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Top 5: Space missions gone wrong

Voyages into the final frontier often end in disaster—here are the five most memorable space catastrophes in film


5) Forbidden Planet

Halfway between Hollywood flick and Shakespeare adaptation, this landmark film is garishly Freudian. Dr Mobius is a crazy scientist whose Id is unknowingly causing mass damage to a colonised planet. Unlike HAL 9000, here we have loyal Robby the Robot who cannot bear to kill his master—even though he designed him to look like a vibrator made from the remains of the Roswell incident.

4) Sunshine

Cillian Murphy plans to re-energise the dying sun by blowing it up. The mission eventually comes together, but not without a whole load of calamities along the way. If only it was the newspaper and not our trusty star he was aiming for.

3) Alien

Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror follows a group of scientists who are almost duped into bringing a savage alien monster back to earth for inspection. With giant claws, acidic blood and the prodding tongue of an inexperienced kisser, this beast wreaks havoc on board. You’ll have to wait for the sequel, though, to hear Sigourney Weaver say, “get away from her, you bitch!” A burn more wounding than the alien’s molten fluids.

2) Event Horizon

After fiddling with space-time (never advisable) the starship Event Horizon is lost and in need of help. Only until another crew arrive to investigate (absolutely never advisable) do we realise that the ship is actually orbiting hell and all the crewmates have died gruesomely. Basically a slasher film with wormholes, it definitely deserves its cult classic status.

1) 2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick’s epic masterpiece is about a mission to Jupiter that is scuppered by a creepy computer called HAL. He decides to take over and lock out the two space pilots, killing one of them by cutting his oxygen pipe. Credit where it’s due, he can sing. If you ask Siri about the plot of this film, it will snidely inform you that smart-arsed HAL works hard against two saps that “get in the way and mess it all up.” Siri is HAL’s cute-voiced descendant and I don’t like either of them.