5

In Interstellar,

The main characters are pursuing Plan B for saving humanity, whereby a human colony will be established via frozen embryos. At the end, Brandt (a woman) is a alone on the colony. What is the plan to bring the embryos to fruition? I remember a rapidly delivered summary, but was the plan really for her to deliver and raise ten children (girls, presumably) by herself?

I figure that the initial plan probably involved the full crew, but even so...am I missing something?

9

As I recall, there was an offhand remark in the film about artificial wombs in which to gestate the embryos.

So,

Brandt would decant the first generation of children by herself and raise them to adulthood,

after which they would raise second and subsequent generations and expand the colony, changing over from artificial to natural reproduction when the population grew large enough.

To answer your exact question:

Yes, the idea was for Brandt to raise ten or so children by herself -- although in the original plan, there would have been four adults to share the work instead of just one.

4

This is specifically addressed in the film's official novelisation. Brand was planning to land on the remaining planet (Edmund's World) with Coop and between them they would incubate ten-ish embryos using an artificial womb. These children would then form the backbone of a new human population using a mixture of surrogacy and normal pregnancy.

Ultimately, the only difference between what was planned from the start and the ultimate outcome was that instead of being managed by four adults, they started the bomb with a single adult:

This is one way. Plan B — a population bomb. Almost five thousand fertilized eggs, preserved in containers weighing in at under nine hundred kilos.” Five thousand children, he thought. Five thousand, in this little vault, waiting to be brought into the world.

“How could you raise them?” Cooper asked.

“With equipment on board, we incubate the first ten,” Brand replied, as if she was talking about planting corn. “After that, with surrogacy, the growth becomes exponential. Within thirty years, we might have a colony of hundreds. The real difficulty of colonization is genetic diversity.” She pointed to the glass vials enclosed by the device. “This takes care of that.”

Later...

She had been trying to stay occupied with the particulars of her duties—primarily making certain that they could still implement plan B. The population bomb had been roughed up enough that she’d needed to overhaul the cryonics, which she had managed to accomplish with a little help from Case. It was a makeshift fix that required cannibalizing Romilly’s cryo-bed, but then again, he wasn’t going to need it. Once they made planetfall, she could use some parts of the Endurance they still needed to rig a more reliable system. They couldn’t thaw all of the embryos at once—the bomb would need to continue working for decades, at least.

She wondered how many children she and Cooper would be able to manage, now that it was just the two of them. Five? Ten?

At least he had some experience along those lines.

You want a big family, Coop? It was going to be an odd conversation to have. Probably a painful one, too—at least for him.

-1

The film does not support that Brand is indeed starting Plan B on her own. There is a remark by Murph at the end "maybe right now she is settling in for the long nap". This plus the fact that for a fraction of a second before the spin-docking sequence we're shown, I think, that one of Endurance's compounds destroyed by Mann seems to have contained the population bomb. (Maybe this was not intended by the filmmakers - this could have been other containers, it's not thematised in dialogue. But they pretty much looked exactly like the population bomb containers.) It's not explicitly said whether all 5000 fertilized eggs were destroyed but adding Murphs remark it gets obvious that Brand did not start with Plan B on her own but preparing for arriving backup that she obviously had very reasons to hope for but on the other hand having no other alternative. She was preparing for cryo-sleep, hoping that somehow humanity manages to send a next epedition to Edmunds planet.

One single person for entire Plan B would have been indeed a very "long shot".

  • 1
    This answer isn't supported by the film or the novelisation. See above – Valorum Apr 19 '15 at 15:59

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