Time in ParaView
This document refers to the ParaView Qt Client. ParaView python client may have some differences in impelmentation (which should eventually be synchronized with that of the Qt Client).
When ParaView connects to any server (be it local or builtin), it automatically creates an empty animation scene. (If you hit play, you'll see that time shown in all the "time" widgets across the GUI changes however nothing really changes as far as the rendered scene goes.) Animation scene has an "AnimationTime" which is the time currently shown when playing the animation. All GUI widgets the time toolbar, the animation panel, the animation view, show this Animation time.