Deus ex Machina is a Latin phrase from the Greek "apó mēchanēs theós." It literally means God from Machine. Originally it referred to a crane used to lower an actor, portraying a god, from over the top of the Skene < Skeen - ay> or back wall of a Greek theatre. Now days deus ex machina usually reffers to any major "trick" employed in a production. In Literary circles deus ex machina refers to the literary trick of a major twist at the height of action in a story, eg " ....and then the Frodo woke up and realized it had all been a terrible dream...."