Roy Scheider sadly passed away yesterday at the age of 75, and he will be sorely missed. He's best remembered by scifi fans as the captain in Seaquest DSV, but his greatest role in the genre was actually 2010: The Year We Make Contact. Find out why 2010 was better than 2001, after the jump.

While he'll long be remembered for his role as Captain Bridger on SeaQuest DSV (which he actually asked to be let out of after season two), he had his first starring spot with dolphins in 2010: The Year We Make Contact, a film that was much easier to digest than Kubrick's original. Find out all the little details you've been dying to know about this scifi blasphemy after the jump.

2010 may not have used the gorgeous scenes of space flight that Kubrick's classic had, but it also didn't suffer from some of the colossal wankage like the technicolor spacetrip that goes on for far too long near the end of the film as Bowman enters the monolith. Sure it bent the laws of physics and would make scientists go mental, but it had a plot that was simpler to digest, paid a proper amount of attention to the previous film (even if you did want to punch Lithgow's character in the back of the head), and it even had Helen Mirren in it as a Russian cosmonaut. While it's sure to raise the ire of Kubrick lovers around the world, I simply enjoyed 2010 more than 2001. The scene where Scheider describes how the ships will link up using a pen in zero gravity will stay with me, long after Sheriff Brody fades away.

More random trivia about 2010:

  • Kubrick didn't want a sequel to be made (and neither did Arthur C. Clarke... at first) so he had all of the sets and models from 2001 destroyed. Everything had to be recreated from scratch. What a grump.

  • At one point early in the film, Scheider's character Heywood Floyd is shown computing details about the trip on an Apple IIc, while working on the beach.

  • The dolphin set was built in Culver City, California at the MGM studios (it ain't there today, folks) and the two dolphins were named Captain Crunch and Lelani.

  • HAL's inventor Dr. Chandra (in the book, full name Sivasubramanian Chandrasegarampillai, imagine filling out applications with that moniker) is finally seen in this film and is played by the wonderfully nebbishy Bob Balaban. He's someone who you could believe would only have computers for friends.

  • HAL's female counterpart SAL is voiced by Candice Bergen, although her name is given as Olga Mallsnerd, which was an amalgam of Louis Malle (her husband at the time) and Mortimer Snerd (one of her dad Edgar Bergin's ventriloquist characters).

  • The phrase "My god, it's full of stars!" was extremely important to the sequel, but it was never said in 2001 the movie. Only in the book. Yet it's presented as a quote from Dave Bowman.

  • Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick both appear in this film. Clarke as the U.S. president, and Kubrick as the Soviet Premier on the cover of TIME magazine.

  • Clarke also appears as a man on a bench outside the White House. Although presumably he's not just the president here, idly passing time by feeding the pigeons during a national crisis.

  • A book was published when the film came out called The Odyssey File: The Making of 2010. It contained emails between Arthur C. Clarke and director Peter Hyams, but they end in preproduction, before Clarke had read the script, and only Roy Scheider had been cast, in order to give the publishers sufficient lead time. I'm not sure how long it took to publish a book in 1984, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't from preproduction until the release date of a feature film.

  • Tony Banks, the keyboard player for Genesis, composed the score for the film. However it was later tossed out and completely redone by David Shore. Genesis aficionados around the world would deliver the eyes of Phil Collins for a copy of the mystery score.

  • Clarke put a character named Tanya Kirbuk in the novel as an homage to Stanley Kubrick, who may or may not have loved having Russian characters endowed with a butchered version of his last name.