The Time Traveler, also known as George, Moses, Alexander Hartdegen, and other names, is a scientist who is the inventor of The Time Machine. He's also a temporal explorer, using his time machine to explore different times and realities.
As a young man, The Time Traveler, who at the time called himself "Moses", was a disorganized scientist, whose interests had him following optics. He was approached by a man named Gottfried Plattner, who offered him a mysterious substance called Plattnerite. With this material, he was able to start looking into the construction of a working Time Machine. ("The Time Ships")
Invention of the Time Machine
The Time Traveler was able to assemble a complex machine using the plattnerite. Upon its completion, he arranged a get-together with some of his friends to discuss the invention the following evening. However, before that time, he tested the machine, taking it all the way forward into the year 802,701 AD. ("The Time Machine")
Morlocks & Eloi
In that year, he explored the future world that at first seemed paradisaical to him. He soon encountered the playful Eloi, a humanoid species descended from modern-day man. He imagined them to be quiet masters of the world, having perfected technology so that they needn't do any work. However, he soon discovered that his Time Machine had gone missing, and the Eloi seemed ignorant. After further exploration, he soon encountered the Morlocks, subterranean nocturnal creatures, also descended from humans, who fed, dressed, and later ate the Eloi. The Time Traveler befriended Weena, an eloi girl who accompanied him on many of his explorations across the world. Unfortunately, in the end, he was unable to protect her from the Morlocks, who made off with her in the forest. Finally, the Time Traveler discovered his machine, which the Morlocks were using as bait to get him into the Morlock Sphinx. The Time Traveler took the bait, knowing he could dematerialize the machine by traveling in time. Although the Morlocks ambushed him as he boarded the machine, he was able to fight them off and travel into the future. ("The Time Machine")
The Time Traveler's real name was never given in the original novel, and so various adaptations have given him many different names.
Sources that try to maintain continuity with the original novel have given him the following names:
- Moses (last name unknown, The Time Ships)
Alternate versions of the time traveler include:
- George (last name unknown, 1960s film)
- H.G. Wells (Lois & Clark, Time After Time, etc)
- Alexander Hartdegen (2002 film)
- Tom Spender (Time Kid)
In "Time Kid", the character of the Time Traveler is split into two characters: the father, who invents the Time Machine, and the son, Tom Spender, who uses it to visit the future.
- Dr. Radnor (first name unknown, Morlocks)
- The Time Machine (Novel)
- The Man Who Loved Morlocks
- The Time Ships
- The Time Machine (1960 Film)
- The Time Machine (2002 Film)