con-sara-cy theories

Episode 9: H.G. Wells' Things to Come

March 20, 2024 Episode 9
Episode 9: H.G. Wells' Things to Come
con-sara-cy theories
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con-sara-cy theories
Episode 9: H.G. Wells' Things to Come
Mar 20, 2024 Episode 9

Dystopian, predictive sci-fi? Yes, please!

"After a global war followed by a pandemic that leaves what’s left of civilization living underground, a mysterious stranger brings hope for renewal."

The write-up speaks volumes . . .

⚠️ Spoilers ahead.

Links:

https://tubitv.com/movies/624925/things-to-come

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Things_to_Come


Need more? You can visit the website at: https://consaracytheories.com/ or my own site at: https://saracausey.com/. Don't forget to check out the blog at: https://consaracytheories.com/blog

Show Notes Transcript

Dystopian, predictive sci-fi? Yes, please!

"After a global war followed by a pandemic that leaves what’s left of civilization living underground, a mysterious stranger brings hope for renewal."

The write-up speaks volumes . . .

⚠️ Spoilers ahead.

Links:

https://tubitv.com/movies/624925/things-to-come

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Things_to_Come


Need more? You can visit the website at: https://consaracytheories.com/ or my own site at: https://saracausey.com/. Don't forget to check out the blog at: https://consaracytheories.com/blog

Transcription by Otter.ai.  Please forgive any typos!

 Welcome to con-sara-cy theories. Are you ready to ask questions you shouldn't and find information you're not supposed to know? Well, you're in the right place. Here is your host, Sara Causey. 

Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. In tonight's episode, I want to talk about the HG Wells film things to come from 1936. I was actually not familiar with this movie beforehand. I heard somebody mentioned it. I think it might have been Jay Dyer. I think I heard somebody mentioned it on YouTube. And I thought dystopian sci fi that's predictive and creepy. Yes, please, I'm there for that. So I'm gonna pour myself up a beverage. And we will saddle up and talk about things to come. Now I was able to watch this movie free of charge on Tubi. I think it's on a variety of streaming platforms, maybe even on YouTube for free. I believe it's lapsed into the public domain at this point. So wherever you're listening to this broadcast, you should be able to access it's somewhere in the world for free. Spoilers lie ahead. So if you would like to see this film without me spoiling it for you, which I would actually recommend, if you've never watched the movie before, and you're not familiar with it, bookmark this episode, download it, come back to it later, after you've had the opportunity to watch this film, draw your own conclusions and see what strikes you as being meaningful about this movie rather than me spoiling it for you. But with all of that said, drumroll please. Spoilers lie ahead. So if you're still with me, I'm going to assume that you're fine with me telling you the the intimate details of this film. So it begins on Christmas Day of 1940. And there's this businessman named John Cabal, C A B A L. There's bound to be some meaning in that John Cabal. And he lives in this city called every town, which apparently is a British city of some kind. It looks very English from the architecture. But it's literally called every town so there's not mystery there. Any community in the UK, any community in Europe of the time probably look fairly similar. So it's Christmas time, and John is having a difficult time being able to get into the Christmas festivities and just relax because there are all these rumors of war. And one of his friends named Pippa reminds me so much of the American public because he's like, threatened men rarely get hurt, threatened. Wars rarely happen. Somebody's always in the media talking about gloom and doom, but it usually doesn't happen. So we're probably going to be fine. But then he adds to it. Even if the war does happen. Is it really that bad? Because war usually brings progress and it brings more technology so like, even if the war happens, it will increase technological progress, and there will be some benefit to it. So i Hey, we kind of like when either way, man and as I'm sitting there watching this or just like, oh my god, rubbing my face, you know? That's, that's the American public for you. Oh, warfare, gloom and doom, these preppers are idiots. They Chicken Little The sky is falling. They always think something bad's gonna happen. If you predict a recession often enough, you're bound to be right, because sooner or later it's going to happen, but the world just keeps on turnin. It just Pippa really reminded me of that segment of the public that they're not going to prepare. They don't care about history, they don't think past is prologue, they just most of the time have their heads up their own butts. Now they can tell you all about a particular sports team, they can tell you all about who Taylor Swift is dating, they can go on and on ad nauseam about celebrity gossip, and silly bullshit. And they may even be able to tell you all about Sally Sue and the HOA and who's in trouble in the neighborhood, just trivial nonsense. But when it comes to something that could actually save their lives, they don't want to hear it. So for me, PIPA was like just this perfect encapsulation of a public that doesn't want to hear it. And in the backdrop of all of this, you know, there's a Christmas tree and there's kids, you know, blithely unaware as little kids should be, then anything's going wrong. They're opening their gifts and just having a good time around the Christmas tree. But a war actually does break out. So it's no longer a rumor. The war actually happens. And there's like, an aerial bombing raid that occurs that very night and people become frantic out in the streets. They're trying to find shelter. They're trying to figure out what's going on. They're trying not to get killed. And cabal actually becomes a pilot in the Air Force. And he, like at one point, he shoots down an enemy pilot. And this little girl comes running up, like I guess he's dropped something like this enemy pilot has dropped something like mustard gas. And this little girl is like running for her life. And the enemy pilot actually gives up his gas mask, he says I'm going to die anyway. So he gives up his gas mask to the little girl. And then cabal saves the little girl and they get back in the airplane and try to get away from this poisonous gas. Very depressing setting. But this war continues. So one of the things that HG Wells predicts in this film is not only that there's going to be a world war, but that it is going to go on for years. Obviously, it goes on longer than the actuality of World War Two. However, when we think about the Cold War mean, what happens after World War Two, were thrown into the cold war between the US and the USSR. And that did go on for decades. So I thought that that was an interesting prediction. But the war goes on for so long. That it's like what how did this war even start back in 1940? Anyway, generations of people are coming and going yet this war is still happening. And the, like the actual environment, the atmosphere, the cities, everything is just in shambles. And like, there's this warlord type guy that's ruling over a community. And he has almost like a throne or a palace that set up in the ruins of an old house. So like he has an ornate chair and a beautiful bed and some beautiful clothing. But it's all in the midst of rubble, like walls are falling down and windows are broken out yet he's trying to call this his palace more or less. So as his war rages on, the government's fall apart, the economy is ruined, and some type of illness breaks out. Hmm, sounds kind of familiar, doesn't it? This illness breaks out called the wandering sickness. And it's never really explicated very clearly, exactly what this sickness is in the movie. It just causes people to walk around in a zombified state. It's like they just get up and wander. They don't really sleep, they don't really eat. It's almost like they've been lobotomized, they just wander. And one of these warlords decides that the only way to handle this plague is to kill the victims. Don't try to look for a cure, don't try to quarantine them, just shoot them on site. So they post snipers around the rooftops. And whenever somebody is succumbed to this wandering sickness, they just get popped. So then this warlord, I think, somewhere around 1970 In this film, because again, this this world war goes on for decades, somewhere around 1970. There's a warlord that has popped up and he has become like the Grand Pooh Bah, of the wreckage that's left of every town. And he's the one I'm talking about that like he has this throne and this palace that's just in the ruins of an old building. But he decides to start another war, but it's like a civil war, because he is fighting like the rural people to obtain their coal. He wants to be able to get their coal and their petroleum products because he thinks that he can revitalize his own Air Force. He has like kind of a brokedown collection of old planes from the war. And he thinks that if he can subjugate these people in this rural area where they have coal and shale and petroleum products, then his mechanics will be able to get his brokedown airplanes fixed and working again. So in the midst of all this, a brand new nice airplane, lands in every town, and it turns out to be John cabal only now, of course, because all these decades have gone by he's elderly, but it's still just Raymond Massey in, you know, a lot of gray hair and makeup, which wasn't done badly. Actually, for the time I didn't think that the makeup was done poorly at all, given what they had to work with back in the 30s. You know, you think about the old monster movies Frankenstein, and Dracula and the mummy. It wasn't it was not bad.

 

So John cabal is telling them all about how this group of engineers and McCain Enix scientists like the Smarties, if you will, who have survived the war, have formed their own civilization and they're calling it wings over the world. And of course, they have airplanes because they're engineers, they're scientists, they're mechanics. They they know how to, to build and repair their own air fleet. And they have like a headquarters in Iraq. And they're spreading out through the east through the Mediterranean. And they're trying to form their own utopia, where they're going to outlaw war. And they're going to restart civilization with the Smarties in charge. And he makes the offer to this warlord to join the wings. But the warlord declines and he takes John cabal as a prisoner and he wants cabal to fix his airplanes and make them fly again. And there's some the this warlords wife or girlfriend concubine, whoever she is in the film, there's some dialogue there between the two of them. And the warlord gets mad and tries to leave cabal in this room filled with darkness. But you know, I mean, you're sitting there you're watching this movie, you know, at some point there's going to be a jailbreak cabal is not going to die in this prison in the ruins of every town. But so cabal does help the mechanic like the warlords mechanic who's frustrated with him, Cabal does help him. And the mechanic in turn, helps cabal to contact wings over the world. Well, they come in with their new nicer state of the art airplanes and take over the town. And they release this substance called the gas of peace that temporarily makes the inhabitants of this every town unconscious. And then when the people wake up from their sleep, they find that wings over the world has taken over and the warlord is dead. But cabal tells them that wings over the world is going to be a better regime, because they've Outlawed War. They just want peace. And they want progress. They want to focus on technological and scientific progress. So of course with cabal at the helm, Wings Over the world does rebuild its civilization. And then we skip ahead in time and we go we go so far ahead of time that we're even ahead of where we are literally now in time and space. So we flashed ahead to the year 2036. And mankind is now in these underground cities, which I thought immediately whenever that happened, I thought immediately of Dr. Strangelove, you know, because it not long ago, I discussed Stanley Kubrick's film, Dr. Strangelove and how his plan is that mankind will have to in the face of nuclear warfare, go into these underground mine communities. And there will be 10 concubines for every one, man and they'll all have to procreate and replenish the earth. And of course, the dudes are like 10 hot ladies for all of us. Wow. So all right, we have this like modern clean society underground. And everybody's supposed to be like, peace and love and harmony and scientific progress. But this sculptor gets, like angry and frustrated because there's this constant push towards progress. And he like commandeers the airwaves of this city to make his protest. Now, something that's interesting to me is that you see these devices in HG Wells is prognostication about the future. You see these devices that look very much like the screens that surround us now, big screen TVs, smaller screens that look like they could be tablets, or cell phones. There's also like these wristwatch looking communication devices that look like the smartwatches that we have now. I mean, that's a little bit creepy for somebody in 1936, to be thinking in that direction. So the sculptor commandeers the airwaves, to be able to get on all of these screens on all of these devices, and he says that humanity needs a rest. There shouldn't just be constant progress and pushing forward at some point humanity needs to be able to rest and curveballs like grandson or great grandson, maybe this this descendant of John cabal is the one in charge now. And he has been coordinating a flight to the Moon. And he's scared that like the the angry mob, that the sculptor is with Hang up about we need to rest, we shouldn't just always be focused on progress. At some point, humanity has to let things be a little bit. This descendant cabal is scared that this angry mob will destroy the launcher, and that this rocket ship won't be able to make it to the moon. So he decides that he's going to move this rocket launch ahead of schedule. Again, think about how this is a prediction of the space race. Look at what we saw, in a sort of Cold War duking it out between the US and the USSR, who's going to be the winner of the space race, who's going to make it to the moon, you know, in all of Kennedy's rhetoric about We choose to go to the moon in this decade, not because it's easy, but because it's hard and all of that. So here we have cabal trying to hurry up and get a crew to the moon, just in the name of progress. So curveballs daughter, and another scientist are the astronauts that are going to go. And so they like, even though he's anxious, because it's his daughter, it's like, his desire for progress. And his desire to get to the moon outweighs that anxiety that he would feel as a parent sending his own daughter to be an astronaut, and to just see what's going to happen on the moon. And there's this concern of like, well, when are people ever going to be able to rest? And cabals response to that idea is that human beings don't have any other choice, they're going to want to conquer their own world. And then after that, they're going to want to conquer the entire universe. And the closing lines of the film are cabal saying all the universe or nothingness, which shall it be, which shall it be? And that creeped me out. Now, somebody else, the reason why I say watch this and decide for yourself what you think, come to your own conclusions about what stands out to you, because it gave me the creeps. And it made me think, again of Dr. Strangelove, because this is a very similar narrative to what Stanley Kubrick points out that even in the face of a nuclear war, and even with Dr. Strangelove coming up with this Nazi esque eugenics scheme of we're going to drive everyone underground. Now, we're only going to pick the best of the best we're going to have a handful of people to start out with, and we're going to have to have 10 sexually attractive concubines so that the men will want to breed and then we're going to have to have the best animals to breed so that we can slaughter them, you know, and he seems to say that with really perverse delight, in the midst of all this, you know, and the mushroom clouds exploding. George see Scott's character, turgid son is concerned that the Soviets are going to be doing the same thing in their underground bunkers. And they're going to come out after 100 years, when enough radiation has gone away that humanity can come out of their hidey holes, the Soviets are going to come out ahead. And then Peter, Bull's character, the ambassador is going around with a secret camera hidden in a pocket watch making photographs of the War Room and spying. I mean, Kubrick is pointing out to us this same, this same onus, the same impetus, the same drive of like even in the face of a nuclear disaster. Here you have these members of the military industrial complex, and this ambassador, being more worried about one side getting ahead than the other and continuing this competition. So at the end of the film, when cabal is making this point of human beings have no other choice, this is just how the human race is there going to be competitive, they're going to be expansive. And there is no other option, but to focus on progress. Because if we did decide to take a rest, people would be bored, they would be restless. It's all the universe or it's nothingness. So which isn't going to be that definitely made me think of Dr. Strangelove, the Cold War, the arms race, the space race. Is that really human nature in the in a time of peace?

 

Is it just destiny that human beings are going to create conflict and get themselves into a war? Or is that what the overlords want us to believe? Because they are the ones that profiteer from the warfare? You be the judge? Take a look at this film, and what do you think about it? Do you think that it's predictive? Do you think that HG Wells is sort of letting us know in a sleight of hand way? This is how the world works. What do you think? Take a look at it, watch it and come to your own conclusions. I We'll see you in the next episode.

 

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