Black Hole silhouetted against the Milky Way Spring 2005 ASTR 2030 Homepage

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 movies Spring 2005 ASTR 2030 Black Holes: Black Hole Books, Movies

Here is a list of works of science fiction, including novels, short stories, movies, and TV episodes, that supposedly, in some way or other, involve a black hole or wormhole. The list has been compiled to a large extent by previous generations of students. 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 science fiction novel or short story, or movie or TV episode, that involves Black Holes or Wormholes, and that is not listed here.

Please note that stories or movies merely involving time travel (like Time Machine or Back To The Future) don't count. Moreover texts, monographs, documentaries, or other works of non-science-fiction on Black Holes do not count.

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

Rating Title Comments
ASTR 2030 Spring 2005 Entries
  The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) Arthur Dent wakes up one morning to find that his house is about to be demolished, his best friend Ford Perfect is an alien from another planet, and that Earth is about to be demolished to make way for a hyperspace highway. Minuets later Arthur and Ford have hitchhiked a ride on the demolisher's space craft and are on an adventure across the galaxy. While there are no black holes in this movie, hyperspace travel has been made possible by the "Infinite Improbability Drive" that allows the crew to bridge hyperspace. The one small problem with this type of travel is that it is impossible to predict where or even what species you will be when you emerge out of hyperspace (without the correct coordinates that is) and there is a normalization period that must take place for things to return to normal. General relativity seems to play no part in this comical science fiction movie (especially time dilation) but overall is a very funny movie with an interesting take on how to hitchhike the galaxy through the inner threads of hyperspace. More information and synopsis. - Kate Guthrie
  Book: Singularity, By William Sleator An odd book that tells the tale of two brothers (twins) that stay at their dead uncle's house and discover the secret of his "playhouse" in the back. The playhouse turns out to be the exit end of a black hole. This "white hole" speeds up time within the playhouse for observers outside. After a fight one twin desides to age himself a year by "living" in the playhouse while the other sleeps. An interesting book with odd twists and an odder idea behind it. Review. - Cassidy Strode
  The Outer Limits Season Five: "Deja Vu" A government scientist had just finished developing a new kind of technology to aide the military/government with rapid transportation. The technology involves opening up a controllable wormhole and transporting someone or something to another destination, and then exiting the wormhole when they get there. Of course, everything doesn't go as planned, and our scientist loses control of the wormhole machine. Instead of functioning properly and transporting from place to place, it starts to go back in time. Conveniently, the scientist is transported to the day before his machine went haywire. He starts trying to warn everyone about the malfunctions to come, but doesn't have much luck. Each time he fails to prevent the experiment from going wrong, he is transported back again and again. However, also each time, the scientist finds himself appearing with less and less time to try to end the madness. Time is running out! As tge story progresses, he finds out that not one, but two people have their own plans for his device, and that they were the cause of the malfunctions. The scientist does fix everything in the end though.

The show is on the SciFi Channel if that is any hint on its popularity these days.

- Kevin Keeling
  Wing Commander (1999) The movie takes place in the year 2654 and is about a war in space between the Erath confederation and an evil race called the Kilrathi. Only the Earth confederation is at a major disadvantage because the Kilrathi race has discovered a device that allows them to jump through worm holes and black holes. Upon going through and reaching the point of singularity they are able to travel back in time and arrive behind enemy lines. The only hope is the power of a fearless wing commander and his team of squadron fighters. The movie talks about black holes and worm holes throughout. Review. - Eric Rodriguez
  The Ultimate Weapon of MEGAS XLR This black hole story comes from the new Cartoon network show MEGAS XLR. M.E.G.A.S. stands for Mechanical Earth Guardian Attack System. It was developed in the year 3037 to protect earth. But before its systems were fully functional, earth was attacked. In order to save earth's only chance for a counter attack, MEGAS was sent to the past to later be recovered, fixed and brought back to the future for combat. MEGAS ended up in a New Jersey junkyard in 1970. The Mech was eventually found by Coop, the chubby but loveable hero of the story. Coop takes MEGAS, takes off the rust and adds his own modifications like a Playstation controller for the combat control and a hotrod for a head.

So now to introduce the main characters. Coop is the driver of MEGAS. Even with his modifications, he is not completely aware of all of MEGAS' capabilities. The person who is aware of all MEGAS functions is Kiva, MEGAS' creator. The smart red head from the future built the machine but is unaware of how to drive it. Then there is Jamie, Coop's good friend and co-pilot. Jamie is the typical side-kick. These three travel around, train on MEGAS and attract the attention of galactic friends and foes.

In episode 5 of season two, titled S-Force S.O.S., Coop is locked in a battle with undefeatable Galactus. Coop, nearing defeat, stumbles upon MEGAS' ultimate weapon. After ignoring the warning from Kiva, Coop decides to fire revealing that the ultimate weapon is a black hole. A singularity is shot sucking in the villain, but as a side effect, everything else is getting sucked in too. MEGAS clings to a pipe as the crew tries to figure out how to disable the hole. Kiva created the weapon as a last resort; she was never expecting to stop the weapon. The quick thinking Coop then fires another singularity right next to the 1st black hole. The two singularities then cancel each other out and the universe is saved once again.

- Jason Duong
 1.5 stars Blackstar (1981) Astronaut John Blackstar has a run-in with a black hole while traveling on his ship, and is transported to the planet "Sagar". Here he is rescued by a race of creatures called "Trobbits". Our hero soon learns that these peaceful creatures are living under the oppressive power of the Overlord, who possesses half of an extremely powerful sword. Blackstar has the other half. The citizens of Sagar wish to see an end to their oppressive society. Blackstar, of course, aids their endeavor, and along the way befriends a dragon, named Warlock, and a shape-shifter named Klone.

This animated series is full of adventure and conflict, and the lasting friendships formed between John Blackstar and his companions. Even though a children's animated series, it could do with more character development.

Though the series premiered as recently as the 1980s, CBS refused to allow the main character to be black, claiming that the public was not ready for this.

The show, in its entirety, lasted one season, and only 13 episodes. Synopsis. - Jaime Martinez

  The Simpson's: "Don't Fear the Roofer" This episode features an appearance by Stephen Hawking, who suggests that a small black hole in front of Homer might explain why Bart could not see who Homer was talking to. The black hole absorbed all the light from the main Homer was talking to. Synopsis. - Craig Campbell
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.
 4 stars 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 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
 2.5 stars 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
 3 stars 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
Synopsis

Synopsis.

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

 1.5 stars 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 http://pouet.net/prod.php?which=10997, 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).

Movies
 3 stars 2001 Read the book before you watch the film, otherwise you won't have a clue what happened.
 4 stars 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.
 3.5 stars 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.
 3.5 stars 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 DVD offers an alternative ending which depicts the beginning of the destruction of the Universe, as a wave of supernovae marches through the Galaxy.
 3.5 stars 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.
 4 stars 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.
 1.5 stars Event Horizon A horror movie. The bit on the wormhole is short and a bit disappointing. The title is the name of the spaceship.
 3 stars 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.
 3 stars 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.
 3 stars 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.
 3 stars Donnie Darko Intense movie about teenage angst, whose climactic end features a wormhole that darkens the skies over Donnie Darko's house, and changes everything.
 2 stars 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.
 1.5 stars Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure The telephone booth transports via some goofy kind of a wormhole.
 1.5 stars 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!"
 3 stars 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  
 2 stars 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 A song.
 NR Quantum Leap Haven't seen it.
 NR The White Hole Haven't seen it.
Documentaries
 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
 4 stars 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.
 4 stars Simpsons. Treehouse of Horror episode VI Superbly irreverent.
 2.5 stars 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.
 0.5 stars 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.
 0.5 stars 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
 2 stars 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.

 Black Hole silhouetted against the Milky Way Spring 2005 ASTR 2030 Homepage

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