069 – Timey Wimey #9 – By His Bootstraps

What if you time traveled on the same spot several times. And interacted with yourself repeatedly. And maybe caused a paradox or two.

Live from Master Closet Studios, you’re listening to the only podcast on the internet hosted by three versions of the same person: Noobs and the Whovian!

This is the podcast that introduces a whole new generation to Doctor Who by watching an episode each week and discussing it from the perspective of a dad who’s seen it before, and two sons who haven’t. Except, this week, we aren’t!

Welcome to episode 69, our Timey Wimey #9 covering Robert Heinlein’s By His Bootstraps.

Super-short Recap 

This is the one where a guy sends himself to watch himself beat himself up so he can send himself to get stuff for himself in order to become king before himself.

The end.

Characters:

  • Bob Wilson – Richard Dreyfuss
  • Joe/Bob Wilson – Richard Dreyfuss
  • Third Guy/Bob Wilson – Richard Dreyfuss
  • Prank Caller/Bob Wilson  – Richard Dreyfuss
  • Internal Monologue/Bob Wilson – Richard Dreyfuss
  • Diktor/Bob Wilson – Richard Dreyfuss
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Noobs and the Whovian is brought to you by R5 Website Management. Get world-class hosting, domain registration, and security at a great price. Use the code “noobs” at checkout for 15% off your entire order. Go to store.r5websitemanagement.com and build your website today!

Time travel details:

Method:

  • The Time Gate – a portal that allows travel through time and space, apparently created by aliens called The Grand Ones that will one day rule over the earth.

Where was the time travel type introduced?

  • Right off the bat!

Rules

  • Whatever happened, happened. You can’t change the past
  • Causal loops

Random stuff we noticed

  • It’s interesting that Bob starts out writing a Ph.D. thesis about how ludicrous the idea of time travel is
  • “Nobody here but me!” He was more right than he knew!
  • Listen toadstool, if you want a good chuckle go set fire to your shorts, but leave me out of it!
    • Even funnier the second time! And the third!
  • He snapped in his mind while talking to himself.
  • It’s really interesting how they shifted perspective in the audio medium. 
    • Internal monologue shifts
    • Even the location in your headphones shifts!
  • In the book, when he glimpsed the Great Ones, he fled the Hall of the Gate in madness and went crazy for a few months.

Things they got Wrong

Did they follow their own rules?

  • I don’t get why Bob 1 didn’t recognize that Bob 2 & 3 were exactly the same. There were just a few minutes apart.
    • It makes sense that he didn’t recognize 2 because you normally see yourself in reverse. He also had a black eye.
  • The Time Gate wasn’t still in the alley where he left it.
    • Why is that? We didn’t see anyone move it later, did we?
    • Does this mean there can only be one iteration of the Time Gate at any given moment?
  • The Time Gate is a bit wibbly-wobbly anyway
    • Apparently, what appeared to be the same iteration of the Gate was different iterations of it from moment to moment.
    • When Bob 1 fell through the Gate, it was Diktor looking around for Bob 1. 
      • So Gate 1 appeared in after Bobs 2 & 3 had already come back through other iterations.

Things they got Right

  • Most of it

Paradoxes

  • The nickname “Joe”
  • The notebook with the language in it
    • This wasn’t in the radio drama version
  • Causal loops – Diktor sent Bob through so that he could send himself through!

Can We Talk About The Nature of the Self?

  • A running debate throughout the story is “Who is Bob?” When there’s more than one iteration of him present, which one is really him?
    • The answer seems to be, the one experiencing it. If you feel like you, you’re you!
    • From our perspective, there real Bob is the one narrating at even given moment.
  • Julian Smith’s You in Five Minutes

Patreon

Become a Patron!

  • Noobs and the Whovian is also brought to you by listeners like Victor and Jared! If you find value in what we do and want to give a little value back, that’s all we ask. 
  • Join for as little as $1 a month as an Amelia patron. Starting at the $5/month Amy tier, you’ll get a shout out on the show. $12/month means you’re our very own River Song, always there for us. $15/month makes you a Hosting Host, and you’ll get a chance to guest host on an upcoming episode.
  • Go to https://www.patreon.com/noobsandthewhovian and become a supporting patron of family-friendly independent media today!

Classic Who Connection

  • Jared chimes in to tell us about a bootstrap paradox from Classic Who!

Was it good?

Was it a good story?

  • Tripp – thumbs up
  • Corbin – thumbs up
  • Austin – thumbs up

Was it a good time travel story?

  • Tripp – thumbs up, mostly
  • Corbin – thumbs up
  • Austin – thumbs way up!

Crackpot theories

  • Does the idea of causal loops nullify the possibility of time travel?

The Game Plan 

  • Next week, we’re straight back into Series 5 with Vampires of Venice

Closing

Noobs and the Whovian is a production of Master Closet Studios, where it’s always smaller on the inside. Your Senior Producer is Austin Reason. Our Audio Engineer is Tripp Reason. Corbin Reason is our Production Editor. Special thanks to tardis.wikia.com for the trivia, Jared for the Classic Who Connection. Shout outs to Victor and Jared for their Patreon support.

You can find us at facebook.com/noobsandthewhovian and email us at noobsandthewhovian@gmail.com. Consider supporting us at https://www.patreon.com/noobsandthewhovian. Please subscribe and leave a rating wherever you found us, and share us with a friend not because we’re a great show but because we watch one.

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