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Rob Godwin, Friday, 9-12-14 September 13, 2014

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Rob Godwin, Friday, 9-12-14


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Guest:  Robert (Rob) Godwin.  Topics:  We discussed the new ApogeePrime book “2001: The Heritage And Legacy Of The Space Odyssey” & more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed back to our program Rob Godwin to discuss his new book, “2001: the Heritage And Legacy Of The Space Odyssey.”  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Rob began by paying tribute to the late Fred Ordway, co-author of the book as Fred recently passed away.  Fred was also the technical advisor on the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” so Rob spent some time discussing his role, the contacts he had in the global aerospace industry to help make the film accurate, even in the future.  Rob explained the structure of the book with the first two parts coming from Fred and the third part contributed by Rob.  Early in the segment, I asked Rob why this movie still had such a large following and appeal.  Listen to Rob’s explanation.  Why do you think this movie remains so popular today?  Rob talked at length throughout our discussion about Fred’s contacts and he even told stories about Fred getting the latest lunar photos from the Soviet Union and a leading French observatory to help assure the film would not be out of date at release time.  Our guest also talked about Sir Arthur Clarke, his role in the early days of the British Interplanetary Society (BIS) and his work with the director, Stanley Kubrick.  Rob went back in time when discussing the first two segments of the book to talk about classic space themed science fiction movies and books.  If this interests you, listen to the program with pen and paper so you can jot them down to find them online at a later date.  In talking about these old classics, Rob showed us how 2001 and later movies were built upon the themes, story lines, and even the special effects of many of these old classics.  Listeners had lots of questions.  Todd wanted to know about the movies impact on our actual space program.  Another asked Rob about the movie’s impact on the NewSpace community. Ben wanted to know about the “hidden & deep meaning” of 2001 movie.  As the segment was ending, we talked about Star Wars, Star Trek & other movies in context with 2001.  Rob hit on  Clarke’s “The Lost Worlds of 2001” as to how he explained the meaning of the movie.

In the second segment, we talked about buying the book at http://www.apogeeprime.com. Rob also told us about an upcoming special event at the IAC in Toronto to honor Fred Ordway and a possible US touring exhibit related to the book and film.  Listeners asked about modern space sci fi films including Gravity & Prometheus, then the discussion returned to Star Trek and the introduction of the idea of suspended animation in film.  Listeners kept bringing up other sci fi films for discussion and Rob stressed the importance of the early& classic work by Voltaire, “Micromegas.” This is a free download at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/30123.  The final part of our discussion focused on classic space TV and movie serials.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can contact Rob Godwin through the ApogeePrime website or me.


1. Dwayne Day - September 17, 2014

What I respected about this interview was not only Godwin’s knowledge, but also his carefulness. He didn’t make any wild claims. His knowledge of science fiction movies is bigger than mine, but I didn’t detect any mistakes in his comments, which was impressive.

I also agree with what he said about Peter Hyams’ movies. Hyams was a competent director, but not a great one. If you go back and watch Capricorn One, Outland, or 2010, and look at them objectively, they’re not bad movies. Capricorn One, for instance, is a well-made thriller for its day. Not top tier like some other paranoid thrillers of the 1970s (like The Conversation), but solid and coherent.

I would be a little more harsh than Godwin is about Hyams’ 2010 Odyssey Two. I think there are some problems with that movie. Maybe that’s because I cannot avoid comparing it to 2001, but it’s a bit _too_ political, which of course leaves it dated. It premiered in 1984 and yet within a decade it looked quite dated. Now nobody could have predicted that the Cold War would end in five years, but the movie was _too_ grounded in 1983 politics. If he had toned down the political stuff a bit and focused more on the alien question and the mystery of what happened to Discovery, the movie would have been less dated.

2. Dwayne Day - September 17, 2014

This was a very interesting and informative show. I’m sorry I didn’t listen live and call in.

Godwin’s comments reflect one of my interests, which is the interrelationships between movies and also real-world activities. There are people who are influenced by what they see, and there are also people who move from one project to another and bring their knowledge, skills, and ideas. 2001 was a good example of both. For instance, Kubrick watched a lot of movies before he started production, and he picked up a lot of ideas. An example is the multi-colored spacesuits of Destination Moon, which he used in 2001. But he also hired people who had worked on other projects, and they brought their ideas with them.

It’s a little harder when trying to track a real-world idea to inspiration from a film, and Godwin was very careful about that. For instance, it is common for people to say that Star Trek “invented” the cellphone. But wrist radios appeared in Dick Tracy, and the concept of mobile phones had been around a long time (just look at Korean War footage where they had large portable radios with phone-type mouthpieces). There’s a constant cross-fertilization going on, where people get ideas from film and film gets ideas from real life. The action star Jackie Chan once did an interview where he showed off his office and he had bulletin boards and binders where he had stuck things he clipped out of magazines and news articles. He would spot an image of a hovercraft and stick it in a binder and then when he was doing his next movie he would go there for ideas.

3. J Fincannon - September 15, 2014

Very interesting show. I really liked almost all of 2001, but not the “hyperspace” tunnel at the end. Also, I wonder why the Clavius Moonbase was in 1 G. That always bothered me. Perhaps it was too hard to simulate lunar gravity. I can’t believe they didn’t know about it given all the experts advising them.

4. Space-for-All at HobbySpace » ‘2001: The Heritage and Legacy of The Space Odyssey’ on The Space Show - September 14, 2014

[…] Rob Godwin, the owner and founder of Apogee Space Books. was on the Space Show Friday and discussed the book, 2001: The Heritage And Legacy Of The Space Odyssey, published by www.apogeeprime.com and written by the late Fred Ordway and Godwin: Rob Godwin, Friday, 9-12-14 – Thespaceshow’s Blog […]

5. Matt - September 13, 2014

Hello David,

I can support only Mr. Godwin critics about scientific errors that were made in movie “Gravity”. That was bit disturbing.

Mr. Godwin had a very interesting life and as seems he also the chance to work with the band Hawkwind (including Stacia! wow) if I read it correctly.

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