Douglas Rain, Voice of HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dies at 90

Douglas Rain, voice of the computer HAL 9000 in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, died on Sunday morning. He was 90 years old.

Born in Canada, Rain started on the stage and was known in both the Canadian and British theater communities for his roles in William Shakespeare’s classics like Othello and Twelfth Night. But Rain is best known in the sci-fi community as the voice of HAL—a cold, monotone voice that immediately evokes fear in anyone who hears it.

Even if you’ve never seen Stanley Kubrick’s classic 1967 movie, you know the famous exchange between the astronaut David Bowman and HAL. “Open the pod bay doors, HAL,” Dr. Bowman says. “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that,” the HAL computer replies.

From NBC News:

Rain was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and trained at the Old Vic Theatre in London. In 1972, he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Supporting or Featured Actor in a Drama for his performance as William Cecil in “Vivat! Vivat Regina!” on Broadway.

In 1953, he became a member of the first repertory cast of the Stratford Festival and performed in 32 seasons with the company.

According to Vincent Lobrutto’s 1997 study “Stanley Kubrick: A Biography,” Rain was initially contracted to narrate “2001″ after Kubrick heard his narration of the short documentary “Universe,” which was released by the National Film Board of Canada in 1960.

“Today we lost Douglas Rain, a member of our founding company and a hugely esteemed presence on our stages for 32 seasons. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” the Stratford Festival in Ontario tweeted yesterday.

RIP Douglas Rain. You gave life to a character that will live on for generations to come; a character that served as a warning to those of us living in “the future.” Sadly, we didn’t listen. Or, if we did listen, we just didn’t care. Because HAL is now becoming real. The HAL of today just goes by a different name: Sometimes Siri, sometimes Alexa. And for those with a truly dark sense of humor, just HAL.

I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer

An original Star Trek episode titled ‘The Devil in the Dark’.

The starship Enterprise arrives at the pergium mining colony on planet Janus VI to help the colony deal with an unknown creature that has killed 50 miners and destroyed equipment with a strong corrosive substance.
Captain Kirk and his security team begin to search for the creature. Spock, suspecting the creature may be a silicon-based lifeform, modifies their phasers to be effective against it. They encounter the creature, which has the appearance of molten rock, and fire upon it, breaking a piece of its skin off; the creature flees by burrowing through the rock wall at a rapid pace.
Spock conducts a mind meld with the creature once it stops attacking. Spock discovers the creature is severly wounded.
The creature is dying, Kirk advises Doctor McCoy to heal it. Which astounds the good doctor.

Super Cool Tin Toys

A tin toy, or tin lithograph toy, is a mechanical toy made out of tinplate and colorfully painted by chromolithography to resemble primarily a character or vehicle.

The production of tin toys was discontinued during World War II because of the need for raw materials in the war effort. After the war, tin toys were produced in large numbers in Japan. Under occupation and the Marshall Plan, manufacturers in Japan were granted the right to resume production. The idea was to give Japan all of the low profit; high labor manufacturing and the US companies could sell the imported product. It worked better than they had expected and Japan became a tin toy manufacturing force until the end of the 1950s. In the 1960s cheaper plastic and new government safety regulations ended the reign of tin toys. Presently, China has taken over the role of the leading tin toy manufacturing country.

Space Tin Toys

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