Far be it from me to suggest that the ending of Out Of Time could be improved upon in any way (it can’t, it’s perfect), but I’ve just remembered an observation about it that struck me a little while ago.

The future crew can’t travel backwards in time, right? They’re stuck travelling forwards, but with the faster-than-light drive that they presumably have, they can go anywhere. The present crew, meanwhile, can travel forwards or backwards, but can’t zap to wherever they might wish.

So there’s actually a pretty simple way for the “present” crew to escape their future selves. If they jump back in time, by a long enough period (long enough to get to a point where they have enough time to get far, far away before their future selves show up), then they’ll be well away from them, right? So why didn’t they do it? Perhaps because it would have ruined an otherwise perfect cliffhanger…?

Also, doesn’t it strike you that their future selves took an enormous gamble by going back to meet their naive, morally uncorrupted selves, so far in the future? Not only do they risk being refused, they also risk being refused and being left stranded three million years in the future, knowing that there won’t be another crew any further in the future. At whatever point their time drive broke down, they must have been at an earlier point than they had been once – that is, there must be a later version of “our” crew out there somewhere, later than the “future” crew are. So why not try and meet them? Less risk of being stranded three million years in deep space, in’t there?

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