fiction added as an excuse for its central device. For all that, however, it manages to travel time in an unusually consistent way. Here’s exactly how time travel is in this story – and what this time travel model means for Henry and Clare.
Why Henry Can Travel Time (Ability Explained)
The hero of The Wife of the Time Traveler was Henry DuTamble, born with a unique genetic disorder that gave him a unique relationship at the time. The slightest level of stress can act as a trigger to carry Henry through time-usually into the past, but sometimes into the future. He was attracted to places and events that had great importance in his own life, as if it had something like a pull of gravity on him. Every part of Henry’s body had a tendency to travel in time, whether dead or cut off from him; on The Wife of the Time Traveler episode 1 she complains about her nail-clippings traveling time, or a haircut following her home. On the worse, The Wife of the Time Traveler Episode 1 ends with the revelation to cut off Henry’s legs at some point, and also flows through the timeline with impunity.
Every time Henry travels in time, there is the sound of the wind rushing in to fill the sudden vacuum he has left or lost himself on his arrival. Temperature differences are also relevant; There is a burst of steam when the feet arrive, suggesting they are stored in a refrigerated condition. Henry can’t carry anything when he travels on time, meaning he’s always naked to come. It takes him to be an athlete and not good, because a naked man seen on a busy street always has to run away or fight to get clothes.
Narrated in Time Traveler’s Wife Timeline
The two characters in The Wife of the Time Traveler have very different timelines (a design device borrowed by Steven Moffat for the River Song timeline in Who doctor). Clare first met Henry when she was a child, and she has grown to know him all her life. As he puts it in episode 1, there is a real feeling in which he forms himself around him. For Henry, however, his first encounter with Clare happens when he is 28 years old. Since then, he has found himself jumping into his life at various points, especially in the vegetation near a pasture near his family’s home. Clare, on the other hand, finds future versions of Henry guiding her in her relationship with the current version.
Why the Time Traveler’s Wife Is Not A Love Story
This model of temporal mechanics is essentially mean The Wife of the Time Traveler i should never judge as love story. Love involves a choice, and in fact Clare or Henry have no choice in the matter. This point is clarified by The Wife of the Time Traveler episode 1, which shows Clare’s first encounter with Henry and Henry’s with Clare. For Clare, Henry was the man she always knew she was destined to be with, and she did everything to save herself for him. For Henry, Clare was the future wife who exploded on the scene when he was 28, demanding his full attention and indifference when he found out he had a boyfriend. Suffice it to say that this is a very different form of time travel from Back to the Future.
Not a love story, then. However, due to the time travel performance model, it should be understood as more of a “Story of Fate“- of two people united in strange circumstances, with no freedom of choice at all. Clare formed herself around Henry, and then she transformed Henry around her; nor was there any. kind of will. The Wife of the Time Traveler unique in his romance, a story different from the others.
Also: Why the RTD Era Doctor Is Older (& Better Than Moffat)
Darth Vader Personal Jedi Hunting With Obi-Wan Kenobi
About the Author