It may be hard to comprehend now, after millions have recognized Stanley Kubrick's work 2001: A Space Odyssey as one of the defining movies of our generation, but there really was a time when many who saw the film said they were sorry but they just didn't understand it! And it's hard to blame them when many major film critics were dismissing the movie as obscure or patronizing it as science fiction for kids. This television documentary, made two years after the film premiered, determined to counter all this with a clear explanation of the film's epic perspective, its themes, how the plot unfolds, the monoliths, the music, the scarcity of spoken dialogue, the "trip" , the "star child", the film's literary sources in the works of Arthur C. Clarke, and many other topics.
The writer of this documentary had worked on the pioneering book "The Making of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey" and he and the director had produced many profiles of cinema luminaries. Keir Dullea agreed to be the narrator, and MGM generously agreed to provide excerpts -- on condition that it be made clear that no television transmission of the images could do justice to the real film as seen in a theater -- a disclaimer we gladly repeat here out of profound respect for the beauty of the original.