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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.
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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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