The history of time travel is as far as anyone knows an entirely fictional one. People have often wondered what it would be like to travel backwards and forwards in time. Generally the books, films, and TV shows that feature time travel are part of the science fiction genre. The idea of time travel is an appealing one, people want to explore the past, or alternatively have a sneak preview of the future. The various forms of time travel shows and stories have often been popular, some developing cult status.
The TV shows began in earnest in the 1960â€™s with Time Tunnel in the US and Doctor Who in Britain. In many respects Doctor Who was groundbreaking for the history of time travel. It began in November 1963, has given us 12 doctors, 3 films, and some iconic aliens and monsters. Despite been off the screen for 16 years Doctor Who is still the worldâ€™s longest running science fiction show. Without it there would have been no Cyberman, Daleks, Silurians, or the hard to control time traveling TARDIS. Through its lifetime it has explored just about all of the themes related to time travel.
In the mid 2000â€™s the BBC was responsible for bringing back time travel, Doctor Who was revived, or perhaps more accurately regenerated, which was followed by time traveling Police shows Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes. The American series Charmed also featured time travel but that was achieved through magic as opposed to science.
Time travel has been used as a theme in films too. Besides the already mentioned Doctor Who movies the most notable have been the Back to the Future trilogy and the Terminator series. The two original Doctor Who movies featured Peter Cushing. He did not count as one of the doctors because the TV show had not invented regeneration at that point. The less said about the third Doctor Who movie the better, it just wasted a regeneration.
The Back to the Future trilogy featuring Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd and was a very successful franchise. The movies are the adventures of Marty McFly as he tries to help his family in the past, present, and the future. The Terminator series has a more sinister background as terminators are sent through time to alter the future in ways that would destroy the world.
Besides TV shows and movies there are plenty of books related to time travel, Doctor Who in particular.