Adaptations of 'The Time Machine'

Posted by Sam Hayes On Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I've got copies of both film adaptations of 'The Time Machine', there have been a couple TV series based on the novel, which I will also look into. The 1960 adaptation produced by Simon Wells is much closer to the original book and has a period feel, in both design of the machine and the surrounding environments. Below are some screen grabs of the parts of the book I want to produce, mainly the laboratory and the machine itself. These will be a base of what I want to avoid, so I can bring uniqueness to my new imagining.

The machine seems very traditional in this, with the large clock-face like backing and velvet chair seating. It has a steam-punk feel to it, with brass and copper tubing along with a primitive sci-fi control panel and lights.

The 2002 version has a more elaborate design, along with a more technical power source, some sort of laser effect transferring energy through the machine, it also creates a forcefield like bubble around the traveller, as seen below in the screen-grabs. It is clear that the design of the more modern adaptation was moving away from Well's original view of a more simplistic chair, something which I want to also do. Having the chair powered by technology that wasn't described will give me a good range of design options.

Once again the steam-punk appearance will be avoided as well and the traditional Victorian lab, which I want to redesign as something a bit more adventurous, including the building it is situated in.

A 1978 TV version re-imagined the story as being set in a Defence Contractor building in the modern day. It is quite ridiculous with the traveller going back to Salem and being placed in the Salem Witch Trials, threatened with being burned at the stake, only to escape back to the time of the California gold rush where he is shot at by miners. He then journeys into the future which is a little more faithful to Well's story. The idea of changing the machine to a more technological and advanced one gives it a uniqueness, even if the TV budget does give the set quite a 'cheap' feel. The option of moving the period the story is set in is a possibility, but I would rather change the method it is built in rather than the period. Below are some shots from the TV film (unfortunately Youtube quality)

1 Response to 'Adaptations of 'The Time Machine''

  1. Alan Postings said...'> 14 February 2012 at 17:34

    Hi Sam

    Also check out 'Time after time'. Its a re-imagining of the time machine where H.G.Wells himself travels in time to catch Jack the Ripper in modern day San Francisco - I know it sounds sh£$ but its actually not that bad. Importantly it features yet another time machine design.


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I'm a student studying CG Arts and Animation at the University for the Creative Arts, I'm living in Kent.

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