In both movies, 2001 and 2010, we see people walking in the pod hangar bay aboard the Discovery One. The only part of the ship that has artificial gravity is the centrifuge wheel, so how can people walk in the pod hangar bay?

David Bowman and Frank Poole seem to walk normally through the hangar. They don't need to steady themselves as they walk in a supposedly zero gravity environment.

(Sorry about posting a link to the entire movie. I could not find a clip of just that scene. Fast forward to 1:02:30.)

Their walking motions are very unlike the slow and cautious walking motions of the woman in this scene from the movie, 2001. Kubrick made a point of showing us her "grip shoes" so we can how she walks on a surface while in zero gravity.

In the movie, 2010, Heywood Floyd also walks normally through the octagon hallway into the hangar bay. (Fast forward to 2:37.)

We know Kubrick was a stickler for getting the details right. Was this an oversight on his part?

  • Simulating zero-g is expensive (and not always convincing). My guess is that Kubrick (and whoever produced 2010) hoped that people wouldn't notice. – Mick Mar 26 '17 at 18:29
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    They appear to be walking in a very stilted way, placing each foot carefully on the ground before leaning into the next step. – Valorum Mar 26 '17 at 18:31
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    I was going to say the same thing as @Valorum. They both look very stiff when walking in the hangar, and they appear to be wearing some funky shoes and walking on some black floor coating. – Gallifreyan Mar 26 '17 at 18:34
  • As for the 2010 clip: Kubrick wasn't involved in the movie, so any oversights are not his. – Andres F. Mar 26 '17 at 18:48
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    They have black pads on the floor which I presume are grip pads, and maybe experienced astronauts would get used to walking on them, but they way they walk up the steps into the pod gives the game away. Funny thing is, I've seen this movie dozens of times and never noticed. I'm guessing it was a budget choice and they deliberately eased the viewer into the astronauts acting more and more normally. – Schwern Mar 26 '17 at 18:52

If you watch the 2001 clip more carefully, you can see that most of the time, the actors are walking with a very stilted step (also mentioned in comments). Either the floor, or their shoes, are magnetized, which would be more practical than velcro for an environment that isn't carpeted. Nearly every scene in the pod bay in 2001 has them walking the same way, with a couple of exceptions (including a shift in stance in the scene you reference above) that are clearly errors that weren't worth going back and correcting.

For 2010, Peter Hyams was not trying to copy Kubrick's style, and chose not to dwell as much on the details of life in space. For example Alexei Leonov has a rotating section, but we see people walking normally, without stilted, prying feet off the floor walk of magnetized shoes, even in the parts of the ships that aren't under spin, like the bridge of Leonov or the pod bay of Discovery. However, two scenes clearly simulate realistic low-grav inside the ships -- Chandra in HAL's central processing unit, and Floyd using floating pens to demonstrate his idea for using Discovery to boost Leonov. These scenes demonstrate fairly clearly that Hyams knows there shouldn't be gravity in the non-spin sections, and that he simply chose not to have actors walk funny to belabour the point. There's a somewhat greater attention to such details during the exterior spacewalk scenes, however, including the use of the portable thruster and tether when Max and Curnow jump across to Discovery.

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