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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 September, 2004, 07:52 GMT 08:52 UK
Mad Hal named 'top sci-fi moment'
2001: A Space Odyssey
The crew in 2001: A Space Odyssey slowly realise something is wrong
The scene when computer Hal becomes insane in 2001: A Space Odyssey has been named the most important moment in sci-fi history by a panel of experts.

The moment from Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film was chosen by science fiction experts including Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson and UFO investigators.

It beat scenes including the chest-bursting sequence from Alien and the final massacre of Blake's Seven.

Six experts were polled for a Sky One programme which was shown on Monday.

Crew deceived

2001: A Space Odyssey starred Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood as astronauts on a mission to Jupiter.

Their ship was operated by the supercomputer Hal 9000, which slowly developed paranoia, leading it to deceive its crew with terrifying effect.

2001 was the permission slip that Stanley gave all us students to go out and flex our imaginations
Steven Spielberg
Film-maker Steven Spielberg said: "I think without 2001 there would not have been a Close Encounters or Star Wars.

"2001 was the permission slip that Stanley gave all us students to go out and flex our imaginations."

Actor Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in three Star Wars films, said: "I don't think they've ever topped that in terms of sheer creepiness of the machines turning against us."

Alien contact

The panel included Professor Martin Smith, a professor of robotics at the University of Central England.

Former UFO Magazine head Tony Dodd, SFX magazine editor Dave Golder and movie broadcaster Kim Newman also took part.

Blake's Seven
The dramatic final episode of Blake's Seven was shortlisted
They selected the scene from a shortlist of 30 sci-fi moments from film and television.

Other scenes considered included the moment aliens first make contact in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The revelation that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's father in The Empire Strikes Back also appeared on the shortlist.

Artist Tracy Emin said she was "absolutely delighted" by the sequence.

"That smarmy, sickly, horrible princely-like chap had to be put in his place," she said. "Give me Darth Vader any day."

What is your favourite sci-fi moment?
Hal goes mad in 2001
Alien bursts out of chest
Final Blake's 7 massacre
Close Encounters arrival
"Luke, I am your father"
Matrix bullet-time fight
12780 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Vote now closed

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