EXCLUSIVE: Sky is taking another crack at time-travel after the pay-TV giant began developing a remake of H.G. Wells’ classic novella The Time Machine with Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell’s House Productions.

The BBC Worldwide-backed production company is developing the project with Nick Payne, the British playwright who recently wrote Toni Collette-fronted BBC drama Wanderlust, and director Kibwe Tavares, who has been involved in Mammoth Screen’s adaptation of Noughts & Crosses for the BBC. I understand that the project in the “very early stages of development.”

The drama would likely air on its Sky Atlantic channel, which is looking for more big-budget originals to air alongside dramas such as Riviera and Tin Star as well as its imported shows from HBO and Showtime.

The Time Machine, which was published in 1895, follows an English scientist living in Victorian England who recounts that time is simply a fourth dimension and demonstrates to his dinner guests how to travel through it.

It is Sky’s latest attempt to crack the story; last year, Line Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio and Episodes producer Hat Trick worked on an adaptation to mark the 150th anniversary of H.G. Wells’ birth. Mercurio was writing a version with Prey writer Chris Lunt.

Last year, Sky also launched The Nightmare Worlds of H.G. Wells to coincide with the anniversary. The Clerkenwells Films-produced four-part series starred Scum’s Ray Winstone as Wells, narrating and guiding the viewer through his sinister stories, comment­ing on the dark moralities of his characters and overseeing their twisted fate. It aired on Sky Arts.

The Time Machine has already been remade for U.S. audiences in 1978, when Sunn Classic Pictures adapted it for NBC. This followed a 1960 film for MGM, which was directed by George Pal and starred Rod Taylor. In 2002, Guy Pearce starred in another big screen adaptation alongside Jeremy Irons and Sienna Guillory, which was directed by Wells’ great-grandson Simon Wells.