My father was a regular sci-fi genre movie viewer, and I have an unclosed thread in my past that has been haunting me over my years. I woke up as a child to see the following events unfolding on screen:

  • scientists, who I believe were in white coats (and presumably about three of them), in a control room (which may have been in a room carved out of rock) utilizing their time or dimensional control machine.
  • an exterior view window that looked out upon a desert or badlands panorama.
  • same scientists, noting success that their journey/experiment had completed successfully, appear to show smiles of satisfaction.
  • scientists exit the room and proceed into the badlands, viewable from the control room, and are visible walking into the environment as the credits begin to roll.

Could this be The Time Travelers, from 1964? Clips visible here. It was also featured in Mystery Science Theater's 11th season. The scientists travel through a portal to the future, which is a standard-issue atomic wasteland. They meet up with the remaining normal humans in their underground base (this may be the rocky control room you're remembering), where they are building a giant space ark to flee the planet.

Scientists open a portal to the future, which is a wasteland:

laboratory with portal

The scientists: scientists

The wasteland, with mutants: wasteland with mutants

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    Watching the video at youtube.com/watch?v=C-YLczxeyGU brings clarity to many of the diverse elements. Aliens. The caves in rock. Walking out through the telescreen into badlands. This is most definitely it! Thanks so much! – C. Cooney Dec 29 '20 at 15:18
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    Seeing more, I should add: androids! No wonder I was confused. It's like a meld of just about every sci-fy topic in existence at the time. – C. Cooney Dec 29 '20 at 15:26
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    Time travel? Apocalypse? Mutants? Space ships? THIS MOVIE HAS EVERYTHING! – jcollum Dec 30 '20 at 16:51
  • If a world-destroying robot shows up just say "Klaatu barada nikto". – Bob Jarvis - Reinstate Monica Dec 30 '20 at 20:10

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