Friday, September 30, 2005

Too Late

A few years ago, there was a sleeper show on CBS called Early Edition. It was a nice little feel-good show about a guy whose newspaper each morning was one day ahead. That is, this morning on his doorstep, he'd have Saturday's paper. He'd use the sports section to do enough betting to live comfortably, and he'd spend a lot of the rest of the time trying to prevent the things from happening that had been printed in the paper, such as a kid getting hit by a car or something. You know, that whole space-time continuum thing that fascinates me so much.

There was a really cool episode, a la Run, Lolita, Run or Groundhog Day in which he kept re-living the day over and over again. He'd progress a little further in the day each time, but then invariably he'd do something wrong and he'd die and have to start over again, hoping to have learned enough to progress past that point and make it through the day. Ok, so this was also similar to an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and my own attempts to ship a life-sized model of Yoda to Switzerland, but anyhow, this isn't about that episode. Though it does make you think about redemption and the idea of doing things over and over again until you get it right.

But this was about the idea for an episode that popped into my head this morning for some weird reason as I walked down the hall to my office. The idea was that he'd get the paper as usual. The camera would let us see that it was actually not for tomorrow, but for years in the future. He'd start with the smaller items, trying to go rescue cats from trees to save an old lady who would have otherwise tried to climb the tree herself and broken her hip or something, only to find no old lady, no cat, and maybe a newly planted row of trees barely taller than himself. It would take him awhile of unsuccesfully trying to prevent accidents and tragedies that weren't about to happen before he really looked carefully at the paper and realized that the paper wasn't tomorrow, but 10 or 20 years later. So then he'd have to figure out what could have happened that day that would have led to something happening so far in the future. Some kind of trigger. Sort of like The Butterfly Effect, a movie I have not seen, but is sitting on my PVR waiting to be watched. I've heard it's not very good, but I'm into the whole messing with time thing.
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