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The Time Machine Book Length Bibliography


The Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us. His grey eyes shone and twinkled, and his usually pale face was flushed and animated. The fire burned brightly, and the soft radiance of the incandescent lights in the lilies of silver caught the bubbles that flashed and passed in our glasses. Our chairs, being his patents, embraced and caressed us rather than submitted to be sat upon, and there was that luxurious after-dinner atmosphere when thought runs gracefully free of the trammels of precision. And he put it to us in this way--marking the points with a lean forefinger--as we sat and lazily admired his earnestness over this new paradox (as we thought it:) and his fecundity.
“You must follow me carefully. I shall have to controvert one or two ideas that are almost universally accepted. The geometry, for instance, they taught you at school is founded on a misconception.”
“Is not that rather a large thing to expect us to begin upon?” said Filby, an argumentative person with red hair.
“I do not mean to ask you to accept anything without reasonable ground for it. You will soon admit as much as I need from you. You know of course that a mathematical line, a line of thickness nil, has no real existence. They taught you that? Neither has a mathematical plane. These things are mere abstractions.”
“That is all right,“ said the Psychologist.
“Nor, having only length, breadth, and thickness, can a cube have a real existence.”
“There I object,“ said Filby. “Of course a solid body may exist. All real things--”
“So most people think. But wait a moment. Can an instantaneouscube exist?”
“Don’t follow you,“ said Filby.
“Can a cube that does not last for any time at all, have a real existence?”
Filby became pensive. “Clearly,“ the Time Traveller proceeded, “any real body must have extension in fourdirections: it must have Length, Breadth, Thickness, and--Duration. But through a natural infirmity of the flesh, which I will explain to you in a moment, we incline to overlook this fact. There are really four dimensions, three which we call the three planes of Space, and a fourth, Time. There is, however, a tendency to draw an unreal distinction between the former three dimensions and the latter, because it happens that our consciousness moves intermittently in one direction along the latter from the beginning to the end of our lives.”
“That,“ said a very young man, making spasmodic efforts to relight his cigar over the lamp; “that…very clear indeed.”
“Now, it is very remarkable that this is so extensively overlooked,“ continued the Time Traveller, with a slight accession of cheerfulness. “Really this is what is meant by the Fourth Dimension, though some people who talk about the Fourth Dimension do not know they mean it. It is only another way of looking at Time. There is no difference between Time and any of the three dimensions of Space except that our consciousness moves along it. But some foolish people have got hold of the wrong side of that idea. You have all heard what they have to say about this Fourth Dimension?”
Ihave not,“ said the Provincial Mayor.
“It is simply this. That Space, as our mathematicians have it, is spoken of as having three dimensions, which one may call Length, Breadth, and Thickness, and is always definable by reference to three planes, each at right angles to the others. But some philosophical people have been asking why threedimensions particularly--why not another direction at right angles to the other three?--and have even tried to construct a Four-Dimension geometry. Professor Simon Newcomb was expounding this to the New York Mathematical Society only a month or so ago. You know how on a flat surface, which has only two dimensions, we can represent a figure of a three-dimensional solid, and similarly they think that by models of three dimensions they could represent one of four--if they could master the perspective of the thing. See?”
“I think so,“ murmured the Provincial Mayor; and, knitting his brows, he lapsed into an introspective state, his lips moving as one who repeats mystic words. “Yes, I think I see it now,“ he said after some time, brightening in a quite transitory manner.
“Well, I do not mind telling you I have been at work upon this geometry of Four Dimensions for some time. Some of my results are curious. For instance, here is a portrait of a man at eight years old, another at fifteen, another at seventeen, another at twenty-three, and so on. All these are evidently sections, as it were, Three-Dimensional representations of his Four-Dimensioned being, which is a fixed and unalterable thing.
“Scientific people,“ proceeded the Time Traveller, after the pause required for the proper assimilation of this, “know very well that Time is only a kind of Space. Here is a popular scientific diagram, a weather record. This line I trace with my finger shows the movement of the barometer. Yesterday it was so high, yesterday night it fell, then this morning it rose again, and so gently upward to here. Surely the mercury did not trace this line in any of the dimensions of Space generally recognized? But certainly it traced such a line, and that line, therefore, we must conclude was along the Time-Dimension.”
“But,“ said the Medical Man, staring hard at a coal in the fire, “if Time is really only a fourth dimension of Space, why is it, and why has it always been, regarded as something different? And why cannot we move in Time as we move about in the other dimensions of Space?”
The Time Traveller smiled. “Are you sure we can move freely in Space? Right and left we can go, backward and forward freely enough, and men always have done so. I admit we move freely in two dimensions. But how about up and down? Gravitation limits us there.”
“Not exactly,“ said the Medical Man. “There are balloons.”
“But before the balloons, save for spasmodic jumping and the inequalities of the surface, man had no freedom of vertical movement.”
“Still they could move a little up and down,“ said the Medical Man.
“Easier, far easier down than up.”
“And you cannot move at all in Time, you cannot get away from the present moment.”
“My dear sir, that is just where you are wrong. That is just where the whole world has gone wrong. We are always getting away from the present movement. Our mental existences, which are immaterial and have no dimensions, are passing along the Time-Dimension with a uniform velocity from the cradle to the grave. Just as we should travel downif we began our existence fifty miles above the earth’s surface.”
“But the great difficulty is this,“ interrupted the Psychologist. “You canmove about in all directions of Space, but you cannot move about in Time.”

This article is about the book by H.G. Wells. For other uses, see The Time Machine (disambiguation).

The Time Machine is a science fiction novella by H. G. Wells, published in 1895 and written as a frame narrative. The work is generally credited with the popularization of the concept of time travel by using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposely and selectively forwards or backwards in time. The term "time machine", coined by Wells, is now almost universally used to refer to such a vehicle.[1]

The Time Machine has been adapted into three feature films of the same name, as well as two television versions, and a large number of comic book adaptations. It has also indirectly inspired many more works of fiction in many media productions.


Wells had considered the notion of time travel before, in a short story titled "The Chronic Argonauts" (1888). This work, published in his college newspaper, was the foundation for The Time Machine.

Wells frequently stated that he had thought of using some of this material in a series of articles in the Pall Mall Gazette until the publisher asked him if he could instead write a serial novel on the same theme. Wells readily agreed and was paid £100 (equal to about £11,000 today) on its publication by Heinemann in 1895, which first published the story in serial form in the January to May numbers of The New Review (newly under the nominal editorship of W. E. Henley).[2]Henry Holt and Company published the first book edition (possibly prepared from a different manuscript)[3] on 7 May 1895; Heinemann published an English edition on 29 May.[2] These two editions are different textually and are commonly referred to as the "Holt text" and "Heinemann text", respectively. Nearly all modern reprints reproduce the Heinemann text.[citation needed]

The story reflects Wells's own socialist political views, his view on life and abundance, and the contemporary angst about industrial relations. It is also influenced by Ray Lankester's theories about social degeneration[4] and shares many elements with Edward Bulwer-Lytton's novel Vril, the Power of the Coming Race (1871).[5] Other science fiction works of the period, including Edward Bellamy's novel Looking Backward: 2000-1887 (1888) and the later film Metropolis (1927), dealt with similar themes.[citation needed]

This work is an early example of the Dying Earth subgenre. The portion of the novella that sees the Time Traveller in a distant future where the sun is huge and red also places The Time Machine within the realm of eschatology, i.e. the study of the end times, the end of the world, and the ultimate destiny of humankind.[citation needed]


The book's protagonist is an English scientist and gentleman inventor living in Richmond, Surrey, in Victorian England, and identified by a narrator simply as the Time Traveller. The narrator recounts the Traveller's lecture to his weekly dinner guests that time is simply a fourth dimension and his demonstration of a tabletop model machine for travelling through it. He reveals that he has built a machine capable of carrying a person through time, and returns at dinner the following week to recount a remarkable tale, becoming the new narrator.

In the new narrative, the Time Traveller tests his device with a journey that takes him to A.D. 802,701, where he meets the Eloi, a society of small, elegant, childlike adults. They live in small communities within large and futuristic yet slowly deteriorating buildings, and having a fruit-based diet. His efforts to communicate with them are hampered by their lack of curiosity or discipline. They appear happy and carefree, but fear the dark and in particular fear moonless nights. Observing them, he finds that they give no response to mysterious nocturnal disappearances. (Perhaps they had become traumatized and would not discuss it.) He speculates that they are a peaceful society.

Returning to the site where he arrived, the Time Traveller is shocked to find his time machine missing and eventually concludes that it has been dragged by some unknown party into a nearby structure with heavy doors, locked from the inside, which resembles a Sphinx. Luckily, he had removed the machine's levers before leaving it (the time machine being unable to travel through time without them). Later in the dark, he is approached menacingly by the Morlocks, ape-like troglodytes who live in darkness underground and surface only at night. Exploring one of many "wells" that lead to the Morlocks' dwellings, he discovers the machinery and industry that makes the above-ground paradise of the Eloi possible. He alters his theory, speculating that the human race has evolved into two species: the leisured classes have become the ineffectual Eloi, and the downtrodden working classes have become the brutal light-fearing Morlocks.

Deducing that the Morlocks have taken his time machine, he explores the Morlock tunnels, learning that due to a lack of any other means of sustenance, they feed on the Eloi. His revised analysis is that their relationship is not one of lords and servants but of livestock and ranchers. The Time Traveller theorizes that intelligence is the result of and response to danger; with no real challenges facing the Eloi, they have lost the spirit, intelligence, and physical fitness of humanity at its peak.

Meanwhile, he saves an Eloi named Weena from drowning as none of the other Eloi take any notice of her plight, and they develop an innocently affectionate relationship over the course of several days. He takes Weena with him on an expedition to a distant structure that turns out to be the remains of a museum, where he finds a fresh supply of matches and fashions a crude weapon against Morlocks, whom he must fight to get back his machine. He plans to take Weena back to his own time. Because the long and tiring journey back to Weena's home is too much for them, they stop in the forest, and they are then overcome by Morlocks in the night, and Weena faints. The Traveller escapes when a small fire he had left behind them to distract the Morlocks catches up to them as a forest fire; Weena and the pursuing Morlocks are lost in the fire and the Time Traveler is devastated over his loss.

The Morlocks open the Sphinx and use the time machine as bait to capture the Traveller not understanding that he will use it to escape. He reattaches the levers before he travels further ahead to roughly 30 million years from his own time. There he sees some of the last living things on a dying Earth: menacing reddish crab-like creatures slowly wandering the blood-red beaches chasing enormous butterflies in a world covered in simple lichenous vegetation. He continues to make short jumps through time, seeing Earth's rotation gradually cease and the sun grow larger, redder, and dimmer, and the world falling silent and freezing as the last degenerate living things die out.

Overwhelmed, he goes back to the machine and returns to Victorian time, arriving at his laboratory just three hours after he originally left. He arrives late to his own dinner party, and after eating, relates his adventures to his disbelieving visitors, producing as evidence two strange white flowers Weena had put in his pocket. The original narrator then takes over and relates that he returned to the Time Traveller's house the next day, finding him preparing for another journey. The Time Traveller promises to return in a short time, but the narrator reveals that he has waited three years before writing, and the Time Traveller has never returned.

Deleted text[edit]

A section from the eleventh chapter of the serial published in New Review (May 1895) was deleted from the book. It was drafted at the suggestion of Wells's editor, William Ernest Henley, who wanted Wells to "oblige your editor" by lengthening the text with, among other things, an illustration of "the ultimate degeneracy" of humanity. "There was a slight struggle," Wells later recalled, "between the writer and W. E. Henley who wanted, he said, to put a little 'writing' into the tale. But the writer was in reaction from that sort of thing, the Henley interpolations were cut out again, and he had his own way with his text."[6] This portion of the story was published elsewhere as "The Grey Man".[7] The deleted text was also published by Forrest J Ackerman in an issue of the American edition of Perry Rhodan.[citation needed]

The deleted text recounts an incident immediately after the Traveller's escape from the Morlocks. He finds himself in the distant future of an unrecognisable Earth, populated with furry, hopping herbivores resembling kangaroos. He stuns or kills one with a rock, and upon closer examination realises they are probably the descendants of humans/Eloi/Morlocks. A gigantic, centipede-like arthropod approaches and the Traveller flees into the next day, finding that the creature has apparently eaten the tiny humanoid. The Dover Press[8] and Easton Press editions of the novella restore this deleted segment.[citation needed]


Significant scholarly commentary on The Time Machine began from the early 1960s, initially contained in various broad studies of Wells's early novels (such as Bernard Bergonzi's The Early H.G. Wells: A Study of the Scientific Romances) and studies of utopias/dystopias in science fiction (such as Mark R. Hillegas's The Future as Nightmare: H.G. Wells and the Anti-Utopians). Much critical and textual work was done in the 1970s, including the tracing of the very complex publication history of the text, its drafts and unpublished fragments. A further resurgence in scholarship came around the time of the novella's centenary in 1995, and a major outcome of this was the 1995 conference and substantial anthology of academic papers, which is collected in print as H.G. Wells’s Perennial Time Machine: Selected Essays from the Centenary Conference, "The Time Machine: Past, Present, and Future" (University of Georgia Press, 2001). This publication then allowed the development of a study guide book (meant for advanced academics at Master's and PhD level), H.G. Wells's The Time Machine: A Reference Guide (Praeger, 2004). The scholarly journal The Wellsian has published around twenty articles on The Time Machine, and the new US academic journal devoted to H.G. Wells, The Undying Fire has published three since its inception in 2002. Writing in The Minnesota Review Richard Wasson explores the use of myth and ex-nomination of class in The Time Machine.[9]

The name Eloi is the Hebrew plural for Elohim, or lesser gods, in the Old Testament.[10] The name Morlock may be a play on mollocks—what a miner might call themself, or a Scots word for rubbish[10]—or a reference to the Morlacchi community in Dalmatia.[11] Regarding the latter hypothesis, it might be noted that the Balkan Morlachs had attracted the attention of West and Central European travelers and writers, including famous ones such as Johann Gottfried Herder and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and were often described and depicted in various writings as an archetype of "primitive people", "backwardness", "barbarism" and the like. Morlock may also refer to the pagan god Moloch associated with child sacrifice.


The Time Machine can be read as a symbolic novel. There are several symbols, including the Sphinx, flowers, and fire. The time machine itself can also be viewed as a symbol. The Sphinx appeared on the cover of the first London edition as requested by Wells and would have been familiar to his readers.[10] The statue of the Sphinx is the place where the Morlocks hide the time machine and references the Sphinx in the story of Oedipus who gives a riddle that he must first solve before he can pass.[12] The white flowers can symbolize Weena's devotion and innocence and contrast with the machinery of the time machine.[12] They are the only proof that the Time Traveller's story is true. Fire symbolizes civilization, as the Time Traveller uses it to ward off the Morlocks, but it escapes his control and turns into a forest fire.[12]

The Time Traveller[edit]

Although the Time Traveller's real name is never given in the original novella, other sources have named him:

  • The 1960 film named him H. George Wells, although he was only called George in dialogue.
  • In the 1978 telefilm version of the story, the Time Traveler (this time a modern-day American) is named Dr. Neil Perry.
  • H.G. Wells' great-grandson, Simon Wells, directed a 2002 remake where the Time Traveller's name is Alexander Hartdegen.
  • In The Time Ships, Stephen Baxter's sequel to The Time Machine, the Time Traveller encounters his younger self via time travel. His younger self reacts with embarrassment to his older self's knowledge of his real names: "I held up my hand; I had an inspiration. "No. I will use—if you will permit—Moses." He took a deep pull on his brandy, and gazed at me with genuine anger in his grey eyes. "How do you know about that?" Moses—my hated first name, for which I had been endlessly tormented at school—and which I had kept a secret since leaving home!"[13] This is a reference to H.G. Wells's story "The Chronic Argonauts", the story which grew into The Time Machine, in which the inventor of the Time Machine is named Dr. Moses Nebogipfel; the surname of Wells's first inventor graces another character in Baxter's book (see above).
  • Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life by Philip José Farmer gives the Time Traveller's name as Bruce Clarke Wildman.
  • The Rook comic book series gives the Time Traveller's name as Adam Dane.
  • In the Doctor Who comic strip story "The Eternal Present", the character of Theophilus Tolliver is implied to be the Time Traveller of Wells's novella. Also featured in Doctor Who is Wells, himself, appearing in the television serial Timelash. The events of this story are portrayed as having inspired Wells to write The Time Machine.
  • In Episode 11, Season 1, of US television series Legends of Tomorrow the team travels back in time to the Old West in hopes to hide from the Time Masters. During their stay there the character Martin Stein saves a boy's life with modern medicine. After a fighting scene that reveals their whole team to be from the future, Martin Stein learns that the name of the boy he saved is Herbert George Wells. "You're H.G. Wells?" he asks him, the boy replies "H.G.Wells, I like that name", implying that they inspired the stories that he wrote and also the name he goes by.[14]
  • The Hertford Manuscript by Richard Cowper names the Time Traveller as Dr. Robert James Pensley, born to James and Martha Pensley in 1850 and disappearing without trace on 18 June 1894, and who was part of the same social and political circle as Wells – in particular, the Fabian Society.
  • The Space Machine by Christopher Priest gives the Time Traveller's name as William Reynolds.
  • Sherlock Holmes & The Coils of Time by Ralph E. Vaughan gives the Time Traveller's name as Moesen Maddoc.
  • The I.C.E. role-playing game supplement Time Riders suggests that the Time Traveller's name is Ashleigh Holmes. It suggests that the Time Traveller is actually a woman who disguised herself as a man during the male chauvinistic Victorian era. She is said to be the sister of Sherlock Holmes.
  • It has also been suggested that the Time Traveller was based on Thomas Edison.[15]


Radio and audio[edit]

Escape radio broadcasts[edit]

The CBS radio anthology Escape adapted The Time Machine twice, in 1948 starring Jeff Corey, and again in 1950 starring Lawrence Dobkin as the traveller. In both episodes, a script adapted by Irving Ravetch was used. The Time Traveller was named Dudley and was accompanied by his skeptical friend Fowler as they traveled to the year 100,080.

1994 Alien Voices audio drama[edit]

In 1994, an audio drama was released on cassette and CD by Alien Voices, starring Leonard Nimoy as the Time Traveller (named John in this adaptation) and John de Lancie as David Filby. John de Lancie's children, Owen de Lancie and Keegan de Lancie, played the parts of the Eloi. The drama is approximately two hours long and is more faithful to the story than several of the film adaptations. Some changes are made to reflect modern language and knowledge of science.

7th Voyage[edit]

In 2000, Alan Young read The Time Machine for 7th Voyage Productions, Inc., in 2016 to celebrate the 120th Anniversary of H.G. Wells' novella.[16]

2009 BBC Radio 3 broadcast[edit]

Robert Glenister starred as the Time Traveller, with William Gaunt as H. G. Wells in a new 100-minute radio dramatisation by Philip Osment, directed by Jeremy Mortimer as part of a BBC Radio Science Fiction season. This was the first adaptation of the novella for British radio. It was first broadcast on 22 February 2009 on BBC Radio 3[17] and later published as a 2-CD BBC audio book.

The other cast members were:

  • Donnla Hughes as Martha
  • Gunnar Cauthery as Young H. G. Wells
  • Stephen Critchlow as Filby, friend of the young Wells
  • Chris Pavlo as Bennett, friend of the young Wells
  • Manjeet Mann as Mrs. Watchett, the Traveller's housemaid
  • Jill Crado as Weena, one of the Eloi and the Traveller's partner
  • Robert Lonsdale, Inam Mirza, and Dan Starkey as other characters

The adaptation retained the nameless status of the Time Traveller and set it as a true story told to the young Wells by the time traveller, which Wells then re-tells as an older man to the American journalist Martha whilst firewatching on the roof of Broadcasting House during the Blitz. It also retained the deleted ending from the novella as a recorded message sent back to Wells from the future by the traveller using a prototype of his machine, with the traveller escaping the anthropoid creatures to 30 million AD at the end of the universe before disappearing or dying there.

Big Finish Productions[edit]

On September 5, 2017, Big Finish released an adaptation of The Time Machine. This adaptation was written by Marc Platt, and starred Ben Miles as the Time Traveller.

Platt explained in an interview that adapting The Time Machine to audio was not much different to writing Doctor Who, and that he can see where some of the roots of early Doctor Who came from.[18]

Film adaptations[edit]

1949 BBC teleplay[edit]

The first visual adaptation of the book was a live teleplay broadcast from Alexandra Palace on 25 January 1949 by the BBC, which starred Russell Napier as the Time Traveller and Mary Donn as Weena. No recording of this live broadcast was made; the only record of the production is the script and a few black and white still photographs. A reading of the script, however, suggests that this teleplay remained fairly faithful to the book.[19]

1960 film[edit]

Main article: The Time Machine (1960 film)

In 1960, the novella was made into an American science fiction film, also known promotionally as H.G. Wells' The Time Machine. The film starred Rod Taylor, Alan Young, and Yvette Mimieux.

The film was produced and directed by George Pal, who also filmed a 1953 version of Wells' The War of the Worlds. The film won an Academy Award for time-lapse photographic effects showing the world changing rapidly.

In 1993, Rod Taylor hosted Time Machine: The Journey Back reuniting him with Alan Young and Whit Bissell, featuring the only sequel to Mr. Pal's classic film, written by the original screenwriter, David Duncan. In the special were Academy Award-winners special effect artists Wah Chang and Gene Warren.

1978 television film[edit]

Main article: The Time Machine (1978 film)

Sunn Classic Pictures produced a television film version of The Time Machine as a part of their "Classics Illustrated" series in 1978. It was a modernization of the Wells' story, making the Time Traveller a 1970s scientist working for a fictional US defence contractor, "the Mega Corporation". Dr. Neil Perry (John Beck), the Time Traveller, is described as one of Mega's most reliable contributors by his senior co-worker Branly (Whit Bissell, an alumnus of the 1960 adaptation). Perry's skill is demonstrated by his rapid reprogramming of an off-course missile, averting a disaster that could destroy Los Angeles. His reputation secures a grant of $20 million for his time machine project. Although nearing completion, the corporation wants Perry to put the project on hold so that he can head a military weapon development project. Perry accelerates work on the time machine, permitting him to test it before being forced to work on the new project.

2002 film[edit]

Main article: The Time Machine (2002 film)

The 1960 film was remade in 2002, starring Guy Pearce as the Time Traveller, a mechanical engineering professor named Alexander Hartdegen, Mark Addy as his colleague David Filby, Sienna Guillory as Alex's ill-fated fiancée Emma, Phyllida Law as Mrs. Watchit, and Jeremy Irons as the Uber-Morlock. Playing a quick cameo as a shopkeeper was Alan Young, who featured in the 1960 film. (H.G. Wells himself can also be said to have a "cameo" appearance, in the form of a photograph on the wall of Alex's home, near the front door.)

The film was directed by Wells's great-grandson Simon Wells, with an even more revised plot that incorporated the ideas of paradoxes and changing the past. The place is changed from Richmond, Surrey, to downtown New York City, where the Time Traveller moves forward in time to find answers to his questions on 'Practical Application of Time Travel;' first in 2030 New York, to witness an orbital lunar catastrophe in 2037, before moving on to 802,701 for the main plot. He later briefly finds himself in 635,427,810 with toxic clouds and a world laid waste (presumably by the Morlocks) with devastation and Morlock artifacts stretching out to the horizon.

It was met with generally mixed reviews and earned $56 million before VHS/DVD sales. The Time Machine used a design that was very reminiscent of the one in the Pal film but was much larger and employed polished turned brass construction, along with rotating glass reminiscent of the Fresnel lenses common to lighthouses. (In Wells's original book, the Time Traveller mentioned his 'scientific papers on optics'). Hartdegen becomes involved with a female Eloi named Mara, played by Samantha Mumba, who essentially takes the place of Weena, from the earlier versions of the story. In this film, the Eloi have, as a tradition, preserved a "stone language" that is identical to English. The Morlocks are much more barbaric and agile, and the Time Traveller has a direct impact on the plot.

Derivative works[edit]

The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal[edit]

Main article: The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal

This film, produced and directed by Arnold Leibovit, is a biopic of George Pal. It contains a number of filmed elements from Pal's 1960 film version of The Time Machine.

Time After Time (1979 film)[edit]

Main article: Time After Time (1979 film)

In Time After Time, H.G. Wells invents a time machine and shows it to some friends in a manner similar to the first part of the novella. He does not know that one of his friends is Jack The Ripper. The Ripper, fleeing police, escapes to the future (1979), but without a key which prevents the machine from remaining in the future. When it does return home, Wells follows him in order to protect the future (which he imagines to be a utopia) from the Ripper. In turn, the film inspired a 2017 TV series of the same name.


In the Sliders season 3 episode, "The Last of Eden", the Sliders land on a world reminiscent of the book The Time Machine, in which there are two distinct species of humanoids: one group lives above ground and the others live below the surface in the "forbidden zone". Shortly after arriving, there is an earthquake and Wade falls below the surface. When the others seek help from the locals to rescue her, they learn their two chief laws: "Do not dig in the earth" and "Do not go into the forbidden zone". When Quinn finds a local willing to help, they travel below the surface and find a group of mutated people who were trapped below ground when the "gineers" set up a gimbal device to keep the surface elevated.

Wishbone episode[edit]

The Time Machine was featured in an episode of the PBS children's show Wishbone, entitled "Bark to the Future". Wishbone plays the role of the Time Traveller, where he meets Weena, takes her to an ancient library, and confronts the Morlocks. The parallel story has Wishbone's owner, Joe, relying on a calculator to solve percentage problems rather than his own intellect, recalling the mindset that created the lazy Eloi.

Time Kid (2003)[edit]

The Time Machine was loosely adapted for a Nickelodeon animated television film for 2003. In this version, the main protagonist is the inventor's son, Tom, who must go to the future in search for his father.


The 2011 Syfy made-for-television film, Morlocks, is extremely loosely based on The Time Machine. In this film, a failed scientist, Dr. James Radnor (David Hewlett), has invented a time portal that goes into the future. There, a race of monsters known as Morlocks has destroyed humanity. There are no Eloi in this film, but the military time travel project is known as "Project E.L.O.I."

Warehouse 13[edit]

The Syfy Channel TV series follows the adventures of government agents tasked with finding artifacts from around the world which have special powers, often having negative supernatural effects. They are stored in Warehouse 13, which is the latest in a series of 'warehouses' that have existed throughout history. Along with countless artifacts, the warehouse contains various famous and infamous historical figures that have been stored in a suspended form called 'bronzing'. This includes H.G Wells who turns out to be a female named Helena G. Wells. When she is 'unbronzed', it is then known that she had been an agent for Warehouse 12 during the 1800s. The character becomes a series regular guest who assists the warehouse agents but has occasionally become an antagonist. The H.G. Wells Time Machine is also stored in the warehouse but functions somewhat differently than what is written in the original book.


The seventh episode of the seventh season of Futurama, titled The Late Philip J. Fry, features several allusions and references to the novella although often departs from the original plot.

Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race[edit]

TV Cartoon. Series 1 Episode 22: In this episode, the cartoon characters are lowered into a cave to recover red tennis balls. When Kitty is alone in the cave, Morlocks can be seen hiding in the background.


Classics Illustrated was the first to adapt The Time Machine into a comic book format, issuing an American edition in July 1956.

The Classics Illustrated version was published in French by Classiques Illustres in Dec 1957, and Classics Illustrated Strato Publications (Australian) in 1957, and Kuvitettuja Klassikkoja (a Finnish edition) in November 1957. There were also Classics Illustrated Greek editions in 1976, Swedish in 1987, German in 1992 and 2001, and a Canadian reprint of the English edition in 2008.

In 1976, Marvel Comics published a new version of The Time Machine, as #2 in their Marvel Classics Comics series, with art by Alex Niño. (This adaptation was originally published in 1973 by Pendulum Press as part of their Pendulum Now Age Classics series; it was colorized and reprinted by Marvel in 1976.) From April 1990, Eternity Comics published a three-issue miniseries adaptation of The Time Machine, written by Bill Spangler and illustrated by John Ross — this was collected as a trade paperback graphic novel in 1991.

Sequels by other authors[edit]

Wells's novella has become one of the cornerstones of science-fiction literature. As a result, it has spawned many offspring. Works expanding on Wells's story include:

  • La Belle Valence by Théo Varlet and André Blandin (1923) in which a squadron of World War I soldiers find the Time Machine and are transported back to the Spanish town of Valencia in the 14th century. Translated by Brian Stableford as Timeslip Troopers (2012).
  • Die Rückkehr der Zeitmaschine (1946) by Egon Friedell was the first direct sequel. It dwells heavily on the technical details of the machine and the time-paradoxes it might cause when the time machine was used to visit the past.This culminates in Westminster Abbey being used as a butcher shop of human beings by the Morlocks in the 20th century, and a total disruption and collapse of the time stream. There the hero and Merlin must find — and destroy — the Time Machine, to restore the time stream and history. The 24,000-word German original was translated into English by Eddy C. Bertin in the 1940s and eventually published in paperback as The Return of the Time Machine (1972, DAW).
  • The Hertford Manuscript by Richard Cowper, first published in 1976. It features a "manuscript", which reports the Time Traveller's activities after the end of the original story. According to this manuscript, the Time Traveller disappeared, because his Time Machine had been damaged by the Morlocks without him knowing it. He only found out when it stopped operating during his next attempted time travel. He found himself on 27 August 1665, in London during the outbreak of the Great Plague of London. The rest of the novel is devoted to his efforts to repair the Time Machine and leave this time period before getting infected with the disease. He also has an encounter with Robert Hooke. He eventually dies of the disease on 20 September 1665. The story gives a list of subsequent owners of the manuscript until 1976. It also gives the name of the Time Traveller as Robert James Pensley, born to James and Martha Pensley in 1850 and disappearing without trace on 18 June 1894.
  • The Space Machine by Christopher Priest, first published in 1976. Because of the movement of planets, stars, and galaxies, for a time machine to stay in one spot on Earth as it travels through time, it must also follow the Earth's trajectory through space. In Priest's book, a travelling salesman damages a Time Machine similar to the original, and arrives on Mars, just before the start of the invasion described in The War of the Worlds. H.G. Wells appears as a minor character.
  • Morlock Night by K. W. Jeter, first published in 1979. A steampunk fantasy novel in which the Morlocks, having studied the Traveller's machine, duplicate it and invade Victorian London.
  • Time Machine II by George Pal and Joe Morhaim, published in 1981. The Time Traveller, named George, and the pregnant Weena try to return to his time, but instead land in the London Blitz, dying during a bombing raid. Their newborn son is rescued by an American ambulance driver and grows up in the United States under the name Christopher Jones. Sought out by the lookalike son of James Filby, Jones goes to England to collect his inheritance, leading ultimately to George's journals, and the Time Machine's original plans. He builds his own machine with 1970s upgrades and seeks his parents in the future. Pal also worked on a detailed synopsis for a third sequel, which was partly filmed for a 1980s U.S. TV special on the making of Pal's film version of The Time Machine, using the original actors. This third sequel, the plot of which does not seem to fit with Pal's second, opens with the Time Traveller enjoying a happy life with Weena, in a future world in which the Morlocks have died out. He and his son return to save Filby in World War I. This act changes the future, causing the nuclear war not to happen. He and his son are thus cut off from Weena in the far future. The Time Traveller thus has to solve a dilemma — allow his friend to die, and cause the later death of millions, or give up Weena forever.
  • The Man Who Loved Morlocks (1981) and The Truth about Weena (1998) are two different sequels, the former a novel and the latter a short story, by David J. Lake. Each of them concerns the Time Traveller's return to the future. In the former, he discovers that he cannot enter any period in time he has already visited, forcing him to travel into the further future, where he finds love with a woman whose race evolved from Morlock stock. In the latter, he is accompanied by Wells and succeeds in rescuing Weena and bringing her back to the 1890s, where her political ideas cause a peaceful revolution.
  • The Time Ships, by Stephen Baxter, first published in 1995. This sequel was officially authorised by the Wells estate to mark the centenary of the original's publication. In its wide-ranging narrative, the Traveller's desire to return and rescue Weena is thwarted by the fact that he has changed history (by telling his tale to his friends, one of whom published the account). With a Morlock (in the new history, the Morlocks are intelligent and cultured), he travels through the multiverse as increasingly complicated timelines unravel around him, eventually meeting mankind's far future descendants, whose ambition is to travel back to the birth of the universe, and modify the way the multiverse will unfold. This sequel includes many nods to the prehistory of Wells's story in the names of characters and chapters.
  • The Steam Man of the Prairie and the Dark Rider Get Down: A Dime Novel by Joe R. Lansdale, first published in The Long Ones (1999). In this story, the Time Traveller accidentally damages the space-time continuum and is transformed into the vampire-like Dark Rider.
  • The 2003 short story "On the Surface" by Robert J. Sawyer begins with this quote from the Wells original: "I have suspected since that the Morlocks had even partially taken it [the time machine] to pieces while trying in their dim way to grasp its purpose." In the Sawyer story, the Morlocks develop a fleet of time machines and use them to conquer the same far future Wells depicted at the end of the original, by which time, because the sun has grown red and dim and thus no longer blinds them, they can reclaim the surface of the world.
  • The Time Traveller and his machine appear in the story Allan and the Sundered Veil by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill, which acts as a prequel to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume One. The Time Traveller shares an adventure with fellow literary icons Allan Quatermain, John Carter, and Randolph Carter.
  • David Haden's novelette The Time Machine: A Sequel (2010) is a direct sequel, picking up where the original finished. The Time Traveller goes back to rescue Weena but finds the Eloi less simple than he first imagined, and time travel far more complicated.
  • Simon Baxter's novel The British Empire: Psychic Battalions Against The Morlocks (2010) imagines a steampunk/cyberpunk future in which the British Empire has remained the dominant world force until the Morlocks arrive from the future.
  • Hal Colebatch's Time-Machine Troopers (2011) (Acashic Publishers) is twice the length of the original. In it, the Time Traveller returns to the future world about 18 years after the time he escaped from the Morlocks, taking with him Robert Baden-Powell, the real-world founder of the Boy Scout movement. They set out to teach the Eloi self-reliance and self-defence against the Morlocks, but the Morlocks capture them. H. G. Wells and Winston Churchill are also featured as characters.
  • Paul Schullery's The Time Traveller's Tale: Chronicle of a Morlock Captivity (2012) continues the story in the voice and manner of the original Wells book. After many years' absence, the Time Traveller returns and describes his further adventures. His attempts to mobilize the Eloi in their own defense against the Morlocks failed when he was captured by the Morlocks. Much of the book is occupied with his deeply unsettling discoveries about the Morlock/Eloi symbiosis, his gradual assimilation into Morlock society, and his ultimately successful attempt to discover the true cause of humanity's catastrophic transformation into two such tragic races.
  • The Great Illustrated Classics adaptation of Wells' novella (published in 1992) adds one destination to the Time Traveller's adventure. Stopping in 2200 AD on his way home, he becomes caught up in a civil war between factions of a technocratic society that was established to avert ecological catastrophe.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

  1. ^Pilkington, Ace G. (2017). Science Fiction and Futurism: Their Terms and Ideas. McFarland. p. 137. 
  2. ^ abHammond, John R. (2004). H. G. Wells's The Time Machine: A Reference Guide. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. ISBN 0313330077. 
  3. ^"UCR Newsroom: Rare Edition of "The Time Machine" Acquired". 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  4. ^"Man Of The Year Million". Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  5. ^The Coming Race – Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton, Baron, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, David Seed – Google Books. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  6. ^Hammond, John R. (2004). H. G. Wells's The Time Machine: A Reference Guide. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. p. 50. ISBN 0313330077. 
  7. ^Evan V. Symon. "10 Deleted Chapters that Transformed Famous Books". Listverse. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  8. ^Everett Franklin Bleiler, Richard Bleiler (1990). Science-fiction, the Early Years: A Full Description of More Than 3,000 Science-fiction Stories from Earliest Times to the Appearance of the Genre Magazines in 1930 : with Author, Title, and Motif Indexes. Kent State University Press. p. 796. ISBN 9780873384162. 
  9. ^Wasson, Richard (Fall 1980). "Myth and the ex-nomination of class in The Time Machine". The Minnesota Review. Johns Hopkins University Press. 15: 112–122. 
  10. ^ abcStover, Leon (1996). The Time Machine: An Invention – A Critical Text of the 1895 London First Edition. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. p. 9. ISBN 0786401249. 
  11. ^Wolff, Larry (2003). Naimark, Norman; Case, Holly, eds. The Rise and Fall of 'Morlacchismo': South Slavic Identity in the Mountains of Dalmatia. Yugoslavia and Its Historians: Understanding the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. Stanford UP. p. 49. 
  12. ^ abcAlkon, Paul K. (1994). Science Fiction Before 1900: Imagination Discovers Technology. New York: Twayne Publishers. pp. 52–53. ISBN 0805709525. 
  13. ^Baxter, Stephen. The Time Ships (HarperPrism, 1995), p. 137.
  14. ^"Legends Of Tomorrow episode 11 review: The Magnificent Eight". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2016-04-22. 
  15. ^Edison as Time Traveler: H.G. Wells’s Inspiration for his First Scientific Character
  16. ^Lucas, Clyde (28 October 2015). "The Time Machine Alan Young". 
  17. ^"BBC Radio 3 – Drama on 3, The Time Machine". 2009-08-30. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
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  19. ^Cornell, Paul; Day, Martin; Topping, Keith (30 July 2015). The Classic British Telefantasy Guide. Orion Publishing Group. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-575-13352-5.