In my opinion, robots are rootin’ tootin’ radtastical. Although technically not a robot, one of the most well-known and recognizable names in pop culture revolving around the concept of robots is HAL 9000 from the film adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey, released in 1968 and produced/directed by Stanley Kubrick. This film was written based off of the concept for the book given the same title by Arthur C. Clarke, which was published in the same year the film was released. Many people find this movie hard to watch due to the length of the film, the slow and slightly difficult to understand story-based plot (or rather, lack of action), and it feeling like a silent film due to most of the scenes being accompanied by white noise or soft orchestral music rather than conversation between characters – similar to “Modern Times”, which we recently watched in my Film Studies class.
HAL 9000 is easily one of my favorite fictional characters, despite his limited screentime and dialogue in the film. His character is a great counterpart to that of David Bowman and Frank Poole, the only two members on Discovery 1 that were not in hibernation and had to deal with HAL 9000 directly for the entirety of the trip to Jupiter (in the film, in the book they were on their way to Saturn and were going to use Jupiter’s gravity to accelerate the spacecraft in the final stretch towards Saturn), as well as on the journey back to Earth. After Poole’s death at the metaphorical hands of HAL 9000, as well as the death of the hibernating crew members, Bowman is left to handle HAL and his unexpected malfunction. This is arguably the most famous scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and has been referenced and parodied throughout history ever since.