As a sideline to his advocacy for better science education in the United States, noted astrophysicist and television personality Neil deGrasse Tyson has sometimes called out movies that don’t get their science correct. He certainly attracted attention last winter when he turned his attentions to Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity. But it turns out he hadn’t even commented on his most hated film, in terms of scientific inaccuracy, until a TMZ camera crew caught up with him. It turns out, it’s Disney’s 1979 film The Black Hole.
“Had they actually gotten [the physics of black holes] right, it would have been a vastly more interesting movie!” Tyson states, while explaining where the film got it wrong. You can see his complete response in the video below.
Dr. Tyson also mentions the differences in the scientific accuracy between 1998’s dueling giant asteroid-smashing-into-Earth films – Deep Impact and Armageddon and how while he found Deep Impact to be the more scientifically accurate of the two, he still thought Armageddon was “entertaining” but that he “couldn’t even tweet about how bad the physics was.”
While the survival of the crew of the USS Palomino as they travelled through The Black Hole‘s titular astrophysics phenomenon was strong suspect to me even as a kid, I was intrigued by what the characters found on the other side. Was it an alternate dimension? I was already clued in on the idea that black holes could be wormholes to other points in spacetime. Putting aside the mechanics of how they managed to pass through, I would love to have a good discussion with Dr. Tyson on what was found on the other side.