Jeff Jensen
June 12, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Film and television move through time

Land of the Lost
265 million years leaped
Premise Scientist Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) and two colleagues zip back in time (or into an alternate dimension?) and tangle with dinos and lizardlike Sleestaks. Means of Transport A backpack computer thingy. That plays show tunes. Seriously. Encounter With Past/Future Self? Nope, but Marshall does nudge history by leaving a Zippo lighter. Bottom Line Chaka, you deserve better. D

Star Trek
155 years leaped
Premise Lost-in-time Romulans (led by Eric Bana’s Nero) seek vengeance against lost-in-time Spock (Leonard Nimoy), making a mess of history. Means of Transport A black hole created by ”red matter.” Encounter With Past/Future Self? Old Spock, meet young Spock (Zachary Quinto). Bottom Line Trust us, the alternate-timeline logic actually makes sense… but try not to think about it too much. B+

Lost (ABC)
? years leaped
Premise Castaways ricochet through a mysterious island’s history, ultimately landing in 1977. Means of Transport Uhh…a wheel of ancient magic? Encounter With Past/Future Self? 2007-era John (Terry O’Quinn) arranges treatment for wounded 2004-era John, although 2007-era John may actually be someone else…oh, never mind. Bottom Line As intriguing — and hazy — as the Monster. B

Heroes (NBC)
335 years leaped
Premise Hiro (Masi Oka) visits the future and witnesses New York’s destruction, while an older Hiro goes to the past to announce ”Save the cheerleader, save the world.” Means of Transport Blinking. Encounter With Past/Future Self? Hiro sees his future murder. Bottom Line Paradox! Time travelers can’t change anything that negates the reason they time-traveled. That hurt your brain, didn’t it? C

Terminator Salvation
0 years leaped
Premise Robot hater John Connor (Christian Bale) must protect teen Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) so Kyle can go back to 1984 and score with John’s mom. Means of Transport Unclear — Salvation has no time travel. But based on previous films, crackling electricity and nudity may be involved. Bottom Line A franchise about making sure your parents make you. So it’s just like…Back to the Future? N/A

Family Guy (Fox)
70 years leaped
Premise Stewie and Brian go to 1939 Poland to save Mort. Means of Transport Stewie’s time machine, which Mort mistakes for a toilet. Encounter With Past/Future Self? Mort sees his grandparents at their wedding. (In another episode, Stewie meets his loser-ish future self.) Bottom Line The time-travel chase scenes are fun, but the SS officer with a McCain/Palin button is a bit much. B+Additional reporting by Alynda Wheat

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