The black hole itself gets short shrift in the screenplay, based on a story by Jeb Rosebrook, Bob Barbash and Richard Landau. Most of the pic is devoted to setting up the story of mad scientist Maximilian Schell, poised on the brink of his voyage to the unknown. An exploration ship staffed by Robert Forster, Anthony Perkins, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux and Ernest Borgnine, stumbles on both Schell and the nearby black hole, with unpredictable results.
What ensues is sometimes talky but never dull. Director Gary Nelson’s pacing and visual sense are right on target.
In typical Disney fashion, the most attractive and sympathetic characters are not human at all. George F. McGinnis has constructed a bevy of robots that establish a mechanical world all their own.
1979: Nominations: Best Cinematography, Visual Effects