Monday, June 26, 2017

The magical world of Time-Travel as seen by Tricia McGill

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I am not sure where my fascination for Time-Travel evolved from. Perhaps it stems from one of Enid Blyton’s series of books that I read many years ago. The children didn’t exactly time travel in the land of “The Faraway Tree”, but they did journey to many extraordinary imaginary places when they entered the Enchanted Wood.  I spent many ecstatic hours with them as I did also with Enid Blyton’s “Famous Five” on their adventures.

But I think my first foray into the likelihood of actual time-travel was brought about by the 1960 movie adaptation of H. G. Wells “The Time Machine” with Rod Tayler, Yvette Mimieux, and who can forget The Morlocks. If you never saw the movie you should wander over to this site where you can watch some of the scenes:

I have to agree that some of it was so far-fetched and seems corny by today’s standards, but it was a movie ahead of its time. It was remade in 2002 with Guy Pearce in the lead role, but this adaptation was far removed from the original that inspired me. I have an extensive list of my favorite movies including, The Terminator, Back to The Future, The Time-Traveler's Wife, Kate and Leopold, and Interstellar. The fact that so many movies have been made using the TT plot proves that I am not the only one fascinated by the subject. Put Time-Travel movies into the search bar and see what it brings up. 

Whoops! Nearly left out my favorite time-traveler of all. Who doesn't love The Doctor. I've been watching Dr Who from almost the first time it appeared on our TV screens in England when the deadly Daleks used sink plungers for weapons. What a success story and what a premise. He not only travels back and forth through time but also goes inter-galactic in his police box, the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space). And what a  brilliant idea to have him regenerate periodically when a different actor needs to take over the role instead of dying. 

I sincerely hope I live long enough to see someone make that leap into another time by using some means or other. Apart from the fascination with the theory of time-travel there is also the other factor that stirs my interest and that is how great it would be to see first-hand how people lived, loved and worked in times gone by. My time-travel stories to date have taken me back to Scotland of 1050 (Wild Heather Series—The Laird Book 1 and Travis Book 2), Jorvik (York) when it was a Viking settlement in 879AD (Maddie and The Norseman), and to the Ancient Britain of 450AD not long after the Romans left in my latest release A Call Through Time.

A large part of the intrigue attached to writing this genre stems from my love of research. It’s rewarding and satisfying to start out on the journey with an idea and to build upon that idea when you set a period in time and then go about researching time lines, costumes of the period, the food the folk eat, and how they prepare it etc. etc.  
When it boils down to it, much as I would love to take this journey back to a time and place when sanitation was non-existent, where life was basic with no washing machines, toilet paper, no cars, no planes or trains, I would always want to return to the present day of clean bed linen and sanitary products, of skilled doctors and surgeons. Imagine what it would have been like without the necessities we take for granted. But, that said, I would still love to know if life was really like it is portrayed in the movies. Apparently Cleopatra was no raving beauty like Elizabeth Taylor, but she did get some mighty influential men to fall for her: 

 The Elizabethans were a pretty grubby lot with perhaps one bath a year in dirty water at that: 

And what about the Vikings, I doubt they ever cleaned their teeth or brushed their hair: 

We romanticize a lot (or I do) about these times, but I can’t really see myself falling for someone whose mouth smells like rotten food and whose body must stink after months at sea on a diet of fish. But there you go, it’s a writer’s privilege to fantasize, even if it means turning fact into fiction to suit our needs.

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