Visitors celebrate 40 years: Iconic Lada Niva star of Czechoslovak science fiction series


The Czechoslovak sci-fi series The Visitors was first broadcast on November 5, 1983. In addition to the progressive film tricks and daring scenes of Dagmar Patrasová, we also remember the iconic Lada Niva, who played a significant role in the cult series.

I don’t want to be one of the pre-November nostalgics, but at least in terms of television and film production, the Czechoslovak scene of that time could in some cases easily be equal to the much freer and better financed Western production. One such example is, for example, a very popular sci-fi series Visitorsin which a scientific expedition from 2484 travels 500 years back in time to retrieve the notes of the then young Adam Bernau, later a Nobel Prize winner, and thereby prevent the Earth from colliding with a comet.

Under the pretext of geodetic research, the quartet led by the academician Richard (whose name was originally Filip, by the way, but was renamed and redubbed after 1989 due to a lawsuit over his resemblance to the real professor Jan Filip) in Niva shipswhich was riddled with futuristic technology including a communication device with the future, tried to blend in unobtrusively with the locals, although of course they didn’t always succeed.

As we probably all know, the problem was finally solved by Alois Drchlík (Vlastimil Brodský), the mentor of young Adam Bernau. He traveled with the expedition to the year 2484 a Central Brain of Humanity (CML)who ultimately mispredicted the collision with the comet, lined it with a piece of wood.

Thanks to co-production by the German public broadcasters Westdeutscher Rundfunk and Bayerischer Rundfunk, the Visitors also reached the “capitalist” Western market, where the Lada Niva, unlike the socialist block, was initially considered an exotic product. At the same time, when it premiered in 1977, it was the first mass-produced off-road with a self-supporting body, which later became an inspiration for example for the Japanese Suzuki Vitara. In the end, the Niva earned enormous popularity on the other side of the Iron Curtain, as a similarly designed off-road vehicle with all-wheel drive and a decent price had almost no direct competition.

The Soviet car usually functioned as a worker in the most demanding conditions, but for the needs of the Czechoslovak series, it was given a more attractive coat with stickers and alloy wheels. Incidentally, two specimens were lent by the German side, the third was purchased by the Barrand film studio. Originally, it was assumed that visitors from the future would arrive in Damage 120. However, according to some reports, the Mladoboleslav automobile company was not interested in such promotion, so the German partners came up with an offer for the local car production. However, the authors insisted on cars of socialist production, so in the end the decision was made on the Lada Niva.

By the way, it is one of the longest produced cars in the world, although its construction and technical aspects have long lagged behind more modern production. Even before the war in Ukraine, it was possible to have a new floodplain imported from Russia, after all, we tested it ourselves several times, today the situation is logically more complicated, although some Czech companies are still engaged in imports.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Visitors celebrate years Iconic Lada Niva star Czechoslovak science fiction series


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