Time Machine Subway Hoax Is Bloody Brilliant
You find yourself on the N Train in New York. You are headed home after another hard day at the mill. You are reading The Two Towers for the 17th time. And then all of a sudden a guy starts walking through your car and asking for money. This isn’t too different from any other day, but today goes a little sideways when the panhandler says that he wants money to develop a time machine.
Ok, wait what?
Maybe you give him a glance from you book now, because time machines aren’t in a normal pitch for change. But enter stage left now is a guy – who kinda looks like the other guy to your left, doesn’t he? – and he’s yelling out “Do not, whatever you do, give this man any of your money. I am from the future, I am him, and I am here to tell you that this is a terrible idea.”
Ok so the execution of the idea is less than stellar. It would have helped to find four sets of twins that could actually act… um. But, yeah, what are the odds of that happening? Oh, I know, they are perfect because this skit is basically describing what Nolan already did on The Prestige! hahaha.
Regardless, I still am completely in love with this idea and definitely think there are ways to make this actually sell. A restaurant might be a more ideal stage. OOooh, a restaurant where everyone pays to see a “show”, but the “show” is coopted by a time traveler who derails the show because he created a time machine and came back to talk to his performing self. And then more and more time travelers arrive. But that’s not a prank that’s a hoax within a show.
To sell this as an actual time traveling experience would be cool though. But we keep coming back to the same problem over and over again. These guys need to be able to sell the idea. But some of that could have been mitigated by an actual script as opposed to adlibing. Maybe these were great actors? But if you want to learn more about how the prank was pulled off and the prep they did to prepare you can read more about it here.
But we love the idea of time travel, and by we I mean me. The logical conundrums. The inconsistencies. The idea of being able to chat with one’s self from another time. I mean, think about it… Your twenty year older self walks up to you. Dude. You have some serious conversating to happen right now. I mean, just forget the stocks to buy and games to bet on. That’s easy pickings. What about failures. Screw ups? That is where the drama paydirt is at. Moral failures. Job decisions? Significant other chaos?
Oh yeah. I meet my engaged self of yore, I have a step by step playbook to give myself on how to make life instantaneously better. “Taylor, stop. Just stop. Listen to me. You have to listen to me because I don’t have much time. First. You are a bastard. You are selfish and you need to get a few things straight really really fast. I mean, don’t listen to me and you’ll end up me… which is fine, but boy was it hard. But if you look in my eyes and understand, like at a soul level, I could save you much grief and heartache.” So yeah, time travel is fascinating.
But I have also been extremely intrigued by the idea of someone today, with average knowledge and IQ being dropped into the lap of one of the world’s greatest minds 400 years ago. Right? He’s doing his science, and experiments, or what have you… and you’d be like… um. No, Einstein much? hahaha. It’s a fascinating thought experiment anyway. You know so so so much more than the most brilliant minds of years ago. And you aren’t even trying. It could be on topics you just know nothing about.
Better yet? You get dropped into Europe pre-World War I, and you have a chance to stop the onrushing powder keg. It could get interesting very fast. Anyway. I loved this idea. Not sure it’s the perfect execution. But they get very very high marks in my book for trying. It is also very difficult to pull off something very detailed in a subway car. So props to them for even trying.