BEYOND THE TIME BARRIER was the second of a pair of SF films shot in Dallas back-to-back over a two week period. The first, THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN, I covered Tuesday past. The director of both was Edgar G. Ulmer. This film was apparently a family project as Ulmer’s wife Shirley was script editor while their daughter Arianne starred as a Russian pilot Captain Markova.
Maj. William Allison(Robert Clarke) is a pilot flying a test mission in a new type of jet, the X-80, ten miles up on the edge of space when he reaches ten thousand miles an hour, breaking through time. Unknowingly he lands back at the base to find it deserted, ruins in some places.
He’s wandering through woods when he spots futuristic looking buildings ahead. before he can reach them, he’s hit with a paralyzing ray and taken to the Citadel, an underground base.
There he learns that the world went through a plague brought on by to much testing of atomic bombs, the destruction of the ozone layer, and cosmic radiation flooding the world. Most of the people are deaf mutes in the Citadel and sterile to boot. A dying world. Mutants, who can hear and speak, roam the surface world. The current time is 2024.
This film was a bit optimistic about man’s advancement. Allison’s ill fated flight took off on March 5, 1960. It was the first tests on getting man into space. By 1970, we had bases on Mars and Venus. In 1973, effects of the plague started to appear and all those on Earth not affected were hustled off to other world bases. People left behind called them the ‘Scapes.
The Citadel was ruled by The Supreme(Vladimir Sokoloff) and the head of security, The Captain(Boyd ‘Red’ Morgan). The captain is a suspicious man and The Supreme a grandfatherly type. He has a granddaughter, Princess Trirene(Darlene Tompkins), who can read minds and becomes Allison’s love interest very quickly.
Two scientists and the Russian pilot had pierced that time barrier also. General Kruse(Stephen Bekassy) and Dr. Bourman(John van Dreelen) came from 1994), Markova from 1973. The three are working on a plan, when they learn Allison has an intact jet, to go back through time. The idea is to get him back and prevent the plague.
But double cross on top of double cross plague the trio. They all want to be the ones to go back through time. return to their own places.
Allison returns to his own time, now a very old man, and gives humanity something to think about.
Cheezy sets and a plot with holes. Why keep a dungeon full of mutants? Either kill them outright or leave them om the Earth’s surface. No, they have them under guard for Markov to knife the man and release them in the climax of the film.