The 7 Most Inventive Time Machines In Film History

Time travel, changing the past and altering the future are concepts filmmakers simply cannot resist. Modern movies like Terminator: Dark Fate and The Adam Project continue to tackle time travel, envisioning some truly mind-blowing time machines.

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Time travel movies often grapple with moral dilemmas or show humanity’s overwhelming helplessness in the unstoppable march of time. But sometimes these films stun us with truly impressive devices, gadgets that challenge or reshape our expectations of what a time machine could be.


The Delorean from the “Back to the Future” trilogy (1985-1990)

The Back to the future trilogy set the bar for every time travel movie to follow when it began, with the unforgettable release of the first movie in 1985. Each movie chronicles the adventures of genius Doctor Emmet “Doc” Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and his friend/sidekick Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) starting with the accidental use of Doc’s experimental time machine in the first Back to the future film.

The time machine in question couldn’t be more original and stylish if she tried it, since it takes the form of a modified DMC Delorean. Re-fitted with the time travel device known as the Flux Capacitor, reaching speeds of 88 miles per hour in the iconic sports car allows its passengers and the vehicle to travel through time. To date, the Delorean of Back to the future remains one of the most recognizable movie cars and an icon of the time travel movie genre.

Time sleigh from ‘The Time Machine(1960)

HG Wells‘ 1895 novel The time machine contributed to the development of the science fiction genre. It stands to reason that the time machine remains one of the most important sci-fi devices in fiction; as the first of its kind, it definitely qualifies as one of cinema’s most inventive time machines.

The machine, which takes the form of an otherworldly-looking time sled, became a cinematic icon in 1960, with the Metrocolor release of the first film adaptation of the book. The film begins in Victorian England, with an inventor who builds a time machine that allows him to travel far into the future. The time traveler unwittingly discovers a dying land and the distant, warlike descendants of the fragmented human race.

Turnstile from ‘Tenet’ (2020)

Inventive is definitely a word you can use to describe the 2020s time warp spinners. Principle. Like the whole of Creationthese strange devices were so creative and bizarre that many onlookers walked out of Principle scratching his head.

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In Christopher NolanA 2020 sci-fi spy thriller, Turnstiles reverse the entropy of objects and people, allowing anything and everyone who passes through it to experience time in the opposite direction. What does this mean for the universe and the characters of Nolan’s film? An international conflict that moves back and forth through time. What does this mean for Principlethe public? Extremely cerebral and inventive spectacle that redefines sci-fi action movies.

time turner Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Does Hermione Granger’s Time Turner from Harry Potter movies count as a time machine if they are magical in nature? Anyway, his appearance in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban certainly was a surprise.

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Even more inventive than her quirky, clockwork appearance is the fact that Hermione, played by Emma Watson, have primarily used the incredibly powerful device for concurrent courses. It was impressive to see the film introduce time travel so early in the franchise – it would later become vital to the plot of the series’ sequel spin-off. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child— but it was equally amazing to see the movie set up and follow its own time travel rules so well.

TARDIS from Doctor Who (1996)

Although technically a TV creation, the TARDIS featured prominently in the 1996 TV movie Doctor Who. Fans of the classic BBC show will recognize the TARDIS – an acronym for “Time And Relative Dimension In Space” – as the spacecraft belonging to the show and film’s protagonist, the alien Time Lord known as from The Doctor (Paul McGann).

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There’s more to this time and space-jumping machine than meets the eye, as the TARDIS is notoriously incredibly bigger on the inside than it looks. The TARDIS featured in the 1996 show and film appears as a seemingly innocuous blue police box, as the ship’s technology allows it to disguise itself as ordinary environmental objects in its current environment (although the one the Doctor cares for seems stuck in its square shell).

Spa from Time travelling machine (2010)

Who knew moviegoers would see a hot tub propel someone back in time? Nobody, until the exit of Time travelling machine This is. The 2010 sci-fi comedy film follows a group of four depressed friends who, after accidentally spilling an energy drink on the hot tub console in their hotel room, fall into a desperate rush to the present after Was drawn to the hot tub in the step. – too distant past.

The concept of a spa time machine is hilarious and unexpected, and completely offbeat. Because of this, it takes its place among one of the most inventive time machines in cinematic history.

Icarus of Planet of the Apes (1968)

The Liberty 1, also known as Icarus, is the spacecraft whose journey at the speed of light brings astronaut George Taylor (Charlton-Heston) to the eponymous and dystopian world of the 1968s Planet of the Apes.

The Icarus occupies a special seat in the time machine corridors, a seat reserved for one of the few time machines that could actually work. According to physiciststhe science behind Icarus’ journey into the future is horribly sound, making the 1968 film’s uncomfortable depiction of the ape-ruled planet feel a little deeper.

NEXT: The 15 Best Time Travel Movies Ever Made, Ranked

James G. Williams