Herbert George Wells, or H.G. Wells, was an author native to 19th and 20th century Earth. After a life-changing encounter with the Sixth Doctor, he coined the phrase "science fiction" and began to write novels in that genre. Two of his novels in particular — The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds — later had both subtle and significant impact upon the Doctor's life.
Adventures with the Doctor
While holidaying in Scotland during the summer of 1885, a young H.G. Wells experimented with magic and believed he had summoned both Vena, who had appeared via the Timelash, and the Sixth Doctor, whose TARDIS seemed to follow her. The Doctor found Wells somewhat irritating. Wells accompanied the Doctor to the planet Karfel and helped him defeat the despotic Borad. Along the way, Wells found inspiration for the fiction he would write and publish. After the adventure was completed, the Doctor promised to take Herbert back to his own time. (TV: Timelash)
However, Wells did not begin writing these adventures until after another meeting with the Doctor, this time in his tenth incarnation, in 1889. Wells assisted the Doctor against both the time traveller Jonathan Smith and members of the Torchwood Institute. After the Doctor's departure, Wells witnessed the arrival of a past incarnation of the Doctor and Leela, but did not make himself known to them. (COMIC: The Time Machination)
At some point in the 1890s, Wells encountered the Second Doctor, who introduced himself as "John Smith". Wells was unaware that this was the same Doctor whose future incarnations he encountered before. (AUDIO: The Piltdown Men)
Disbelieving in time machines, Laurence Scarman compared the Fourth Doctor's assertions to the "scientific romances of Mr Wells." (TV: Pyramids of Mars) Other scoffers made similar statements. (TV: Black Orchid)
On 30 October 1938, actor Orson Welles mounted a radio production of Wells' The War of the Worlds, which was presented as a news broadcast; the resulting production sparked a nationwide panic. Unknown to the public at large, however, an actual invasion attempt occurred during this time which was thwarted by the Eighth Doctor. (AUDIO: Invaders from Mars)
River Song tried to explain to Bertie the existence of other civilisations by referring to works of H. G. Wells, but he thought of another book about a hole to the centre of the Earth. (AUDIO: The Boundless Sea)
Behind the scenes
- Doctor Who owes an obvious debt to Wells. The idea of a time machine originated in Wells' The Time Machine, and the plot of The Daleks has a lot of similarity to George Pal's movie adaptation of The Time Machine. The Daleks themselves resemble the Martians of The War of the Worlds. So unsurprisingly, a number of affectionate references to H. G. Wells have found their way into the series.
- Though Timelash suggests otherwise, in reality it was not H. G. Wells who coined the term "science fiction," but Hugo Gernsback.