2001: A Space Odyssey in Retrospect

by Frederick I. Ordway III

Special Consultant, Alabama Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama; scientific advisor and technical consultant to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.


It all began back in January 1965. On the 14th, my close friend and working associate Harry H.K. Lange and I left Huntsville, Alabama, for Washington, Philadelphia, and New York City. No sooner had we reached the latter on the 22nd when we became involved in a series of meetings with our publishers E.P. Dutton, Prentice-Hall, and Academic Press.

During the course of the day, someone told me that Arthur C. Clarke was in town. Knowing that he usually stayed at the Chelsea Hotel, I rang him there at my first opportunity. He answered promptly. "Can you drop by the Harvard Club early this evening?' I inquired. "Fine," he answered. "See you around six."

And so it turned out. Our conversation wandered from subject to subject. How was the work progressing on Saturn V and other programs at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville? Was Wernher von Braun well? And, by the way, what had brought us up to New York?

The answer to the latter question led to some interesting consequences. I told Clarke that Lange and I were visiting various publishers, that we would be attending a meeting at the New York Hilton of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and that we were enjoying some delightful social activities.

And what was Clarke up to? What was he doing in New York? Well, he said, he had come to publicize his recently published Time, Inc. book Man and Space and to work with motion picture director Stanley Kubrick on a space fiction film.

I inquired how the two had met. Kubrick, it seems, had read voraciously all the science fiction material he could lay his hands on as he was planning his project. Naturally, Clarke's work was prominent, leading Kubrick to seek him out.

Clarke briefly related what Kubrick hoped to accomplish. First of all, he wanted to create the space fiction film, one against which all others would be measured. It would-be a big budget, big screen effort, serious, and scientifically and technically plausible. It would portray man facing the immensity of the universe and consider the possibility that life may exist out among the stars. Lange and I listened attentively.

And Arthur Clarke's role in Kubrick's scheme? Author, or perhaps co-author, of the screenplay, which would be based on the Clarke short story The Sentinel published 15 years earlier.

Lange then said something like, "What a coincidence. One of the reasons Fred and I are here in New York is to turn over to Prentice-Hall some preliminary chapters and artwork for a book on the very subject you and Kubrick are planning." We then talked about our project: a book to be entitled "Intelligence in the Universe", co-authored by Roger A. MacGowan of the Army Computation Center in Huntsville and me, and illustrated by Lange. I also mentioned I had just completed a popular version of the theme for Dutton under the title Life in Other Solar Systems, complete with Lange paintings.

Clarke was immediately interested, and asked to see what we would be showing Prentice-Hall at a meeting the very next day.

Lange and I went to our room upstairs and in a few minutes returned with a dozen or so pieces of artwork and a few draft chapters. We spent about half an hour reviewing our project when I glanced at my watch and told Lange, "Harry, it's getting late. Remember, we're invited to dinner at eight". Clarke also had an engagement, so we bid one another good-bye.

Lange and I fetched our topcoats and, with the aid of the front door man, began hailing a cab. Outside, a heavy snow was falling.

While we waited, a club employee came out and said to me, "Telephone call, sir. You can take it in one of the booths." Assuming it was either our host or hostess wondering if we were going to make the dinner in light of the difficult snow conditions, I hastened indoors. When I reached the phone, a voice identified himself. "My name is Stanley Kubrick."

First Contact

Stanley Kubrick? Why was he calling me? How does he even know who I am? These thoughts flashed through my mind. Answering my unasked question, Kubrick explained that Arthur Clarke had just rung him up from a phone box on Sixth Avenue and suggested that he get in touch with Lange and me before we went off to our dinner. He was most anxious to meet us, and would we join Clarke and him the next day? The morning being committed, we agreed to get together in his apartment at 1pm the next afternoon, the 23rd of January, 1965.

Harry Lange and I spent most of the next afternoon with Kubrick and Clarke, learning what had been accomplished thus far and the schedule of activities shaping up for the coming months. Kubrick was particularly interested in the work Lange and I had been involved with for Von Braun at the NASA-Marshall Center and before that at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in Huntsville, Alabama.

After a mentally exhilarating afternoon, Lange and I braved the snows once again and went down to dine at Grenados in Greenwich Village to talk over what had transpired. Kubrick was clearly interested in some kind of collaboration with us, and had promised to send some concrete details by mail to Huntsville.

The next afternoon, we again discussed the Kubrick film project with Clarke at his hotel, then went to dinner with friends in Center Island near Oyster Bay, Long Island. The next morning we had a couple more meetings to attend to in New York after which we left for Washington. From there, we returned to Huntsville on the 28th, just in time to run into the snow storm that had followed us south. My notes show that much of my spare time during the next few days was spent reading Clarke's very preliminary draft treatment, which carried the tentative title "Journey Beyond the Stars."

No sooner had I finished the manuscript than an air mail, special delivery, from Kubrick arrived confinming his interest in collaborating with Lange and me and formally requesting our proposal for a working relationship. That went off by mail forthwith, and on the 13th of February was accepted.

We left on our first working trip in New York on the 16th, remaining there until the 27th. From then, well into summer, we would spend some 80 percent of our time on preproduction activities and the rest back at our Huntsville base. For me, that 80 percent involved a considerable amount of travel to industrial, governmental, and academic institutions in many parts of the United States.

Preproduction Activities in New York

During the early planning months in New York, our team consisted of Kubrick, Clarke, Lange, Kubrick's assistant from the United Kingdom, Ray Lovejoy, a young English artist-designer Tony Pratt, and secretary-assistant Judy Minoff. By mid-April, it had expanded somewhat with the arrival from England of executive producer Victor Lyndon, art director Tony Masters, and his associate John Hoesli. Two New Yorkers, publicity director Roger Caras and artist-designer Richard P. McKenna, Also came on board helping to fill virtually to capacity our Polaris Productions offices at 239 Central Park West.

Winter merged into spring as we moved more deeply into our preproduction work. Lovejoy and I visited many NASA and other space installations which we photographed thoroughly inside and out. They included the Marshall Center in Huntsville; the Langley Research Center in Newport News, Virginia; and the National Weather Satellite Center near Washington, D.C. Clarke and I had a long session at the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company in Bethpage, Long Island, on the 11th of March -- the first of several visits designed to keep us current on progress with what was then called Apollo's lunar excursion module (later, simply 'lunar module').

Five days later, my book Life in Other Solar Systems was published and, on the 12th of May, Lange and I turned in to Prentice-Hall final artwork and text for Intelligence in the Universe. Meanwhile, the pace of work at Polaris accelerated and by early June our basic vehicular designs were quite advanced. We would often work far into the night on design and film plot sessions, Kubrick, Clarke, Lange and I typically breaking for dinner at Jagers German restaurant close to the former's East Side penthouse. Occasionally I would accompany Ray Lovejoy and his fellow Englishmen to the Red Hackle pub Jon Third Avenue where I attempted vainly to beat them at darts.

During nearly six months of preproduction planning and design work at our New York Polaris Productions base, six major space vehicles evolved: the Orion III Earth-to-orbit shuttle, Space Station V located in orbit around the Earth, the Aries IB Earth-orbit-to-lunar surface shuttle, the Rocket Bus used to transport men and materials from one part of the Moon to another, the huge Discovery interplanetary spaceship, and its small Space Pod auxiliary reconnaissance-maintenance and local exploration craft. Each of these vehicles was designed with extreme care, for we would later be dealing with full-scale interiors as well as reduced-scale exterior models all of which had to appear absolutely realistic. We insisted on knowing the purpose and functioning of each assembly and component, down to the logical labeling of individual buttons and the presentation on screens of plausible operating, diagnostic and other data.

In accomplishing this work, we relied heavily on advice and material provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and by a considerable number of private companies and universities. This meant ever increasing travel for me during the late spring and early summer months of 1965.

Thus, I found myself visiting General Electric's Missile and Space Vehicle Department near Philadelphia on Discovery propulsion; the Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, on deep space communications; the Whirlpool Corporation at Benton Harbor, Michigan on food equipment to be used aboard Orio~ III and Aries IB; Honeywell, Inc. in Minneapolis on a variety of vehicular controls; and IBM in Armonk, New York, and its Eliot Noyes contractor in New Canaan, Connecticut, on all our computer sequences. Cooperative arrangements made from our New York base were later continued throughout production at the M-G-M British Studios in Borehamwood, England.

And this brings me to the second phase of the 2001 adventure....

As New York preproduction activities neared completion during June and July, Lange and I had assumed that we would soon be returning to our Huntsville, Alabama base. After all, we had only contracted for work in New York, which was not expected to last more than 6 months.

But Kubrick and Clarke wished otherwise, saying that our continued assistance was indispensable for the successful completion of the motion picture. Would we accompany them, with our families, to Borehamwood, England, just north of London, and see the project through? We agreed, and 2001: Space Odyssey changed from a nearly full-time to a full-time-plus activity.

Kubrick, Clarke, Lange, McKenna, Lovejoy, and the rest of the Polaris-based team began moving out of New York in June and July, but I had to stay on to early August to tie up some lagging industrial support arrangements and to continue to acquire the masses of reports and other documentation we were going to need during the next year and a half in England.

My last trip occurred on the 2nd and 3rd of August. Purpose: to meet with Ed Starkey, Lon Parsons, Richard Kiene, David Stubbs, John Sigford, Arthur Pejsa, Gregory Greer, Charles Baker, Walt Doles, James Moon, and Marilyn Christianson -- all of Honeywell, Inc. in Minneapolis. Honeywell was one of our closest collaborators, and many details had to be ironed out before I left the U.S.

By the 4th, I was back at Polaris completing the packing of some twenty trunkloads of reports, drawings, and other materials I would be taking with me to England. Meanwhile, my wife Maruja and three children, Fred, Albert and Aliette Marisol, had arrived from Huntsville with my father, and at 3pm we all met at the 28th Street dockside where the French Line's S. S. France was preparinq for a 6pm sailing. We moved into our verandah deck cabins V-249 and V-251, and a few hours later found ourselves moving slowly down the Hudson to begin an unforgettable four and a half days at sea.

Preproduction Activities at Borehamwood

At 8am on the 10th of August 1965, we arrived at Southampton, England, where we were met by three agents from Robsons to help us clear customs and entry formalities, by M-G-M chauffeur Bill in an elegant Princess saloon car, and by a truck whose mission it was to receive the trunkloads of 2001 materials that had accompanied us on our ocean voyage. En route north from Southampton, we stopped for a light lunch at the Drunken Duck pub in the Wheatsheaf Hotel in Virginia Water and a brief visit at Runnymede where the Magna Carta was signed in 1215 A.D. Upon reaching London in the afternoon, we settled into the De Vere Hotel with the help of Harry and Daisy Lange.

The very next day I started work at Kubrick's U.K. Film company, Hawk Films Ltd. at the M-G-M British Studios in Borehamwood, north of London. A welcome lunch at a nearby pub helped make the transition from Polaris in New York to Hawk in Borehamwood a most pleasant experience.

Meanwhile, in town, my wife and children were busily apartment hunting, I joining them in the late afternoons. We soon found a charming what Londoners call maisonette, a two-floor flat at 52 Great Cumberland Place just off Brynston Mews near Marble Arch. On the 18th we accepted the lease. That same day I had.to check in with the Alien Registration Office to sort out work permit formalities.

Back in the studios, Kubrick, Clarke and I were holding innumerable sessions that dealt principally with changing sub-plots to Clarke's evolving screenplay. The questions continually arose: What would be the technical consequences of these changes? Could our vehicular designs and stage geometry accommodate them without major revisions to what had been accomplished in New York and what was emerging from the drafting boards in Britain? After all, following our preliminary work in the States, artist's concepts were being transferred to hard engineering drawings to be used by construction crews at M-G-M and also by our various hardware contractors in and around London, Birmingham, Manchester, and elsewhere.

As I settled into work and life in England, I found myself involved with a rather broad range of activities.

First, I was continually consulted by Kubrick and in turn advised him on the many aspects of the screenplay. I would act as a sounding board against which he bounced ideas, having always to keep in mind possible mismatches between what Kubrick had in mind for the picture, what Clarke was writing, and equipment and vehicular realities emerging from Tony Masters, Harry Lange and other designers in the Art department and construction supervisor Dick Frift and his team.

Which brings me to another important aspect of my work on 2001: A Space Odyssey: coordinating the physical construction of approved designs. This meant a considerable amount of travel inside and outside of metropolitan London. Thus, we had our space helmets built, from our designs, at the MV Aviation Co., Ltd of Maidenhead; our spacesuits at the Air Sea Rescue Division, Victoria Rubber Works of the Frankenstein Group, Ltd. of Manchester; and our space pod interiors -- instrumentation, controls, displays, etc. -- at Hawker Siddley Dynamics at Stevanage not far from our Borehamwood location.

Closely related to this coordinating activity was the continuous gathering of vitally needed information and advice from diverse sources: Thus, in mid-September I was in Paris working at the offices of la Compagnie de Prospection Electrique Schlumberger and a few weeks later back in the States at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Then there were the non-vehicular, non-hardware aspects of the project. These would often involve meeting interesting people upon whose knowledge or contacts I would call. For the latest spacecraft-secured lunar surface details, I approached the Soviet science attache in London, Boris Polikarpov, who arranged for Luna 9 photos to be made available to us. Up in Manchester at the University of Manchester's Department of Astronomy, Zdenek Kopal and his associates provided excellent observatory photographs of the Moon, including selected views secured from the French Pic du Midi Observatory files.

Arthur Clarke and I also looked up and secured the support of the famed anthropologist Louis R. Leakey who, with his son Richard (later to become equally famous), enjoyed visiting our studios. On the 30th of November, Clarke, Roger Caras and I hosted a dinner for the two of them at the Oxford-Cambridge University Club (with which the Harvard Club of New York had a reciprocal arrangement). The Leakeys supplied invaluable insights that Kubrick would later apply to the "Dawn of Man" opening sequence of his film.

Still another activity was to coordinate what Dick McKenna, Roy Carnon, and other artists were creating with the work of the special effects team that was building up at M-G-M. Among its many members were Wally Veevers, Doug Trumbull, Con Peterson and, for a time, Wally Gentlemen of Canada. Actually, a small amount of special effects filming had been done under Stanley Kubrick's direction back in New York, but most would be reserved until after main shooting had been completed the following spring.

My final principal activity involved attending to, escorting, and briefing an unending array of visitors. These included reporters, scientists, engineers, dignitaries, friends, just about anyone interested in our progress. We were particularly pleased when, on the 25th of September 1965, the director of NASA's Office of Manned Space Flight, George Mueller, and astronaut Deke Slayton arrived at the studios. When Mueller saw the amount of documentation Lange and I had brought with us from the States, he dubbed our office complex "NASA East". Once filming got under way, the number of visitors increased, with the result that some days I had to gather groups into one of the screening theatres for mass-audience briefings. From there, we would invariably go onto the sets.

Related to all of this was a seemingly unending series of radio, television and press interviews; interest in 2001 was quite widespread. Also, Lange, Clarke, actor Keir Dullea and I all had speaking parts in a short film on the making of 2001 produced and directed by Tom Craven.

One night -- it happened to be the 5th of September -- Kubrick, his wife Christiana, my wife Maruja and I were dining in London at the White Elephant Club (the Kubricks were living temporarily at the nearby Dorchester Hotel). Suddenly, he asked me what my reaction would be if he were to substitute Saturn for Jupiter as the target of the space-ship Discovery expedition. I said something like, "Isn't it a bit late to make such a change?" He persisted, pointing out the beauty of the Saturnian ring system and the spectacular visual effect of the Discovery 's travelling near or even through it. Would I do some investigation and prepare a memo outlining the latest knowledge of Saturn, its rings, and its moons, he asked? And would I focus on anything that seemed out of the ordinary, something intriguing and unexplainable that Arthur Clarke might weave into a revised screenplay?

I prepared the memo, Kubrick was delighted, and Clarke backed the change with great enthusiasm. He brilliantly wrote Jupiter out and Saturn in. Everyone was happy.

Except for Wally Veevers, Doug Trumbull and others in the Special Effects Department. Despite their wizardry, they felt uncomfortable with the thought of having to accommodate the Discovery's moving within the Saturnian ring system. On top of all their problems, they were not in the mood to tackle a new one that might prove intractable. Anyway, they were all under severe time restraints on myriad other parts of the film.

Special effects carried the day as far as the motion picture was concerned. But Clarke was so delighted with Saturn that he maintained it as the target planet in the novel version released shortly after 2001 eventually premiered in Apri~ 1968.

As October and November faded into December, tension grew around the M-G-M Studios in Borehamwood. On the 16th, after lunching with Kubrick and Clarke, I noted in my log that the former, "probably due to intense pressure of work, is becoming less friendly to those around him, adding to the displeasure of his associates." One result: a top member of his crew abruptly resigned. Earlier, I had observed that

"...we are continually facing difficulties in terms of decision-making at the Kubrick level...What U.S. industry comes up with [e.g., design suggestions for equipment and for its use] does not always please Stanley, often placing us in a difficult position. And, many design aspects of the vehicles in the film change regularly so that it becomes impossible at times to finalize anything. Moreover, we are faced with the fact that the screenplay has a definite tendency to change rather rapidly, but even as it is, we are moving forward. The film experts here say this is a highly unorthodox and difficult film, made more so than necessary."

Despite tensions and problems, we advanced steadily towards our target of starting main filming before the end of the year. On the 20th of December I met all morning with IBM on the computers we were employing in our space vehicles; on the 21st, long discussions were held with Clarke and Caras; Lunch on the 23rd with Richard McKenna prior to his premature departure for the United States; and on the 24th -- Christmas Eve -- I worked late with Kubrick, Masters, Lange and others in the Art Department offices with, I added in my log, some appropriate drinking.

We all broke off for Christmas and the day following. Then, on the 27th, we gathered with our families at the large Kubrick mansion near Borehamwood for an animated Christmas party. Food and drink abounded. There were music and even a magician for the children. A number of actors were on hand including our Gary Lockwood.

It was back to work on the 28th, at Master Models, Ltd. where the fore and back packs of our spacesuits were being built. That evening with the Caras's, my wife and I dined at Stone's Chop House and afterwards enjoyed George Bernard Shaw's "Man and Superman" at the Arts Theatre Club. That was the last relaxing evening we would be spending for some time.

Production Begins

And then it began.

On the 29th of December 1965, first day's shooting got under way. Not at the M-G-M British Studios in Borehamwood, but at the Shepperton Studios. Reason: Shepperton had the only studio in Britain large enough to handle our excavated Tycho Magnetic Anomaly 1 site on the Moon. Lange and I remained there all day the 30th and until nearly 6PM on New Year's Eve. My wife and I were to have dined at the Lange's and then gone to a party at Brutonls, but when I got back to downtown London I began to suffer stomach cramps and went to bed. "First quiet New Year's Eve in memory," I noted in my log.

For the next six months, from January well into June, we continued filming the principal sequences (live action) of 2001: A Space Odyssey; only later would attention Be focused on the all-I,PORTANT model and related special effects shots. I divided my time between the active stage set and preparing for the follow-on shooting sequence. Sometimes, filming would be fairly straightforward; at other tLmes, as on the complex centrifuge set, we would run into exasperating difficulties and delays.

The Story Sequence


Motion pictures are fashioned in a piecemeal manner with no effort made to film according to the sequence of events as described by the screenplay. Thus, the last part of a movie may be shot first, the middle at the end, and so forth. Later, during editing, all the pieces are put together according to the Story Sequence. Action taking place inside the huge centrifuge was filmed during the same period of time. The set was then dismantled and action taking place in the command module was filmed. And so it went.

The Story

In the sections that follow, I review the 2001 story, following the real or screenplay sequence rather than the sequence we followed in the actual filming. 2001: A Space Odyssey divides neatly into three parts, the first covering the "Dawn of Man," the second a sober portrayal of events that supposedly occur early in the twenty-first century, and the third an utterly fantastic extrasolar voyage and contact.

The Dawn of Man

The picture opens with a splendid series of views of a dry, inhospitable region of Africa. The camera shows panorama after panorama, finally closing on a small tribe of man-apes barely scratching a living around an almost-dry waterhole. These creatures, which could have been members of Louis Leakey's Homo habilis, carry within them the entire future of the human race. Yet, they are on the verge of racial extinction. Another of nature's myriad experiments with life seems headed towards a dead end, unable to cope with changing climatic conditions. Evolution's infinitely slow and tortuous path towards intelligence is about to peter out.

One morning some four million years ago, a mysterious black, rectangular block appears around which the curious man-apes gather. After having touched it, a barely conscious reaction occurs in their leader's mind. "As he looks out now upon the hostile world, there is already something in his gaze beyond the capacity of any ape. In those dark, deep-set eyes is a dawning awareness -- the first intimations of an intelligence which would not fulfill itself for another four million years," wrote Clarke in the screenplay.

In some inexplicable way, the block has taught the man-apes to take a single, yet crucial step, a step destined to ensure their survival and the continuance of a line that will lead to man. For the first time, they feel the emotion to kill. And to eat what they kill. Using bones and stones as weapons, these creatures will survive not on ever more sparse vegetation, but on animals they slaughter for food. In an inexplicable manner, evolution has been nudged past a precarious stage.

Incidentally, the landscapes for the dawn-of-man sequences were photographed by Robert Watts in South West Africa. The resulting 8 by 10-inch color transparencies were subjected by Tom Howard to Stereoptican front projection onto a hugh 40 by 90-foot screen. All the foreground action was filmed in Super Panavision 70 right in the M-G-M British Studios at Borehamwood.

Without warning, the scene shifts from 4 million-year B.C. Africa to the beginning of the 21st century. From the perspective of 1965-66, it was an age sufficiently far in the future to be only hazily predictable, yet close enough to fascinate us. Many viewers would live to see the wonders it hopefully will bring forth.

Orion III / Space Station V / Aries IB Scenes

We are inside Orion III, an Earth-to-orbit transport operated by Pan American. This is obviously not a regular commercial flight; only a single passenger is aboard, one of America's leading scientist-administrators en route to the Moon via a stopover in Space Station V with which Orion III soon makes rendezvous and docks. Once inside the huge station, Heyward Floyd is checked through voice print identification, makes a call to Earth through a Bell Telephone-designed vision or picture phone, and stops to chat with some Russian scientists in the lobby area. They are curious about Floyd's trip to the Moon and the secrecy surrounding operations at the United States base there at Clavius. Floyd's refusal to discuss the matter leaves the Russians more puzzled than ever, and The audience wondering what may be going on out there on the Moon. They won't have long to wait.

Floyd leaves Space Station V in an orbit-to-Moon shuttle, the Aries IB. Again, he is the only passenger, indicative of the unusual urgency of his voyage. Scenes show Floyd eating in a weightless condition; a stewardess walking in a variety of positions, held to the floor by Velcro grip shoes; and the pilots bringing their craft to a landing on the Moon.

Ample evidence is given of the high degree of technology in the Orion III, Space Station V, and Aries IB space vehicles, as well as the unbelievably impressive docking area at Clavius. In an excellent special-effects sequence, we see Aries IB lowered into position many levels below the surface, past pressurized areas where Moon-based scientists and technicians are working. The live action was inserted in the models by miniature back projection. This involved repeatable movement of the models, which were mounted on glass, and camera tilting, panning and tracking devices designed and built by Wally Veevers. A variable-speed camera motor was required to give increased depth of field on all model and miniature work. Such scenes were very costly to execute. Of the $10,500,000 budget for 2001: A Space Odyssey, an estimated $6,500,000 was spent on artifacts and special-effects photography. Kubrick wanted to make certain that every special-effects shot would be completely convincing, yielding a realism never before accomplished in motion pictures.

Orion III and Aries IB incorporate a variety of sophisticated electronic computer, guidance, docking, automated kitchen, communications, and other equipment, much of it developed with the assistance of IBM, Honeywell, RCA, General Electric, and other firms. IBM's computer panels, for example, contain as primary functions a variety of user terms, e.g., navigation, and docking. Many data are processed on a routine basis, but occasionally there is a call for "priority interrupt". The program is loaded and the appropriate button, say "propulsion", is depressed. On the screen the words "propulsion program loaded--indicate requirements" might appear, followed by a series of major category statements, e.g., propellant analysis, predicted propellant utilization, and tank pressures. The astronaut would then depress the appropriate button on the keyboard, say No. 2, and would enter "require predicted utilization for next 3.8 hours based on (1) current rate, (2) revised rate if No. 3 engine thrust is increased 0.96 per cent." This would be a "routine" under the "predicted utilization" subcategory, illustrating man-machine interface as the computer assists the crew throughout the sequence.

IBM recommended that the main on-board computer be supported by backup computers. A light goes on when the main computer is either overloaded or cannot process the desired requests. It then automatically addresses backup computer No. 1, whose indicator light goes green if it can accept the request. If not, backup computer No. 2 is interrogated.

Other major elements of Orion III and Aries IB computers are tasks in execution, systems mode, integrated checkout, narrative instructions, digital entry, program status (display energize, memory load, error check, etc.), various data review modes, instrument self-test, condition display, diagnostic, program mode (e.g., conversation mode keyboard, conversation mode oral), message assembly, readiness checkout sequence, service equipment control verification (with selected sequences), alarm conditions (with selected stations indicated), and verification routine.

Lunar Sequences: Clavius and Tycho

Most of the sequences that take place on the Moon occur 1) during Aries IB landing at Clavius base, with spectacular approach and docking operations; 2) inside Clavius Base; (3) in the Rocket Bus and (4) at Tycho. All equipment used takes into account the probable nature of the lunar surface, gravity and lighting conditions, etc. As seen from the Moon, our Earth goes through phases, though in opposite order as the Moon seen from Earth. Thus, New Moon means Full Earth, and so on. Since the Earth is 13 times larger in area, has almost four times the diameter, and is a much better reflector, when fully illuminated, our planet gives some 60 times as much light as the Moon does to us. This had to be considered when director of photography Geoffrey Unsworth lit the lunar landscape, and when designing equipment for exploratfon purposes. Naturally, account also had to be taken of temperature, vacuum, low gravity, and other nonterrestrial conditions.

During his short stay at Clavius Base, Floyd meets, and briefs, leading members of its scientific and engineering community, much as a scientist today visits and holds discussions at bases in the Antarctic. Floyd apologizes for the "cover story created to give the impression there is an epidemic at the Base," but says it is necessary in view of the ~discovery" which he adds "may well prove to be among the most significant in the history of science." The discovery, it turns out, has been made at Tycho, and is referred to as Tycho Magnetic Anomaly 1, or TMA-l.

To get to TMA-l Floyd boards what is familiarly known as the Rocket Bus, a crater-hopping, base-to-base transport used mainly for selenographical, selenological and selenophysical exploration. During the trip, details of the TMA-l discovery are revealed in conversations between Floyd and other scientists. It is about four million years old, produces a strong magnetic field (it was this field that led to its discovery and recent unearthing during favorable lunar night working conditions), has a rectangular shape, and is made of an unidentified, extremely hard material.

It is interesting to note that to an observer on the center of the Moon's disk, the Earth appears overhead; but, as one goes north, south, east or west, it gradually sinks towards the horizon. Tycho is around 43 degrees south latitude, a fact that determines the sun's angular height above the horizon. Moreover, since Tycho is 10 degrees west longitude, the Sun is offset by that amount. Floyd would see Earth virtually fixed in the lunar sky, its slight movements only noticed when it is near the horizon. A11 other bodies, such as stars, rise and set. A complete rotation of the lunar sky takes 29 days, so to Floyd the stars slowly would drift across the sky along with the Sun which would take about an hour to completely rise or set.

In going back to see 2001 in the 1980's it is most important to remember that the film was made within a technology framework of the year 1965 and the first half of 1966 -- the period of preparation and major filming. This meant that we were limited to American Ranger and Russian Luna 9 surface photography of the Moon, backed up by ground-based observatory photographs. As for photographs of the Earth as seen from the Moon, there were none (it was not until the 23rd of August 1966 that the U.S. Lunar Orbiter 1 spacecraft took the first picture of our planet from lunar orbit). Nor did we have the Surveyor closeups. As for Apollos 8 through 17, they were reserved for a somewhat hazy future. So what we did was to examine hundreds of Gemini photographs and others taken from unmanned craft and then extrapolate outwards. Looking back from our vantage point a decade and a half later, what we did was not bad at all.

The eerie lunar landscape and brilliant starfields behind and beyond the TMA-1 ramps that lead down to the artifact are indescribably beautiful. Floyd and his group descend and inspect the rectangular slab just as lunar night is coming to an end, pausing briefly to look at the array of instrmentation emplaced around to record whatever it may be and whatever it may do.

Shortly afterwards, Floyd arrives at the slab. The Sun rises above the surrounding hills. When its rays strike the bottom of the excavation, the artifact reacts by emitting an intense beam of electromagnetic energy. Up to now inert, it has suddenly and briefly come to life, only to fall silent again, forever.

Subsequent analysis shows that the TMA-l artifact did not emit randomly, but rather a highly directional beam aimed precisely at the planet Jupiter. No one can fathom what the connection between the Moon and Jupiter may be; certainly no one expects the giant planet to be inhabited. Yet, the arifact was quite obviously emplaced by some alien expedition; and, since the chance of the emission randomly striking Jupiter is virtually nil, the decision is made to send a manned expedition to the Jovian system to attempt to solve the mystery. To avoid alarming an unprepared, unconditioned world, it is decided not to reveal the real purpose of the expedition to Jupiter. The public will be told that an exploratory trip is planned to gather scientific data. This decision sets the stage for the flight of an advanced spaceship, the Discovery, into the mysterious depths of the outer Solar System.

The finding of the artifact is held as the first proof of the existence of intelligence from beyond the planet Earth. Men reason that the rectangular slab was buried approximately four million years ago by an extrasolar (beyond the Solar System) expedition with the expectation that eventually it would be dug up when the man-ape creatures down on Earth evolved to the stage when they could reach and explore the Moon. And so it happened. During the course of routine lunar surface and subsurface surveying, a small, highly magnetic area is discovered centered in Tycho, a prominent southern-hemisphere crater whose walls arise thousands of feet above the floor. The artifact is revealed when the location is excavated; immediately upon exposure to the light of the Sun it releases a burst of radio energy, directionally beamed towards the planet Jupiter. As we have already seen, it then becomes (and remains) inert.

After careful investigation and analysis, the inescapable conclusion is reached that the artifact is some sort of alarm system. As the scientists ponder their discovery, the signal from TMA-l is in the process of alerting some extrasolar society that Homo sapiens has reached an intellectual, technological and scientific threshold, and thus is ready for an initial contact.

The Discovery

The vehicle selected for the Jovian mission is the impressive, 700-foot long spaceship Discovery. So-called "Cavradyne" gaseous core, nuclear reactor engines at the rear provide the craftls propulsion. Hundreds of feet of tankage and structure separate the spherical part of the ship where the crew quarters, the computer, flight controls, small auxiliary craft, and instrumentation are located. In the centrifuge, the crew enjoy Earth-like gravity conditions created by spinning; it is there that they spend most of their time and where the hibernating astronauts sleep in their hibernacula. Actual piloting, navigational checks, and the like take place in the zero-gravity environment command module. Other sections of the sphere include the pod bay, where three one-man repair and inspection craft are housed, and the HAL 9000 computer with its level-upon-level of memory storage and related elements.

Propulsion controls, designed with the assistance of General Electric's Valley Forge Space Technology Center and the UK Atomic Energy Authority, are located in the command module. Honeywell's nuclear reactor control panel displays information on such parameters as turbine, compressor, heat exchanger, secondary circulatory, and radiator liquid helium storage, generator and recuperator performance, and pressures and temperatures at various stations. Precise present readings can be obtained instantaneously on the control screen, if desired, as well as past performance and predicted future performance.

The Cavradyne engines are based on the assumption of years of research and development, during the 1980's and 90's, of gaseous core nuclear reactors and high-temperature ionized gases. Theory is presumed to have showed that gaseous uranium 235 could be made critical in a cavity reactor only several feet in diameter if the uranium atomic density were kept high, and if temperatures were maintained at a minimum of 20,000 degrees F. At first, progress was slow because of such early unsolved problems as how to reduce vortex turbulence in order to achieve high separat~on ratios, and how to achieve adequate wall cooling in the face of the thermal radiation from the h1gh-temperature ionized plasma. In the Cavradyne system, the temperature of the reactor is not directly limited by the capabilities of solid materials, since the central cavity is surrounded by a thick graphite wall that moderates the neutrons, reflecting most of them back into the cavity. Wall cooling is ensured by circulating the hydrogen propellant prior to its being heated. Fissionable fuel energy is transferred to the propellant by radiation through a specially designed rigid -- and coolable -- container.

The centrifuge consists of rim-installed consoles, panels, screens, and devices. There is an automated kitchen developed with the assistance of RCA Whirlpool; a ship-to-Earth communications center; a complete medical section where the astronauts undergo regular automated checkups (results are displayed and recorded, diagnosis of deficiencies is given directly on a readout screen, and medicament or other treatment prescribed) an observatory, created with the help of astronomers at the Royal Greenwich Observatory; and a geophysical exploration module worked out with French engineers from the Paris-based Schlumberger firm. The latter permits a wide variety of surface and subsurface experimentation to take place on an alien body, such as an asteroid or a moon. Since subsurface structure could be extremely important in the spaceship's investigatory program in the Jovian system, a drill is incorporated into a remotely-controlled surface lander. Controls on the console include a depth selector, drilling rate selector, equipment calibration, recording and error analysis controls, and various screen and gage indications of subsurface characteristics.

Techniques for placing the three scientist-astronauts in hibernation inside the centrifuge were worked out with Dr. Ormand G. Mitchell of the New York College of Medicine, Dr. A.T.K. Cockett of the Harbor General Hospital in Los Angeles, and Drs. K.G. Williams and Peter Scott of the Medical Division of Vickers Limited in London. Each astronaut is monitored during the long Earth orbit--Jupiter orbit flight with respect to locomotor system; central nervous system; cardiovascular activity, e.g., heart rate, myocardial state, cardiac output, blood pressure, capillary exchange, lymph flow; systems integration, e.g., endocrin control, neuro-control and balance; metabolic levels, e.g., acid base balancer renal functions, nutrient input, deep body temperature, hepatic function; sensory activity; pulmonary function; and such direct hibernation controls as hypothalamus stimulation, temperature rise A (heart rate), temperature rise B (respiratory rate), sugar enrichment, thyroxin control, and vibrator.

The sleeping crew members are programmed to emerge from the hibernating state at a specific time in accordance with a specific routine. Nevertheless, in case of emergency or unforeseen circumstances, they can be brought out through special instructions by the computer or by manual override.

The centrifuge as a stage set was 38 feet in diameter (the largest the studio could accommodate), weighed nearly 40 tons, rotated on its axis at a variable speed of up to 3 mph, and cost 250,000 Pounds. Closed circuit television was installed to permit filming of the interior. So large, heavy and complex was the centrifuge set that special preparations to build and use it had to be made far in advance. Production-notes prepared in June, 1965 looked forward to potential problems that would emerge when centrifuge construction and filming began the following year. Here are some random examples of construction and design, movement and control, lighting and electrical, camera, safety and general set notes:

"The question of the studio floor and the weight of the structure should be examined by engineers to determine whether the floor has any give or sag in it, and whether a special foundation should be laid upon which the centrifuge structure will be built.

"The center of the floor round the entire 360 degrees of the centrifuge will be slotted, so that steel cable can be run through the slot and attached to a specially designed camera dolly.

"The chairs must be designed to provide very strong concealed attachment points for harnesses which will be worn under the astronauts' clothing, so that they can be held securely in their chairs while the centrifuge rotates.

"There should be a dummy television lens mounted on the hub, rotating with it. This is a part of the Discovery's internal TV Monitoring System.

"To begin with, the centrifuge must be perfectly balanced with all the permanent fixtures inside of it. Then, provision must be made for very quick and easy rebalancing of the wheel in any position to compensate for the weight of equipment and people inside it, and for any movement. The rotation must be completely smooth from start to stop and vibration-free.

"The centrifuge must stop and start-without a jerk or backlash, and it must get up to speed and decelerate very quickly.

"The speed control which manages the rotation has to be very finely gradated with numbers so that one can rehearse a shot and the operator can note exactly what rotational speed to go to. The outside of the centrifuge should have a series of numbered marks (say 6" gradations), so that when picking a set-up inside, the operator can be told "Go from No. 6 position to No. 39," for example.

"There should be a 100% reliable form of verbal communication between the operator of the centrifuge and people inside the ship. A better-than-average cue-light system should also be arranged.

"There should be quick access to the inside of the centrifuge, possibly by pulling out side panels, so that stand-by firemen could deal with a fire if one ever got going. Emergency fire exits should be provided for the crew and cast, such as on an airplane.

"The main electric connections for the centrifuge must revolve to allow the lights and the camera drive points to be hooked up.

"The instrumentation lights must be made in such a way that direct light from outside the set can shine through them to bring them up to a sufficient level lumination to shine through the set lighting. (Very similar to the problem in the command module.)

"A special camera dolly must be designed for use inside the centrifuge. This must provide a steady platform for the camera, operator and assistant, and the director on the curve of the floor (say up to a quarter of the way up the circular wall) either with the centrifuge motionless, or tracking as it rotates. (It would be held in position by means of a cable through the slot in the floor. It must be impossible for the cable to tear loose from the dolly, or from whatever it is attached to -- presumably a winch. Otherwise a considerable amount of damage might be done to the actors standing ten feet away at the bottom of the inclined wall.)"

The Mission to Jupiter

Discovery's mission to the Jovian system is the heart of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Two astronauts, played by Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood, and an advanced, vocal input-output computer named HAL (for HAL 9000 series) are the three conscious entities on board. Unconscious, because they are under artificially-induced hibernation, are three other astronauts, who are not to be awakened until the spaceship nears its destination. Since they are scientist-astronauts rather than flight-astronauts, they are not needed to operate the Discovery en route, and hence are placed into the hibernation state to conserve air, food and other life support supplies. When the ship reaches the Jovian system, the awakened astronauts are to conduct whatever investigations may be necessary in an attempt to determine the correlation between the TMA-l site on the Moon and the giant planet, its orbiting satellites, or anything else that may turn up.

Despite its hugh size, the Discovery can be handled by the two astronauts (Dave Bowman and Frank Poole) and HAL 9000. IBM predicted that computer development will have advanced to such an extent that the mission could be undertaken with all the astronauts placed in hibernation. It is desired, however, that regular communications be maintained throughout the voyage between the pilot and copilot and mission control back on Earth. During communication, account is taken of the elapsed time for electromagnetic waves crossing space between the spaceship and the Earth. Naturally, this time would depend on the relative positions of the bodies in the Solar System at any given moment. For example, when Voyager 2 encountered Saturn in August 1981, signals took 1 and a quarter hours to reach Earth.

On board, the mission proceeds smoothly -- at first. Bowman and Poole exercise, read, play games with the computer, monitor selected vehicular functions, talk with Earth, and ponder rumors they had heard prior to departure that their mission was more than a routine exploration, however exciting it might be. In actual fact, they have not been informed of the TMA-l discovery on the Moon, and consequently are not aware of the true purpose of Discovery's flight to the outer Solar System.

Security is the reason; high officials in the United States had feared that during their training period the two astronauts might make a slip during a press conference or a television interview and thus raise public suspicions; or that they might inadvertently reveal the nature of their trip in personal conversations. The real nature of the mission is only known to the three hibernating astronauts (who have trained separately from Bowman and Poole) and the computer. The situation is thus potentially delicate, with a computer programmed with complete mission information while the two flight astronauts are told they are being sent into deep space to conduct a routine investigation of a planetary system. It is not intended for them to learn the truth until the "sleeping beauties" as the hibernating scientists are often called, are awakened months later.

Events move rapidly. As a result of being programmed to "lie" if interrogated by Bowman and Poole about the true mission, the computer commences to malfunction, a term that may not be completely appropriate.... In succession, HAL reports a faulty antenna azimuth control unit, leading to an extra-vehicular scene in which Frank Poole leaves to remove the component in a one-man space pod, and brings it back for analysis. To Poole's and Bowman's surprise it is error-free; HAL has made a mistake, an apparent impossibility. The conflict has begun.

Later, the same component is again reported going faulty. And again, Poole leaves the ship in his pod, and goes to the huge antenna midway between Discovery's forward spherical crew quarters and the propulsion system to the rear. He has no sooner left the pod in his spacesuit to remove the reportedly faulty unit, when the pod's motors are inexplicably ignited. Gathering speed, the small spacecraft moves forward and severs Poole's lifeline. By remote activation of the pod, HAS has committed a murder.

Bowman, inside the Discovery, witnesses the awful accident -- which is what he assumes it is. He goes to the pod bay, enters another pod and leaves the spaceship in an attempt to rescue Poole. By the time he reaches his fellow astronaut, it is too late. Poole is dead.

Bowman returns to the Discovery and orders HAL to open the pod bay doors. HAL refuses. The situation for Bowman looks desperate, for in his hurry to leave the spaceship he did not think to put on his space helmet, never dreaming he might need it to leave the pod in open space.

He successfully makes the daring transfer, closes the outer door of the airlock, and actuates the repressurizing buttons. He then goes directly to HAL's logic control center, and methodically disconnects most of the computer's intelligence functions, reducing him from a sentient entity to routine vehicular monitoring device. For all practical purposes, HAL too is dead.

And so are the three hibernating astronauts. Bowman returns to the centrifuge and finds that they had been killed by HAL, who disconnected their life support elements while Bowman was outside in space. Dave Bowman is alone in an immense ship rapidly approaching the planet Jupiter.

Arrival in Jovian Orbit

One of the most gorgeous sights ever put on film meets his eyes: the giant planet in the foreground, several of its moons, and the distant Sun. Since the day on Jupiter is nearly ten Earth hours, the apparent diurnal motion of the heavens is over twice as fast as seen from Earth. The apparent sizes of the major satellites as seen from the giant planet of course vary greatly. Viewed from Discovery, Jupiter offers an enormous bulk, just as it would years later to Pioneer 10 and 11 and Voyager 1 and 2 space probes. From Io, for example, the giant planet would have an apparent diameter of about 20 degrees of arc, about forty times as large as the Sun or the Moon appear to us. We estimated that when Io is above the illuminated hemisphere, it would receive some 400 times the light given by our full Moon.

For an undetermined time, the Discovery continues in orbit around Jupiter, when suddenly a rectangular slab comes into view. It is an object that appears to be identical to the rectangular block we saw in the Dawn of Man scene shortly after the film began, and the artifact unearthed in the Tycho crater on the Moon.

Bowman leaves the spaceship in his small pod and travels towards the slab. As he goes ever closer, everything becomes altered. He is drawn at enormous speed along a fantastic trajectory, through unimaginable reaches of interstellar space. He sees stars being born, galaxies exploding, strange landscapes pass by, sights that boggle the eye and the imagination. The effects are breathtaking, and chart new cinematographic horizons.

As suddenly as the cosmic voyages began, it ends. Bowman finds himself in a bedroom of exquisite Louis XVI design. He leaves his pod, walks around, sits down to eat a meal that has been prepared for him. Everything is so Earth-like. And so unreal. Then he sees an older self as his younger being disappears. Time loses all meaning as Bowman mysteriously ages and finally expires.

But it is not the end. The first of the denizens of Earth to pass on to a higher level of intelligence is rejuvenated. Bowman becomes a star child, and returns to ponder the Earth from orbit -- an Earth that may be the same as the one he left. Or older. Or perhaps even younger. Kubrick and Clarke won't say.


My work continued on 2001 from January into July, after the completion of main shooting. I then left the project for several months and travelled extensively in Europe conducting research on behalf of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington. I returned to the M-G-M British Studios in November and finished work associated with the film on the 2nd of December, 1966. On that date I presented to Kubrick my completed report Final Industrial Summary of Support Provided "2001", commenced packing, and at noon on the 4th took a BOAC VC-10 flight directly to New York (my family had left somewhat earlier). Except for lecturing on the film, which has continued to this day, my 2001 adventure was over.


Ordway had this to say about working with Stanley Kubrick: "I soon discovered that Kubrick had read voraciously on the subjects of science fiction and space science and technology and had developed quite a lingo -- he would often surprise me with a new acquisition. He would often suggest a "systems" approach to this or that problem, ask for parameters, and state that he had just "locked on" to an idea. He was particularly fascinated with computers of the voice input-output type, and would talk about logic elements, neural nets, central processors, integrated computer networks, heuristic systems, etc."

What follows is Ordway's advice to Kubrick after the film was released:

1. The "Dawn of Man" scene should be shortened, and above all narrated. The importance of this cannot be overemphasized. No one with whom I talked understood the real meaning of this visually beautiful and deeply significant sequence. Its intended impact was lost. Certainly, some reviewers, aided by press releases and Arthur Clarke's lucid comments, knew what it was all about, but the audience doesn't. And the audience not only has a right but a need to know, if the sequence is to have relevance.

Go back to the splendid words of narration:

"The remorseless drought had lasted now for ten million years, and would not end for another million. The reign of the terrible lizards had long since passed. but here on the continent which would one day be known as Africa, the battle for survival had reached a new climax of ferocity, and the victor was not yet in sight. In this dry and barren land, only the small or the swift or the fierce could flourish, or even hope to exist. The man-apes of the field had none of these attributes, and they were on the long, pathetic road to racial extinction."

The sequence now has real meaning. We are concerned with nothing less than racial extinction, the end of a line that eventually evolved into man. The audience cannot help but identify itself with this struggle for survival, and feel haunting rapport with these primitive creaturesacross the awesome chasm of time.

Narration is also essential to cast Moon-Watcher into a mold of reality.

"As he looks out now upon the hostile world, there is already something in his gaze beyond the capacity of any ape. In those dark, deep-set eyes is a dawning awareness -- the first intimations of an intelligence that would not fulfill itself for another four million years."

Narration can also reveal that the man-apes were starving in the midst of plenty because they had not yet learned to consume meat. After the artifact appears, they mysteriously learn -- or rather, are taught -- to use bone weapons and to eat the animals they soon will slaughter. The narrator's words softly tell us:

"They have no conscious memory of what they had seen; but that night, as he sits brooding at the entrance of his lair, his ears attuned to the noises of the world around him, Moon-Watcher feels the first twinges of a new and potent emotion -- the urge to kill. He has taken his first step toward humanity."

The terminal narration of the "Dawn of Man" sequence leads to anticipation. As he throws the bone, his new weapon, up and down, Moon-Watcher thinks:

"Now he was the master of the world, and he was not sure what to do next. But he would think of something."

2. Without warning, we cut to the orbiting bombs. And to a short, introductory narration, missing in the present version.

3. The Orion III sequences are satisfactory and the Space Station-V portion came through well, though I was disappointed that the picturephone automated information request scene was deleted. The Aries-IB scenes were good as far as they went, but their effectiveness was lost by the deletion of (1) narration at the beginning (only a few lines are necessary), (2) the delightful dialogue between the stewardess, captain, and copilot, (3) the brief dialogue between the captain and Floyd, and (4) the following narration for the landing sequence:

"The laws of Earthly aesthetics did not apply here; this world had been shaped and molded by other than terrestrial forces, operating over eons of time unknown to the young, verdant Earth, with its fleeting ice-ages, its swiftly rising and falling seas, its mountain ranges dissolving like mists before dawn. Here was age inconceivable -- but not death. for the Moon had never lived until now."

4. Consider what was lost after the TMA-l artifact emitted its burst of electromagnetic energy:

"Radiation detectors analyzed incoming cosmic rays from the galaxy and points beyond...gusts and hurricanes of the solar winds, as the sun breathed million-mile-an-hour blasts of plasma into the faces of its circling children...but now a deep-space monitoring probe had noted something strange...the faint yet unmistakable disturbance rippling across the solar system, and quite unlike any natural phenomena it had ever observed in the past."

With these missing, but available, pieces, the great symphony becomes coherent. In an age of super science, of incredible information-processing and display devices, of computer-assisted thinking and delicately tuned responses, nothing less than total understanding can be tolerated. We are now on the Discovery midway between Earth and Jupiter. And the audience must know why. Fuzzy thinking, incomplete explanations, lost coupling scenes, missing bits of essential information have no place in 2001.

5. I was fairly content with the Discovery portion of the film, but only fairly. Impressive though it was, there is too much exercising around the centrifuge for Poole, and the pod EVA sequences could be shortened -- particularly since there are two of them. Indispensable dialogue regarding the three hibernating astronauts was lacking; see particularly C12, where Bowman and Poole first become aware that "there is something about the mission the sleeping beauties know and that we don't know.... " These few words are probably the most critical to the logic structure of the entire film, and lead to a valid reason why HAL breaks down. Yet they were inexplicably cut out. Poole tells HAL that there is

"...something about this mission that we weren't told. Something the rest of the crew know and that you know. We would like to know whether this is true."

HAL enigmatically answers:

"I'm sorry, Frank, but I don't think I can answer that question without knowing everything that all of you know."

Several pages of superb and absolutely required dialogue follow, without which nothing that happens later can make much sense.

From the moment HAL reports the failure of the antenna's azimuth control unit, the film progresses well, but because of unfortunate cutting of key preceding material, much is lost to even the most perceptive members of the audience. It's like a marvelously complicated and beautiful puzzle that has taken years to prepare. Yet, when one sits down to put it together, one finds that many of the pieces are missing. There is nothing striking, intellectually or visually, about gaping empty spaces where gaping empty spaces don't belong.

6. Another point. The dialogue by Simonson, over the mission control circuit in C 148, and that of Floyd in C 150, must be reinserted as applicable to the revised script. And the narrationin Dl. With it, the interstellar sequence can proceed without change, but will mean so much more to the viewers when they see the mysterious artifact once again:

"For four million years, it had circled Jupiter, awaiting a moment of destiny that might nevercome. Now, the long wait was ending. On yet another world intelligence had been born and was escaping from its planetary cradle. An ancient experiment was about to reach its climax."