The Sequels

Clarke had initially said that 2001 was to be without sequel, but spurred on by the information about Jupiter and its moons gathered by the Voyager space probes, he embarked on a sequel, 2010: Odyssey Two (1982). More a direct sequel to the film than to the novel, it tells the story of a Soviet mission to Jupiter nine years after the original voyage of the Discovery. Three Americans, including Dr Heywood Floyd, accompany the Soviets on board the Leonov. Arriving shortly before the Soviets, a Chinese spacecraft lands on Jupiter's moon Europa and is destroyed, apparently by a primitive life form. On board the Discovery, Hal is reactivated and the reasons for his malfunction are ascertained. Star-Child Bowman begins to communicate with Floyd, warning him that he must leave Jupiter space within fifteen days, because "it is dangerous to remain here." Using the remaining fuel in the Discovery and piggy- backing it onto the Russian craft, they escape from Jupiter space as the giant planet is transformed into a miniature star by the action of millions of monoliths, to allow life to evolve on Europa. A message is sent to the Earth from the empty Discovery: "All these worlds are yours - except Europa. Attempt no landings there."

Whilst becoming an instant best-seller, receiving generally positive reviews and being nominated for a Hugo award, 2010 did not delight many fans of Kubrick's project, and the film version (entitled 2010: The Year We Make Contact) directed by Peter Hyams in 1983, for many lacked imagination and vision. Certainly, it was without the original film's mystery - exposition was as conspicuous by its excessive presence as its absence had been from the original. Kubrick devotees awarded it the appropriately banal moniker 'Ten past eight' , though Clarke fans were kinder. Anticipating this debate, the faces of Kubrick and Clarke appear in the movie as the leaders of the USSR and the USA on the cover of a Time Magazine prophesying 'War!' between the two nations.

Clarke was undeterred by the mixed reaction to 2010, and, having "decided not to wait" after the Challenger disaster for additional data on Jupiter from the grounded Galileo probe, in 1987 came up with 2061: Odyssey Three. Heywood Floyd, now 103 (he has been kept young by the rejuvenating effects of hibernation), takes a luxury space cruise to Halley's Comet as it once again passes near Earth. In the mean time, a spacecraft has become stranded on Europa, where a giant diamond mountain ejected from the core of Jupiter has disturbed the native life. The Europan monolith, which had now incorporated the essence of Bowman and Hal, struggles with the question of whether or not life on Europa was worth sacrificing the possibility of life in the mists of the gas giant. At the inconclusive ending of the novel, Floyd is "echoed" and his immortal essence joins Bowman and Hal. 2061, to the relief of many has not made it to the silver screen, but the potential it left for final sequel was realised in 1997 when Clarke (blessed with a two million dollar advance) produced 3001: The Final Odyssey. The body of Frank Poole is discovered floating through the preserving vacuum of space, and he is resurrected on an Earth entirely unfamiliar to him. He spends much of the novel enjoying the wonders of his distinctly utopian new surroundings, and eventually journeys to Europa. Here he learns from Hal and Bowman ("Halman") that the monolith's function there is to report on the development of life in the solar system to the nearest Monolith-alien base five hundred light years away. The sun appears to be under threat from a similar phenomenon that transformed Jupiter, and concern arises that the aliens might destroy Earth after learning (at the speed of light it took them half a millennium) of the barbarism of the Twentieth Century. A "Trojan Horse" computer virus is used by the humans and Halman against the monoliths, and all those in the solar system are destroyed. The essence of Halman is preserved on a super-high memory computer chip.

Evidently, much of the mystery and grandeur of 2001 has been dispelled by the sequels. By 3001 the Star-Child Bowman has been reduced from a being of almost limitness ability to something not a great deal more spectacular than a highly advanced computer programme. Any spiritual and Nietzschean overtones are almost totally absent (the feeling that these were of Kubrick's inception seems confirmed), and indeed the peace and technology loving humans of earth seem to have moved further away from the superman, even more subdued by civilisation. As a Thirty-first century human says to Poole when he observes that the human race has deteriorated, "That may be true - in some respects. Perhaps we're physically weaker, but we're healthier and better adjusted... the Noble Savage was always a myth." The Dionysian delights that are available to Thirty-first Century man may be widespread but all seem a little controlled. 3001 also involves the fairly straightforward use of human technology (computer viruses,

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