The Tangled Logic Of Time Travel In Movies [Infographic]

This flowchart contains spoilers!

Time Travel in Movies

This infographic by Mr. Dalliard documents the nature, logic, and scale of time travel in film. Most of the terms are straightforward, and then there’s the “Novikov self-consistency principle.” Developed by a Russian physicist between 1975 and 1990, it asserts

that if an event exists that would give rise to a paradox, or to any “change” to the past whatsoever, then the probability of that event is zero. In short, it says that it’s impossible to create time paradoxes.

Neat! Next up: finding a physicist to explain why the first three Terminator movies all follow different time travel logic.


Kelsey D. Atherton

Kelsey D. Athertonis a defense technology journalist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work on drones, lethal AI, and nuclear weapons has appeared in Slate, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.