Гостья из будущего (Guests From the Future) is a five-part children’s science fiction television series from 1985. Based on Kir Bulychev’s popular 1978 children’s book One Hundred Years Ahead, Guests from the Future became an instant classic. Produced by the prestigious Gorky Film Studio, the show featured, for its time, convincing sets depicting the far future, music that captured the ears of young and elderly viewers alike, and, perhaps most importantly, featured the young Natasha Guseva in the lead role of Alice. Guseva’s wide eyes, lilting voice, feathered hair, and sweet demeanor made her an instant and lasting icon of beauty for children across the USSR.

Each episode has a one-hour run time. The show begins its tale in Moscow, April 1984. Friends Kolya Gerasimov (Коля Герасимов) and Fima Korolyov (Фима Королёв) find a time machine in the basement of an abandoned house, which they use to transport Kolya one hundred years into the future. There, he lands inside the Moscow Institute of Time, and officials permit the boy to explore future-Moscow, where kids kids use “flips,” personal aircraft the size of a mini-car. Kolya uses one to fly to the moon (he’d wanted to go as far as Uranus, but didn’t have the appropriate ticket). He wanders the spaceport instead, eventually bumping into a pair of bungling space pirates trying to take control of a mind-reading device that belongs to Alice Seleznyova (Алиса Селезнёва), a zoo employee. Kolya instead gains control of the device and returns to 1984, where he is hit by a car and sent to the hospital.

Alice and the space pirates follow Kolya back to 1984. Kolya attempts to return the device to Alice, but the space pirates interrupt the plan and an epic space pirate chase-scene/battle ensues. At the end of the film, Alice, Kolya, and Fima say goodbye, she reveals their future professions with the film’s signature song: “The Beautiful Far Away.”

 

The full series can be found on YouTube in Russian:

Katheryn Weaver is a student of rhetoric and history at the University of Texas, Austin. Her primary areas of investigation include revolution and the rhetorical justification of violence against individuals, state, and society. She is currently studying Russian as a Second Language with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship.