China Cracks Down On Time Travel

At least on television:

BEIJING — In a bizarre move, China’s television censors have issued new guidelines that all but ban TV dramas featuring time travel.

In a statement (available here in Chinese) dated March 31, the State Administration for Radio, Film & Television said that TV dramas that involve characters traveling back in time “lack positive thoughts and meaning.” The guidelines discouraging this type of show said that some “casually make up myths, have monstrous and weird plots, use absurd tactics, and even promote feudalism, superstition, fatalism and reincarnation.”

The guidelines, which fell short of an outright ban of such dramas, seem to have come in response to a series of popular programs about protagonists drifting back to ancient times. For instance, in “Palace,” one of China’s hottest TV series, a woman falls in love with a Qing dynasty painting, travels back in time and then falls in love with several princes.

(…)

A spokesman for the State Administration declined Tuesday to elaborate on the reason behind the new guidelines. But the Chinese authorities are known for strictly censoring newspapers, film and TV programs that are deemed “unhealthy.”

One struggles to wonder why Chinese authorities would be concerned with this type of program.

 

FILED UNDER: Asia, Quick Takes, World Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    Good for them. I’ve written a couple of time travel books and let me tell you: they are a pain in the ass to construct. If only the Chinese government had just pulled me aside and said, “Dude: paradoxes. Just don’t go there. Just walk away.”

  2. george says:

    Total waste of time on their part. They should be concentrating their fire on plots based on malfunctioning holodecks.

  3. john personna says:

    The coverage I read said that they didn’t like time travel stories that implied a better past.

  4. Tardis says:

    Well, their future is pooched. They fall apart in 2078 over there.

  5. tom p says:

    One struggles to wonder why Chinese authorities would be concerned with this type of program.

    I don’t struggle at all. I find it quite easy to wonder why they would concern themselves with it.

    (sorry Doug, could not resist)

  6. Southern Hoosier says:

    Well there goes Dr. Who reruns.

  7. Thanks for the information regarding it.. I was not aware of it.. I have come to know about a great resource from your post..

  8. Michael says:

    While they’re at it, they should ban story lines that ultimately turn out to be nothing more than holo-deck simulations or dream sequences.

  9. Michael says:

    I’ve written a couple of time travel books and let me tell you: they are a pain in the ass to construct.

    I don’t see how they’re difficult, as long as you stick to one of two rules:

    1) The future can not be changed, regardless of what you do in the past (either through ignorance or impotence, you can not do anything in the past that you didn’t already do in the past)

    2) Causality does not require an unbroken connection (the fact that you did travel to the past is enough of a cause to allow you to exist in the past to kill your own grandfather).

    The Babylon5 video posted last week was a perfect example of an awesome story line that held to the first rule. Card’s novel “Past Watch” was a good example of employing the second.