Monday, 12 November 2018

requiescat in pace: douglas rain

NPR reports that accomplished Shakespearian actor Douglas Rain passed away, aged ninety in Ontario, with an illustrious career with many hundreds of credits to his name, both on stage and on television, working alongside countless veteran actors—but perhaps the role that Rain will be remembered and appreciated in the widest sense for is that of voicing the Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer that controlled the systems of the Discovery One spacecraft on its voyage to Jupiter in Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Arthur C Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (previously here, here, here and here). Rain’s calm and measured tones became something menacing and unforgettable, to have lost agency and the ability to countermand a machine. In 2010, HAL is rebooted and Rain reprises his role, this time alongside his twin, SAL 9000, voiced by Candice Bergen.