According to The Hollywood Reporter, China's media authorities have banned the popular plot device from movies and television, saying the sci-fi notion "disrespects history."
This decision comes as part of the 90th anniversary of China's ruling political party.
"The rationale [for the time-travel ban] is that whatever isn't possible in the real world belongs to superstition," commented film critic and journalist Raymond Zhou Liming.
Which, we imagine, would also rule out any films where the characters can fly, like 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,' or anything supernatural, like 'A Chinese Ghost Story.'
In the highly rated current TV series 'Myth' (Shen Hua), a teenager goes back to ancient China where he finds he is blood brothers with Liu Bang, the first emperor of the 400-year Han Dynasty.
Such visits to the past would seem to satisfy the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television's instructions to produce "vivid reproductions of the Chinese revolution, the nation's construction and its reform and opening up."
But the group's guidelines state, "Producers and writers are treating serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore."
China's ruling party bases much of its strict media management on scientific Marxism, so the fantasy of time travel runs counter to state-mandated ways of thinking.
As it turns out, time travel has not been handled very often by Chinese filmmakers, with the last major local film to feature time travel being Hong Kong's 'Iceman Cometh' (Ji Dong Qi Xia), starring Maggie Cheung.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]