Back to the Future? Not So Much, If You’re in China

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In a move straight out of The Onion, Chinese officials have discouraged time travel. In TV and movies, that is. (via Techland)

The China Television Director Committee, an arm of the powerful State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), announced in a statement that TV dramas must not contain elements of time travel in their plots, as it “disrespects history.”

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Such dramas, in which characters travel mostly to the 14th, 16th and 18th century, are extremely popular in China. But writers tend to take vast licenses from actual events to suit their plots, which usually involve the lead to get romantically involved with a soulmate of a bygone era, after much “reverse cultural shock” in adjusting to the ancient costumes.

The guidelines – in a New York Times translation – say that some of these shows “casually make up myths, have monstrous and weird plots, use absurd tactics, and even promote feudalism, superstition, fatalism and reincarnation.”

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One of China’s most-hyped TV series is Hunan Television’s Palace, in which a woman has some sort of “Stendhal syndrome” over a Qing dynasty painting, manages to travel to the past and get romantically entangled with a bunch of Romeos. See a clip here, including the much “I’m traveling to the past”-whirlwind.

See more about the time-travel ban at Techland.