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Sci-fi that predicted the future wrong


Predicting what will happen in the future is a tricky business. Even Nostradamus fluffed up every now and then.

So let's not get too angry with those poor TV and film professionals who put their necks on the line and made bold statements on how they thought things would play out. We can still laugh though.

Here are ten of the most inaccurate:

(Images: Rex Features, All Star)

A Clockwork Orange (1962)

Some might say Stanley Kubrick’s vision of gangs of violent, drugged-up youths speaking a strange language showed Russell Grant-esque foresight. Sadly, his styling of Britain’s troubled youth, with bowler hats (pictured) and a love of classical music, was more Hugh Grant.

Lost In Space (1965-1968)

“Danger, Will Robinson!” bleated the digital tones of the Model Luke H, Class M-3 General Utility Non-Theorising Environmental Control Robot, as the Robinson family left to colonise Alpha Centauri in 1997. In the real 1997, we still treated mobile phones as witchcraft.

The Terminator franchise (1984- )

Born in the Cold War, you can forgive The Terminator for envisaging a Nuclear holocaust. The problem is, it set in place an immovable series of future events that the sequels had to follow. In reality, 2004 did not see the end of the world, merely the end of rock combo Creed.

Strange Days (1995)

If you introduce ‘mind-bending’ new technology into your film, don’t set it four years in the future. This is why, for Christmas 1999, you did not receive MiniDiscs that probed your mind, as in Kathryn Bigelow’s movie. By 1999, we had MP3s anyway...

Timecop (1994)

A film made in 1994 told us that time travel will be possible in the late Nineties and early Noughties and, you know, because Jean-Claude Van Damme was in it, we believed it. You betrayed our trust, JCVD. Before then we'd always believed your wild, untamed scientific predictions.

Space: 1999 (1975-1977)

For a quarter of a century Gerry Anderson ruled children’s television, from Thunderbirds to Terrahawks. However, the master of suspending disbelief (you know, the strings) made the legacytainting error of dating this live-action series set on a moon-base.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

We’d wager a thousand moon dollars that Kubrick wished he’d added a couple of centuries. In 2001, Pan Am had been defunct for 10 years; it was not flying people to space stations. The sequel 2010 didn't fare much better...

Death Race 2000 (1975)

Apart from Total Wipeout, today’s reality TV doesn’t tend to involve violence. That said, if 2000 had seen a show that involved Sly Stallone hurtling across a fascist police state in a rule-free car race, certain channels would have been all over it.

Things To Come (1936)

HG Wells’ vision of the period 1936-2036 could have worked out better. War in the Forties? Check, but a no-brainer back then. New-age pacifist civilisation formed in Basra, Iraq? Ah.

Project Moon Base (1953)

Not a classic, granted, but notable for predicting we’d be living on moon-bases by 1970 and its phenomenal score of 2.1 out of 10 on IMDb.com. Even in 1953 that surely seemed to be completely impossible.



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