The Time Machine

The Time Traveller

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

  • One popular theory, encouraged by movies like Time After Time and certain episodes of the television show Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, is that the Time Traveller is meant to be H. G. Wells himself. Indeed, in the George Pal movie adaptation of The Time Machine, his name is given as George, which was H. G. Wells's middle name. "Manufactured by H. George Wells" can be seen in every close-up of the time machine control panel in the film.
  • H.G. Wells' great-grandson, Simon Wells, made 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![7]

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 novel. 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.
  • 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 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.

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