Time Travel in Culture

Time travel has always been a popular topic for science fiction. Countless movies, books, TV, video games and more have been made on the subject... Explore our ongoing collection of what we think are the most interesting or entertaining uses of time travel in popular culture.

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Time Travel in Film

Doctor Strange (2016)

Writer: C. Robert Cargill, Scott Derrickson & Jon Spaihts
Director: Scott Derrickson
Released: 11/04/2016
Rated: PG-13

After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant surgeon gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under her wing and trains him to defend the world against evil.

Interstellar (2014)

Writer: Christopher Nolan & Jonathan Nolan
Director: Christopher Nolan
Released: 11/07/2014
Rated: PG-13

The adventures of a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.

Primer (2004)

Writer: Shane Carruth
Director: Shane Carruth
Released: 06/02/2005
Rated: PG-13

Friends and fledgling entrepreneurs invent a device in their garage which reduces the apparent mass of any object placed inside it, but they discover that it has some highly unexpected capabilities - ones that could enable them to do and to have seemingly anything they want. Taking advantage of this unique opportunity is the first challenge they face. Dealing with the consequences is the next.

Twelve Monkeys (1995)

Writer: David Webb Peoples &  Janet Peoples
Director: Terry Gilliam
Released: 01/05/1996
Rated: R

In the year 2035, convict James Cole reluctantly volunteers to be sent back in time to discover the origin of a deadly virus that wiped out nearly all of the earth's population and forced the survivors into underground communities. But when Cole is mistakenly sent to 1990 instead of 1996, he's arrested and locked up in a mental hospital. There he meets psychiatrist Dr. Kathryn Railly, and patient Jeffrey Goines, the son of a famous virus expert, who may hold the key to the mysterious rogue group, the Army of the 12 Monkeys, thought to be responsible for unleashing the killer disease.

Groundhog Day (1993)

Writer: Harold Ramis & Danny Rubin
Director: Harold Ramis
Released: 02/11/1993
Rated: PG

A narcissistic T.V. weatherman, along with his attractive-but-distant producer and mawkish cameraman, is sent to report on Groundhog Day in the small town of Punxsutawney, where he finds himself repeating the same day over and over.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

Writer: Harve Bennett, Peter Krikes, Steve Meerson & Nicholas Meyer
Director: Leonard Nimoy
Released: 11/26/1986
Rated: PG

Fugitives of the Federation for their daring rescue of Spock from the doomed Genesis Planet, Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew begin their journey home to face justice for their actions. But as they near Earth, they find it at the mercy of a mysterious alien presence whose signals are slowly destroying the planet. In a desperate attempt to answer the call of the probe, Kirk and his crew race back to the late twentieth century. However they soon find the world they once knew to be more alien than anything they've encountered in the far reaches of the galaxy!

Back to the Future (1985)

Writer: Bob Gales & Robert Zemeckis
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Released: 07/03/1985
Rated: PG-13

Eighties teenager Marty McFly is accidentally sent back in time to 1955, inadvertently disrupting his parents' first meeting and attracting his mother's romantic interest. Marty must repair the damage to history by rekindling his parents' romance and - with the help of his eccentric inventor friend Doc Brown - return to 1985.

The Terminator (1984)

Writer: James Cameron & Gale Ann Hurd
Director: James Cameron
Released: 10/26/1984
Rated: R

In the post-apocalyptic future, reigning tyrannical supercomputers teleport a cyborg assassin known as the "Terminator" back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor, whose unborn son is destined to lead insurgents against 21st century mechanical hegemony. Meanwhile, the human-resistance movement dispatches a lone warrior to safeguard Sarah. Can he stop the virtually indestructible killing machine?

Planet of the Apes (1968)

Writer: Pierre Boulle, Rod Serling & Michael Wilson
Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Released: 02/07/1968
Rated: G

An U.S. Spaceship lands on a desolate planet, stranding astronaut Taylor in a world dominated by apes, 2000 years into the future, who use a primitive race of humans for experimentation and sport. Soon Taylor finds himself among the hunted, his life in the hands of a benevolent chimpanzee scientist.

Time Travel in Television

The Umbrella Academy

Creator: Ronald D. Moore
Seasons: 2
Status: Continuing
Premier: 02/15/2019

A dysfunctional family of superheroes comes together to solve the mystery of their father's death, the threat of the apocalypse and more.


Creator: Ronald D. Moore
Seasons: 5
Status: Continuing
Premier: 08/09/2014

The story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire's heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Doctor Who (2005)

Creator: Sydney Newman, C. E. Webber & Donald Wilson
Seasons: 12
Status: Ended
Premier: 03/26/2005

The Doctor is a Time Lord: a 900 year old alien with 2 hearts, part of a gifted civilization who mastered time travel. The Doctor saves planets for a living—more of a hobby actually, and the Doctor's very, very good at it.


Creator: Jantje Friese & Baran bo Odar
Seasons: 3
Status: Ended
Premier: 12/01.2017
Finale: 07/27/2020

A missing child causes four families to help each other for answers. What they could not imagine is that this mystery would be connected to innumerable other secrets of the small town.


Creator: Eric Kripke & Shawn Ryan
Seasons: 2
Status: Ended
Premier: 10/03/2016
Finale: 12/20/2018

A mysterious criminal steals a secret state-of-the-art time machine, intent on destroying America as we know it by changing the past. Our only hope is an unexpected team: a scientist, a soldier and a history professor, who must use the machine's prototype to travel back in time to critical events. While they must make every effort not to affect the past themselves, they must also stay one step ahead of this dangerous fugitive. But can this handpicked team uncover the mystery behind it all and end his destruction before it's too late?


Creator: Brad Wright
Seasons: 3
Status: Ended
Premier: 10/17/2016
Finale: 12/14/2018

Hundreds of years from now, the last surviving humans discover the means of sending consciousness back through time, directly into people in the 21st century. These "travelers" assume the lives of seemingly random people, while secretly working as teams to perform missions in order to save humanity from a terrible future.

Twelve Monkeys

Creator: Travis Fickett & Terry Matalas
Seasons: 4
Status: Ended
Premier: 01/16/2015
Finale: 07/06/2018

The provocative story of Cole, a time traveler from a decimated future in a high-stakes race against the clock. Utilizing a dangerous and untested method of time travel, he journeys from 2043 to the present day on a mission to locate and eradicate the source of a deadly plague that will all but annihilate the human race.


Creator: Simon Barry
Seasons: 4
Status: Ended
Premier: 05/27/2012
Finale: 05/09/2016

The series centers on the conflict between a group of rebels from the year 2077 who time-travel to Vancouver, BC, in 2012, and a police officer who accidentally accompanies them. In spite of being many years early, the rebel group decides to continue its violent campaign to stop corporations of the future from replacing governments, while the police officer endeavours to stop them without revealing to anyone that she and the rebels are from the future.


Creator: Kevin Falls
Seasons: 1
Status: Ended
Premier: 09/24/2007
Finale: 12/19/2007

A group of friends have customized their microwave so that it can send text messages to the past. As they perform different experiments, an organization named SERN who has been doing their own research on time travel tracks them down and now the characters have to find a way to avoid being captured by them.


Creator: J.J. Abrams ], Jeffrey Lieber & Damon Lindelof
Seasons: 6
Status: Ended
Premier: 09/22/2004
Finale: 05/23/2010

Stripped of everything, the survivors of a horrific plane crash must work together to stay alive. But the island holds many secrets.


Creator: Jukki Hanada & Chiyomaru Shikura
Seasons: 1
Status: Ended
Premier: 04/06/2001
Finale: 09/14/2011

A group of friends have customized their microwave so that it can send text messages to the past. As they perform different experiments, an organization named SERN who has been doing their own research on time travel tracks them down and now the characters have to find a way to avoid being captured by them.

QUantum Leap

Creator: Donald P. Bellisario
Seasons: 5
Status: Ended
Premier: 03/26/1986
Finale: 05/05/1993

Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished... He woke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not his own and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better. His only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so Dr. Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home.

Time Travel in Literature

Time Travel in Tabletop Games

Time Travel in Video Games

Time Travel Curiosities & Gifts