Time Machine: The Journey Back is a documentary film, produced in 1993 for airing on PBS stations. It was hosted by Rod Taylor and produced and directed by Clyde Lucas. The film was made about the Time Machine prop, not the movie, but during filming, Bob Burns surprised director Clyde Lucas by having Gene Warren, Sr. drop by. Warren, the award winning effects creator for the original movie, consented to an on-air interview in which he discussed creating the special effects for the film. This led to an interview with one of Warren's partners, Wah Chang, in Northern California. Chang and Warren shared more details about creating the effects and how the little Time Machine prop was made.
Lucas contacted the original screenwriter, David Duncan, who agreed to write a mini-sequel to George Pal's classic. The mini-sequel reunited George (Rod Taylor) with Filby (Alan Young) in a scene set during the Great War just before Filby (now a senior officer in the British Army) is to leave for France. George, knowing that Filby is destined to die on May 15, 1916, in a plane crash on the coast of France, attempts unsuccessfully to convince Filby to join him in time travel to the future instead, and mentions having spent many wonderful years with Weena the Eloi, but Filby refuses to join George in time travel. Filby leaves. The scene ends with George alone meditating out loud about the possibility of travelling to the day before Filby's death in order to attempt a rescue again. Lucas first filmed Whit Bissell for the opening, recreating his role as George's friend and colleague Walter Kemp, this time in 1932, reminiscing about his friend, the inventor, whom no one has seen for 32 years. It would be Bissell's last acting performance.
The film won a Saturn Award and a Telly Award. It was included as a "special feature" on the DVD for George Pal's film The Time Machine, released by Warner Bros. and was featured in Starlog Magazine.
In July 2014, Warner Bros. released both the film and the documentary on Blu-ray Disc.