2001: A Space Odyssey Wiki
2001: A Space Odyssey Wiki

Dr. Heywood R. Floyd is a recurring character in Arthur C. Clarke’s Space Odyssey series. The character, Dr. Floyd appears in 2001: A Space Odyssey and its film adaption, played by William Sylvester.[N 1] Floyd returns in 2010: Odyssey Two and its 1984 film adaption, played by Roy Scheider. Clarke continues one last adventure with Dr. Floyd in 2061: Odyssey Three which is yet to be adapted into film.


Heywood Floyd was born in 1958. Floyd has two daughters with his former wife, Marion, who dies in an air crash in 1999. He then marries a thirty year old marine biologist, Caroline, with whom he has a son, Christopher Floyd.

Since the mid 90s, Floyd was a scientific specialist in the USAA and was grandfathered in as chairman for the National Council of Astronautics (NCA) upon its inception. After the failure of the Discovery mission, he was forced to resign, and became Chancellor at the University of Hawaii. In 2010, he was on the Jupiter Mission when he experiences the planet Jupiter become the mini-sun Lucifer. In 2061, Floyd takes a final mission to Europa.

2001: A Space Odyssey[]

Dr. Floyd arrives at the Florida launch location after meeting with the US President. He offers no comment to the press, nor reveals the details of the “epidemic” at Clavius Base, on Earth's moon, not even to his Russian friend at the joint U.S.-U.S.S.R. space station. Upon his arrival to the Moon, Floyd is briefed on the magnetic disturbance in Tycho, one of the Moon's craters. Excavation of the area reveales a large black slab, designated Tycho Magnetic Anomaly-One (TMA-1). Its discovery provides the first definitive proof of extraterrestrial intelligent life. Upon exposing the monolith, sunlight hits upon it for the first time in 3 million years. Suddenly, sharp piercing sound emanates, blasting a strong radio-wave signal to Saturn’s moon Iapetus.

2010: Odyssey Two[]

After the incident with HAL 9000 on board Discovery, Floyd was labeled a scapegoat, and resigned from the NCA. He moved to Hawaii, where he became the chancellor at the University of Hawaii. He married Caroline, and together they had a son, Chris Floyd, who was born in 2005.

When the Russians approached him in order to convince him to form a joint Soviet-American mission in order to reach Discovery before it would fall from orbit, he agreed with them and made sure it would happen.

Heywood Floyd was selected to fly on the joint Soviet-American spaceship, Leonov to find out what happened to Discovery. He went with Walter Curnow, one of the head designers for Discovery, and Dr. Chandra, HAL's creator. All three of the American crew were put into hibernation on the first and last phase of the flight, though Floyd was awakened ahead of schedule.

Soon after Discovery and Hal had been reactivated, Dr. Floyd was watching over the ships systems at night, when the Star Child, formerly Dave Bowman, sent a message, via the HAL 9000 computer to Heywood. The message was that the Leonov must leave within 15 days (2 in the film). When Floyd asked who was sending the message, the reply was: "I was David Bowman."


Heywood Floyd on board the Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov.

Floyd quite simply could not believe this. Dave replied: "I understand. It is important that you believe me. Look behind you."

Dr. Floyd turned around. The dust particles floating randomly around the room began to move in not so random patterns. They arranged themselves into a sphere, which later grew into the shape of a man. A face emerged, which was unmistakably the face of David Bowman. The apparition repeated the message, and then the conglomeration of dust particles resumed their random drift about the pod bay in Discovery.

Floyd tells this experience to the rest of the crew, insisting that they leave within this mysterious deadline. Naturally, they object, saying that they have no real reason to leave in such short notice, other than the visitation by Bowman, which could easily be explained that Floyd was simply dreaming or hallucinating.

Walter Curnow came up with the idea to link Discovery to Leonov, using Discovery as a booster stage to get them in the proper return trajectory.

Soon after Leonov had made it out of Jovian orbit, Jupiter detonated, due to the actions of a cloud of monoliths, and transformed into a mini-sun, officially dubbed "Lucifer".

Floyd's marriage to Caroline eventually dissolved, due to their extended separation as a result of the Leonov Mission.

In the 2010 film, Floyd was played by Roy Scheider.[2]

2061: Odyssey Three[]

After an accident involving falling off a second-story balcony, Heywood Floyd was shipped up to the Pasteur orbital hospital. By the time his body had healed, it had become accustomed to the one-sixth gravity environment of the station; becoming readjusted to Earth gravity would be nearly impossible, and became a permanent resident of Pasteur.

Floyd spent nearly 50 years in Pasteur, up until 2061, at the age of 103, though he appeared much younger, due to the low gravity, and because his aging had been halted during his time in chryogenic hibernation on the Leonov.

His son, Chris, also had a son, Chris II, before being killed in the "Copernicus Disaster".

Floyd was one of six celebrities brought aboard the Tsung Spacelines ship Universe for its historic landing on Comet Halley, and became one of the first people to walk on the comet's surface. It was also jokingly rumored that he was having an affair with former famous actress Yva Merlin. When news was heard that Universe's sister ship Galaxy, of which Chris Floyd II was a crew member, had crash-landed on Europa, Floyd found himself on a rescue mission to save Galaxy.

He helped convince the crew of attempting Second Officer Jolson's plan of taking water fuel from a geyser on Halley's Comet called "Old Faithful" rather than returning to the Moon first. That plan turned out to be successful.

At Yva Merlin's suggestion, Floyd called David Bowman on the radio asking for permission to land on Europa. That night he woke up to find a tiny version of the monolith floating inside his quarters. At that point, Heywood Floyd was split into two people: one was a human the same as he always was, and the other was an immortal being like David Bowman and HAL. On Europa the immortal Floyd appeared to his grandson Chris, making him think that Floyd was dead and he'd seen his ghost. Chris soon discovered that Floyd was not dead when they were reunited, and they became closer following these events. 5 years after this mission Floyd peacefully passed away in his sleep in 2066.

Meanwhile, on Europa, the immortal Floyd became acquainted with Bowman and HAL. It was revealed that they "recruited" him to help them develop the Europans to further intelligence within the life-span of Lucifer. Despite this, Floyd does not feature in any form in 3001: The Final Odyssey.