H.G. Wells, Time Travel and Make-Believe | Mark’s Remarks - Republic-Times | News

H.G. Wells, Time Travel and Make-Believe | Mark’s Remarks

By on October 10, 2018 at 10:30 am

I’ve always been impressed with the writing of H.G. Wells.   He has been called prolific and if you read his works, you will find he is a talented writer in a variety of genres.

I’m sure he was a fascinating person to be around. In case you forgot about him, you may remember some of his books including “The Time Machine,” “The Island of Doctor Moreau,” “The Invisible Man,” “The War of the Worlds” and “The War in the Air.” It’s not surprising that he was showered with accolades over his long career, including being a Nobel Prize nominee four times.

I’ve seen some of the movie and TV adaptations of his works, but probably my first memory of H.G. Wells was reading about “The War of the Worlds.”

I say that I read about it because it became quite a big deal in 1938. I wrote a column about it, I’m sure. Orson Welles and his acting troupe “The Mercury Players” put on a radio show in 1938, around Halloween, and managed to scare a few folks who thought the broadcast was really happening. Even though some accounts of the hysteria were proven to have been exaggerated, it’s still fun to read about many years later.

To think that a few folks in 1938 thought aliens were really landing in the United States and wreaking havoc on cities and small towns is a little bit fun, even if some folks took it seriously. I won’t go on, but I’d encourage you to do some reading on Welles and his radio broadcast “The War of the Worlds.” It might put you in the Halloween mood. 

The broadcast itself is available to listen to online. Curl up on the couch one night and pretend you’re living in 1938.  You might have some fun.

I just find it very intriguing that Wells was such a forward thinking writer.  I mean, to have written about time travel and space-age themes in the late 1800s intrigues me. 

Not too long ago, they tried to bring H.G. Wells and Jack the Ripper together in a TV show called “Time After Time.”  The premise of the show was that Wells had finally figured out time travel and happened to chase Jack the Ripper into the 21st century.

As you may guess, all characters in the show were attractive and smoldering and all the stuff that appeals to today’s audiences. I’m wondering if the real Jack the Ripper and Wells himself would be impressed with how they were portrayed.  They would definitely be intrigued by the women that were after them in the 21st century. I found it a bit laughable, but audiences won’t tune in unless there’s something pretty or shiny involved. Sad in many ways.

There were some great elements to the show, although I rarely have time to watch. I did manage to see parts of two episodes and I will say the acting and storyline were intriguing enough to make a pretty good show. Last I checked, the show hadn’t made it. Pretty people or not.

Still, I thought the show did a great job of portraying Wells and his fascination with time travel. It makes you wonder about such things and if they ever would or could be possible. Probably not, of course.  But it’s fun to think about.

Would you time travel if you could? Some people I’ve talked to say they would travel back in time just for one more conversation or meeting with a loved one who has passed. Yet I always balk at such a notion. To me, a one-time meeting, a last meeting with a loved one would be so incredibly painful that I don’t think I’d be able to do it.  What about you? I mean, it would be painful throughout the whole time knowing this would be the last time. Right?

But I think time travel would still be fun if you could visit places and times, just for a little while, just to experience it. I’d love to walk the streets of my hometown and my new hometown throughout the different decades. 

I think it would be fun to visit the 1904 World’s Fair or go back and watch the last piece of the Gateway Arch being placed. I could make a list of places and people I wouldn’t mind visiting. But I think it would have to be people and places I was a stranger to.

You may have guessed I find a bit of make-believe to be a stress reliever, even at my age.  I try to let my mind wander from time to time, on purpose.  There are plenty of times it wanders when I wish it wouldn’t.

So, where would you go if you could time travel? Even for a moment?

Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.