The Consequences of Time Travelers Who Meet Their Ancestors

Posted by Sandra Woolf

[TV still from Doctor Who, BBC]

Time travel can be a tricky thing. One must avoid paradoxes, black holes, and alternate dimensions. But most importantly you must be careful when meeting your own ancestor. Here are a few fictional characters who learned that very lesson.


[Movie still from Back to the Future, Universal Pictures]

Marty McFly – Back to the Future

The most notorious time traveler on this list is Marty Mcfly. Sent back in time to 1955, Marty inadvertently becomes the romantic love interest of his teenage mother. Awkward. To fix his timeline and make sure he’s even born, Marty must bring his parents together. With a little rock and roll Marty manages to save the day and himself.


[TV still from Futurama, Fox Television Animation]

Philip J. Fry – Futurma

For a television show set in the future, Futurma sure did travel to the past pretty often. Most famously of course was when Fry travels to 1947 and meets his grandparents. Unfortunately for Fry, this means protecting his grandfather from any harm to ensure his future existence. Talk about pressure. Fry succeeds at ensuring his existence, but at a shocking/disgusting cost.


Kindred – Octavia Butler

When Dana finds herself transported back in time, the last thing she expects is meeting her ancestors. This time traveling novel takes place mostly on a pre-civil war plantation. Further complications arise when Dana must protect her loathsome plantation owning ancestor in order to assure her birth. This complicated time travel tale deals with race, gender, and slavery. No one said time travel was always pleasant.


[TV still from Doctor Who, BBC]

Dr. Who – Father's Day

When the Ninth Doctor and his companion Rose Tyler travel back in time to the day Rose's father dies, things go awry. By saving her father, Rose creates a paradox that threatens to consume the world. With time running out, the only way to correct the timeline is for Rose's father to die. This time, an adult Rose is with him until the end. Why are our eyes so wet? Is someone cutting onions in here?


[TV still from Supernatural, Warner Bros. Television]

Supernatural – In the Beginning

The Winchester brothers have faced many a demon foe. But dealing with your teenage parents…well that's a different matter. In this episode, the brothers are sent back in time to witness their family's secret past. This means fighting an evil demon that wants to kill everyone. Lives are lost and questions are left unanswered, but hey, kicking demon butt is a plus!

Sandra Woolf

Sandra Woolf

Sandra Woolf lives in the PNW where she haunts bookshops and library sales. Freelancer by day, horror movie lover by night. Writing inquires can go to what lovely books at gmail or just to ask her how her hairy is so bouncy.