Tuesday, February 3, 2009

SPLAININ TO DO: CHATTY CHATTY BIG BANG

I'm working on the essays that will make up my book of splainins about the TV Universe. This would be the first one, about the creation of the TV Universe itself. I was going to add in a lot of pictures, but I think I'd rather have you focus on the article. What I'm hoping is that you'll read it and offer me some constructive criticism, maybe even point out a few shows I should have included. In its final form, it'll be full of all that technical gobbledy-gook, like footnotes. For now, I'm just settling on putting the info into parentheses.

Thanks. I hope you'll find it of interest.....

"IN THE BEGINNING"
"The first age of the gods was born from non-existence."
- Rig-Veda, 10.72.3
(used in 'Odyssey 5')

A lot of the TV Universe mirrors the Trueniverse, upon which it is based. But if that's so, on which side does Toobworld Central come down when it comes to the beginnings of the TV Universe? The Big Bang Theory, or a belief in Creationism?

Well, luckily for ye olde Toobmeister, the TV shows upon which we have to base the decision have used both arguments. Since certain TV characters were on hand to witness both versions of the origins of the universe, we have a compromise that personally is one that I subscribe to myself: God got the ball rolling with the Big Bang and then let cosmic events transpire as they would.

"THE BIG BANG THEORY"
And at least I won't be bleeping off the Catholic Church by espousing that belief. In 1951, Pope Pius XII declared his approval of the "Big Bang" theory. As he saw it, what with his papal infallibility and all, the premise that the universe had a beginning in which Time and Space were born out of nothingness jibed with the first few sentences from the Book of Genesis.

But I'm not sure how creationistas would feel about the idea that God used the material from the destruction of a previous universe for the building blocks of the Big Bang, but that's what happened - at least in the TV Universe. And we apparently know a little about the life in that former universe. (Those who support only one theory or the other should remember that I'm never talking about the true universe; you can argue over that to your heart's content. I'm talking about the universe as it was seen on TV.)

Denizens of that previous universe, which sounds like it was full of monsters, escaped their version of Ragnarok into the new universe, the TV universe based on the real universe. They would become known as the Old Ones, those creatures of the Dark first envisioned by HP Lovecraft (a fellow overnight hotel worker) whose stories and characters were eagerly adopted by many horror and sci-fi writers and TV producers since then.

One of these Old Ones came into this universe as a prisoner. He was known as "The Beast", and the Gallifreyan Time Lord known as the Doctor confronted him in the bowels of Krop Tor. He had been imprisoned there by the disciples of Light since "before Time" and before the matter of the universe had been spewed by the Big Bang. As a whole, the planet of Krop Tor must have survived the destruction of the Old Ones' universe, to be set up in the new universe in orbit around a black hole with an artificial gravity field. (I'd say that in order to pull that off, the disciples of Light must have had help - perhaps from God, who would be the Light.)

"When the universe was forged in the crucible of the Big Bang our mighty race was already 17 years old." (from 'Futurama')

We're basically going to be focusing on the beginning of the TV universe in live-action terms. Certain events differ over in the Tooniverse - for instance, 17 years before the universe was formed, the Nibblonians of Eternium were already in existence. Now, unless somebody uses state of the art CGI to create realistic Nibblonians as perhaps an in-joke on some sci-fi show, we have to assume Nibbler and his kin exist only in the Tooniverse. (I would LOVE to see a Nibblonian appear on a show like 'Doctor Who' or this new 'Stargate' spin-off that's coming!)

But otherwise, 13-15 billion years ago God created the Universe, using a neat little parlor trick that would be known as 'The Big Bang'.

"Approximately 13.7 billion years ago, the entirety of our universe was compressed into the confines of an atomic nucleus. Known as a singularity, this is the moment before creation when space and time did not exist. According to the prevailing cosmological models that explain our universe, an ineffable explosion, trillions of degrees in temperature on any measurement scale, that was infinitely dense, created not only fundamental subatomic particles and thus matter and energy but space and time itself. Cosmology theorists combined with the observations of their astronomy colleagues have been able to reconstruct the primordial chronology of events known as the Big Bang." (from Wikipedia, but I'll be replacing this with something similar by that Portugese scientist who did a special on the Big Bang for the Discovery Channel)

"Our whole universe was in a hot dense state,
Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started. Wait..."
(The Bare Naked Ladies, from 'The Big Bang Theory' theme song)

I think the only ones who could pinpoint exactly when the Big Bang took place would be those who actually traveled back in Time to witness it for themselves. The component of the Q Continuum who called himself "Quinn" transported the starship Voyager to the origin site of the Big Bang in order to escape Q. So that means he would know when it exactly took place. ('Star Trek: Voyager')

Sarah Jane Smith (of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures') says it took place 13 billion years ago, and characters in 'Babylon 5' say it took place 15 billion years ago; as you can see from that 'Big Bang Theory' lyric by the Bare-Naked Ladies, others think it happened 14 billion years ago. They're all just guessing. But I think Sarah Jane comes closest to the mark, especially as she probably had inside information. (Her former traveling Companion, the Gallifreyan Time Lord known as the Doctor, most likely was at the beginning of everything to observe, as was hinted in stories about the Fourth, Fifth and Seventh Doctors.)

As it is often said, God works in mysterious ways, and sometimes He uses others to do the work for Him. For instance, through the alien pilot of a massive time machine known as "Terminus", God had the ship's fuel jettisoned when it became unstable. And the resulting explosion of the Terminus engines triggered the effect that we now know to be the Big Bang or Event One. (from 'Doctor Who')

"MONSTERS"
Within a millisecond after this cosmic explosion, the Leptonic Era began. This was when elements such as Helium 2 came into temporary existence (mentioned in 'Doctor Who'). And the new universe was populated by those survivors of the old universe, the Old Ones like Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep, Fenric, Shub-Niggurath, Azathoth, Gog and Magog, the Shadow (who may be the sire of the 'Babylon 5' race of the Shadows), those who would be known as the White Guardian and the Black Guardian, Abaddon, and the imprisoned Beast. (The names of those Old Ones are from H.P. Lovecraft, the Bible, 'Doctor Who', 'Babylon 5', and 'Torchwood')

The Beast didn't waste any time once he was trapped for Eternity at Krop Tor. Even though he was imprisoned, he was still able to exert his influence in the race memories of sentient races across the new-born universe, to create the image of horned demons and devils (just like the way we picture Lucifer).

The possible children of the Shadow, also known as the Shadows, are the first sentient race to evolve. It is said that they were old when even the Ancients were young. ('Doctor Who' & 'Bablyon 5') Other races evolved, who would "walk among the stars like giants". (from 'Babylon 5')

10 billion years ago, galaxies begin forming. During the next few billion years, stars and their solar systems formed, including the Milky Way. Planets coalesced out of cosmic dust, and primitive molecules formed complicated chains which would eventually become life. During this chaotic time, various members of the Q Continuum followed Quinn's lead and hid from the Continuum. (from 'Star Trek: Voyager')

The Carrionites are another of the eldest races to achieve sentience in the early days of the universe. Although they would eventually be banished into a limbo state by the Eternals (the Ancient Ones), they did pose a threat to the Earth during the Elizabethan Age. (from 'Doctor Who')

"COSMOS"
9,000,000,000 B.C.
Collapsing protostars form the Black Cluster.

7 billion years ago
Lorien, the misnamed "First One", comes into being. (from 'Babylon 5')

4,560,000,000 B.C.
The Guardian of Forever portal in time is created. The creators of the Guardian eventually stopped using it. (from 'Star Trek') It's the contention of Toobworld Central that it was created by the Time Lords of Gallifrey. ('Doctor Who') It's also our belief that the Time Lords were the ones who seeded the planets across the universe for which they would be known as the Preservers. ('Star Trek') For some reason, their active participation in the growth of the universe would wane; instead they would simply observe, rather than get involved.

The star to become known as Sol ignites in a interstellar cloud that also includes several other nearby forming stars.

And from here, we would move on to the creation of "our" solar system (but in the TV Universe, remember). And this is where the clash between Science and Creationism will get tricky.... I don't think either side will like the Toobworld splainin.....

BCnU!
Toby O'B

2 comments:

Brian-El said...

Whatever you say, Toby...now I'll just back away slowly...

Toby O'B said...

Good... then maybe I did something right!