Dave Bowman
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Dave Bowman

2001: A Space Odyssey

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About Him

Grew up… with few real relationships. This makes Dave a perfect candidate for the Jupiter mission, since nobody would miss him. He has always been more dedicated to his work than he was to his family.

Living… aboard the Discovery One spacecraft with the four other crewmembers and the supercomputer, HAL 9000. Dave is one of two human crewmembers that have been kept conscious during the early stages of the mission. The others have been in an induced state of hibernation.

Profession… mission commander. As the commander of Discovery One, Dave has the last word on any decision the crew decides to make. Though Dave has sensed that the supercomputer, HAL, believes itself to be more capable of commanding the mission than any of the fallible human beings.

Relationship Status… married, though the cold and unemotional Dave doesn’t show much interest in his human relationships. Even when it comes to the other members of Discovery’s crew, Dave remains professional and dedicated to his mission.

Challenge… fixing the fault in the ship’s supercomputer, the HAL 9000. Dave and HAL have an unspoken rivalry. Dave believes HAL to be manipulative, while HAL doesn’t trust the crewmembers to make the correct decisions. As Dave describes HAL: “Well, he acts like he has genuine emotions. Um, of course he’s programmed that way to make it easier for us to talk to him. But as to whether he has real feelings is something I don’t think anyone can truthfully answer.”

Personality… antisocial, professional, and dedicated. Even in tense situations, Dave refuses to show emotion. He also tends to avoid close relationships and other people in general.

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