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 movies Fall 2003 ASTR 2030 Black Holes: Black Hole Movies

Here is a list of movies and TV episodes that I know, or am told, in some way or other involve a black hole or wormhole. In most cases the black hole or wormhole is incidental to the plot, but there are a few cases where it is at least somewhat central.

You can win yourself up to 2% extra credit by advising me of any movie or TV episode that involves Black Holes or Wormholes that is not listed here.

Please note that movies merely involving time travel (like Time Machine or Back To The Future) don't count. Moreover documentaries on Black Holes do not count.

To gain the full extra credit, you must name a specific movie or episode (not a general series like Deep Space 9), you must have SEEN the movie/episode yourself, and you must include a short review of the movie/episode (don't forget the quotes rule). Preferably you should provide a link to a place on the web where further information about the movie/episode can be found.

Rating Title Comments
ASTR 2030 Fall 2003 Entries
  Futurama (the space comedy brought to you by Matt Groenig, creator of the Simpsons): "Roswell That Ends Well" (2001) Involves the crew of the show entering a black hole and being sent back in time because Fry put metal into the ship's microwave. Originally aired on December 9, 2001. Synopsis.
  Futurama: "A Flight to Remember..." (1999) The crew is aboard a ship named Titanic which eventually falls into a black hole at the end of the episode. Originally aired on September 26, 1999. Synopsis.
  Ben Hillman "That Pesky Toaster" (1995, Hyperion Books for Children, New York) A book, not a movie. A gorgeously illustrated story about a dysfunctional toaster that swallows bread and disgorges not toast but a galaxy that the farmer's wife whacks with her broom into a black hole that hides in a pie that farmer Gus eats and ...
  The Giant Spider Invasion (1975) A mysterious object comes crashing to Earth on a farm in Northern Wisconsin. A host of spiders hatch out of crystal geodes. A "NASA scientist" identifies the object as a black hole feeding energy to the spiders. The spiders quickly overrun everything and then produce a spider the size of an entire house which rampages through town. Synopsis.
  Star Trek TNG: "The Price" (1989) This Episode begins with an under advanced civilization auctioning off the only known "stable" wormhole in the universe. Several different delegations, including the United Federation of Planets (to which the Enterprise belongs), attempt to outbid each other for control of the wormhole. The wormhole appears every 242 minutes or so, and they compare the reliability of its appearing to that of the geyser Old Faithful back on earth. But Geordi and Data later discover that the wormhole spits you out at a "random" location on the other side, where it is unstable and collapses. When they travel through the wormhole they see a lot of psychedelic lights. From outside, the wormhole goes from being a black point in space to a bright flash, and a big purple bubble-shaped tunnel. - Eliot Armstrong
First aired 1989 November 26. Synopsis
  Timeline (2003) Timeline is about an archaeological team who study under their Yale professor, Billy Connolly. They are all really into their work and into the past. Somehow the professor finds out about some time travel machine that is being built, and he travels back in time, but gets stuck there. The team wants to go back in time to rescue him, but are scared, and ask many questions. David Thewlis, head of International Technology Corp, knows everything about time travel, and tells them how simple it is to go through a wormhole. He wants them to go back in time so badly, he doesn't tell them that it's not actually that safe. The last man to come back through was all distorted and even his veins and body parts weren't lined up anymore. Most of the team decide to go through the wormhole. On the other side they find themselves in the Hundred Years War, and many of them are quickly killed. The movie wasn't filled with the best acting or the most intense action scenes, but it did have a good ending, and the movie pulled everything together nicely at the conclusion. One man, Gerard Butler, ends up staying back in the 14th century, having decided to make his own history after falling in love with Lady Claire, played by the beautiful Anna Friel. - Shannon Von Eschen
  South Park Season 4 Episode 12: "The 4th Grade" In this episode of South Park the main characters are tired of being in 4th grade so they decide they want to go back in time to 3rd grade. To do this they ask the help of the Star Trek geeks down the street to help them make a time machine. The geeks talk about time travel and say there are two theories of time travel, the Spock theory which says that a slingshot around the sun could create a wormhole, and the Lieutenant Commander Data theory which says that a magnetic vibration could create a rip in the spacetime continuum. They decide that Timmy's wheelchair would be good for making the required inertia device. When Timmy tries to use the wheelchair to go through the wormhole, which supposedly should open for 4.2 seconds, he instead accelerates through the classroom wall, and goes on a hectic ride. Just when the wheelchair is about to explode, Timmy travels back in time. But he overshoots 3rd grade, and finds himself among the dinosaurs. Back in school, the other kids try to make a new time machine with a duck and a microwave. The new machine successfully produces a wormhole, but the kids decide they don't want to travel back in time. Instead, Timmy reappears out of the wormhole, having had his great adventure through time. - Jacob Hansen
  Ren and Stimpy Season 1 Episode 6: Black Hole (1992) In this episode, Ren and Stimpy start out aboard a space ship that is being sucked into "the hideous vortex of a black hole" (quote, Ren). They get thrown into another universe, minus their spaceship. They are "the first cat and dog to pass through the black hole and live to tell the tale" (Ren). The universe is like another planet where the clouds change from baseballs to chickens to toasters. Ren and Stimpy are subject to many weird mutations like splitting in two, eyes merging, and heads ballooning. They trek to a mysterious mountain, which turns out to be a huge pile of stinky left socks. Apparently "this is where all the missing left socks in the universe go" (Ren). They must then get to the "trans-dimensional gateway" so that they are not trapped in the new universe forever. They try to board a bus departing the black hole for Jersey City, but they don't have exact change, and are kicked off. In order to leave the black hole, they decide to implode themselves. End of story. Originally aired 1992 Feb 23. - Emily Kramer


Tim-May Game. Help Timmy negotiate various obstacles, including time warps.

  The Tick Season 2 Episode 24: The Tick vs. The Big Nothing (1996) A race of aliens, The Heys, plans to destroy the Universe by throwing a black hole into another black hole. Another race, The Whats, kidnap The Tick to try to stop them. Originally aired 1996 Feb 3. Synopsis
  40 days and 40 nights (2002) Josh Hartnet's ceiling forms into a black hole every time he has sex. Synopsis.
  Singularity - the universe, part 1 by mfx An artist's animation of a black hole at the center of a galaxy, with music.

Go to, and click on download (to the bottom right of the picture). It's a windows executable, but it runs fine under linux with wine (Wine Is Not an Emulator).

  2001 Read the book before you watch the film, otherwise you won't have a clue what happened.
  Contact Beautifully crafted film, better I think than Carl Sagan's original book. Kip Thorne consulted on the wormhole, but in the end the director could not wait for a scientific rendering, and instead chose an artistic and dramatic rendering. There's a momentary glimpse of an exquisite galaxy.
  Stargate The classic film featuring a sequence passing through a wormhole. The special effect sequence looks a bit like a screensaver compared to more recent offerings, but it was groundbreaking for its time.
  Supernova Great film with some gratuitous astrophysics. Some lovely glimpses of a massive star accreting on to a black hole, but the sequences last only moments, presumably to disguise the fact that the view is just a still painting. There are two nice one-minute sequences where the spaceship looks like it's probably supposed to be passing through some kind of wormhole or spacewarp. The film is vague about what is actually happening. The climax is spectacular.
  The One "There is not one Universe, but many, a Multiverse" intones the opening sequence, with delicious graphics to accompany. Our action hero, Jet Li, exists as a copy in each. If one copy is killed, then his strength is shared amongst the remaining copies. So it is that one rogue copy decides to kill all his other selves, so as to become the all powerful, The One. Li transports between Universes using a wormhole machine, and the wormhole sequences are quite fun. A feature of the transport is that the transporting person gets torn to bits en route, but is reassembled on landing.
  Walt Disney's The Black Hole A truly awful movie, with annoying music, dreadful dialogue, clichéd characters, and laughable special effects. It gets 4 stars because it's perfect for teaching about what not to do.
  Event Horizon A horror movie. The bit on the wormhole is short and a bit disappointing. The title is the name of the spaceship.
  Planet of The Apes (2001) Our hero reaches the Planet of the Apes through what appears to be some kind of wormhole through space and time, although the comments on the DVD by the Director and the Special Effects guy suggest they weren't thinking about wormholes or black holes at all.
  Lost in Space (The 1998 movie) A movie remake based on the old TV series. The family visits a planet where a future version of the son has devised a time machine that looks a bit like a churning wormhole.
  The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (Special Edition) (1984) The opening scene has Buckaroo Banzai accelerate a rocket car (no computer graphics here) across the salt flats, press the dimension button and pass right through a solid mountain, with special effects that were wizzy for the time.
  Donnie Darko Intense movie whose climactic end features a wormhole that darkens the skies over Donnie Darko's house, and changes everything.
  Galaxy Quest Brandon says "Well, the Protector got super-accelerated coming out of the black hole, and it, like, nailed the atmosphere at Mach 15, which, you guys know, is pretty unstable, obviously, so we're gonna help Laredo guide it on the vox ultra-frequency carrier and use Roman candles for visual confirmation." A black hole appears briefly and unspectacularly as a way to get home.
  Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure The telephone booth transports via some goofy kind of a wormhole.
  Austin Powers 2, 3 The wormhole that transports across spacetime is a rotating psychedelic disk. Deliberately intended to be a dreadful take off, like the rest of the movie.
 NR Treasure Planet Have't seen it, but apparently there's scenes involving travel into a black hole. A memorable quote: "Do active galactic nuclei have superluminous jets!"
  Time Bandits The 1981 movie featured three former Pythons (Cleese, Gilliam, and Palin) and Sean Connery in a fairly disjointed story about a child who gets mixed up with some midget-thieves. The bandits steal not only across continents, but across the spacetime continuum. The dwarves were God's helpers when he was creating the universe, and they claim that while God was working out all the important intangibles like good and evil, the dwarves actually created all the stars, planets, and matter in the universe. Naturally, the six tiny men only had a week to do it all, so there were a few places they just sorta slapped some duct tape across it and called it good enough. The holes in the spacetime continuum have been there ever since. The dwarves eventually tire of toiling for God, and decide to go on a crime spree across space and time. Granted, in the movie, the "holes" are never referred to as "black holes," and they are localized as a black doorway in an alley that come and go in a few seconds, in which case they certainly don't devour any of the matter around them, but they could still definitely be considered mini-black holes. But what it lacks in scientific accuracy, this movie personifies the famous Stephen Wright quote, "Black Holes are where God divided by zero." - Billy Gooch
 NR Sailor Moon Super S: Black Dream Hole  
  Sphere A spooky sphere at the bottom of the ocean does weird things. Scary, but not really much about black holes there.
 NR Terminator 2 Great movie, with spectacular special effects. Involves time travel, but not really black holes or wormholes.
 NR Flight of the Navigator Have not seen it.
 NR Barbie and the Sensations: Rockin' Back to Earth I have not been able to see this, but I am promised that Barbie and her rock group go through some kind of black hole or wormhole.
 NR Gojira tai Megagirasu: Jii Shômetsu Sakusen A Japanese godzilla movie. One of Tokyo's defense mechanism's is the "dimension tide" a weapon that creates artificial black holes.
 NR Tron Haven't seen it, but someone thought there might have been a black hole in there.
 NR Soundgarden, Blackhole sun Haven't seen it.
 NR Quantum Leap Haven't seen it.
 NR The White Hole Haven't seen it.
 NR Any Nova or Discovery documentary involving black holes  
 NR Hyperspace A documentary in which an artist's impression of a wormhole makes a brief appearance that is neither very scientific nor very spectacular.
 NR The Philadelphia Experiment One of those documentaries about weird happenings, here the transportation of the USS Philadelphia by some kind of plasma warp, that turn out to be hoaxes.
TV Episodes
  Andromeda "Under the Night" (the first episode of the series) A world war with the Nietzscheans wipes out the entire human race, except for our hero captain Hunt, who escapes into a black hole, where he stays frozen on the horizon for 300 years before being pulled off the horizon by a salvage ship. Great for discussion in class, because of the way it mixes good physics with bad.
  Simpsons. Treehouse of Horror episode VI Superbly irreverent.
  Farscape Season 1, Vol. 1 - Premiere/I, E.T. In the first episode, our hero astronaut accelerates an experimental craft to unheard of speed, skips off the atmosphere, and finds himself transported through a time tunnel to another part of the Universe.
  Space: 1999 set 1 A slow, awful episode from the 1970s series. The low grade special effects remind you how far things have come in the computer age. Don't bother.
  Sliders Awful. There's a kind of wormhole thing, usually just off camera, through which the cast leaps at the beginning and end of each episode to take them to another time and place.
 NR Cowboy Bebop - Session 4: Gateway Shuffle ?
 NR Space Above & Beyond. Ray Butts Starship ripped apart by tidal forces. Dogfight in and around BH. Pilot dies while listening to Johnny Cash's "I walk the line".
 NR Invader Zim: Room with a Moose Haven't seen it.
 NR South Park. Starvin Marvin in Space Haven't seen it.
Red Dwarf
 NR Series 3: Backwards  
 NR Series 3: Marooned  
 NR Series 4: White Hole  
 NR Series 4: Dimension Jump  
Star Trek
 NR Star Trek. Eye of the Needle  
 NR Star Trek I, The Motion Picture The cast go through a wormhole created by their malfunctioning warp drive. The actors' faces all distort and their voices get slower and slower until they break free.
 NR Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home  
Star Trek TNG
 NR First Contact  
Star Trek Deep Space Nine
 NR Emissary (the first season two-part introduction) The cast discover the wormhole for the first time. There are lots of shots of the wormhole opening and people passing through it. In later episodes the wormhole becomes commonplace, and people just enter one side and exit the other.
 NR The Prince  
 NR The Naked Now  
Star Trek Voyager
 NR Gravity  
 NR Parallax  
 NR Tomorrow Is Yesterday  
Star Trek Enterprise
  Singularity The cast experiences strange warp effects as they pass through the accretion disk of a black hole. The graphics of the nebulous and rocky accretion disk are beautiful, though we never actually see the black hole or get close to it.

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Updated 22 Dec 2003