I’m a sucker for a space film. I love the possibilities, the stars, the tech. It just can look sooooo cool. Quite often these films leave something lacking and aren’t that good. I saw Rogue One and yesterday I watched Earthrise from Amazon Prime.

Because I watched this at home it doesn’t get an Official Parish Rating. So it was with a nerdy interest in tech and space that I went to see Passengers, I wanted to see stunning vistas and how the film-makers had dealt with the ravages of space travel. As is custom I rated this film on IMDB and you should read my guide to the rating system.

It was a perfectly enjoyable film and worth seeing, it had just the right amount of humour but I do feel that the moral issues could be covered more comprehensively in a separate film. This wasn’t a film about morals though. It was a space action thriller and as such it functioned perfectly well. Now, after here, there be dragons.

I had some minor issues with it, but not as many as with this film. So, if we allow hibernation, then we just need to look at the rest of the film to see what liberties they have taken. Mind you, coming out of hibernation looks a lot like CPR, so the travellers were more dead than deep sleeping.

The artificial gravity system seemed to be based mostly on centrifugal force [YES, I KNOW – this is why I don’t allow comments on this site]. The idea that a spinning thing in space would stop spinning when the power is switched off doesn’t quite ring true, momentum and inertia etc. But, then this does allow some pretty good visuals.

Why would little things go wrong if the spaceship was dealing with a big problem in the reactor core? I’m not sure this part of the film rings true. It bothered me a little. But, I was willing to let this go.

The swimming pool. I’m pretty sure that if the gravity was provided by the rotation of the ship then the stars outside the window were rotating the wrong way. I’ll probably have to take a few more looks at this scene but it upset something in my head and I spent a while moving my hands around in the air trying to get rotations correct. The hemispherical window was an awesome idea though.

Only one medi-pod for a ship that size? Bullshit.

When gravity suddenly turns off (?) most things will just stay where they are unless there is an impulse to them. The water in the swimming pool would have rode up the sides of the room when the spinning stopped. The sleeping characters would have moved very slowly if at all as they don’t have any forces acting on them. I refer you to Newton’s First Law Of Motion.

There are other bits and pieces but they are largely inconsequential and do not show off my understanding of sciencey shit. I do think that a film covering the morals of “living murder” would be very interesting if written by someone talented.

Oh, Arcturus. The space ship sling-shots around Arcturus. I don’t have a problem with that per se, but the ship did seem pretty close to the star. It would have fried to a crisp and everyone would have been killed by the intense radiation. While this allowed for pretty visuals [based on the SOHO observations of our own sun] the radiation shielding would need to be metres thick. Arcturus is a pretty darn big star coming in at 25.7 times the diameter of our piddly little star The Sun. It’s also 36.7 ly away and the spaceship in the film had been travelling for 30 years and had just reached 0.5c so the film makers could have done some better sums here I feel although we don’t know if the time measurement is absolute [physicists would laugh at that concept] or relative.

Last thing: The company that owns the starship made x quadrillion profit we are told. I am pretty sure that Aurora [!] then explains that a quadrillion is “a thousand billion”. I may have misheard this but a quadrillion is a million million using the US naming system. Aurora was talking about a trillion which is a LOT less money.

Quadrillion [US] – 10^12
Quadrillion [UK, but not common] – 10^24