Why 2024 is beyond the time barrier

Why 2024 is beyond the time barrier

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This week we’re quoting The Supreme (a character in the 1960 cult movie, Beyond the Time Barrier)

What The Supreme said: 

“I fear our future is done, Captain.” 

OK…what?

If you’ve been reading the LEAP newsletter for a while now, you’ll know that every now and then we go down a little sci-fi vortex and celebrate the weird and wonderful tech that exists in our favourite films. 

Well, as you know, we’re now living in the year 2024. 

And you know who else lived in the year 2024? 

The characters in the 1960 cult classic, Beyond the Time Barrier. 

Directed by B-movie legend Edgar G Ulmer, it’s a sci-fi time travelling classic in which a military test pilot called Allison gets caught in a time warp. He’s launched to the year 2024 – when he discovered a plague has sterilised the entire population of the world. 

It was made 64 years ago, and set in 2024

So how does its depiction of our present day match up to reality? 

We have to admit, the issue of the plague changing the whole world feels a little too close for comfort in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

And each viewer’s unique perspective will determine whether they see the movie’s fantastical portrayal of 2024 as grainy sci-fi joy or more of a grim reality. 

If you watch it, you’ll see: 

  • Excellent 1960s acting (or should we say over-acting).
  • A “beautiful, horrible cave world you’ve never dreamed of” (as per the movie trailer, which you can watch on YouTube here).
  • A wonderful selection of 60s sci-fi film props, from plastic time prison tubes to, erm…ladders.
  • Bloodthirsty mutants creating a sense of threat on the periphery of most scenes.
  • Some brilliantly unrealistic fight scenes, paralysing ray guns, and truly lovely old aircraft.
  • And the kind of retro sci-fi architecture that one can only dream of: think triangular prism ceilings and bulky, boxy structures everywhere.  

The plague that ruined everyone’s lives was, by the way, caused by radioactive dust from atomic tests which broke down the protective layers of the atmosphere and allowed lethal radiation from space to settle over the planet. 

A solar energy plant and an underlying message

We’ve got to be fair though: there were quite a few elements in the movie that did hint at our actual present day reality. 

For example, Allison is put to work developing a solar energy plant to generate power for a struggling society. And the whole film ultimately feels like a warning: that we must act fast to undo some of the mistakes humanity has made and protect the environment if we want to survive. 

If you do watch the movie, remember it was made in the 1960s. Not everything about it has aged very well. 

If you’ve seen other sci-fi films set in 2024 (or 2025, or 2026…?) we’d love to know about them. Join the conversation on LinkedIn and tell us about your favourites.



Have an idea for a topic you'd like us to cover? We're eager to hear it! Drop us a message and share your thoughts.

Catch you next week,
Richard McKeon
Group Marketing Director

P.S. - Mark your calendars for LEAP 2024 📅 4-7 March 2024. Want to be a part of the action?


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