The Black Out

Intriguing things can be dangerous. When the crew of the USS Palomino boarded the Cygnus they were intrigued by the beautiful ship but found the ship’s captain seeking ultimate knowledge by sending them all into a twirling, whirling black hole.

Why not says Dr Hans Reinhardt played by Judgement at Nuremberg’s Maximillian Schell in The Black Hole (1979). What on earth have we got ourselves into, says the crew of the USS Palomino – Captain Dan Holland (Robert Forster), Lieutenant Charles Pizer (Joseph Bottoms), Dr Alex Durant (Anthony Perkins), Dr Kate McCrae (Yvette Mimieux) and journo Harry Booth (Ernest Borgnine). Durant is more susceptible to its charms but is heading down the wrong path.

Getting pulled into something intriguing, but there is danger around the bend. In terms of philosophy, it is not just an odd saying for the wise of heart. In terms of experience, it happens.

Like the trusting young man who was pulled into taking down his posters because he was told it was evil. His loss, not evil. His possessions gone. His mind, not someone else’s. Too trusting and scared into doing something he would not have done otherwise. The influence of elders, the submission of the fools. Not even an apology. The elders, in this case, know best (not), but one misses their cherished leisure.

The Palomino board and nose around the ship, see numbers of interesting robotic machines in service (some of which graduated to merchandising status), and interact with the not so reliable captain. In the vein of the temptation offered to Adam and Eve — take of the fruit and you will know just as God does — so Reinhardt has taken up the offer quite unwisely. His goal is to find ultimate knowledge by diving them all into the black hole while the crew of the USS Palomino scramble to escape this ever-increasing megalomaniac.

Meanwhile, I had been waiting for a cinematic mind bend down a sink hole in outer space…

We all can be susceptible to the danger around the bend when one is pulled into something through fear or intrigue. It is called the ‘black out’; one loses their bearings and lowers their guard, but it may even be to do the right thing, when it’s not. All one does, then, once one is alerted to their darkness, is yell into their pillow, with no way out. Then escape, somehow, and find the way out. The movie itself was only half-bad, though.

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