back to article Natasha Henstridge braces for Impact

In what is quite possibly the most ominous sci-fi news so far this year, Variety reports that Species minx Natasha Henstridge will star in Impact - a TV two-parter featuring a dwarf star hitting the Moon, followed by the usual apocalyptic pandemonium down on Earth. Henstridge will be joined for the romp by David James Elliott …


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  1. Nicholas Ettel

    rofl what?

    Hasn't all this epic-death-by-random-space-object movie garbage already been done to death?

    No?! Well, then please give me more!

    Mines the one made of black holes.

  2. An Unwashed Mass

    Flying train

    "That’s what we’re playing with, the effects on gravity, electro-magnetic disturbances, tsunamis, earthquakes, a high-speed train getting airborne at 200 miles an hour"

    If that's what it takes to get a train airborne it's no wonder we don't have flying cars yet

  3. Dangermouse

    Dwarf Tossing

    During my quick glance at the article, I first read it as "dwarf hitting the Moon" and thought Miss Henstridge had become a champion at the popular sport of throwing the vertically-challenged scamps around the bar.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Yes of course

    My fear of rogue dwarf stars and flying trains are at the the very root of my being. How strange that i never realised it before today!

  5. Mike Plunkett
    Thumb Down

    Oh God...

    What's the betting this ends up on Sky "We'll show any old tat" One? Sounds absolutely dreadful and I doubt even the lovely Miss Henstridge's charms could save it.

  6. Tim Barrett

    "LA Confidential vet James Cromwell"

    I think James Cromwell AKA "Zefram Cochrane" might have been a better geek reference for this one.

    Not to worry, he'll build a warp capable ship so Bruce Willis can save the planet.

    The red shirt please, not that I'm expendable or anything.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's still missing something...

    ...and I know what it is...

    ...Jean Claude van Damme as a time-travelling kickboxing cyborg samurai!

    If he could also be a werewolf that'd be ace.

    There's still time for David Lean wannabe Jonas Bauer to get him onboard, just give Jean Claude a call, I'm sure he'll be free.

  8. Steve
    Thumb Down

    universal fears we all have

    I can't say that I ever lay awake at night and worry about these things; Maybe he's over stating his argument a little with the word 'fear', maybe he could have said

    no, there's no thing he could have said that wouldn't have sounded ludicrous.

  9. ImaGnuber

    It has to be asked

    Is Miss Henstridge really a dwarf? She looked much taller in Species. Amazing what they can do with CGI.

  10. Garth
    IT Angle

    Dwarf Star?

    Correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't the gravitational sheer of an object to achieve a 'star' classification, no matter how dwarf, prevent a proper 'hit' because both the moon and earth would be torn apart before even getting close?

    A earthquakes and a bit of tsunami activity seems to be the least of your issues when whole landmasses are flying into the sky.

    I think a movie like this sucks because it actually down plays the scale of such a calamity to make it human manageable when it won't be.

  11. tranquil

    A good effort but... terms of improbable disaster film scenario this is still second to 'The Core', but its close and all involved should be very proud of themselves, or take an intro astro-physics course.

  12. Tom

    I for one am always in fear...

    of dwarf stars appearing out of the ether, without the obvious side effect of casting more light on the earth, or giving blighty some decent weather for a few days. To think that right now a dwarf star, which would also make things a little warm, crashing into the moon and then us "panicking" about it.

    I will be under my duvet for protection.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    @Mike Plunkett

    I think not - it sounds like the sort of junk the Sc-fi Channel shows each weekend... and until you've seen "Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York" you've not seen how bad things can get!

    Its the one with "Sad Geek" on the back

  14. E

    @Jonas Bauer

    It is odd that Mr. Bauer & co. are so concerned with physics - gravity, EM etc - but they have not considered the mass of a dwarf star. I think you can get a dwarf star as small as a few thousand Km radius, but even such a one would have mass and gravity large enough to completely wreck the orbit of earth around the sun.

    So the basis premise of the film is bogus (surprise surprise): the moon gets smashed, yes, but the article does not imply Impact's Earth will be ejected from the solar system or at least greatly perturbed in it's orbit.

    Nothing like getting ejected from the solar system to wreck your day.

  15. Anonymously Deflowered

    Straight to video

    I thought Species was so bad that I have known it as Faeces ever since I saw it. This sounds like it could be just as bad.

    Let me guess: the Americans save the world?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flying Trains

    Considering we would have only a few days before we all either burned up in the sun or froze in deep space, being killed by a flying train might be a novel option. I liked how "Last Night" (Don McKeller) handled it: everyone is going to die, there's nothing anyone can do about it, accept that and we'll get on with the movie now. It's also how William Gibson makes sci-fi technology acceptable by just not going into details. Saying a dwarf star hit the moon, but the earth didn't then get sucked into the moon for some reason (and isn't heading inevitably out of orbit either) just makes me ask lots of questions that distract from the .. erm .. plot.

  17. Feargal Reilly
    Dead Vulture

    What's this doing on this site?

    I'm disappointed to see no reference in the comments section to "Paris, because..."

    You shouldn't be allowing comments on stories if everybody is just going to post non-Paris related rubbish.

    Mine the one without a bookmark in.

  18. Jeff Rowse


    No, no, no, no, no. (Shakes head in sorrow).

    You're making a very common mistake - believing that Entertainment has to have even a passing acquaintance with Reality As We Know It.

    If the (made-for-DVD./+tv) film industry needs a dwarf star to collide with the moon, then Real Life (tm) Physics can take a running jump. If an (even semi-)attractive actress can be used to distract attention from such blatant disregard for reality then it is so much the better. But to use someone who's already starred in an "End of humanity" SciFi Epic is even better!

    I was wondering if they omitted to mention the particular variety of dwarf star so they wouldn't get accused of Spectral Stereotyping (sort of like Racial Stereotyping, but a hotter subject... ).

    I mean, having a brown dwarf suddenly arrive on your doorstep would be bad enough since they're sullen and moody, but a white dwarf with its higher energy and nasty habit of sending out large bursts of X and Gamma rays (not to mention the fact that they're a lot warmer!) would defintiely not make a very welcome stellar visitor.

    Mine's the one with Hot Fudge Sundae (falling on a Tuesday) running down the back...

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Zefram Cochrane!

    And I go like "Who's that?" for around 100 seconds.

    Must be getting old.

    Mine's the one with "Captain Apollo" on the shoulder patch.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    TV? Darn!

    She'll have her clothes on.

    PH, for obvious reasons...

  21. Jean Stone


    If they were playing this for laughs I might be tempted to see it. Sadly this doesn't appear to be the case so I'll be giving it a miss. I for one would love to see a new requirement for all film school curricula, namely a few introductory courses in the sciences. Also a mandatory course titled 'How not to make films' with studies including 'CGI: Not a substitute for interesting characters or plot', 'Why not everything in the universe is combustible' and 'Plots that were done to death thirty years ago'.

  22. hugo tyson

    Space 1999

    Sounds like they started thinking about a remake of Space 1999 (Noooooooo!) and realized that what happens on Earth might be more of a movie. Assuming *bad* things happen, that is...

  23. Wonderkid

    US made for TV is purely ad fodder...

    ...during my 9.8 years stateside, I was unfortunate enough to be subject to these '2 part' shows that each have the following in common: a) Fairly unknown actors (no big deal to be fair) b) Long drawn out beginnings where the key players are introduced (think, middle class suburbs, large kitchens, innnocent kids running around etc), with fairly large gaps between each advertisement c) Long drawn out middle bits, with gap between advertisements now getting smaller d) Race towards fairly mundane and predictable climax (involving man and women, often of no resemblance to real people who are in debt and stressed to death, plus so so made for TV special FX), and of course, more and more advertisements. e) A standard 3 to 5 minute plot wrap up, whereby the credits race up the screen while a voiceover announces what's coming next to grab your attention. Remember folks, as you know, everything today, from fascist traffic wardens/police in today's UK who target sensible middle class drivers, to dumbed down global TV is all about moneyand advertising with little concern for our grey matter. Solution? Don't watch it, and avoid using a car. Break the system until something better comes along. Rant over! :-)

  24. Fluffykins Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    @Feargal Reilly

    You mean Paris would be the only place immune form tsunamis, megawotnots, flying TGV trains, and similar codswallop.

    Paris, FFS

  25. DS
    Paris Hilton

    Which dwarf? That dwarf!

    Fear not, my friends. You may think that Americans are so stupid that they'd make a movie about a dwarf star hitting the moon, but you'd be wrong. I live in America and can tell you that as a whole, we're far less intelligent than that. You see, someone in Canadamerica simply misheard the plot of the upcoming Red Dwarf movie, wherein the lovely Natasha jettisons The Cat into the moon, resulting in little more than a minor crater. Well, that and the circulating question of "who paid for this, and why?" The train was simply a collateral casualty of running over Paris's natty pooch, busy howling at the cat hurtling into the moon. The Tsunami was an optical illusion.

  26. Glenn Amspaugh
    Gates Horns

    Great Wal-Mart/Tesco movie

    This pile of useless video tape sounds like it could give Mansquito a run for the money.

    Because Bill approves.

  27. Garth

    @Jeff Rowse

    Well, I understand the need to take some liberties but it is really pointless to do something so completely impossible. They don't really need a 'dwarf star' unless they're just trying to up the ante beyond other various potential space faring objects. Just blatantly ignorant crap, though, really ruins the suspension of disbelief for me.

    Maybe just start with a dwarf planet?

  28. Anonymous John
    IT Angle

    I don't care about the science,

    as long as she gets her kit off again.

  29. BoldMan

    @Space 1999

    That was always something that I wondered about - what happend to the Earth when the Moon was blasted out of orbit? I mean okay, no more tides would be the least of our worries... what else might happen?

  30. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge


    Give me the old 50's style B- movies any day

    Loose plot, even looser scenery and an alien outfit that barely hid the operator's trainers

    Still they are worth watching just to see how many times the laws of phizzics get broken

  31. Wookieman


    The earth could be encased in a thin layer of this substance which apparently makes it impervious to sound, radiation, cosmic rays and the second coming of jesus.

  32. Joe Zeff

    @ E

    In case you're not aware (and the people behind this abortion obviously aren't) the Sun is a yellow dwarf star. What you're thinking of is probably a neutron star, which can be just a dozen kilometers across or so, but has at least as much mass as the Sun. If one entered our system, we'd know about it long before it impacted (a highly unlikely occurrence, even it it did pass through) because its gravitational effects would have major effects on the orbits of all the planets, including the Earth. Of course, this is Hollywood we're talking about, where they never let the facts get in the way of what they think is a good story.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    have we not seen this elsewhere?

    Hmmm.....explosions on the moon....wasn't this all done in 1975 with Space 1999 (if you get my drift) - big nuclear explosion on moon, moon blasts out of orbit leading to lots of stories with aliens - mind you, there never was the follow up that dealt with the impact (ho hum) of the loss of the moon on the earth, tidal pull ceasing etc......ohhhh.....have I just invented a follow-up?

    Mines the Century 21 Spacesuit with the blaster velcroed to the side

  34. Spoonguard
    Black Helicopters

    Well at least it wasn't a Red Dwarf

    Because we shouldn't have to kill JFK again

  35. Aubry Thonon

    Re: Space 1999

    I for one would welcome our new "Space 1999"-remaking Overlords.

    (loved the show as a kid, still love the cheesy 70's show as an adult).

  36. Fuzzy

    Sounds like another must not see film.

    Ditch the storyline, dtich the CGI , Recycle the screenplay, ditch most of the actors and director and just show natasha in a full frontal nude shot,,it is about the only thing this whole project has going for it

  37. heystoopid


    Hmm very bad physics on the laws of gravity since a dwarf star would pack the same mass as Sol One , oh crap it is Hollywood next generation of even worse SF Films , just how low can they go ? !

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Jesus save us!

    A Canadian, German, Spanish, French co-production? This is surely the End Times(tm). I didn't think the apocalypse would be this bad.

    An anonymous Canuck.

  39. Adrian Esdaile

    That'll do, pig.

    James Cromwell AKA "Zefram Cochrane"


    Surely James Cromwell AKA Farmer Hoggett!

    Mine's the sheep... er. skin.

    Baa Ram Ewe!

  40. Anonymous Coward

    The Great Star Platypus

    Attention unbelievers!

    The approaching Great Star Platypus, misidentified as a dwarf star by the apostate parasitic organisms adhering to the surface of the Third Egg, is returning for the Great Hatching.

    Blessings be upon the Great Star Platypus, and let us all give thanks that the Third Egg has survived, complete with the holy nutrients that were applied to the surface during the Great Laying. Rejoice!

    Soon you will achieve the fulfillment of your ultimate purpose as nutrient for the new Star Platypus.

  41. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Thumb Down

    I'd rather still watch....

    ....sheep herding from the highlands.

    Go 'round....!

  42. dave appleby

    @ Garth

    ROTFLAMO :-)

    Long pig anyone?

  43. John Munyard

    It's the end of the world

    Phone Bruce Willis !

  44. Bill Smith


    I wouldnt worry about it, if a dwarf or anything else threatens us, Gordon Brown will take immediate steps to tax it because thats the only way the British government can deal with a problem.

  45. Fragula The Furry
    Paris Hilton

    Pink Dwarf

    Sure, it may have a hackneyed red-dwarf-rejected plot so stupid that five year olds will pick holes in it, but it also has the lovely Ms. Henstridge, though I doubt she will be showing the acreage she did in Species.

    Mores the pity.

    Paris Hilton, cos I'm sure she could act good enough for this.

  46. matthew

    Can you guys read?

    "a high-speed train getting airborne at 200 miles an hour"

    who gives a stuff about anything else, i wanna see that.

  47. Slaine

    dwarf star to collide with the moon

    eh? can someone just run the physics of this little event by me one last time... I mean - "dwarf star" = extremely dense (very high gravitational effects when something the mass of the sun turns up in a ball the size of Earth) and wiki says, "the oldest white dwarfs still radiate at temperatures of a few thousand kelvins" so it's likely gonna be pretty warm too. Add to that the potential for extreme magnetic fluctuations and whilst one has, on the surface at least, the makings of an excellent disaster movie, TBH it's just a disaster so they really ought to give the lead role to someone with considerably fewer clothes.

  48. Adam Foxton


    A dwarf planet would be a fantastic one if this was going to turn into a comedy (or an "unintentionally" comedic sort of film)- the Plutonians, mad at the disrespect of being downgraded to a mere dwarf planet by Earth, decide to pilot their planet Kamikaze- style into our moon.

    So you'd have a dramatic Nuremburg style scene with a well-written and passionate declaration of war, lots of cheering.

    You'd have a fantastic Earth and Pluto collision in CGI, AND you can nab a classic line (or even the whole storyline...) from Invader Zim

    "And so, pitiful human, we decided to fit our planet with rockets that'd let us fly it about."

    "But why would you do that?!"

    "Because it's cool.."

    Tux because FOSS software would save the day somehow.

  49. VulcanV5

    Not a dwarf.

    Although all posts here are well informed they're as misdirected as Ms Hensteeth will be.

    El Reg has screwed up with its reporting because the draft screenplay I've seen has nothing about dwarves or stars.

    The movie is actually about the effect of a giant tsunami on a giant ship, where wave up-sweep is of such magnitude that the vessel is launched into space.

    The narrative is exciting as passengers and crew struggle to survive for longer than, er, a microsecond, with only a small band of principal C-list actors hermetically sealed in the ship's hold where they must use bits of debris to fashion an orbital control system.

    Back on Earth, development of a CruiseShip missile is accelerated but will it be ready in time? Will the (space)ship impact on the Moon?

    "Even Further Beyond The Poseidon Adventure" has Wolfgang Petersen back in the director's chair because he knows stuff about submarines.

    I do wish El Reg would get its facts straight before exposing creative people to unjustified ridicule.

  50. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    Dwarf Star Emergency Plan

    Send Chuck Norris to give it a roundhouse kick out of the galaxy.

    Paris, because she always shines brightly ....

  51. Pascal Monett Silver badge


    "exposing creative people to unjustified ridicule"

    I daresay what with all the bull these "creative people" have been subjecting us to for the last quarter of a century, this little bit is hardly going to leave a dent in their hides which, by now, must be thicker than an elephant's.

    And besides, I don't see that the version you report is any better. I think I'd actually prefer a dwarf star. Since they already take us for fools, they might as well go the whole nine yards.

  52. Openminded Cynic

    Dwarf Star?

    What like Kenny Baker? They shooting him at the moon? I don't get it

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @BoldMan - Space 1999

    What we would happen if the moon wasn't there.

    We'd have:

    1. No eclipses - bad for economy - no silly little glasses.

    2. Some screwed up animals that rely on lunar activity - bad for economy - reduced David Attenborough TV programs.

    3. More impacts by space garbage - bad for economy - if you happen to be under a 2 ton lump of rock coming in at 20k mph

    4. Surfing would suck - bad for economy - downturn in camera lenses purchase etc

    5. Less holiday in Asia eg: "Lunar new year" - bad for economy

    6. Reduced holiday destinations - bad for economy

    So, there you have it. lack of moon = bad for economy.

    (plus a couple of other bits and pieces)

    ps: And a lot less songs or TV programs with Moon in the name. eg: Moon river & moonlighting (Not such a bad idea)

  54. Wolf

    Dwarf star is *NOT* the right word :)

    The *SUN*, our very own beloved day-star, is classed as a "dwarf star".

    Perhaps they meant "white dwarf" or even "black hole"? :)

    If something like our sun hit the moon a little super-tsunami would be the *least* of our problems. Charcoal Earth anyone?

    Mine's the mini-spaceship with the cryogenic heat shields...

  55. Chris Cooper

    @Flying Train

    I wonder if the scriptwriters have ever read Space Train (Terence Haile, 1962) - the (abysmal) level of scientific understanding and coherent plot design sounds horribly familiar.

  56. John Dougald McCallum


    I think this is a proper candidate for straight to video. Talk about a load of bloody crap there are literally thousands of better SF&F stories out there all they need to do is go to the local second hand book shop and then get their writers to pen a script.I say second hand cos they are obviously a bunch of tightwads.

  57. John Dougald McCallum

    Space 1999

    @Space 1999

    By BoldMan

    Posted Monday 28th April 2008 16:36 GMT

    I belive they did cover that story near the end of the last season and it wasn't pleasent almost total destruction of the porported society/civilisation yeah I watched most of them.

  58. Frank Bough

    @Anonymously Deflowered

    "Let me guess: the Americans save the world?"

    Americans ARE the world - don't you remember USA for Africa?

  59. Steve

    Movie Highlights

    A dwarf star hits the moon?!? I guess we can kiss Earth goodbye as well. I can just see highlights from the movie.

    Unknown (?) gravitational fluctuations are disturbing the orbits of the planets. Scientists raise concern; government officials down-play them.

    V’ger …er Voyager captures a picture of the sneaky dwarf star arriving at our solar system. Upon viewing said picture, some intellectual elite says, “OMG what is that?” or something equally as witty.

    Scientists discover from the picture that the dwarf star is traveling at near light speeds. That is why it wasn’t seen before now.

    Government decides not to panic the populous by creating a media freeze on the subject and locking down that Internet thing. Of course, said government officials prepare to head for the hills.

    A domestically challenged hero decides that the government is up to something and is prepared to find out no matter what the cost. Of course said individual has some romantic tie involved in all this, so the information isn’t hard to discover.

    The truth comes out and nobody cares as it doesn’t seem important, not! This is a Hollywood production there will be a total civic break down with everyone and their dog running around looting and pillaging. You know everyone is just looking for an excuse to party. Riots, car wrecks, fires, explosions, and plenty of other man-made mayhem occur. The heroes of the movie will have to drive, fly, run, shoot, and fight their way to the top of the heap just to reach the next Act.

    The government has a plan to stop the dwarf star. Oh really?!? With some special upgrades, the space shuttle will transport a super star buster bomb to the dwarf star. The resulting explosion will knock it away from the Earth. We’re saved. But wait, the dwarf star is travelling at near light speed, how do we reach it. No problem, the space shuttle will slingshot around the Sun. Hey it worked in Star Trek IV.

    The romantic heroes part ways with one boarding the shuttle and the other wondering how they got into this career wreck of a movie.

    Before the shuttle reaches its target, an angst ridden crew member tries to destroy the shuttle and everyone on board. The hero goes mono-a-mono with the doomsday crew member and barely wins. Don’t forget to add burns, grease stains, and ripped clothing.

    The bomb is launched but …wait for it…it detonates in the wrong place. The dwarf star is partially deflected, but it will still take out the Moon. As the moon gets ripped apart, the hero on the shuttle wonders if it is too late to cancel this contract.

    Not to be out done by mankind, mother Earth cranks up the natural disaster meter to 10+. The hero left behind struggles to survive against all odds and look good while doing it.

    The dwarf star passes, the romantic heroes are reunited and everything returns to an Eden like bliss. As long as you don’t mind the mutants and zombies that start to appear. Huh??? Guess there will be a sequel.

  60. Ishkandar


    No more lunatics in parliament ??

    @Adam Foxton - Naw !! Tall (could be short, if Tom Cruise), blonde American (what else) hero convinces the inhabitants of Xena (the "newly discovered" planet) to send out hordes of scantily-clad Amazon warriors mounted on flying horses (Pegasi ??) who will fire nuclear-tipped arrows at Pluto and divert it into a terminal solar decay path. Hero manfully sacrifices himself as the love object of the Warrior Princess and he gets excommunicated by the Church of Scotland for having sex with a non-human (see other thread on Church of Scotland) !! He should have chosen a bagpipe instead !!

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Another Natasha is also in this film

    I see that Natasha Calis ("Christmas Caper" - great little actress) is also in this. Hopefully she and James Cromwell ("Babe" and just about everything else) will bring this sci-fi adventure some family values!

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