China has banned time travel — well, on television, anyway.
In a statement … 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.”
Clearly, they were just as disappointed by the “Lost” finale as I was.
These guidelines read like those oddly specific office policies that you can tell were the result of one particularly memorable incident: “Rule 94: No filling toner cartridges with birdseed and using them to lure baby birds into the office party!” Rule 96: No tying the entire marketing department together with twine when they complain about the birds.”
But don’t they realize what they’ll be missing?
No “Dr. Who.” No “Star Trek.” No anything J. J. Abrams has been involved with, ever. The ban covers pretty much everything, in fact, except for sitcoms that revolve around groups of quirky friends living in proximate apartments.
But maybe there’s a way to slip the greats past the censors, say by altering the films for television. It wouldn’t take too much work. In China, “Back to the Future” would be “Still in the Present.” “Time Cop”? Just – “Regular Cop.” “Kate and Leopold”? “Kate.” “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”? “Bill and Ted’s Last Day Together.” “Hot Tub Time Machine”? Just “Hot Tub.” “Time Traveler’s Wife”? Just “Wife.”
Then again, that would be a travesty.
Now I can see why the Time Travelers convention happened in the United States. They knew this would be a problem.