Altair IV
Region Milky Way - Outer Orion Arm
System Alpha Aquilae
Number of suns 1 young main sequence, white-blue elipsoid star, with a hard radiation zone near the star
Number of moons 2
Population 2
Points of Interest Dr. Morbius' home, the sub-surface Krell laboratory, and gigantic power plant

Altair IV is entirely fictional, featured in the 1956 MGM classic science fiction film Forbidden Planet.

The Planet Edit

This fourth planet orbiting the star Alpha Aquilae, or Altair, 16.7 light-years (98 trillion miles) from our Sun, is a rocky, terrestrial world. It supports Earth-like life due to its high-oxygen & nitrogen atmosphere, with a gravity slightly less than Earth's. The planet is home to philologist Dr. Edward Morbius, Ph.D. (Walter Pidgeon), the final survivor of the ill-fated Bellerophon colony expedition of some 20 years prior, and his daughter Altaira (Anne Francis). The one other inhabitant, per his builder Dr Morbius, is the "Remarkable Gentleman", Robby the Robot.

The starship United Planets Cruiser C-57D is captained by Commander J.J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen), with Executive Officer Lt. J.P. Farman (Jack Kelly) and ship's physician Dr. C.X. Ostrow (Warren Stevens), along with a crew of sixteen. The ship is dispatched to the fourth planet in the star system, as a relief mission to search for the Bellerophon expedition, which has not responded to communication.

Arriving in orbit, a radio contact from expedition member Dr Morbius, stuns Adams & his crew when the doctor reveals that he is the last survivor. He calmly advises Adams that he needs no assistance, but the Commander insists. Once the C-57D lands, it is met by an anthropormorphic robot, with his own transport, who calls himself ' Robby '. The robot drives the senior officers to Morbius' home. Greeting him, the doctor hesitantly reveals to the astonished Adams, Ostrow & Farman that, the rest of the expedition was ' torn apart ' 10 years ago by some invisible force. Morbius also relates curiously that, through his studies, Altair IV was once home to the Krell, a technological, highly advanced, nonhuman civilization. But, they suddenly annihilated themselves in one night, 2000 centuries ago, leaving only a huge, below ground, self maintaining & operating complex.

Cmdr Adams & his officers are struck by the ease & coldly matter-of-fact attitude of Morbius. And a surprise visit of his 19 year old daughter Altaira (who has never seen other humans). Then there is his modern home, along with the sophisticated biped robot he claims he designed & built (But how ? He's a philologist - an expert in words & languages). And what about the earth animals seen nearby ?

The secretive Morbius takes the officers for a tour of the Krell's vast underground complex (the open doorways are a startling 3/4ths diamond shape). Morbius finally reveals that he has no idea what the machinery is for. But the Krell's 200,000 year-old secret has a hold on Dr Morbius' dangerous & most elementary part of his enhanced subconscious mind - the Id.

Novel Edit

Unlike the novel version described below, the 1956 Forbidden Planet movie version did not mention the ' time-squeeze ' effect in the C-57D's journey, with its flight requiring only about one year on board ship (as stated in its dialogue, ' 378 days in hyperspace '). The movie version did not specify event dates beyond A.D. 2200.

  • The novel by W.J. Stuart is based on the film, and approaches the story as chapter narrations from the in-depth viewpoints of each of the main characters — Commander Adams, Dr. Morbius, and ship's medical officer Dr. Ostrow.
  • In the story, the saucer-shaped C-57D Cruiser is launched in A.D. 2371 on its 10-year voyage (one year ship-time, due to ' time-squeeze ' effect of its quantum-gravitic drive). Traveling at ' 670 million miles per hour — more than the speed of light! ' in the flight to the Altair star system, the ship arrives in A.D. 2381.
  • Prior to landing, preliminary findings reveal the gravity to be 0.897 of Earth's, with the oxygen level 4.7[%] richer. At the desert landing site, ship's engineer Chief Alonzo Quinn notes that broken pieces from nearby blue-gray stalagmite rocks were lighter than pumice, but harder than granite. The planet's soft, heady atmosphere, lit by turquoise sunlight, is described as being so full of oxygen, a breeze would be felt, even when there wasn't one. Areas around Morbius' home are covered by a gold-hued grass, and there are green-gray mountains and deep blue water rivers in the distance. Nearby trees and plants appear vaguely Earth-like, except for color, shape and foliage. At night, the planet's two moons reflect turquoise light onto the distant mountains, giving them a copper color.
  • The United Planets Cruiser returns to Earth in A.D. 2391, and Cmdr Adams relates the remarkable story — and delivers Robby the Robot.

Other references to 'Altair IV' Edit

  • It is mentioned in the Stephen King novel The Tommyknockers, as the location to which a child is sent.
  • Per ' Star Trek ' canon, the star system has Altair IV & Altair VI with humanoid populations. Reference is made to archeological interest in the fourth planet's ancient Krell ruins.
  • The designation Altair 4 is assigned to the lunar lander in the proposed U.S. Orion 19 mission, tentatively scheduled for 2020.

Subject references Edit

  • The movie images and subtitles from 1999 and 2006 Forbidden Planet movie DVD releases.
  • Forbidden Planet (1956) at the Internet Movie Database
  • 1979 CINEFANTASTIQUE Magazine Double-Issue (Volume 8, Number 2 & Volume 8, Number 3) — Article: "MAKING FORBIDDEN PLANET" by Frederick S. Clarke and Steve Rubin.
  • Forbidden Planet Screenplay Draft - May 14 1955.
  • 1956 Forbidden Planet novel by W. J. Stuart (published by Bantam Books)

External links Edit

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.