Trivia / The Time Machine

For H. G. Wells’s 1895 science fiction novella:

  • Deleted Text: A section from the eleventh chapter of the serial published in New Review was removed from the book. Certain time travel story anthologies tend to include it, though. A popular nickname for the section is "The Grey Man".
  • Executive Meddling:
    • The section of text that was taken out from the book was suggested by Wells’ 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.
    • The author was forced to write and include an extra chapter, entitled "The Grey Man" to lengthen the story. This chapter is generally not included in modern publications of the story.
      • In an even more extreme example, a whole chapter titled "The Golden Age of Science", depicting a cold war in a technologically advanced future (and possibly the beginning of the Eloi-Morlock genesis) was written in the Great Illustrated Classics version; in a vain attempt to try to bring something, anything back from the future, the Time Traveler makes one last stop 200 years ahead of his home time, in a setting that he considered the Golden Age of Science.
  • Science Marches On:
    • The Time Traveler witnesses the Sun enter the Red Giant phase in only a few million years.
      • Addressed in Stephen Baxter's officially licensed sequel novel, "The Time Ships", which posits the theory that the Sun going Red Giant billions of years ahead of schedule was due to accidental tampering done before the Human race devolved into the Eloi and Morlocks.
    • In the future, all diseases have been eradicated, along with, apparently, the vast majority of bacteria and fungi promoting decay. Modern medicine has since recognised the development of immunity in bacteria and virusses, and the eradication of all disease seems all but impossible. Even then, new diseases would always crop up over the eons.
    • The extinction of pest animals, predators, insects, and a large portion of bacteria and fungi, is portrayed as a positive achievement of mankind, and overall a betterment of the planet. Nowadays, such a scenario would be associated with a massive extinction level event, and portrayed extremely negatively.
    • Similarly to the above, global warming is portrayed as an entirely positive thing.

For the 1960 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film:

For the 1978 Sunn Classic Pictures TV Film:

For the 2002 DreamWorks / Warner Bros. film:


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