The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 Related to: The Sense of the Past
 from antiquity to 2017



   The Sense of the Past
by Henry James
First publication: 26 Oct 1917

When the last of the English Pendrels dies and leaves a London estate house to American Ralph Pendrel, the young Pendrel travels to England and finds himself inhabiting the body of an even earlier Pendrel. Unfortunately, when Henry James himself died, that’s as far as he’d gotten in writing the book, although the posthumous publication included James’s notes on the conclusion—plenty enough to inspire a litany of followers from countless versions of Berkeley Square to H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Out of Time.”

 He clung to his gravity, which somehow steadied him—so odd it was that the sense of her understanding wouldnt be abated, which even a particular lapse, he could see . . . 

—final words written by James in the unfinished novel


from the 1946 production by the Progressive Players Amateur Drama Company (Gateshead, England)

   Berkeley Square
by John L. Balderston and Jack C. Squire
First performance: 6 Oct 1926

Based on Henry James’s The Sense of the Past, Balderston’s play follows modern-day American Peter Standish who exchanges place with his American Revolution ancestor. Leslie Howard starred in the 1929 Broadway run. Some sources list Jack C. Squire as a coauthor.

 [The same room, at the same time, on the same day, in 1928. Most of the furniture remains, but the tone of time has settled upon it, and there are some changes.] 

—from the stage directions




   Berkeley Square
by John L. Balderston, Henry James and Sonya Levien (Frank Lloyd, director)
First release: 15 Sep 1933

Leslie Howard reprises his dual role of Peter Standish(es) from the 1929 Broadway version of the Balderston’s Berkeley Square, which in turn was based on Henry James’s unfinished novel.

 How many of us have wished that we might escape from the dull reality of the present into the glamor and romance of yesterday?
But if we could journey back into the mystery of the past, should we find contentment—or unhappiness?
 




   Lux Radio Theater
aka Hollywood Radio Theater
First time travel: “Berkeley Square,” 9 Dec 1934

The long-running Lux Radio Theater (later renamed Hollywood Radio Theater to avoid commercial ties when it moved to the Armed Forces Radio Network) did productions of both Berkeley Square (with Leslie Howard reprising his movie role) and I’ll Never Forget You” (with Tyrone Power reprising his role). They also adapted other movies of interest such as the iconic The Day the Earth Stood Still.

 Greetings from Hollywood. Ladies and gentlemen: I think youll be as intrigued with our play tonight as I was when I discovered it was a most unusual love story, the story of a modern scientist in love with a girl whom he meets in another century. 

—I’ll Never Forget You




   “The Shadow Out of Time”
by H.P. Lovecraft
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1936

During an economics lecture, Professor Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee’s body and mind are taken over by a being who can travel to any time and place of his choice, and during the next five years the being studies us, all of which Peaslee pieces together after his return.

Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi says that Lovecraft saw the movie Berkeley Square four times in 1933, and “its portrayal of a man of the 20th century who somehow merges his personality with that of is 18th-century ancestor” served as Lovecraft’s inspiration for this story.

 The projected mind, in the body of the organism of the future, would then pose as a member of the race whose outward form it wore, learning as quickly as possible all that could be learned of the chosen age and its massed information and techniques. 




   Hallmark Playhouse
hosted by James Hilton
First time travel: 3 Mar 1949 in Berkeley Square

Before tv’s Hallmark Hall of Fame, CBS aired the half-hour Hallmark Playhouse on its radio networks. I spotted only one time-travel episode, the well-worn Berkeley Square, which aired on 3 Mar 1949.

 An ancestor of mine built this house in 1730. See that picture there, above the fireplace? His father. Look at it. 




Young William Shatner

   Studio One
created by Fletcher Markle
First time travel: 20 Mar 1949 (“Berkeley Square”)

Almost every week for a period of nearly eleven years (7 Nov 1948 to 29 Sep 1958), Studio One presented a black-and-white drama to CBS’s television audience. We can claim some of the tv plays as our own in the sf genre, and at least two included time travel (a “Berkeley Square” remake on 20 March 1949, and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” on 19 May 1952). One other sf connection comes from Studio One clips of William Shatner (in “The Defender”, 1957) which were used to portray a young Denny Crane in an episode of Boston Legal (“Son of the Defender”, 2007).

 Youve heard of the transmigration of soul; have you ever heard of the transposition of a mans body in time and place? 

—A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court




   I’ll Never Forget You
aka The House in the Square, aka Man of Two Worlds
adapted by Ranald MacDougall
First release: 7 Dec 1951

John Balderston’s play Berkeley Square is updated to the 1950s where Peter Standish, now an atomic scientist, is once again transported back to the 18th century (unfortunately, not via a nuclear accident) to romance beautiful Kate Petigrew.

 Roger, I believe the 18th century still exists. Its all around us, if only we could find it. Put it this way: Polaris, the North Star, is very bright, yet its light takes nearly fifty years to reach us. For all we know, Polaris may have ceased to exist somewhere around 1900. Yet we still see it, its past is our present. As far as Polaris is concerned, Teddy Roosevelt is just going down San Juan hill. 




   Hallmark Hall of Fame
First time travel: 5 Feb 1959

Over the years, I’ve seen dozens of the Hallmark Hall of Fame specials. More recently, I went through the list of episodes back to 1951 when they started as a weekly anthology show on NBC. I spotted only one episode with time travel, the venerable Berkeley Square, broadcast in color on a special day in 1959, but I haven't yet tracked down a copy to watch.

from the telerecording of Nineteen-Eighty-Four

   BBC Sunday-Night Theater
aka BBC Sunday-Night Play
First time travel: 31 May 1959

For nearly all of 14 years, the BBC staged and broadcast weekly live plays, at least one which included time travel: a production of the 1926 play, Berkeley Square. According to lostshows.com, no copy of Berkeley Square survived, but I did enjoy a telerecording of their 1954 staging of Nineteen-Eighty-Four (with no time travel!) that caused a stir in cold-war era Britain.

 Attention, comrades, attention! Here is a complementary production bulletin issued by the Ministry of Plenty giving further glorious news of the success of the seventh three-year plan! In clear demonstration of the rising standards of our new, happy life, the latest calculated increases are as follows . . . 

Nineteen-Eighty-Four




   Dark Adventure Radio Theatre
First time travel: “The Shadow Out of Time,” 27 Oct 2009

Dark Adventure Radio Theatre, produced by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, does audio dramatizations of Lovecraft’ stories including a nice 77-minute production of “The Shadow Out of Time.”

 Tales of intrigue, adventure, and the mysterious occult that will stir your imagination and make your very blood run cold. This is Dark Adventure Radio Theatre, with your host Chester Langfield. Todays episode: H.P. Lovecrafts The Shadow Out of Time! 




   The Shadow Out of Time
adapted by Richard Svensson and Daniel Lennéer (Lennméer and Svensson, director)
First release: 3 Apr 2012 (internet)

A short adaptation of Lovecraft’s story, but just narration over video with no dramatization (similar to the story itself for that matter).

 This is the story of the nightmare that took hold of my life. 


 


12 items are in the time-travel list for these search settings.
Thanks for visiting my time-travel page, and thanks to the many sources that provided stories and more (see the Links and Credits in the menu at the top). —Michael (
main@colorado.edu)