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|Dr. Frank Poole|
|Portrayed by||Gary Lockwood|
Tom Hanks once expressed interest in directing a film version of 3001, in which he would have played Poole.
Frank Poole's boyhood hometown was Flagstaff, Arizona, where he visited the Lowell Observatory at its museums on many occasions. These visits sparked his interest in astronomy and astronautics, and hence he went to college to study these subjects.
In the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke stated that both Frank Poole and Dave Bowman had earned their doctorates in astronautics, and hence they were properly addressed as "Dr. Poole" and "Dr. Bowman". This form of address is used in the motion picture, also.
In 2001: A Space Odyssey, Poole is an astronaut aboard the spaceship Discovery One on the first manned mission to Jupiter (Saturn in the novel). He and Dave Bowman are the only crew members who were not put on board in suspended animation (hibernation).
Poole and Bowman discuss disconnecting the higher functions of HAL 9000 ("HAL"), the Discovery One's mainframe computer, after it mistakenly predicts that the AE-35 unit (an electronic control unit in the spaceship's main antenna) is going to fail. They realize that HAL is capable of error, and they privately discuss (supposedly) disconnecting him. They believe themselves to be out of HAL's hearing range, but HAL, who can read lips, learns of their plans and resolves to get rid of the threat. Poole and Bowman had carelessly allowed themselves to be in view of one of HAL's monitoring cameras.
Shortly afterward, Poole begins replacing the AE-35 unit. In an act resembling human desperation, HAL rams Poole with one of the spaceship's EVA pods, severing his oxygen hose and sending Poole hurtling into outer space without his oxygen. Bowman, in a second pod, races from the Discovery One to retrieve Poole, but is unable to reach him before Poole runs out of oxygen. Bowman returns to the Discovery One with the body of Poole in the arms of the pod and attempts to gain access by requesting that HAL opens the pod bay doors. HAL refuses to let Bowman return to the Discovery One, uttering the crucial, defiant sentence, "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that." Bowman is forced to use the emergency airlock; this cannot be done with Poole still in the arms of the EVA pod as the arms must be used to manually open the airlock. Thus, Bowman abandons his colleague and in order to open the airlock lets go of Poole, sending his (supposed) corpse into the emptiness of outer space, but in the direction of a gravitational encounter with Jupiter.
In the novel 3001: The Final Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke tells us that Frank Poole's boyhood hometown was Flagstaff, Arizona, and that his visits to the Lowell Observatory there had sparked his interest in astronautics.
Poole's lifeless-looking body is discovered by a human spaceship after drifting in space for a millennium. It had been expelled by the gravity of Jupiter into the space beyond the orbit of Neptune, a trip that took that long to make. Given Poole's exposure to the vacuum of outer space beginning in 2001, his body had been flash-frozen and freeze-dried so that it was mostly intact after 1,000 years. Then, the advanced medical technology of 3001 is able to bring him back to life and to revive him back to consciousness.
Poole is taken back to the Earth, where he spends years exploring the advanced society of a thousand years from now, where the English language has changed radically. They find a professor of "antique English" who can talk with Poole and understand him. However, they sometimes have conversations like this: She says "You haven't seen anything, yet," but then Poole corrects her with, "No, you ain't seen nuthin', yet."
Finally, Poole spends his time in the final chapters of the novel contending with the trio of alien Black Monoliths that hold dominion over much of the Solar System, and with the "Star Child" that Dave Bowman became and somewhat lost contact with the human race.
Poole also marries a woman named Indra Wallace, and they then have two children, Dawn and Martin.
- 3001:The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke