Monthly Archives: December 2010

17 Minutes Of Lost Footage From 2001: A Space Odyssey Found In Salt Mine

2001: A Space Odyssey

SEVENTEEN MINUTES’ of missing footage from Stanley Kubrick‘s seminal sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey has been found in an underground archive.

Material believed to be among the footage include additional scenes from the Dawn of Man opening sequence; more footage of the Jupiter Expedition astronauts onboard the Discovery; a scene showing HAL breaking off contact with Earth before the computer alerts the crew that the AE-35 antenna has “malfunctioned”; and more footage of Frank Poole outside Discovery trying to fix the damaged antenna.

The discovery was announced by 2001‘s effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull during a talk before a movie audience in Toronto, Canada.

The visual effects legend, who was presenting a 70mm print of Kubrick’s 1968 masterpiece, revealed Warner Bros. had discovered the complete and perfectly preserved component negatives of the lost footage in a Kansas salt mine, where it had been stored and forgotten for the last four decades.

Warner Bros. is said to be considering how best to use the footage.

According to Wikipedia, Kubrick filmed several scenes that were deleted from the final film.

These include a schoolroom on the moon base (a painting class that included Kubrick’s daughters); additional scenes of life on the base; Floyd buying a bush baby from a department store via videophone for his daughter; details about the daily life on Discovery; additional space walks; astronaut Bowman retrieving a spare part from an octagonal corridor; a number of cuts from the Poole murder sequence including the entire space walk preparation and shots of HAL turning off radio contact with Poole – (explaining the non sequitur of HAL’s response to Bowman’s question); and notably a close-up shot of Bowman picking up a slipper during his walk in the alien room – the slipper can still be seen behind him in what was then the next shot.

The most notable cut was a 10-minute black-and-white opening sequence featuring interviews with actual scientists, including Freeman Dyson, discussing extraterrestrial life, which Kubrick removed after an early screening for MGM executives. The text survives in the book The Making of Kubrick’s 2001 by Jerome Agel.

If the music intro and outro are included, 29 minutes’ worth of film were excised from the theatrical version.

Kubrick’s decision to cut the film was to tighten the narrative. Contemporary reviews suggested the film suffered too much by the radical departure from traditional cinema story-telling conventions.

Regarding the cuts, Kubrick stated: “I didn’t believe that the trims made a critical difference. The people who like it, like it no matter what its length, and the same holds true for the people who hate it”.

According to Kubrick biographer Jan Harlan, the director was adamant the trims were never to be seen, and that he “even burned the negatives” – which he had kept in his garage – shortly before his death.

Former Kubrick assistant Leon Vitalli confirmed the destruction not only of the 2001 footage, but also that of material from a number of his other films

Speaking to, he said: “I’ll tell you right now, okay, on Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Barry Lyndon, some little parts of 2001, we had thousands of cans of negative outtakes and print, which we had stored in an area at his house where we worked out of, which he personally supervised the loading of it to a truck and then I went down to a big industrial waste lot and burned it. That’s what he wanted.”

Douglas Trumbull was one of four special effects advisers on 2001 and helped create the realistic and immersive effects that give the film a sense of realism and scale befitting Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke’s epic screenplay.

He had been working on a new documentary with David Larson about the film, 2001: Behind the Infinite – The Making of a Masterpiece, but confirmed at the Toronto screening that Warner Bros. had “pulled the plug” on the project.

The duo are now putting together a book featuring Trumbull’s recollections of working on the movie, plus a number of behind-the-scenes photos.

READ ON: Coming Attractions 17/12/10 – 17 minutes of lost 2001: A Space Odyssey footage found. Ain’t It Cool News 17/12/10 – Warner Bros. Just Found 17 New Kubrick-Edited Minutes of 2001 In A Salt Mine!! What??

complete and perfectly preserved component negatives of the lost footage



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Charles Norton Interview

WIPED NEWS recently caught up with freelance writer and missing episode hunter Charles Norton, responsible for recovering the Graham Webb archive containing, among other things, the soundtracks to many lost episodes of Not Only… But Also.

You can find the interview by clicking the link – Charles Norton on missing episodes, home recordings and the Graham Webb archive.

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Doomwatch Fanzine Goes On Sale

Doomwatch Fanzine by Doomwatch.orgA NEW fanzine celebrating the 40th anniversary of TV series Doomwatch is now available.

Doomwatch Fanzine is described as the “perfect introduction” to the groundbreaking show, which dealt with a scientific government agency responsible for investigating and combating various ecological and technological dangers.

Over a year in the making, the 24-page glossy colour magazine features an exclusive full series synopsis, “Embryonic Nazis on Four Legs”,  as well as new articles and artwork.

It is being released by website as a limited edition, priced £6. Proceeds will go to charity Cancer Research UK.

Publisher Scott Burditt says he expects the fanzine to “sell out fast”.

He added: “This is the perfect introduction to the series for those who are unfamiliar with it and would like to find out exactly what Doomwatch was all about and why it caused such a stir in the early 1970s with its prescient storylines.”

Doomwatch was created by writers Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis, who also devised the Cybermen in Doctor Who, and was produced throughout its original TV run by Terence Dudley.

In three series aired between 1970 and 1972, the Doomwatch team, led by the incorruptible Dr. Spencer Quist, dealt with threats including killer rats, a plastic-eating virus and nuclear weapons.

A feature film was made in 1972 by Tigon British Film Productions and a further TV movie, Winter Angel, was screened by Channel 5 in 1999.

As well as the series overview by Tony Darbyshire, Doomwatch Fanzine also includes contributions from Richard Thomas who looks at “Transhumanism in Doomwatch”, Michael Seely with his views on Season 3, and Stephen Dudley (Terence Dudley’s son) provides his thoughts on the series in “A Letter from the Front line”.

Scott Burditt has designed the entire fanzine and Brian Gorman has provided the illustration of Dr. Spencer Quist that appears on the front cover.

Presently, out of the original three 13-episode series of Doomwatch only season two resides complete in the BBC archives.

Five episodes from season one are missing along with nine from season three.

One of the biggest losses is season one’s thrilling finale “Survival Code” (tx 11/05/70), which is still remembered today for its shocking ending where main character Toby Wren (played by Robert Powell) was killed.

  • Doomwatch Fanzine is priced£6 (including postage and packing) and is available from

READ ON: Scott Burditt and Anthony Brown have previously written an article on Doomwatch for Wiped, which you can find here.

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