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Characters / The Inquest of Pilot Pirx

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These are the main characters of The Inquest of Pilot Pirx.

Harry Brown

The co-pilot of the Goliath.
  • Easily Forgiven: Despite Pirx treating him with unhidden suspicion, Brown firmly stands by him at court, and they part as friends.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: In the book, he has golden locks.
  • Mistaken for Evidence: When he steps aside to let Weber pass, Weber, having previously hidden a radioactive detail in the wall, believes him a robot who can detect the slightest radiation.
    • In the book, Pirx thinks Brown has a perfectly inflect voice, which adds to his suspicions.
  • Only in It for the Money: He didn't want to go on that flight, but he was promised a large sum of money. In the book, he explains further that he wanted to marry his girlfriend, and, being Unable to Support a Wife, had to agree (in the film, there's nothing about the marriage, and he's only shown flirting with a girl whom he meets just the day before the flight).

John Calder

The first pilot of the Goliath.
  • Evidence Dungeon: The black box containing his thoughts.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He wanted the humans to die from the acceleration force. Instead, it happened to him.
  • Logic Bomb: He loses because he relies too much on strict logical calculations but doesn't know a thing about human emotions.
  • Non-Verbal Miscommunication: When Pirx falls silent as the ship enters the Cassini division, Calder believes it's a clever plan on the commander's part. In reality, Pirx was Dumb Struck and plain confused.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Of course, he doesn't have a heart in fact, but still, the blackness is of no doubt. In the book, his hair is described as a Scandinavian sort of silvery blond, in the film, too, he's very fair.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The key part of his plan. Whatever Pirx ordered after the ship entered the Cassini division, it would have resulted in a catastrophe and death of the humans on board. It failed due to an unwitting use of a Third Option on Pirx's part.


A space pilot, chosen to be commander of the Goliath.
  • Brutal Honesty: He's famous for that trait. More often than not, it makes others extremely uncomfortable. When Brown tells him Otis is a robot, Pirx asks him straight away how much money Brown wants for the information.
  • Collapsed Mid-Speech: That's what led to him almost being put behind the bars for not giving the necessary order.
    Calder: We'll get through the Cassini division and, flying at hyperbolic speed, shake off the probe!
    Pirx: I don't all... (unable to speak due to rapid gravity increase)
  • No Name Given: We only know his surname.
  • Reverse Psychology: He didn't want to take part in the experiment. After United Atomic Laboratory attempted to remove him from the picture, he called the UNESCO director and agreed to command the Goliath.
  • Scaling the Summit: He devotes his free time to alpinism. Both his first and his last appearances are in the mountains.

Jan Otis

Electronicist on the Goliath.
  • The Quiet One: He is almost always silent, only speaking when asked. By himself, he has just two short lines. Perhaps it was this fact that first awoke Brown's suspicions.

Tom Nowak

Neurologist, cyberneticist and doctor on the Goliath.

Kurt Weber

Nucleonicist on the Goliath.
  • Cowardly Sidekick: He's the one most easily frightened, and he always has a nervous look about him.

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