The Time Machine is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novella by H. G. Wells, published in 1895. The work is generally credited with the popularization of the concept of time travel by using a vehicle or device to travel purposely and selectively forward or backward through time. The term "time machine", coined by Wells, is now almost universally used to refer to such a vehicle or device.
Utilizing a frame story set in then-present Victorian England, Wells' text focuses on a recount of the otherwise anonymous Time Traveller's journey into the far future. A work of future history and speculative evolution, Time Machine is interpreted in modern times as a commentary on the increasing inequality and class divisions of Wells' era, which he projects as giving rise to two separate human species: the fair, childlike Eloi, and the savage, simian Morlocks, distant descendants of the contemporary upper and lower classes respectively. It is believed that Wells' depiction of the Eloi as a race living in plenitude and abandon was inspired by the utopic romance novel News from Nowhere (1890), though Wells' universe in the novel is notably more savage and brutal.
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.
Based on Wells's personal experiences and childhood, the working class literally spent a lot of their time underground. His own family would spend most of their time in a dark basement kitchen when not being occupied in their father's shop. Later, his own mother would work as a housekeeper in a house with tunnels below, where the staff and servants lived in underground quarters. A medical journal published in 1905 would focus on these living quarters for servants in poorly ventilated dark basements. In his early teens, Wells became a draper's apprentice, having to work in a basement for hours on end.
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; that is, the study of the end times, the end of the world, and the ultimate destiny of humankind.
The narrator recounts the Traveller's lecture to his weekly dinner guests that time is simply a fourth dimension and demonstrates a tabletop model machine for travelling through the fourth dimension. He reveals that he has built a machine capable of carrying a person through time, and he returns at dinner the following week to recount a remarkable tale, becoming the new narrator.
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 favoured aristocracy has become the intellectually degraded Eloi, and their mechanical servants 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. 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 dubbed "The Palace of Green Porcelain", which turns out to be a derelict museum. Here, the Time Traveller finds a fresh supply of matches and fashions a crude weapon against Morlocks, whom he must fight to get his machine back. 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 for the night. They are then overcome by Morlocks in the night, whereby Weena faints. The Traveller escapes when a small fire he had left behind them to distract the Morlocks turns into a forest fire; Weena and the pursuing Morlocks are lost in the fire, and the Time Traveller 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 jumps forward 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 his own time, arriving at the laboratory just three hours after he originally left. He arrives late to his own dinner party, whereupon, after eating, the Time Traveller 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 and promising to return in a short time. However, the narrator reveals that he has waited three years before writing and stating the Time Traveller has not returned from his journey.
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 and later published as a 2-CD BBC audio book.
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 US 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.
In 1960, the novella was made into a US science fiction film, also known promotionally as H.G. Wells's 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's The War of the Worlds. The film won an Academy Award for time-lapse photographic effects showing the world changing rapidly.
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's 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.
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.
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.
Check backup status. Use the Time Machine menu in the menu bar to check the status of a backup or skip a backup in progress. For example, if a backup is underway, the menu shows how much of it is done. When a backup is not underway, the menu shows the date and time of the latest backup. 041b061a72