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

Maxim “Max” Brailovsky is a Russian Cosmonaut on the The Leonov, who serves as Chief of Engineering in Arthur C. Clarke’s 2010: Odyssey Two and the 1984 film adaption. He is played by Elya Baskin.

2010 odyssey[]


Max conducts Engineering-Structures diagnostics onboard the Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov during the joint Soviet/USA Jupiter Mission. Its mission is to investigate Discovery and the Jovian Monolith by 2010.[3]

In the film, Max and Walter Curnow are the first to re-enter Discovery after Dave Bowman's mysterious departure years before. Max wants to test the air in the ship and after slowly lifting his faceplate, he finds that while it is "too cold to work here without environment suits", there is still oxygen in Discovery and his breathing stabilizes.

But when Max mentions a "strange, stale and rotten smell", he begins to think that there might be a dead body there and panics. Floyd points out that Poole was lost outside the craft, and that before he disappeared, Bowman had ejected the three killed in hibernation before leaving the ship to investigate the monolith. Curnow reasons that meat still in the galley must have spoiled before Discovery froze over; Curnow was later proven right.

With Discovery revived, the Leonov is about to take a closer look at the monolith. Against both Dr. Floyd's and Curnow's better judgment, Commander Kirbuk selects Max to take a pod for a more detailed examination, but when he gets too close, the monolith turns violent and strikes the pod killing Max and sending the pod spiraling off into oblivion.

In the novel, Max survives to marry crewmate Zenia Marchenko.[4]

Friendship with Curnow[]

Max and Curnow become fast friends as they make their initial way to Discovery. Max helps Curnow who nearly hyperventilates as they traverse Discovery's spine to the main hatch. After Floyd fails to assuage him with a phony joke, Curnow turns to Max for Russian translations of different English words, including "chicken" (kuritsa), "stupid" (durak), and later "thank you" (spasibo). Curnow is down on himself for his problems, but Max tries to sympathize with him:

  • Curnow: "Durak". That's me.
    • Max: You shouldn't feel like that. Same thing happened to me first time I did this.
    • Curnow: When have you ever done this before?
    • Max: Never.

In turn, Curnow later corrects Max when he unintentionally jumbles up a couple of American metaphors, including "Easy as pie", and "piece of cake".

  1. Though Max marries Zenia in the novel, he does not survive to 2061; and in the 2010: The Year We Make Contact he dies during the Jupiter mission.