: A total of six new replies and one edit to one of them were made whilst I was putting this post together, so it may appear slightly disjointed. Apologies if that's the case.
The episode and a lot of websites say the latter, while some people think its the former.
The episode portrays CT rather than CU, if you follow it logically through a timeline across more than one "playback" of the universe.
The writers essentially state on the DVD that they basically have no idea what they ended up showing, but are amused by the endless arguments about it on the internet.
CU (a series of universes created, decaying, and then beginning again, with everything following the same path) doesn't work within the context of the series as a whole. CT (the universe begins, plays through, ends and then begins again... same universe, same events, but influences from other "playbacks" - ie the timeship crew - are able to alter portions of the sequence by either being there or not, so that some events are not always the same) unifies time travel events within the entire continuity of Futurama, and therefore I firmly believe that it's the definitive model for time within the Futuramaverse.
Let me save you a bunch of time that you might not live long enough to see repeat: time is cyclic, and the universe Fry, Bender, and the Professor returned to was the exact same one they left. In essence, by going so far forward in time, they ended up back in time.
That guy who froze himself so that he could meet Shakespeare had the right idea.
Except he didn't have a time machine with which to cross the join where the beginning and ending of the universe meet up. He'd also have needed to stay
frozen after his cryotube was disconnected from the electricity supply. Right idea, massively wrong execution.
The episode strongly implies that time is straight line, not cyclical, but I think I'll take the latter option, as the alternative doesn't make my sadness gland fill up with sadness.
Nah, the episode itself is pretty ambiguous. You could argue a case for either alternative based soleley on TLPJF (though I agree that the CU case wouldn't have as many holes in it this way). It's when you take other episodes into account that CU starts to fall apart, as the way in which time (and travelling through
time)works in the Futuramaverse is pretty clearly demonstrated over the course of the series' run.
I mean, I originally wanted
to believe in CU. I really did. I felt that it was a much better concept. But analysing it within the context of established canon put the kibosh on that pretty quickly. A unified model is only possible with CT. If it helps your "sadness gland" to not overflow, that's a bonus. But the original reason to construct the model was in order to unify the various forms of time travel that are shown, and put them all together in a way that makes sense internally.
The thread I linked to (and I think there's a goofs thread
with a little more) contains a few more diagrams I made to explain another concept integral to the model, that of "temporal inertia", without which time travel as displayed in the shows doesn't work at all
. Take CT and Temporal Inertia into consideration together
and hopefully it'll start to make a hell of a lot more sense.Edit
: The events in BBS, in particular, don't flow properly in the absence of temporal inertia.
I know it seems complex, but it's really very simple. I'd go into further detail, but I've already spent several thousand words in various places around PEEL explaining this. I don't want to end up repeating myself too much for no reason.
It would quickly become...
... and I don't want to do that.
Out of curiosity, then, what's the appropriate word? Timeline? I'm not arguing against cyclical time, or saying that you're wrong; I'm just wondering what word I can use when reflecting on how shittily Leela's life turned out on the first two passes through the universe.
Its still depressing, even if the cyclical timeline means it does get undone (it's a very confusing concept, I have to admit.)
I would say timeline is appropriate. I tried to get people to refer to it as an "event spiral across mutliple timelines" in another thread, but that's just because I liked the sound of the phrase - it seemed appropriately Star-Trek type technobabbly.
Oh, I'm not denying that it's depressing; I'm just trying not to anger tnuk by making my ignorance of all things time travel-related too apparent.
Hahaha. I get angry when people refuse to logically think things through. That's not a fault you've demonstrated. I like discussing things with you. You smoke, and you seem pretty on the ball. Uh, I mean... I can have an intelligent discussion with you and not get sidetracked into petty squabbling. Which is nice.