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Hawking (2004)

A drama documenting the life and work of the theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking who, despite being diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, has galvanized the ... See full summary »

Director:

Philip Martin

Writer:

Peter Moffat
Reviews
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Benedict Cumberbatch ... Stephen Hawking
Michael Brandon ... Arno Penzias
Tom Hodgkins Tom Hodgkins ... Robert Wilson
Christian Rubeck ... Reporter (as Christian Pedersen)
Lisa Dillon ... Jane Wilde
Phoebe Nicholls ... Isobel Hawking
Matthew Marsh ... Dr. John Holloway
Anastasia Hille ... Nurse Susan McClean
Adam Godley ... Frank Hawking
Peter Firth ... Sir Fred Hoyle
Rohan Siva Rohan Siva ... Jayant Narlikar
Bertie Carvel ... George Ellis
Tom Ward ... Roger Penrose
Deirdre Costello Deirdre Costello ... Barmaid
John Sessions ... Dennis Sciama
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Storyline

A drama documenting the life and work of the theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking who, despite being diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, has galvanized the scientific world with his ground-breaking work on the nature of the universe. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of the search for the beginning of time.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 April 2004 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Hawking See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 PAL
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Adam Godley, who plays Stephen's father, also plays the doctor who diagnoses Stephen in The Theory of Everything (2014). See more »

Goofs

Stephen Hawkin on his 21st Birthday mentions the Beatles song Please Please Me this song was not released until the 11th January 1963 two days after Hawkins,s 21st Birthday. See more »

Quotes

Stephen Hawking: I was wondering whether you'd consider marrying me.
Jane Wilde: I love you...
Stephen Hawking: That mean you're about to say no?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Only Connect: Episode #11.8 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Ride of the Valkyries
(uncredited)
Written by Richard Wagner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Brief History of Mine
17 April 2004 | by KasterborousSee all my reviews

The story of young Stephen Hawking's doctorate - starting with his 21st birthday in 1963, shortly after which he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease. The story continues with Hawking going to Cambridge to gain his doctorate, during which he fights to come to terms with his illness, grows ever-closer to young student Jane Wilde, and has to figure out something to write his thesis on... ...All this is told in flashback by Nobel Prize winners Bob Wilson and Arno Penzias (Tom Hodgkins and the marvellously irascible Michael Brandon, respectively), talking in 1978 about their discovery - the "3 degree hiss" of microwaves that is the echo of the Big Bang, which is the proof of Hawking's remarkable and evolutionary theory that he formulated for his doctorate thesis. Hawking didn't come up with the idea of the Big Bang, but he did show mathematically that the prevalent theory of the time - "Steady State", in which the universe was thought to be unchanging and to have existed forever - was wrong.

The performances are uniformly excellent, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role making for a very convincing Hawking, capturing his brilliance and vulnerability well and portraying his physical deterioration sympathetically and convincingly. Other standout performances include Tom Ward as Roger Penrose, giving a superbly confident and energetic portrayal of the young professor who was Hawking's friend and mentor; John Sessions as Dennis Sciama, quiet and intense as Hawking's supervisor; Peter Firth as a triumphantly and permanently bad-tempered Fred Hoyle, with whom Hawking locked horns over their contradictory theories on the origin of the universe; and Lisa Dillon as Jane Wilde, who gave Hawking the strength to overcome his illness and realise his ideas.

Is this a sanitised or oversimplified story? Undoubtedly, but these things always are. That doesn't matter; the main characters are engaging, and the science is extremely well-handled. Hawking's "eureka" moment, when he literally falls off a train and desperately explains his idea to Penrose by drawing with chalk on the station platform, is powerful and moving and believable in equal measure. This drama shows that it's not just the great artists, the painters and composers and musicians, who have led remarkable and fascinating lives - science, in its own way, has just as much power to move and intrigue, and scientists have just as many great stories to tell.


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