China Bans Time Travel Theme for TV Shows, Films

Don’t expect to see any time travelers in Chinese films or television shows in the coming years.

China’s powerful State Administration for Radio, Film, & Television, in a newly issued guideline for the country’s entertainment industry, has prohibited the use of fictional time travel in movies and T.V. shows, as the theme allegedly often leads to the distortion of history. According to the SARFT, films and television shows that use time travel as central theme “casually make up myths, have monstrous and weird plots, use absurd tactics, and even promote feudalism, superstition, fatalism and reincarnation.” The SARFT added: “Producers and writers are treating serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore.”

The ban comes as more films and television shows use time travel to drive their stories, with writers often incorporating fictional events into the country’s real history—a combination that obviously is not to the liking of the powers-that-be in the ruling Communist Party of China. In lieu of time travel, the SARFT said filmmakers and T.V. producers should instead come up with more movies and shows that depict “vivid reproductions of the Chinese revolution, the nation’s construction and its reform and opening up” in honor of the CPC’s 90th anniversary this year.