What I liked about this film was that reason and true humanism won out over the representation of capitalist-vicious-greed. In the end, when Dr. Hendron keeps Stanton off the ship, it shows true courage in the face of the oppressiveness of money-that-supposedly-gets-you-anything.
I think that’s an important message to convey because today we’re in that same situation–big businesses are profiting relentlessly from the exploitation of those who have nothing. In an era when private companies’ CEOs get massive payoffs from government bailouts, it’s hard to see or appreciate the humanitarian compassion being extended to the people through the fog of multi-million dollar CEO settlements.
Dr. Hendron had it right when he kept Stanton off the ship–had he been allowed to go to the new planet, he would have tainted it all with his diabolical, greedy, paranoid existence.
I will say that the very end of the film perplexed me, however. When they land the ship safely on Zyra, the pilot (David Randall) opens up the airlock to an unknown atmosphere even after being warned by Dr. Drake that they needed to test the atmosphere first. Randall’s response was something like: “It’s the only atmosphere we’ve got so we might as well go out in it.”
To me, this was totally idiotic. To have put so much effort into getting there, and then to risk it on a whim, was ludicrous and shows Randall’s incapacity to truly lead. But everyone on the ship was fine with that–they had resigned themselves to die, I suppose, should the atmosphere be toxic. Of course what they found was utopic.
I wonder if Dr. Hendron had been with them, if he would have insisted on taking better precautions in an authoritative, fatherly sort of way. He did, essentially, sacrifice himself for the betterment of the 40 on the spaceship; knowing that, I have a hard time thinking he’d be alright with just opening the airlock.
At the very least it shows they are probably prone to future troubles.