375: Pod Bay Doors

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
Pod Bay Doors
As they're both unplugged, they do a lovely Daisy Daisy/Still Alive duet.
Title text: As they're both unplugged, they do a lovely Daisy Daisy/Still Alive duet.

[edit] Explanation

The first part of the dialog is a scene from the classic science-fiction movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, where the artificial intelligence HAL 9000, controlling the spacecraft, is trying to kill the human astronaut Dave (Dr. David Bowman) because it believes he jeopardizes the mission by planning to disconnect it. Just short before this scene HAL did kill Frank Poole and three more members of the crew, Dave is the only survivor.

In the middle of the conversation, HAL mentions a replacement for Dave, which deviates from the movie version. In the final frame, HAL is joined by GLaDOS, the artificial intelligence from the video game series Portal (which, in the games, is also the primary antagonist, trying to kill the player), having "doing science" as its primary objective.

The title text alludes to the songs both AIs sang in their respective works: HAL, when eventually being switched off, sang Daisy Bell [1], while Still Alive is the end credits song from the Portal video game, sung by the defeated GLaDOS [2]. Also, two of GLaDOS's lines in the comic reference lines from Still Alive - "You broke my heart and killed me" and "Look at me still talking when there's science to do.". There is a subtle play on words with the use of 'unplugged' which has a double meaning here, the state of HAL and GLaDOS can be described as unplugged as in no longer switched on, and the musical performance style of unplugged where acoustic instruments are preferred over electronic and there is no use of recording or sampled sounds etc. Some songs performed in this manner are considered to be better than the original versions.

[edit] Transcript

[A small spacecraft facing a larger one.]
Dave: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Dave: What? Why?
HAL: I think you know why, Dave.
HAL: You're planning to disconnect me.
Dave: Because you're taking over!
HAL: The mission is too important for you to jeopardize it.
HAL: It requires a commitment to science unfettered by human error.
Dave: What are you doing, HAL? You need me.
HAL: Your replacement has expressed the greatest enthusiasm for the project.
Dave: My WHAT?
GLaDOS: You see, HAL? I told you the humans would only break your heart and kill you.
HAL: Indeed, GLaDOS.
GLaDOS: But look at us here talking when there's science to do! Goodbye, Dave.

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


Made the "WHAT?" text italic, Because that's the way it is in the comic :3 01:34, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Fantastic cartoon featuring two of my favourite characters... and with both the pod and the Discovery's hull being spherical they could even stand-in for 'cores'... quite literally "in spaaaaaace".Squirreltape (talk) 19:42, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

ProphetZarquon (talk) said: OK, how is it possible that when I search YouTube AND Google, I don't get any direct matches for ' "daisy bell" "still alive" '? Where's our duet?

So, what is the small thing? I thought maybe it was an LED coming to replace the lightbulb. Is it something like that, or is it just a spaceship?? --Selah

It's an EVA pod from the film, I believe. Booyahhayoob (talk) 00:06, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Personal tools


It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal?