starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Firth, Tom Ward, Lisa Dillon, John Sessions, Phoebe Nicholls and Michael Brandon
screenplay by Peter Moffat
directed by Philip Martin
Hawking is a British 2004 made for TV movie. I suppose with Benedict Cumberbatch’s great success in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013, directed by J.J. Abrams) there was considerable capitalist motivation to revive some of his old filmography. Hence I am only seeing this 2004 movie on my DVD shop shelves now.
Stephen Hawking’s groundbreaking work in astrophysics while a graduate student at Cambridge University in the mid-1960s laid the groundwork for confirmed discoveries of the existence of Black Holes in space and the residual heat from the Big Bang that still permeates the universe and is detectable as a background hiss. At the same time Hawking was battling with Motor Neuron Disease closely related to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) at the age of 21, a progressive disease for which there is no cure. Initially his doctors gave him a two-year life expectancy. It might be difficult for lay readers to understand Hawking’s ideas and their importance. I read his famous book A Brief History of Time (1988) which was hailed as a great explanation for the lay reader. But I found it difficult. I wasn’t impressed. Hawking is important for proving the Big Bang, the existence of black holes, singularities, event horizons, the existence and properties of time plus all the mathematical physics to support them. He is famous for pursuing the TOE, the Theory of Everything, the quest to describe a grand, comprehensive mathematical model of how the universe operates.