Space Madness is a very real condition that affects dozens of movie characters every year. Symptoms of Space Madness include Forgetting About The Mission, saying things that sound like one thing to your crew members but have a secret double meaning if you plan on murdering them, planning on murdering your crew members, removing your own eyes from your face, hallucinating an entire episode of The Twilight Zone, jettisoning the fuel you need to return home, untethering one of your colleagues during a space walk, and Just Whose Side Are You On Anyway?
Common risk factors that may predict Space Madness include:
- You have been left alone in space for any period of time longer than a week.
- You have not been seen onscreen by the first half-hour of the movie
- Former colleagues describe you as “the best we had” or “our only hope”
- The mission has failed
- The mission is on the verge of success and only sabotage could stop it now
- Your ship disappeared during a routine expedition forty years ago and has suddenly reappeared in the path of the protagonist’s ship
- You are the ship’s commander, chief engineer, or doctor. Fly-boy pilots and mechanics almost never develop Space Madness.
- You are a white man. Women, for whatever reason, are far less susceptible to Space Madness than their male counterparts
- You’ve started identifying with whatever is killing the rest of your crew; this is generally observed in its earliest stages when you explain to your crew how the enemy kills/feeds/destroys other species, referring to it as “elegant” or “the highest form of evolution”
Medical professionals recommend that astronauts displaying the early signs of Space Madness either return to earth or commit a Noble Sacrifice for the good of the mission as soon as possible.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.