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THE 4TH DIMENSION The 4th Dimension: Science Fiction Exhibition (17th Novemeber 2011 - 28 February 2012) is the British Library’s first exhibition to explore science fiction, in particular Time Travel, through literature and film. It will challenge visitors’ perceptions of the genre by uncovering gems of the Library’s collections including time travel in film and television.


Back To The Future_04 Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures_06 Donnie Darko_08 12 Monkeys_10 The Time Travelers_11 The Time Machine_12 Time After Time_14 Stargate_16 Terminator_18

The DeLorean time machine was Doctor Emmett Brown’s most successful invention, a plutonium powered time machine comprised of a DeLorean DMC-12 sports car that had to reach 88 miles per hour in order to time travel.

Means of Travel: A Flux Capacitor; Equipped DeLorean.



At least Back to the Future got it right with the DeLorean. Originally manufactured in northern Ireland, the DeLorean DMC-12 had gull-wing doors and totally sweet brushed stainless steel paneling. Sadly, it was the only car the DeLorean Motor Company ever produced, so that’s why you don’t hear it being called the DMC-12.


Means of Travel: A Time Travelling Phone Booth This is a 1989 American science fiction窶田omedy buddy film and the first film in the Bill & Ted franchise in which two metalhead slackers travel through time to assemble a menagerie of historical figures for their high school history presentation.




Donnie Darko is a 2001 American psychological thriller film written and directed by Richard Kelly. The film depicts the reality-bending adventures of the title character as he seeks the meaning and significance behind his troubling Doomsday-related visions. It’s October of 1988 and small town USA is about to witness the end of the world. It’s home to Donnie Darko, a brilliant but troubled teenager, plagued by terrifying visions which he alone knows the meaning of. With his classmate and soulmate Gretchen and a mysterious ex-teacher nicknamed “Grandma Death,” he must unravel the strange occurrences affecting his school, his home and his life. He must do this before a horrifying spectre known only as “Frank” leads Donnie to the edge of his sanity.

Means of Travel: Vortex/Wormhole




When a man enters a hospital claiming to have journeyed back in time from the year 2025 to stop a killer virus from exterminating mankind, a beautiful psychologist decides he might be more than delusional. Terry Gilliam populates this labyrinthine, apocalyptic film with twisted characters and eerie revelations.

12 MONKEYS Means of Travel: A Time Machine


A time travel experiment that was supposed to produce a window into time turns out to be a portal instead. One of the experimenters steps through into a not-toodistant-future world that has been destroyed by nuclear war. Some of the others follow, but then the portal phases out and they can’t get back. The time travellers are invited to escape when the ship is again ready to blast off but the scientits’ enemy returns. A very bad day for the scientists turns terminal at that point, and the 20th-century Earthlings barely escape with their skins.

THE TIME TRAVELERS Means of Travel: A Time Portal


THE TIME MACHINE Means of Travel: A Time Machine


The Time Machine (1960) is an exciting and faithful cinematic production of H.G. Wells’ 1895 classic. A Victorian English Scientist travels to the far future and finds that humanity has divided into two hostile species. In the distant future he learns of man’s dismal destiny.


Time After Time is a 1979 American fantasy film written and directed by Nicholas Meyer. His screenplay is based largely on a novel by Karl Alexander and a story by Steve Hayes. It concerns British author H. G. Wells and his fictional use of a time machine to pursue Jack the Ripper into the 20th century. H. G. Wells follows Jack the Ripper in a time machine from 19th century England to San Francisco.


TIME AFTER TIME Means of Travel: A Time Machine


Stargate is a 1994 American adventure military science fiction film . Created by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, the film is the first release in the Stargate franchise. The plot centers around the premise of a “Stargate�, an ancient ringshaped device that creates a wormhole enabling travel to a similar device in a universe. The film’s central plot explores the theory of extraterrestrial beings having an influence upon human civilization.


Egyptologist Daniel Jackson is brought to an underground military base where he decodes the symbols on Egyptian cover stones as star constellations. That allows a alien device known as the Stargate to be opened and a team led by Air Force Colonel Jack’ O’ Neil and Jackson to travel across the known universe to a distant planet. Arriving on the planet, they find a culture ruled by someone pretending to be the Egyptian sun god Ra. Soon, Ra captures the team and takes control of a nuclear weapon brought to the planet in case of the discovery of hostile aliens. Jackson and O’Neil escape and must fight Ra and his army of warriors to save Earth from being destroyed by Ra.

STARGATE Means of Travel: Vortex/Wormhole




The Terminator is a 1984 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron. The Terminator, a cyborg assassin sent back in time from the year 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor, played by Hamilton. Kyle Reese, a soldier from the future sent back in time to protect Sarah. Three sequels have been produced: Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and Terminator Salvation.



Doctor Who_22 The Twilight Zone_24 Star Trek_26 Flash Forward_28 Captain ZRo_29 Quantum Leap_30 The Time Tunnel_33

Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the Tardis that flies through time and space, whose exterior appears as a blue police box. Along with a succession of companions, he faces a variety of foes while working to save civilisations, help people, and right wrongs.

DOCTOR WHO Means of Travel: The Tardis



(TV Series 1959–1964) Rod Serling’s seminal anthology series focused on ordinary folks who suddenly found themselves in extraordinary, usually supernatural, situations. The stories would typically end with an ironic twist that would see the guilty punished.

THE TWILIGHT ZONE Means of Travel: Various


(TV Series 1985–1989) A collection of tales which range from comic to tragic, but often have a wicked sense of humor and an unexpected twist. An updated version of the famous 1960’s TV series created by Rod Serling. Each week presents one to three tales about some unusual situation that turns out to be even more unusual than initially suspected. Whether the tone of the story is horror, suspense or humor, there is always a surprise twist at the end.



Star Trek stories usually depict the adventures of humans and aliens who serve in Starfleet, the space borne humanitarian and peacekeeping armada of the United Federation of Planets. The protagonists are essentially altruists whose ideals are sometimes imperfectly applied to the dilemmas presented in the series. The conflicts and political dimensions of Star Trek sometimes represent allegories for contemporary cultural realities: Star Trek: The Original Series addressed issues of the 1960s, just as later spin-offs have reflected issues of their respective decades.



After the entire world’s population blacks out for approximately 2 minutes and 17 seconds, which in effect causes the entire world to see a glimpse of life 6 months into the future, an elite FBI task force is formed to investigate who/what caused the global blackout, whether the events foreseen were simply flashes or true events of what’s to come, and whether or not it could possibly happen again.

FLASH FORWARD Means of Travel: planet simultaneously loses consciousness for 137 seconds


Captain Z-RO and his sidekick Jet travel through the past in their time shifting rocket ship, chasing villains and teaching the history of the United States and it’s colorful heroes.

CAPTAIN Z-RO Means of Travel: rocket ship



Doctor Sam Beckett led a group of top scientists into the desert to research his theory that a man could time travel within his own lifetime. Unfortunately, in order to save his funding, he was forced to enter the accelerator prematurely and vanished. He then found himself in someone else’s body with partial amnesia. His only contact from home is Al, a holographic image only he can see and hear. Setting right things which once went wrong, Sam leaps from life to life, hoping each time that this is the final leap home.


Scientists Tony Newman and Doug Phillips are the young heads of Project Tic-Toc, a multi-billion dollar government installation buried beneath the desert. They have invented a Time Tunnel, which will allow people to visit anywhere in time and space. While testing the tunnel for an impatient senator, Newman and Phillips became trapped in time, and each week coincidentally found themselves at the site of an important historical event, be it the Siege of Troy, the sinking of the Titanic or an assassination attempt on President Lincoln. Sometimes they traveled into the future, and battled alien invaders. Ann MacGregor, Gen. Kirk and Dr. Swain are the scientists trying to fix the malfunctioning Time Tunnel and bring Doug and Tony back to the present (1968).

THE TIME TUNNEL Means of Travel: Time Tunnel



The Chronic Argomauts_34 Morlock Night_35 Doomsday Book_36 The Time Machine_37

THE CHRONIC ARGONAUTS The Chronic Argonauts is a short story written by H. G. Wells. First published by the Royal College of Science in 1888, it is the first well-developed use of a machine constructed to travel through time in science fiction, as it predates Wells’s more famous time traveling novel, The Time Machine, by 7 years. This brief story begins with a third-person account of the arrival of a mysterious inventor to the peaceful Welsh town of Llyddwdd. Dr. Moses Nebogipfel takes up residence in a house sorely neglected after the deaths of its former inhabitants. The main bulk of the story concerns the apprehension of the simple rural folk who eventually


storm the inventor’s “devilish” workshop in an effort to repay supposed witchery. Nebogipfel escapes with one other person—the sympathetic Reverend Elijah Ulysses Cook—in what is later revealed to be a time machine. The next part picks up with an unnamed “Author” character discovering the dazed Reverend Cook returned from unbelievable exploits after having been missing for three weeks. The remainder of the story is the Reverend’s short retelling (again in the third-person) of the events that took place that night and the revelation that Nebogipfel is an “Anachronic Man” whose genius drives him to seek out a time more suited to his abilities.

Means of Travel: a time machine

Morlock Night is a science fiction novel by K. W. Jeter. It was published in 1979. A futuristic adventure completing the epic story of the Time Machine with the Murlocks as its riders and London as their new hunting ground for human cattle by the author of “Dr Adder”, “The Glass Hammer”,

“Infernal Devices” and “The Soul Eater”. Morlock Night uses the ideas of H. G. Wells in which the Morlocks of The Time Machine themselves use the device to travel back into the past and menace Victorian London. King Arthur and Merlin appear as England’s saviors.

MORLOCK NIGHT Means of Travel: a time machine


DOOMSDAY BOOK Means of Travel: a time machine


Doomsday Book is a 1992 science fiction novel by American author Connie Willis. The title of the book is a reference to the Domesday Book of 1086; Kivrin, the main character, says that her recording is “a record of life in the Middle Ages, which is what William the Conqueror’s survey turned out to be.� Willis imagines a near future in which historians conduct field work by traveling into the past as observers. In theory, history resists time travel which would cause the past to be altered by preventing visits to certain places or times. Typically the machine used for time travel will refuse to function, rendering the trip impossible. The time-traveler arrives at the nearest place-andtime suitable for preventing a paradox; variance can be anything from 5 minutes to 5 years. Some periods theoretically accessible can also be deemed too dangerous for the historians by the authorities controlling time travel.

THE TIME MACHINE The Time Machine is a science fiction novella by H. G. Wells, published in 1895 for the first time and later adapted into at least two feature films of the same name, as well as two television versions, and a large number of comic book adaptations. It indirectly inspired many more works of fiction in many media.

This 32,000 word story is generally credited with the popularisation of the concept of time travel using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposefully and selectively. The term “time machine�, coined by Wells, is now universally used to refer to such a vehicle. This work is an early example of the Dying Earth subgenre.

Means of Travel: a time machine


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