In the year 2001 a strange object has been discovered near the planet of Jupiter and a crew is sent from Earth to investigate. Before that happens though we see a prehistoric scene of a group of man apes going about their life when a strange monolith is discovered. Following their discovery they learn to use tools and begin their ascent to modern man. Flash forward and the same or a similar monolith is discovered on the moon to the same awe that was exhibited by prehistoric man. In 2001 a mission of five men (including Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood) and one super computer, HAL 9000 (voice of Douglas Rain) who is perfect and mimics human emotions, have been sent to the area of Jupiter to investigate something seemingly unknown. The journey to Jupiter becomes one where the lines between man and machine, artificial and natural intelligence and evolution are blurred.