2001: A Space Odyssey

Corrected entry: When Frank Poole and HAL are playing chess, HAL states his move as (in what is called "Descriptive Notation") "Queen to Bishop Three". This is not true, the move he makes is "Queen to Bishop Six".

New this month Correction: This mistake is intentional, meant for the astute viewer to notice that something isn't quite right with HAL.

Floyd1977

Corrected entry: When Bowman leaves Discovery to retrieve the AE-35 Unit, he asks HAL to prepare the "B Pod" and HAL powers up and rotates the middle of three pods. Later, when Bowman asks Poole to help him with a problematic transmitter in "C-pod", they go to the pod bay and enter the middle pod which must still be B-pod as no two pods have left the ship and returned to shuffle their positions. (01:12:30 - 01:22:40)

johnrosa

New this month Correction: This could be a character mistake. And it makes sense in the context of the film. It's the exact kind of thing that would make HAL paranoid if Dave and Frank entered a different pod that they mentioned earlier. It's kind of a counterpart to HAL incorrectly identifying the sequence of moves to checkmate in the Chess game he was playing with Frank.

Floyd1977

Corrected entry: When Dave Bowman is attempting to enter Discovery through the emergency airlock we see the smoke from the detonation of the explosive bolts on the door of the pod but where does the door go? The force of the explosion should have fired the pod door into the airlock along with Dave Bowman! An amazing feat and pure luck that Dave Bowman once in the airlock managed to close the airlock door with his eyes closed (not that you could use your eyes in a vacuum because the water on the surface of your eyes would boil off in an airless environment!) and he bounced off the back wall of said airlock and ended up near enough to the airlock door close lever to pull it.

Zippy Zubes

Correction: The door slams sideways into the cavity in the double wall designed to hold it. Hinged doors don't make much sense when you're in a cramped spacecraft. As for eyes being useless in a vacuum, tell that to Jim Leblanc, a NASA technician who was accidentally exposed to vacuum for 27 seconds during a space suit test in 1966. He reported a slight earache, a loss of his sense of taste, but no problems with his eyesight. In fact screenwriters Kubrick and Clarke based this scene on reports of a series of experiments on chimpanzees and dogs that proved that short term survival in a vacuum such as that experienced by Bowman is possible. As for him being lucky and bouncing back to a position where he could access the airlock door, yes, that was lucky. It wasn't a film mistake.

Corrected entry: When Bowman is getting ready to leave Discovery to retrieve the allegedly-faulty AE-35 Unit, he instructs HAL to "open the pod doors (plural), HAL" when he should be well aware it has only one door. He is not asking HAL to open the pod bay doors. (01:12:40)

johnrosa

Correction: Each pod has two doors - an inner and an outer door.

Corrected entry: During a number of scenes showing the Discovery 1 from a fixed camera position, the stars are shown moving in the presumed opposite direction of the ship. But since the stars are so far away, there would be almost no movement over the entire trip to Jupiter. (01:30:00 - 02:30:00)

Correction: If the camera was moving slightly slower than the ship and panning with it, it would create exactly the effect shown.

Corrected entry: During the base briefing all the participants are walking quickly as they would on Earth. This kind of motion is impossible in the lower moon gravity and it is made clear throughout the film that no artificial gravity technology exists that might allow Earth-normal movement. Later, at the monolith excavation site, the walking is slower and more deliberate as it should be.

Correction: This is an accepted film convention, not a mistake. Films like 'Red Planet' and 'Mission to Mars' were shot years after 2001 and had the advantage of much more advanced special effects techniques, but they didn't attempt to simulate Martian gravity. The same can be said of 'Pluto Nash', shot on a $100,000,000 budget and set on the moon but making no attempt to show the effects of lunar gravity.

Corrected entry: When Bowman rotates the handle of the emergency hatch on the Discovery, the pod should rotate. Without a grip on the Discovery to brace the pod, nothing would keep it from rotating. (01:42:20)

BSWiley

Correction: The designers of the Discovery and their pods obviously thought of this. They would have incorporated attitude jets on the pod itself or a counter rotating sleeve on the arm of the grip to balance the rotation.

Corrected entry: When Dave Bowman blows the explosive bolts on the pod to get into the Discovery, he flies into the long airlock, then back out towards the exit. Watch the pod through both of these shots; it doesn't move a single centimeter when the bolts explode and is in the exact same position when Bowman's body heads back towards the exit. Even with the best possible maneuvering thrusters automatically set to hold the pod in place, it would have moved significantly when the explosive bolts were set off. One corrector proposed that the pod would be held in place because the mechanical arms used to open the airlock would have held it there. Incorrect; Bowman released the pod's grip on the discovery in order to turn it around. The same corrector proposed that the expolsion would not overcome the forward inertia of the Discovery. Wrong again, the pod and Discovery are traveling at the same speed; an explosive decompression would push the pod forward at great velocity.

BocaDavie Premium member

Correction: Not so. The pod would be weightless in outer space but it still has mass and inertia. The total change in momentum of Bowman and the air escaping from the pod, applied to a pod with about the mass of medium sized car, would result in the pod moving away at only about 50cm per second. That would be barely noticeable from our point of view, even if the change wasn't immediately corrected by an auto-pilot mechanism, which is feasible. We can calculate the reaction speed of the pod this way : assume a gas volume of 4 cubic metres, a mass for the pod of 2500 kg, a mass for Bowman of 150 kg, an average delta v of 100 m/s for the air in the pod, and a delta v of 10 m/s for Bowman - all of which yields a result of 0.5 m/s, and if air pressure in the pod were lower it would have moved even more slowly.

Corrected entry: When Dave goes to retrieve lifeless Frank the computer screen to his right which is supposed to show continuously updated data, twice displays a jagged line like those found near the end of a reel of a motion picture film.

Correction: Those things in films are there to tell the projectionist that the reel is about to end. The first tells him to expect a projector swap, and the second means "switch projectors." Whatever you see is DEFINITELY not projector switch signals, as the little mini-movies on screens would not have them. I just looked at the scene seven times and I don't see it. Either I missed it or it's an image compression artifact. What color was the screen background, and was it the front or rear right screen? Where on the screen was it? If it was a purple background, those are numbers flashing onscreen.

Faye_Kane

Corrected entry: When Astronaut Poole goes on the EVA to retrieve the AE-35 unit from Discovery's antenna, the scene shows the Pod coming directly over the top of the sphere. However, the view from inside the Pod has it off to the side of the spaceship.

mschiavi

Correction: There is a time interval during which the window is not seen, during that time, Bowman maneuvers the pod to the side of the ship.

Faye_Kane

Corrected entry: Early in this chapter of the film, we see Discovery has three EVA Pods (from HAL's view, left to right they are C-pod, B-pod and A-pod). When Poole is killed, we see he was using the center pod. Bowman then goes after Poole with A-pod. This leaves behind the C-pod. Bowman gets back aboard Discovery by blowing explosive bolts to release his pod's door. After Bowman deactivates HAL, we can presume he recovers the now-damaged A-pod he ejected from. It can only be placed in either the right or center pod locations, and as we learn in 2010, it is found sitting in its original right-side location. So to leave Discovery for the last time, Bowman must use the C-pod which is on the left, yet is shown emerging from the center doorway B-pod originally launched from. (01:32:50 - 01:59:45)

johnrosa

Correction: Bowman must have made an EVA during the time he was alone on board, and opened the middle door on returning to the podbay. Mistakes are definite mistakes, not ones for which there is a reasonable explanation.

Faye_Kane

I believe that the last pod departure in the movie from the "wrong door", the center one, was not a mistake but one of Kubrick's subtle visual clues. My interpretation is that it meant the whole end of the movie was Bowman's dream before dying when he was stranded at Jupiter.

Corrected entry: The spacecraft Discovery has a rotating centrifuge-room that the astronauts use to avoid the detrimental effects of prolonged weightlessness. We see the rotation when Dave first enters the room and again later when he and Frank re-enter the room after inspecting the AE-35 Unit. But by Newton's laws the torque on the centrifuge must be countered by an equal anti-torque, so the surrounding body of the ship ought to be counter-rotating to conserve angular momentum.

Correction: The centrifuge began rotating in earth orbit. The counter-rotation would have been corrected by whatever structure holds the ship in place while being built. If this didn't happen, then the bad momentum would be stopped by discovery's roll-mode attitude thrusters.

Faye_Kane

Corrected entry: Towards the end of the movie where there are deep space shots of the planets, the spaceship and the sun, there is one shot where the sun is in the middle of several planetary objects. The objects closer to the viewer show crescent as they should due to the suns orientation to the planetary objects. On the far side of the sun however, the planetary objects also show crescent but shouldn't. They should show FULL or nearly full.

Correction: Those aren't planets. What we're being shown is Jupiter and its many moons. As such. all the objects you see on the screen are near the camera and being seen from the dark side. Which means they shouldn't be lit any more than a crescent shape.

Garlonuss Premium member

Corrected entry: The transmission from Earth says that Discovery left three weeks previously, that transmissions take seven minutes and that the journey will take the better part of a year. The speed of light is 186,282 miles/sec. In seven minutes, light travels 78,238,440 miles so the movie statement that Discovery is 80,000,000 miles away from Earth is reasonable. To cover that distance in three weeks, the speed would be around 158,000 mph. To travel half a billion miles at that speed would take a mere nineteen weeks, not the "better part of a year. (00:58:35)

seasnj

Correction: It is absolutely clear from the reporter's intonation that he is asking Poole to speculate about what it is going to be like living with Bowman, HAL, etc. for a year - the travel to Jupiter and their lengthy mission time once they get there, and the time spent on the return leg.

To me it is not absolutely clear that the reporter is talking about the full mission but I agree that if the full mission is for one year than the statement is feasible. In my original post I estimate the speed of the spaceship Discovery to be about 158,000 mph which is 6.4 times the maximum speed of Apollo. The improvement of the drive engines of 6.4 times in 40 years is reaching a bit in my opinion. However the one year estimate could be feasible at 20 weeks to Jupiter and back and 12 weeks at Jupiter.

seasnj

Corrected entry: HAL has complete control over the pods while they are outside the Discovery - he can even use one as a murder weapon. How, then, does he allow Bowman to steer a pod to the escape hatch? Why not just shoot him and the pod off into deep space?

Correction: This is a question, not a mistake. The pods obviously have a manual override.

BocaDavie Premium member

Corrected entry: In the scene where we see the Moonbus landing at the Tycho Excavation Base, it's descent engines raise dust that billows rather than falling in an arc straight back to the ground as would normally be the case in a vacuum. (00:50:35)

fweddy

Correction: Previously posted and corrected. This is an accepted film technique, not a mistake. You cannot film in a vacuum.

Corrected entry: While Dave Bowman & Frank Poole are in the pod bay they lean against the workbench much as anyone would on Earth, yet the pod bay is a weightless environment.

Correction: Already posted and corrected. Microgravity doesn't paralyse your muscles. You'd lean on things just the way you do under normal gravity.

Corrected entry: Counter to a previous claim of factual error . In various scenes on both the Discovery spaceship and the Pod, angular momentum CAN be preserved without rotating the whole Discovery ship, as was claimed, if there were unseen counter-motions (as in a possible "sub floor" rotating in the opposite direction as the visible floor). The same principle can explain how the pod rotates without any visible thrust from, for example, gas jets. Rotation can be all mechanically achieved, with motors, and all angular momentum is preserved as the ship avoids appearing to rotate against the background stars.What we see is all plausibly accurate according to Newtonian Mechanics.

Correction: Good point, but this is a section for posting mistakes, not non-mistakes. If you are claiming that a previous post for a factual error is incorrect you would need to correct that submission, not post the correction as a mistake.

BocaDavie Premium member

Corrected entry: If you take the letters in the computer's name (HAL), and then the next letter in the alphabet after each one, you get IBM. Stanley Kubrick denied it was on purpose but it is still kind of neat.

Correction: Arthur C. Clarke who wrote the book from the film also always and consistently denied this .

Corrected entry: In the famous scene where the ape throws a bone into the sky, in one shot the bone at first revolves anti-clockwise and then in the next shot, just before the jump cut to the shot of the spaceship, it now revolves clockwise.

Correction: As the background changes dramatically, it's obvious this is shot from the other side.

johnrosa

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