"A Brief History of Time"
Season 3, Episode 13
A Brief History of Time Van Kleiss
Air date February 10, 2012
Written by Paul Giacoppo
Directed by Chris Graham
Episode guide
"Remote Control"
"Mind Games"
Images | Quotes | Transcript

"A Brief History of Time" is the thirteenth episode of season three of Generator Rex and the 52nd of the overall series. It debuted on February 10, 2012.


Follow Van Kleiss on his millenia-spanning journey back to the present, but something is after him![1]


Now trapped in Ancient Egypt, Van Kleiss is seen building an odd chamber to help him return to his own time zone. Terrified by a strange force of energy that seems to be bent on his destruction, he enters the machine and activates it in the hopes that he can return to the present, only to wake up 2,000 years too early in the time of the Roman Empire.

He is immediately captured by a pair of soldiers and carted off to the coliseum to participate in the gladiator matches, but while being transported Van Kleiss begins to wonder what the strange force that had found him before truly was. He can feel its approach and wonders if his pursuer is some kind of anomaly bent on removing him from the timeline.

A Brief History of Time Bobo Haha

Bobo and Rex explore the ruins under stealth to avoid Providence.

In the present Rex Salazar and Bobo Haha are seen wandering around the ruins of the Hall of Records that Black Knight had destroyed in the hopes of hiding the truth about Van Kleiss. Doctor Holiday reveals that the information Rex has previously stolen from Providence led them to the realization that their old enemy had been sent back in time, mentioning that the nanites found near the site do indeed belong to Van Kleiss.

They become curious when the nanites found appear to be from entirely different points in the timeline due to the vast difference in age of the samples. This leads Holiday to believe that Van Kleiss invented a time machine to return to the present and had thus appeared in multiple eras of history.

Rex is amazed by the idea that his arch enemy could be alive and continues his search. While combing the ruins in the hopes of finding more clues to help the situation, Caesar Salazar appears alongside several Providence agents and continues to do the same before making similar findings and departing the scene.

Van Kleiss and Gladiator

Van Kleiss prepares to fight gladiator opponent.

In the past, Van Kleiss uses his enhanced abilities to defeat several different opponents in battle, even turning a lion into an EVO using his nanites. The Emperor of Rome is stricken in awe by his display of strength and enters the arena to personally greet his new champion. The emperor commends Van Kleiss for his strength and ferocity in battle and bows before him, believing the newcomer to be a god.

Taking advantage of the situation, Van Kleiss offers to ensure the emperor's continued rule and prosperity provided he is given the resources he needs and a quiet place to work. Van Kleiss then begins working on another machine very similar to the first, but upon its completion he receives word from the emperor that a strange anomaly is ravaging the kingdom.

Van Kleiss recognizes the description of what is causing the trouble as the force that pursued him before and jumps into his newly made chamber, again escaping death. Back in the present time, Rex investigates a portrait of Van Kleiss in Rome, during which Bobo makes a sarcastic comment about their old enemy. They are not alone as Caesar is also present during the investigation alongside several agents from Providence, but both teams ultimately leave to find the final piece of the puzzle.

Though Caesar notices his presence, he pretends and says out loud Providence's next step. Rex and the others are afraid that Van Kleiss invented a time machine, and that Providence seeks to take it for themselves. He and Bobo then rush to Paris on Doctor Holiday's direction. Van Kleiss laments about each reemergence from his chamber, remembering several different eras, and worrying about how low his supply of active nanites has become with each passing age.

Now horribly weakened, he begins to display signs of madness, even asking himself who he really is, the only thing he does know is that he has to get back to the present at all costs. Eventually he builds one last chamber with the hopes that he will eventually return home to the present age. His trail leads to Paris, with Providence and Rex finally arriving to find him in the present.


The group are surprised to find Van Kleiss.

In the streets below Paris, Rex and Bobo are joined by Doctor Holiday. She comments that they have reached the end of their search as the trio finally finds the chamber containing Van Kleiss. They begin to ponder what to do next only to be interrupted by Caesar and a pair of Providence agents. Although the soldiers raise their weapons in a hostile manner, Rex's brother calls them off and explains that the machine in front of them is a pod used for preserving nanites and is not actually a time machine.

They are shocked to learn that although Van Kleiss had preserved his body, he was conscious inside the device and had been aware of every passing moment while contained inside. The chamber then opens, revealing the preserved form of their old enemy, his appearance ragged from years of running away, and now sporting a full beard and mustache. Rex remarks that he must be a mummy, only for Van Kleiss to spring to life and grab a hold of him.

Driven paranoid by the years of being trapped in stasis while hiding from the force that pursued him, he screams like a madman and begs Rex to protect him from the anomaly. They attempt to calm him down by telling him that he is back in the proper time, but the yellow energy field disables two Providence agents and closes in on him. Van Kleiss runs away in terror only to be restrained by Bobo.

Rex tries to stop the anomaly, despite Holiday telling him that nothing can contain it. Caesar refutes this claim and hands a device to his younger brother, and Rex exclaims that he knows who and what the disturbance really is. Reaching into the mass of energy, Rex struggles for a moment before pulling out Breach, causing the disturbance to subside.

He cradles her in his arms and calls out as she opens her eyes, the device that Van Kleiss forced her to wear finally breaking apart. Breach looks up groggily and asks him if he is real or simply a dream, but Rex explains that he is real. She remarks that being trapped in the previous state was like being everywhere and nowhere at once. Holiday realizes and explains that since the device was controlled by Van Kleiss, she would have drawn to him no matter what era he was in, thus explaining why the force followed him through the ages.

Meanwhile, when Breach begrudgingly thanks them, Rex assures her that any friend would have done the same, asking awkwardly if they are still friends, and she responds to his question with a genuine smile before disappearing into one of her portals. Caesar then steps forward and congratulates his brother. Rex questions why they wanted the stasis chamber, but the answer becomes all too clear as the Providence agents move in and arrest Van Kleiss.

Annoyed by his response, Rex tries to question him, but Caesar simply tells him that Providence would see that Van Kleiss was placed under watch and well taken care of. Doctor Holiday says that they will simply do their job no matter what.

Black Knight and Van Kleiss 2

Black Knight and Van Kleiss.

Back at Providence Headquarters, Van Kleiss is dragged down the halls by a pair of Black Pawns and unceremoniously tossed into a room to await his fate. A moment after the agents leave, Black Knight enters the office and snidely mentions that he looks terrible.

She questions whether or not he recognizes her, but at first Van Kleiss seems to be just as paranoid and unstable as before. He quickly snaps out of it upon seeing her up close, finally recovering a semblance of his former composure. He feebly mentions that it has been a long time.


Voice Actor Role(s)
Daryl Sabara Rex Salazar
John DiMaggio Bobo Haha
Freddy Rodriguez Caesar Salazar
Grey DeLisle Dr. Holiday
Troy Baker Van Kleiss
Jennifer Hale Black Knight
Hynden Walch Breach
Corey Burton Septimius Severus (debut)
Non-speaking role(s)
Gharun Set
Lion EVO (debut)


  • Van Kleiss' voyage through time lands him in: ancient Egypt, Rome, Scandinavia, the Mongol empire or feudal Japan and a Meso-American empire. Egypt and Rome are the only two that are seen, while the others are only images.
  • The name of the episode may be a reference to the homonymous best-seller book A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes, written by physicist Stephen Hawking.
  • Breach and Van Kleiss makes their first appearance since "Lions and Lambs".
  • The Lion EVO resembles a trio of Greek and Roman mythological creatures:
    • The Nemean lion, a giant lion slayed by Hercules as one of his twelve labours.
    • The Chimera, a creature with a lion's body, a goat head sticking out of its back and with a snake for a tail.
    • Cerberus, a giant three-headed dog said to be the guardian of the underworld.
  • Van Kleiss made a reference to these similarities; when he released the lion, he told it to "Start a few legends."


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.