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Series: Guest from the Future
Прекрасное далёко....
Guest from the Future (Гостья из будущего) is a 1984 Cult Classic Soviet Science Fiction TV Mini Series directed by Pavel Arsenov. It is based on the book One Hundred Years Ahead by Kir Bulychev, part of a series about Alisa Seleznyova, a girl from the future.

The series is considered a classic of Soviet sci-fi, and is often aired on television to this day. It exemplifies the optimism the Soviets had for science, technology, and futurism, as well as their faith in children. The film was followed by a sequel, Liliac Sphere. The theme song "Prekrasnoye Daleko" (roughly "Fair Unknown") by Yevgeny Krylatov has also become very popular. The star, Natalia Guseva, was inspired by her role in the film to become a scientist herself. The Fan Sequel Guest From The Future 2 may be seen here.

This film has a character sheet, a YMMV page, a WMG page, and a Tear Jerker page.

Has a recap page here.

Tropes:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The plot moves a lot faster, the space pirates are more dangerous, and we get Werther.
  • Applied Phlebotinum
    • The Mielofon.
    • The time machines.
    • The robots.
    • The flying cars.
    • The portals.
    • The inventory chamber.
  • Ascetic Aesthetic
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Jolly U and Rat tell Albina they are from a psychiatric hospital for dangerous children, and Alisa, the most dangerous person, has escaped. Albina gives them the information they need.
  • The Bechdel Test: Passes. Alisa and Yulia, while in the hospital, start by talking about where they are from, and then talk about food. Later on, they talk about Kolya and other boys, but not in a romantic sense, as they are trying to figure out which Kolya is the one who visited the future.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The children come to save Kolya from the pirates, Marta Erasovna steps in to defend the children against the pirates, and then Polina appears from the future to arrest the pirates.
  • Big Heroic Run: Plenty of running around Moscow.
  • Black Box: The Mielofon, literally.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Jolly U: "We have no right to traumatize an innocent child."
    • The man who saw the pirates carry Kolya away lies to the children, but is discovered by Mielofon.
  • Brick Joke: Marta Erasovna coming to the old house to look for Alisa, having chased after her for the last two episodes.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Mielofon. It can read the mind of any life form, so Alisa is at first using it on a crocodile at the zoo. Near the end, the children use it to read the mind of the witness and find Kolya in the old house.
  • Children Are Innocent: When the schoolchildren are looking for Kolya after he was carried away by the pirates, the eyewitness asks "What if [the pirates] have a right to carry boys?" The children reply, as one, "THERE IS NO SUCH RIGHT!" The pirates' torture of Kolya is played much darker than most of their other deeds.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: How the pirates plan to extract the location of the Mielofon from Kolya.
  • Composite Character: Werther is a combination of several future characters from the book.
  • Computer Voice: The time machine has a computer that speaks in a flat male voice. "Enter the circle. Grasp the handrails. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. [after trip] Transfer finished. Happy trip!"
  • Cool Car: The flying cars.
  • Creepy Basement: In the abandoned house.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: The book has the Rat using his shapeshifting for actor work.
  • Dawson Casting: Averted.
  • Description Porn: The inventory chamber in the Time Institute gives for life forms their species, location, and home era, and for objects their purpose, make, model, producer, and date of production. See here.
  • Dog Walks You: The big dog that chases Jolly U pulls its owner.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Alisa chasing after Kolya.
  • Dynamic Entry: The pirates crash their flying car into the doors of the Time Institute.
  • Encyclopedia Exposita: The inventory chamber.
  • Everything Sensor: The inventory chamber.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Dogs don't like the pirates very much.
  • Fan Sequel: Гостья из будущего-2 (Guest From The Future 2), in which a now-teenaged Alisa comes from the future and asks Kolya to help her fight Harry Potter, who is in fact a robot from the future who came to the beginning of the 21st century to stupefy people. They fight Harry Potter, destroy his transmitter, and then fix the world by driving a Cool Car Time Machine that returns things to the way they were in the 1980s. See it here.
  • Flying Car
  • The Future: 2084.
  • Getting Crap Past The Mielofon:
"It's some kind of fool who's in love. I don't feel comfortable listening to her."
"It's not entertainment; it's business."
"And we're not supposed to have satisfaction doing that."
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Werther.
  • Hugh Mann: The pirates' disguises are not perfect.
  • Joshikousei
  • Junior High: School 20. It's in fact a middle school, that is, junior and high combined into one continuous school. Standard operating procedure in the (ex-)USSR.
  • Kansas City Shuffle
  • Leitmotif: Alisa's theme "Prekrasnoe Daleko," the pulsating time-travel music, and the pirates' bumbling theme.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis
  • MacGuffin: The Mielofon.
  • Medium Awareness: Yulia explains that scientists in the future will name their inventions for the inventions described in science fiction books, showing to Alisa that Kolya Sadovsky is the wrong Kolya.
  • Mind Reading: The power of the Mielofon.
  • Moe Couplet: Alisa and Yulia.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal
  • Mundane Utility: There are portals that are used for public transit around Moscow, and the time machines are built around similar principles.
  • Museum of the Strange and Unusual: The Time Institute.
  • New Transfer Student: Yulia's explanation for Alisa's appearance in school.
  • Nostalgia Filter: The effects are a bit campy, and the acting is not Bolshoi Theater quality, but it is a fond childhood memory for many.
  • Nu Speling: Averted Trope.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted Trope. There are three boys named Kolya in class: Kolya Sulima, Kolya Sadovsky, and Kolya Gerasimov. So Alisa and Yulia come up with The Plan to find the right one.
  • The Plan: Devised by Alisa and Yulia to find the right Kolya.
  • Portal Network
  • The Power of Friendship
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Several changes have been made to make the plot more concise, cut down the number of characters, or keep the special effects within the limits of the budget.
    • Many alien future characters from the book were combined into Werther, who as a biorobot, was easier to film.
    • Jolly U and Rat were both Starfish Aliens, and only Rat could shapeshift. In the film, both pirates can shapeshift.
    • The Mielofon is simplified from a box with headphones and wires to a box with a crystal.
    • Alisa escaped the hospital a day after Yulia did, but in the film both escape on the same day.
    • The number of scenes of characters arguing has been reduced.
    • Kolya's last name was Naumov, but had to be changed to Gerasimov because they hired the actor Ilya Naumov (Fima).
  • Prophecies Are Always Right: Alisa tells the children their futures. However, it's ambiguous if she isn't making this up on the spot.
    • Harsher in Hindsight: given what we do know about the kids' future... Wonder if any single one of them survives long enough to see it all and meet Alisa again.
  • Ray Gun: Used by the pirates on Werther.
  • Raygun Gothic: The 2080s, which have energy weapons, space travel, time travel, humanoid robots, flying cars, and the Mielofon. Science and technology are so advanced that schoolchildren regularly launch rockets for projects.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Werther, who has a sense of humor (he suggests putting Kolya in the Time Museum), dedicates poetry to Polina, and performs a You Shall Not Pass Heroic Sacrifice against the pirates.
  • Rousseau Was Right
    • To the point where every person is more or less The Idealist except the two antagonists who are alien. There is this great sense of genuine optimism about the whole series. The people making it were not paying lip service, but truly believed in a "beautiful faraway future" in which there is peace, equality, great technological advancement and humanity as a whole took a great step forward. Alisa states that she is not special, all future children are as smart and athletic as her. The series ends on a fantastically optimistic point as Alisa tells her classmates that they will all become great members of a wonderful socialist country, making the finale particularly heartbreaking in hindsight.
  • Running Gag:
    • Kolya is always touching things.
    • Jolly U is obsessed with drinking kefir.
    • Rat cannot stop speaking in riddles.
    • Alik Borisovich is unable to finish his story about visiting the Sea of Azov.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: The schoolchildren wear orange Pioneer scarves, and Alisa gets one when Yulia gives her a uniform.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • Kolya's flight over Moscow.
    • The Kosmozoo.
  • Shapeshifting: The ability of the pirates.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Six Student Clique
    • The Head: Kolya Gerasimov.
    • The Muscle: Kolya Sadovsky.
    • The Quirk: Fima Korolev.
    • The Pretty One: Albina Fetisova or Lena Dombazova.
    • The Smart One: Yulia Gribkova.
    • The Wild One: Alisa Selezneva.
  • The Slow Path: Alisa promises the children they will see her in the future.
  • Space Clothes: Jumpsuits, silver and otherwise, as well as smooth, monochrome clothes.
    • But several people, such as Pavel and Electron, wear old-fashioned suits.
  • Space Pirates
  • Spell My Name with an S:
    • Alisa or Alice?
    • Kolya Sulima or Kolya Sulimov? The captions say Sulimov, but the credits say Sulima.
  • Talking Animal: Napoleon the goat, attributed to genetic engineering.
  • Technology Porn
  • Terminator Twosome: Alisa (good) and pirates (evil).
  • Theme Music Power-Up
  • Theme Song Assonance: The opening notes to "Prekrasnoe Daleko" sound like "Alisa Seleznyova, Alisa Seleznyova..."
  • Time Travel
  • To the Pain: The pirates threaten this to Kolya.
  • Totally Radical: Averted. The children speak pretty much like any kids who are 12 or 13.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Averted Trope. The plot starts off very quickly, and the scenes of characters arguing have been cut down from the book. See Pragmatic Adaptation above.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The pirates.
  • Wall Crawl: Jolly U climbs the walls of an apartment building to get away from a dog.
  • We Can Rule Together: The pirates suggest this to Kolya.
  • Where Are They Now: The actors.
    • Natalia Guseva (Alisa) acted in a few more films, but later became a scientist and had a daughter named Alesya.
    • Alexei Fomkin (Kolya) acted in some movies and theater, but died when his apartment burned.
    • Maria Ionesyan (Yulia) studied philosophy and emigrated to the USA, where she is now a business consultant.
    • Vyacheslav Nevinny (Jolly U) died from complications from diabetes.
    • Mikhail Kononov (Rat) died after a long illness.
    • Georgi Burkov (Doctor Alik Borisovich) died of thrombosis.
    • Semyon Buzgan (Kolya Sadovsky) moved to Israel and now owns a video store.
    • Inna Churkina (one of the schoolgirls at the Kosmodrome) is now known as Inna Gomes, actress and fashion model.
  • White Void Room
  • Wire Fu: Jumping over cars and walking up buildings, 15 years before The Matrix.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Jolly U pretends to be Kolya asking for help so he can lure Alisa into the old house.
  • X Meets Y: Guest from the Future is a Lighter and Softer mix of Terminator, Back to the Future, and Alice in Wonderland.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Werther tries to stop the pirates, but they pull out a blaster and shoot him.

The Mystery Of The Third PlanetFilm/Alice, Girl from the FutureLiliac Sphere
Early EditionSpeculative Fiction SeriesGotham
GremlinsFilms of the 1980sHeroes Shed No Tears
Generation KillMini SeriesHolocaust

alternative title(s): Guest From The Future
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