The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 Related to: JFK and Lincoln Assassinations
 from antiquity to 2016

production photo from
The Encyclopedia of
American Radio
   The Mysterious Traveler
by Robert A. Arthur and David Kogan
First time travel: 13 Jan 1945

I believe all episodes of The Mysterious Traveler were written by the prolific pair of Arthur and Kogan. The episodes stretched the sf field from thrillers to hard science fiction, but always with a creepy atmosphere. There were at least three time travel episodes and several more that I’ll mark as probably time travel based on their titles.
  1. Escape Through Time (13 Jan 1945) possible time travel
  2. Murder at the Dawn of Time (4 Nov 1947) possible time travel
  3. Escape into the Future (10 May 1949) possible time travel
  4. The Man Who Tried to Save Lincoln (7 Feb 1950) traveler meets Lincoln historian
  5. Operation Tomorrow (11 Apr 1950) traveler sees future war
  6. Journey Through Time (27 Jun 1950) possible time travel
  7. Escape to 2480 (21 Nov 1950) possible time travel
  8. The Most Famous Man in the World (20 Nov 1951) travelers vs dictator

 This is the Mysterious Traveler, inviting you to join me on another journey into the realm of the strange and the terrifying. I hope you will enjoy the trip, that it will thrill you a little, and chill you a little. So, settle back, get a good grip on your nerves, and be comfortable if you can, and hear the strange story that I call “The Man Who Tried to Save Lincoln.” 

[Jul 2015]
   The Man Who Lived Backward
by Malcolm Ross
First publication: 1950

Mark Selby, born in June of 1940, achieves a unique perspective on life and war and death due to the fact that he lives each day from morning to night, aging in the usual way, but the next morning he wakes up on the previous day until he eventually dies just after (or is it before?) Lincoln’s assassination.

 Tomorrow, my tomorrow, is the day of the President’s death. 

[Feb 2013]
   “The Assassin”
by Robert Silverberg
First publication: Imaginative Tales, Jul 1957

Walter Bigelow has spent 20 years of his life building the Time Distorter that will allow him to go back to save Abraham Lincoln.

 The day passed. President Lincoln was to attend the Ford Theatre that night, to see a production of a play called “Our American Cousin.” 

[Apr 2014]
   The Twilight Zone
created by Rod Serling
First time travel: 30 Oct 1959

Five seasons with many time-travel episodes. Four (marked with ¤) were written by Richard Matheson, one was by E. Jack Neuman (“Templeton”), one by Reginold Rose (“Horace Ford”), and the rest were by Serling (including “What You Need” based on a Lewis Padgett story with prescience only and no real time travel, “Execution” from a story of George Clayton Johnson, “A Quality of Mercy” from a Sam Rolfe story featuring a young Dean Stockwell, and “Of Late I Think of Cliffordville” from Malcolm Jameson’s “Blind Alley”).
  1. Walking Distance (30 Oct 1959) Hero to time of youth
  2. Judgment Night (4 Dec 1959) Time Loop in World War II
  3. What You Need (25 Dec 1959) Prescience (no time travel)
  4. The Last Flight (5 Feb 1960) ¤ 42 years beyond WW II
  5. Execution (1 Apr 1960) From 1880 West to 1960 NY
  6. A Stop at Willoughby (6 May 1960) To idyllic past
  7. The Trouble with Templeton (9 Dec 1960) To 1927
  8. Back There (13 Jan 1961) Lincoln in 1865
  9. The Odyssey of Flight 33 (24 Feb 1961) To age of dinosaurs and more
  10. A Hundred Yards over the Rim (7 Apr 1961) From 1847 to 1961
  11. Once Upon a Time (15 Dec 1961) ¤ From 1890s to present
  12. A Quality of Mercy (29 Dec 1961) From 1945 to ’42 in WWII
  13. Death Ship (7 Feb 1963) ¤ Time Loop?
  14. No Time Like the Past (7 Mar 1963) To 1881 Indiana
  15. Of Late I Think of Cliffordville (11 Apr 1963) From age 75 to 30
  16. The Incredible World of Horace Ford (18 Apr 1963)    Hero to Time of Youth
  17. The Bard (23 May 1963) Shakespeare to the present
  18. The 7th Is Made Up of Phantoms (6 Dec 1963) To Custer’s Last Stand
  19. Spur of the Moment (21 Feb 1964) ¤ Heroine warns earlier self

 There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of mans fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone. 

[Jul 1966]
   CBS Mystery Radio Theater
created by Himan Brown
First time travel: 31 Jan 1974

The fun mp3 files include radio news, weather, commercials and more from the 70s, all surrounding the mystery story hosted by E.G. Marshall. Here are the time-travel episodes that I’ve found so far, including two (in July 1976 and March 1977) by Grand Master Alfred Bester.
  1. The Man Who Asked for Yesterday (31 Jan 1974) to the previous day
  2. Yesterday’s Murder (27 Jun 1974) heroine redoes her life
  3. Come Back with Me (2 Jul 1975) hero relives favorite times
  4. Assassination in Time (26 Sep 1975) to Lincoln’s assasination
  5. The Lap of the Gods (25 Nov 1975) sea captain in the 1820s
  6. A Connecticut Yankee . . . (8 Jan 1976) to Camelot
  7. There’s No Business Like (19 Jan 1976) to 2076
  8. The Covered Bridge (23 Mar 1976) a feminist to the 1770s
  9. Time Killer (5 Apr 1976) before Great Depression
  10. Future Eye (19 Jul 1976) 2976 detective to 1976
  11. Now You See Them, Now You Don’t (12 Mar 1977) back from World War V
  12. A Point of Time (15 Nov 1977) overthrow dictator in 2200
  13. The Time Fold (16 Mar 1978) from 1979 to far future
  14. Time Out of Mind (18 May 1978) to World War II
  15. The Winds of Time (16 Oct 1978) heroine secures closure
  16. The Time Box (18 Feb 1980) to the 1880s
  17. The Man of Two Centuries (29 Apr 1981) Huron travels centuries
  18. The Old Country (24 Mar 1982) back to World War II

 This is our bicentennial year: a time to pause and count our blessings. And among the greatest of these are the men and women of letters who flourished in our native land, who created a literature that was both typically American and universally admired. 

—host E.G. Marshall in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

[Jan 1974]
   Saturday Night Live
created by Lorne Michaels
First time travel: 1 Dec 1984

We all know that early in her career, Teri Garr hung out with a time-traveling Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. But who knew that she’d be time traveling again in a 1985 SNL time travel skit? I tried hard to pick my favorite from the bunch that I know of, but that’s an impossible task given that each one is bizaare is a completely orthogonal direction from the others.

Please let me know if you know of other episodes!
  1. A Time Traveler Interrupts Book Beat (1 Dec 1984): Time traveler Ed Begley, Jr., bursts in on an SNL skit because of a pressing need to see a particular young lady. “I’ve been looking for a young lady, Julie Louis-Dreyfus. Have you seen her?”
  2. Time Machine Trivia Game (21 Dec 1985): Teri Garr and Randy Quaid play Trivial Pursuit with Nora Dunn and Jon Lovitz while the family teenager, Anthony Michael Hall, changes the answers with his time machine science project. “Ted Kennedy, Chappaquiddick, eight hundered secreetaries, really sorry.”
  3. Presidential Debate (8 Nov 1988): Tom Hanks hosts Jon Lovitz and Dana Carvey in the 1988 presidential election debate. “I’m glad you asked me that, Sam, because tonight I can reveal something that’s just been declassified. The key to SDI, to the whole concept, is a Time Machine.”
  4. The Tooncinator (16 Nov 1991): Linda Hamilton herself tries to escape the robot cat Tooncinator while Terminator Phil Hartman tries to save SNL. “Not you again! I crushed you, then I melted you! What do I have to do, Cuisinart you?”
  5. Dave Is Always Five Subjects Ago (11 Jan 1992): While dining with Beth Cahill and Mike Myers, Rob Morrow can never seem to think of a quick comeback or relevant remark until the moment has passed. “They probably show ’em The French Connection.”
  6. Deep Thoughts: Time Travel Etiquette (16 Jan 1993): “It’s probably best to avoid eye contact.
  7. The Falconer: Time Travel (20 May 2006): Before he was Frank Underwood, Kevin Spacey traveler through time to meet his earlier self and try to save Donald. The saving plan went awry, but we got to see many more Falconers (though only one Donald and only one Abraham Lincoln). “To the time machine!”
  8. George Washington Returns (12 Feb 2011): Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader may accept Russell Brand as our first president, but will they have the final word? “You will each have sixty seconds to make your case to him. At that point, President Washington will give his expert opinion: We will accept it.”
  9. Statler and Waldorf (19 Nov 2011): While Jason Segel sings with the Muppets, Statler and Waldorf comment from the peanut gallery. “I hope Florence brought a time machine so we can go back to before we heard that song!”
  10. Best Friends (10 Dec 2011): An odd assortment of best friends, including Abraham Lincoln and Marilyn Monroe, celebrate the holiday season. ♫Let’s turn it on and meet Abraham Lincoln.♫

 Bobby, are you altering human destiny after your father told you not to? 

   The Twilight Zone (2nd Series)
created by Rod Serling
First time travel: 6 Jan 1985

Three seasons with 7 time-travel episodes. Harlan Ellison was a consultant on the series that included an adaptation of his “One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty.” The series also adapted Sturgeon’s “Yesterday Was Monday’, altering the plot and renaming it to “A Matter of Minutes,” and George R.R. Martin did the script for the time-travel episode “The Once and Future King” based on an idea submitted by Bryce Maritano.
  1. One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty (6 Dec 1985)    Hero to his childhood
  2. A Matter of Minutes (24 Jan 1986) From 9:33 AM to 11:37 AM
  3. Profile in Silver (7 Mar 1986) Kennedy in 1963
  4. The Once and Future King (27 Sep 1986) Elvis in 1954
  5. The Junction (21 Feb 1987) To 1912
  6. Time and Teresa Golowitz (10 Jul 1987) Hero to his youth
  7. Extra Innings (1 Oct 1988) Baseball in 1910

 Let the record show that in any age—good or bad—there are men of high ideals: men of courage, men who do more than that for which they are called upon. You will not always know their names. But let their deeds stand as monuments, so that when the human race is called to judgment, we may say, ‘This too was humanity!’ 

—JFK in “Profile in Silver”

[Sep 1985]
   Extreme Movie
by Adam Jay Epstein, et. al. (Epstein, director)
First release: 5 Dec 2008

The saddest part is how my opinions of Frankie Muniz (Chuck) and Beverley Mitchell (Sue) dropped just because they accepted parts in this series of silly teen sex vignettes centering around a high school sex class (no, not really a sex-ed class). There are better time travel movies for both of these favorite child actors! As for time travel in this movie, one teen’s sexual obsession is with Abraham Lincoln, so of course he builds a time machine and heads to the 19th century.

 Well . . . I got to get ready for the theater. 

[Oct 2015]


   11/23/63
by Stephen King
First publication: 8 Nov 2011

Jake Epping's dying friend Al points him toward a rabbit hole that always leads to the same moment in 1958, so what can he do other than live in the Land of Ago, fall in love with Sadie, stalk Oswald and become America’s hero?

 Save him, okay? Save Kennedy and everything changes. 

[Mar 2012]
   “The Uncertain Past”
by Ted White
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Mar/Apr 2014

JFK-viewers are clichéd in time travel, but Ted White—a favorite of mine from his time as Amazing and Fantastic editor—has a new twist as every observer sees a different version of the assasination attempt.

 Kennedy wasnt hit. Neither was Connally. I didnt bother sticking around after that. 

[Jun 2014]

NY Daily News,
23 Nov 1963
   “Changing the Past”
by Barton Paul Levenson
First publication: Daily Science Fiction, 27 Aug 2014

A traveler from the 29th century returns to 11/22/63 to change the course of Lee Oswalds actions.

 You know what happened on November 22nd, 1963, and the results. 

[Aug 2014]
   11.22.63
adapted by Bridget Carpenter
First episode: 15 Feb 2016

When Stephen King’s book was first announced, I felt skeptical: After all, could even Stephen King breath new life into the most worn-out time travel trope of all? Yet he came through, not by adding anything new to the save JFK lore, but by blending in a unique brand of horror and producing a captivating page turner. So when Hulu announced that they’d make an eight-part miniseries of the book, I looked forward to its release. Never have I been so disppointed with an adaptation of a book. The acting is admirable, but the characters and plot have been flattened, presumably based on Hulu’s assumptions about what their viewers want.

 Youre going to feel apart from other people. That doesnt go away. 

[Apr 2016]
 


12 items are in the time-travel list for these search settings.
Thanks for visiting my time-travel page, and thanks to the many sources that provided stories and more (see the Links and Credits in the menu at the top). —Michael (
main@colorado.edu)