Saturn 3 (1980)

Film and Plot Synopsis

Research scientists Adam and Alex enjoy an idyllic existence on a remote space station until they are joined by the mysterious Captain Benson. Benson assembles a prototype robot, Hector, whose mind is created by a mind link with Benson. However, Hector gradually develops a mind of his own – taking on some of the more unpleasant aspects of his creator’s personality in the process. However, Benson’s sexual attraction to Alex proves to be a catalyst for Hector to go on the rampage: but will the robot’s developing passion for Alex help or hinder the crew?

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‘Saturn 3’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Saturn 3 (1980)Long in the future, the Earth is overcrowded and relies on research conducted by scientists in remote stations across the solar system. The remote stations keep in contact with Earth and larger stations via radio updates and intermittent visits by shuttles.

A large spacecraft enters orbit around Saturn. Captain James (Douglas Lambert) is preparing to be dispatched to his new assignment on Saturn 3. Captain Benson (Harvey Keitel voice dubbed Roy Dotrice) enters the locker room and murders Benson by blowing him out an airlock. Benson then impersonates James and takes over his assignment to Saturn 3.

Saturn 3 is a small, remote experimental hydroponics research station on Saturn’s third moon. The station is manned by Adam (Kirk Douglas) and his colleague and lover Alex (Farrah Fawcett), who have been alone on the station for three years. Alex has lived her entire life in space and has never been to Earth. She knows very little about life on Earth or how people interact with each other. The couple also has a small dog named Sally.

Adam and Alex meet James’ shuttle piloted by Benson when it arrives. The couple is immediately put off by Benson odd behavior. Benson solicits Alex for sex in a casual way. Alex informs him that she is with Adam, but Benson persists and says that on Earth sex is a casual interaction. Adam and Alex are even more upset when Benson reveals that his mission is to replace at least one of them with a robot. Adam tells Alex that he is the one most likely to be removed due to him approaching his abort time, or retirement, and will have to leave anyway.

The robot, named Hector, is a first of its kind, one of the Demigod series. The robot relies on pure brain tissue extracted from human fetuses and programmed using a direct link to Benson’s brain. The neural link is implanted in Benson’s spine. Benson prepares the robot, but Hector learns of Benson’s failure on a test for psychological stability and James’ murder via the link. Benson repeatedly attempts to have Hector to delete the data, but the robot retains the knowledge.

Hector’s brain is imprinted with Benson’s brain. The captain’s willingness to commit murder and lust for Alex are passed on to Hector. On one occasion, the robot grabs Alex, frightening her. Benson tries to intervene and Hector pins the captain to a table. Adam arrives and saves both Alex and Benson. The two men team up and are able to subdue the robot. Adam orders Benson to disable the machine, which he does. Adam also orders Benson to take his machine and leave the station.

Benson disassembles Hector and prepares to leave the station. The captain breaks into Adam and Alex’s chambers and orders Alex to leave with him having been overtaken with his lust. Adam attacks Benson and very nearly kills him, but Alex is able to pull him back from his bloodlust. However, Benson recovers and knocks Adam unconscious. Benson grabs Alex and begins to lead her to his ship, but Hector suddenly appears, having rebuilt himself, and kills Benson. Hector also destroys Benson’s shuttlecraft and takes control of the station’s computer, stranding Adam and Alex on the station.

Alex and Adam are trapped on the station, but they are surprised to be contacted by Benson on the station’s monitor. Benson tells them that he has made an arrangement with Hector and that they should join him. Once they reach Benson, they discover that Hector has placed the decapitated head of Benson on his metal frame and impersonated his voice. Alex faints, and Adam catches her before she falls.

A short time later, Alex and Adam wake in their own rooms. Hector orders them to cooperate, and even impersonates their voices when an approaching ship passes by to check on their status. Alex and Adam cooperate with Hector’s directives. Alex is alarmed when she discovers that Hector has installed a brain link at the top of Adam’s spine that gives the robot direct access to Adam’s brain. While Hector is busy with Alex, Adam straps some explosives to his body. He enters the control room and when Hector attempts to complete a brain link with Adam, the major tackles the robot, knocking them both into a waste pit and detonates the explosives. Adam and Hector are destroyed.

Sometime later, Alex is onboard a spacecraft that is approaching Earth, the planet she has never seen. She prepares to board a shuttle to go down to the planet for the first time.

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Associated Film Distribution (AFD) released Saturn 3 on February 15, 1980. Stanley Donen directed the film starring Farrah Fawcett, Kirk Douglas, and Harvey Keitel.

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