The time machine in The Time Machine

February 05, 2012

When I was little, I can remember watching The Time Machine with my dad and absolutely hating it. We thought the Morlock scenes were really stupid, and for years we made fun of the movie so much that it ended up becoming an inside joke. We'd act like the world was ending if we saw it pop up in the tv guide, and avoided seeing it again like the plague.

Then about five or six years ago I realized that Rod Taylor was pretty darn awesome (do not dare argue with me on this point. He is amaaaazing.) and I decided to revisit The Time Machine. I gave it a second chance, and absolutely fell in love with it. I lectured my dad on why it was actually a pretty stupendous movie, and then made him re-watch it too. And he changed his mind as well.

I can't tell what about the movie would have seemed so terrible to 7 year old me, but current me thinks it's one of the best movies ever made. I love the story (even those Morlocks who aren't so stupid after all) and I think the commentary on our never-ending state of war was brilliant. And Rod Taylor is, of course, his usual fantastic self, galavanting through time in one of the most beautiful gadgets Hollywood has ever created.

A couple months ago I was watching an episode of the show The Big Bang Theory in which the main characters bid on ebay for what they thought was the miniature version of the time machine, but was in fact the authentic full-size prop from the film. It got me thinking about the whereabouts of that prop, and whether or not you could actually bid on miniature versions of it on ebay!

I found out that the real prop from the movie is owned by actor Bob Burns, but the photos above show an exact working replica made by fan Carl Piermarini. His website includes a breakdown of each step, and behind the scenes photos of the work in progress. Honestly, if I had the money to make it and a place to put it I'd be over at Home Depot picking up the supplies to make one myself.

As for the miniatures, I found one pre-assembled miniature on ebay for a whopping $500, and a DIY 1/6 scale model version for about $100 here. Although I'm sure with a little ingenuity and lots of time you could probably make one from scratch for less.

It's kind of funny to me that if I had seen Time Machine miniatures 10 years ago, I would have sent the link to my dad with "LOL" in the subject line, and now I would do anything to own one.


DKoren said...

Hah! Too funny! Love this post! This was (still is) a family favorite over here. My dad and mom both saw in the theater when it came out (they hadn't met yet), and both sat through it twice that first viewing because they thought it was so awesome, and the rest was history. We used to go to the revival theaters to see it on the big screen when I was little (it was played rather frequently, often as a double feature with stuff like Forbidden Planet). The sphinx always scared me. Still does actually. That thing is beyond awesome and creepy. Rod Taylor... mmmm, Rod Taylor... what was I saying? Oh yeah, my parents have a miniature time machine replica that they got awhile back! It's very cool! And my sister used to go as a morlock for Halloween... no one knew what she was, but we all thought it was great.

Anonymous said...

I JUST saw The Time Machine about a week ago for the very first time. I thought it was BRILLIANT...and Rod Taylor was so wonderful! Sadly, my mum didn't like it. ):

But I'm determined to see him in more films. He's just so handsome in the fullest sense of the word...And his voice + accent is lovely.

Kelly Robinson said...

I was thinking about The Big Bang before I even scrolled down and saw it! Fun post.

Unknown said...

The Time Machine movie is actually really close to the book by H.G. Wells. Wells was a visionary and a fantastic story teller. The fact that you love the story 120 years after it was written says everything.