Express & Star

The Big Debate: If you could travel back in time, where would you go?

To time travel or not to time travel... That is the question. Dan Morris and Andy Richardson battle it out.

A trip to watch the Pyramids being built is at the top of Dan's list

Dan Morris: I'll pack my bags now

"When you mess with time, it tends to mess back." Robert Downey Jr wasn't wrong when uttering this immortal line in Avengers: Endgame, with his Tony Stark AKA Iron Man meeting his maker about half an hour later.

There have been plenty of warnings over the dangers of time travel in many a science fiction film over the last few decades, so – like my esteemed colleague below – I'm wary of the prospect.

But for me – a bona fide history dork – the opportunity to go back in time would be too great to resist. Yet, the million dollar question, of course, is when would I visit and why?

There are some obvious moments of mystery I'd like to have a hand in solving. The building of the Pyramids – how? (I mean actually how). JFK's assassination – who? (I mean actually who). The Roswell 1947 flying saucer crash – what? (I mean actually what).

As you can infer, I'm a bit of a conspiracy theorist, and if I did have a time machine I'd like to seek out the 'truth' of all of the above and more.

Before I did this however, there'd be one individual from the past I'd have to meet.

My dad's dad was a wonderful chap – a kind-hearted war veteran who fought in Burma, never swore and loved his wife and children dearly until his life was cut short. He was only 58 when he died of lung cancer, and I never got to meet him.

Countless wonderful stories over the years have brought him to life for me, and I would give anything for the fantastical opportunity to meet him in the flesh.

They say you should never meet your heroes, but this is one who I know would surpass all of the hype. Come on science, let's get a shift on...

Andy Richardson: I'd rather stay in 2024

Here’s what I’d do if I had a time-machine. I’d hand the keys back to the person who’d offered me the chance to ride in it and stay right here in the present. I’m no history buff, so the idea of dinner with Henry VIII holds little appeal. And as much as I’d have loved to watch Frank Sinatra play the Royal Albert Hall, or get to meet some of the relatives who weren’t around by the time I arrived on terra firma, I’m not sure any of that stuff would match up to the expectation.

I guess there’s the chance to go back to a time and a place – to the birth of my son, my best moment on earth – to a golden period when I was in my late teens, or to other eras that hindsight tells me were great.

But, truthfully, I’d rather be here, enjoying the moment, being present, being grateful to have today. I went to a mate’s funeral, last week. He was thirty something when he died. He’d lived hard and fast and died much, much too young. So for all the chance to avoid making pointless mistakes – girls, mostly – or to do things better, or quicker, I’m just grateful to be here, to be doing some of the things I love, and to know there’s going to be a tomorrow.

I learned the lessons, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to put stuff right, to do things better, to reach a new and different horizon. And the great moments – family, doing stuff, travel – all live on, vivid and bright, in my memory. So, I’ll just stay right here where I am. And I’m grateful that I’m able to.

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