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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Discovery Dragonfly







"And so Discovery drove on toward Saturn, as often as not pulsating with the cool music of the
harpsichord, the frozen thoughts of a brain that had been dust for twice a hundred years." - From 2001 a Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke.

Here are some images plus a composite of my scratch built Discovery Dragonfly from the novel 2001 a space odyssey by Arthur C Clarke. I based this model off the drawing above. Of course as you can see I used a Liberal amount of artistic licence for this one.

The Dragonfly configuration very closely matches the description of the Discovery as it was described in the novel.
The wing like appendages are radiators which would dissipate any excess heat produced by the nuclear engine.
Stanley Kubrick eventually rejected this design because well... they looked like wings. Opting instead for the more bone like configuration that we all know and love.

If you click on the harpsichord link above it will take you to a piece of music written by Bach which I feel had the movie followed more closely to the novel may very well have been used to play along side the Discovery as this sad melancholy ship moves towards Saturn. I know fanciful thinking but then again isn't that what this is all about?

From Wikipedia"
Although the novel and film were developed simultaneously, the novel follows early drafts of the film, from which the final version deviated. These changes were often for practical reasons relating to what could be filmed economically, and a few were due to differences of opinion between Kubrick and Clarke. The most notable differences are a change in the destination planet from Saturn to Jupiter, the nature of the sequence of events leading to HAL's demise. Stylistic differences may be more important than content differences. Of lesser importance are the appearance of the monolith, the age of HAL, and the novel giving names to various spacecraft, prehistoric apes, and HAL's inventor.

Stylistically, the novel generally fleshes out and makes concrete many events left somewhat enigmatic in the film, as has been noted by many observers. Vincent LeBrutto has noted that the novel has "strong narrative structure" which fleshes out the story, while the film is a mainly visual experience where much remains "symbolic". Randy Rasmussen has noted that the personality of Heywood Floyd is different as in Clarke's novel he finds space travel thrilling acting almost as a "spokesman for Clarke" whereas in the film, he experiences space travel as "routine" and "tedious."

In the film, Discovery's mission is to Jupiter, not Saturn. Kubrick used Jupiter because he and special effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull could not decide on what they considered to be a convincing model of Saturn's rings for the film. Clarke went on to replace Saturn with Jupiter in the novel's sequel 2010: Odyssey Two. Trumbull later developed a more convincing image of Saturn for his own directorial debut Silent Running.

The general sequence of the showdown with Hal is different in the film than in the book. HAL's initial assertion that the AE-35 unit will fail comes in the film after an extended conversation with David Bowman about the odd and "melodramatic" "mysteries" and "secrecy" surrounding the mission, motivated because HAL is required to draw up and send to Earth a crew psychology report. In the novel it is during the birthday message to Frank Poole.

In the film, Bowman and Poole decide on their own to disconnect HAL in context of a plan to restore the allegedly failing antenna unit in operation. If it does not fail, HAL will be shown to be malfunctioning. HAL discovers the plan by reading their lips through the EVA pod window. In Clarke's novel, ground control orders Bowman and Poole to disconnect HAL should he prove to be malfunctioning a second time in predicting that the second unit is going to go bad.

However, in Clarke's novel, after Poole's death Bowman tries waking up the other crew members, whereupon HAL opens both the internal and external airlock doors, suffocating these three and almost killing Bowman. The film has Bowman, after Poole's murder, go out to rescue him. HAL denies him reentry and kills the hibernating crew members by turning off their life-support. In the sequel 2010: Odyssey Two, however, the recounting of the Discovery One mission is changed to the film version.

The film is generally far more enigmatic about the reason for HAL's failure, while the novel spells out that HAL is caught up in an internal conflict because he is ordered to lie about the purpose of the mission.

Because of what photographed well, the appearance of the monolith that guided Moon-watcher and the other 'man-apes' at the beginning of the story was changed from novel to film. In the novel, this monolith is a translucent crystal; In the film, it is solid black. The TMA1 and TMA2 monoliths were unchanged.

In the book, HAL became operational on January 12, 1997, but in the movie the year is given as 1992. It has been thought that Kubrick wanted HAL to be the same age as a young bright child, nine years old.

The famous quote that opens the film sequel 2010: The Year We Make Contact - "My God—it's full of stars!" - is actually not in the 2001 film, although it is in the 2001 book.

From Wikipedia"

The spacecraft is founded on solid, if as-yet unrealized, science. One concession was made for the purpose of reducing confusion, and that was to eliminate the huge cooling "wings" which would be needed to radiate the heat produced by the propulsion system. Stanley Kubrick felt that the audience might interpret the wings as meaning that the spacecraft was intended to fly through an atmosphere.

Discovery was named after Captain Robert Scott's RRS Discovery, launched 1901; Arthur C. Clarke used to visit the ship when she was moored in London. It shares its name with a real spacecraft, the Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103).



6 comments:

fbminis said...

I haven't read the books, so I wasn't aware of this version of Discovery. I can imagine the amount of hours put on it, the end result is a beauty.

Hopefully, with the advent of 3D printing, we'll be able to make full ships or at least parts for them after a few clicks. It'll be a great tool for model builders, I hope.

Warren Zoell said...

Thanks - Have you seen this yet?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZboxMsSz5Aw&feature=player_embedded

I want one!

fbminis said...

Yes, I've browsed those videos on youtube just to dream bit :)

I've been reading this site and preparing some stuff to print using their services:

http://www.shapeways.com/

Their tutorials and forum section are particularly interesting.

Warren Zoell said...

Cool!!

Diego said...

This ship has always fascinated me. excellent work

Warren Zoell said...

Gracias Diego - Es un barco muy triste y solo.