Oct 09

Panda Decorum

FT8 comments • 390 views

It is THE FUTUR. Earth is dying. We found another planet which is very far away. We sent a spaceship full of thousands of sleeping people to that planet to SAVE HUMANITY. Thus goes the plot of about a thousand science fiction books published in the last thirty years. And while some of those books might be ropey hackwork, most of them at least set about their premise as if they were trying to play with items found in the science fiction toybox with gusto. To first contact tstories, alien invasion stories, even Toby Litt’s Journey Into Space had a fun spin on the idea of generation ships. But its not really a plot that movies have played with that much. And one that, post Pandorum, they will probably ignore for another twenty years. Because Pandorum is such a cack handed muddle of a movie that any good will that you have towards it is squandered the moment you realise they used this complex set-up to remake The Descent in space.

So plot points you need to remember while watching Pandorum.
a) Hypersleep makes you temporarily lose your memory. Not about how to operate nuclear reactors, but stuff like your name.
b) Hypersleep can lead to madness called Pandorum. Symptoms of Pandorum include shaky hands, shaky camera and hallucinations that the filmcrew decided to indulge the audience with, without telling them until they want to spring the lame-o twist on us.
c) Interstellar hypersleep ships are huge and appear to be built like a nineties platform shoot-em up game.
d) Biologists become martial arts masters if you leave them to be attacked by rubbish monsters for a few months.
e) Humans mutate into superstrong, supervicious, super ugly creatures really quickly, over about three generations.
f) If you’re space-proof, you’re waterproof.
g) That said, don’t ever use a life pod in space, cos its door pops off after twenty seconds.

Dennis Quaid should have known better. But at least all his scenes take place in one room. Poor old Ben Foster gets to be dripped with goo and beaten up all over the darkest spaceship ever built (really, energy saving light bulbs are really cheap). But the biggest pity about Pandorum is that if the monsters had been taken out all together, there could have been a really good film in this mess. Instead its a dark, noisy confusing bunch of tat.


  1. 1
    admin on 14 Oct 2009 #

    — Hypersleep makes you temporarily lose your memory. Not about how to operate nuclear reactors, but stuff like your name

    is this so bad? Wah. I used this in an abandoned text adventure I wrote. There’s a cliché in text adv of amnesia at the start that helps synch the knowlege of the player and the character. Ah boo

  2. 2
    ledge on 14 Oct 2009 #

    – If you’re space-proof, you’re waterproof.

    this is basically true right

  3. 3
    Rick on 14 Oct 2009 #

    The hypersleep producing temporary retrograde amnesia seems perfectly reasonable to me. But that might be because I’ve read two Alastair Reynolds books in the last couple of months.

  4. 4
    Pete Baran on 14 Oct 2009 #

    Spaceproof=waterproof yes.

    Perhaps what I missed out is the twist that the spaceship rather than moving through space to its eventual destination, has crash landed and is underwater on said planet. With no-one noticing.

    (I didn’t mind the retrograde amnesia, until it was used to hide the identity of the villain to everyone INCLUDING HIMSELF)

  5. 6
    sandra day on 21 Mar 2021 #


  6. 7
    john on 15 Oct 2021 #


  7. 8
    JOHN on 14 Nov 2021 #


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