Paradox: The Time Travel Podcast

Episode 17: Donnie Darko


Finally, we’ve come to the smoking hot six-foot Halloween bunny hallucination from the future of time travel, “Donnie Darko.”

Way back from 2001 comes a broody teenage angst story that’s also about time travel, God, sacrifice and parallel universes. “Donnie Darko” is a weird case because it has an original cut of the movie, which is pretty, uh, ambiguous, and a director’s cut that is significantly less ambiguous, but no less confusing.

The good news is, we’ve gone through both versions in our analysis in Episode 17! The bad news, this is our longest episode (and it feels like we keep saying this).

This handy breakdown explains a lot of what’s up with “Donnie Darko.” And here are a ton of more details, including the pages of “The Philosophy of Time Travel.”


Listen to Episode 17 here:


In this episode:

  • What’s the deal with “Donnie Darko”
  • Director’s Cut vs. Original Cut
  • Saved by Drew Barrymore
  • Flood dreams
  • Super powers or just sleepwalking megastrength?
  • “Glad school was flooded today” and other coincidences
  • Occam’s Razor Theory
  • Donnie’s sacrifice to save people he loved
  • The jet engine and Frank problems
  • The Timelines. Maybe.
  • “The Philosophy of Time Travel”
  • Weird retcons for some reason
  • Timelines vs. dimensions
  • One last theory
  • Next time: “Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel”

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