My favorite things in Science Fiction TV and Films(By Les)
Greetings, Manic Fans. Les here to reminisce about Science Fiction. All the possibilities and all the amazing advances that come from it, to be specific. Letâ€™s face it. Some of the coolest gadgets, devices and weapons ever dreamt up ended up in Science Fiction shows and films. And so, Iâ€™d like to tribute my favorite things in Science Fiction. Also…it wonâ€™t be my standard top 12 list, because there are too many great things in Science Fiction, so Iâ€™m making it an open ended list. I wonâ€™t know how many things will be on it until I get done.
Warning: Some spoilers and awesome Science Fiction things ahead…
â€œThe Weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon with a more civilized edgeâ€-Obi Wan Kenobi(Alec Guinness). These blades of energy are amazing. Able to slice through almost anything and deflect laser blasts while making the coolest buzzing sound effects, Lightsabers are at the pinnacle of Science Fiction weapons.
Robby the Robot(Forbidden Planet)
Designed by Robert Kinoshita, Robby was the first Science Fiction Robot to display Asimovâ€™s 3 laws of Robotics. He was fascinating to watch with gyros, calculating mechanisms and neon voice lines visible through his clear glass head and cool spinning gizmos to go with them, he was unlike any robot that came before or after him. He could sample anything, analyze and then reproduce it in unlimited quantities(â€œWould 60 gallons be sufficient?â€). Also, with the voice of Marvin Miller, he had great presence of personality.
The TARDIS(Doctor Who)
Hands down, the greatest space/time machine ever made. The type 40 TARDIS(Time and Relative Dimensions in Space) was built by the Timelords of Gallifrey. Ordinary TARDISes have a chameleon circuit that instantly camouflage this vehicle into whatever environment it materializes in. However, the Doctorâ€™s TARDIS has a broken chameleon circuit so it always appears as a British Blue Police Box from 1963. Why is it the greatest space/time machine ever made? For one thing, itâ€™s infinitely bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Secondly, itâ€™s sentient and able to use a telepathic link to allow the users to translate any language in the Universe. Lastly, it can go anywhere in space and anywhere in time. That makes it the most impressively versatile vehicle in Science Fiction. ALONS-Y!
The Delorean(Back to the Future)
While not quite as versatile as the TARDIS, Doc Brownâ€™s(Christopher Lloyd) time machine built into a Delorean DMC is cool as hell using plutonium fuel to send 1.21 Gigawatts into the flux capacitor to send the machine through time guided by the time circuits. All you need to do is drive to 88 Miles Per Hour and ZAP! Outfitted in the future with flying circuits and a MR Fusion device to replace the plutonium chamber in 2015, it soars as well as jumps through time. Heavy, right?
Moonbase Alpha(Space 1999)
Weâ€™ve wanted to make this for decades….but it took a 1970â€™s tv show by ITV to make it happen(so far). Built with self-sustaining, modular buildings connected by travel tubes and defended by the laser and Eagle spacecrafts launched from the landing bays, Moonbase Alpha looked completely possible in the execution of the show.
The Hoverboard(Back to the Future II)
Built by Matell in 2015(OH PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!!!), the Hoverboard is exactly what it sounds like: A skateboard without wheels that literally hovers about half a foot off the ground.
The Landspeeder(Star Wars)
Lukeâ€™s ride on planet Tattooine, the Landspeeder is fast and able to glide a foot off the ground. While the series also produced Snow Speeders(The Empire Strikes Back), and Speeder Bikes(Return of the Jedi), I always liked Lukeâ€™s Speeder the best.
The Rocketpack(The Rocketeer)
Sure, you have to suspend considerable disbelief that the rocket flames somehow donâ€™t burn the ass off of Cliff Secord(Bill Campbell) when he flies, but the Hughes Cirrus X-3 is a really cool gadget(particularly considering it was fictitiously built in the 1940s) that runs on alcohol and propels the pilot at great aerial speeds.
Imperial AT-AT Walkers(The Empire Strikes Back)
Factoring heavily in the Battle of Hoth, the Imperial walkers couldâ€™ve been inspired by HG Wellsâ€™ Martian Walkers in â€œThe War of the Worlds.â€(With 4 legs instead of 3, but basically just as scary when theyâ€™re coming right at you….)
Suspended Animation beds(Alien/2001: A Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes, Star Trek, Red Dwarf, etc….)
How to make a space trip of hundreds of years and still be alive when you reach the destination? Simple! Put yourself in Hypersleep/Cryogenic Sleep/Suspended Animation and VOILA! You hardly age at all during the trip.
The Proton Pack(Ghostbusters)
Sure, I know youâ€™re thinking….Ghostbusters is a comedy…not a science fiction film…and for the most part, youâ€™re right…however the Ghostbuster tech is beyond anything we can do now, so that makes it science fiction. I love this device. An unlicensed nuclear accelerator on a backpack with a hose/wand that throws a beam of protons to fight and capture ectoplasmic entities…just donâ€™t cross the streams….
Nexus 6 Replicants(Blade Runner)
Artificial people constructed in 2019 by the Nexus Corporation, the Replicants cannot be differentiated from humans without use of an elaborate electronic/psychological test called â€œVoight Komt.â€ Theyâ€™re at least as smart as, and stronger than ordinary humans. They also push the envelope on what it means to be alive and have emotions with only a 4 year life span from incept date.
Giant robots built to fight Kaijus, the Jaegers are piloted by 2 people sharing one consciousness through a mechanical mind meld to control the two hemispheres of the robot. Each one is unique with different weaponry to utilize in the fight. All are impressively intimidating and awesome.
Tractor beams(Star Wars, Star Trek, Babylon-5, etc.)
A beam that secures and pulls in objects is a really cool concept usually used by one ship to prevent another from escaping.
The Monolith(2001: A Space Odyssey)
A black form with the dimensions of 1 by 4 by 9(The first 3 squares in math), the Monolith is alien in origin and beyond that, nobody knows precisely what it is, does or for what purpose. My personal theory is that itâ€™s a device from an alien intelligence that tests species to rate their intellectual and technical advancements, but thatâ€™s just a guess… itâ€™s impressively mysterious, nonetheless.
The Starship Enterprise(Star Trek TOS)
Designed by Matt Jefferies, the flagship of the Federation is a fantastic vessel with Warp Drive, Phaser/Photon torpedo weaponry, tractor beams, shuttlecraft, transporters, food synthesizers, the library computer and a large supply of expendable men in red shirts.
Phasers(Star Trek TOS)
How cool are these guns? They can stun an enemy, or kill them by disintegration. The designs are really interesting putting the handle almost directly under the firing emitter, as opposed to the other end like most guns in the real world.
Possibly inspired by the â€œStargate,â€ the Jumpgates allow ships to travel through hyperspace safely to travel immense distances rapidly.
And while weâ€™re at it….capitalizing on the notion that aliens built the great pyramids of Egypt, the Stargate is a passageway through wormholes to other destinations in the Universe. All you need to do is line up the symbols correctly and BINGO! Off you go.
The Tricorder(Star Trek TOS)
A device that scans, computes and records, the Tricorder is a must have instrument on any away mission for Starfleet.
Faster than light travel(Forbidden Planet, Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica etc.)
Hyperdrive, Warp Drive, FTL Drive…whatever itâ€™s called, itâ€™s the space engines that make it possible to reach other star systems in hours(frequently in beautiful streaks of color and light and really cool sound effects).
Transporters(Star Trek TOS, TNG, DS9, VGR, etc.)
Far better than the telepods of â€œThe Fly,â€ Transporters break down your molecules and send them through space to reassemble at your destination. The site of many last minute rescues of Captain Kirk, (after Mr. Scott jimmyâ€™s the controls and Mr. Spock switches from A circuit to B circuit), these devices save the time a trouble of a shuttlecraft voyage.
The Mobile Holo-Emitter(Star Trek Voyager)
Appropriated from the 27th Century, this device allows holographic characters to exist outside holodecks or the medical center and really allowed the Doctor(Robert Picardo) to develop more as a character.
A big green spaceship that serves as shuttle/explorer for the Jupiter Mining Corporation Ship Red Dwarf, Starbug is one tough and versatile lifeboat(particularly in series 6 and 7 when Lister(Craig Charles), Rimmer(Chris Barrie), Cat (Danny John Jules) and Kryten(Robert Llewellyn) lost Red Dwarf and had to live in it for 2 years.
A genuine difficulty to say whether this droid or Robby the Robot make the better â€œbot.â€ Both are so versatile and awesome(Might give the win to Robby for no other reason than he is at my disposal with 187 languages along with their various dialects and sub-tongues, and I canâ€™t decipher the beeps and whistles of R2….but I digress…). R2-D2 is an Astromech droid built on the world of Naboo. A master mechanic with a gizmo in every compartment, heâ€™s like the Swiss Army knives of Droids. Heâ€™s an expert computer hacker, X-Wing droid, portable hologram message system, secret plans deliverer and counterpart to golden protocol drama queen droids. He also unfailingly rescues someone important in every film heâ€™s in. YAY! R2!
Deep Space 9/Terok Nor(Star Trek Deep Space Nine)
Harbor for Starships of all makes and designs, DS9 serves as a dock serving traffic to and from Planet Bajor and the Bajoran Wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant. Several levels, including a shopping area of commerce, sickbay, holosuites, security and command center, DS9 is a floating city in space.
HAL-9000(2001: A Space Odyssey)
The master computer system of the U.S.S. Discovery Spacecraft for the mission to Jupiter, HAL is a supercomputer AI that drives all the systems of the ship and keeps the astronauts company. Voiced by Douglass Rain, he has a frighteningly human quality that makes his breakdown into homicide that much more creepy. In the end, HAL sacrifices his life to save the astronauts of the USSR Spacecraft Leonov, including Dr. Chandra, his creator. That redeems him as a hero.
Thorâ€™s Hammer, Mjolnir(Thor)
Forged in the heart of a dying star, Mjolnir is one of the most powerful tools in the Universe. As a weapon to destroy or as a tool to build, Thorâ€™s Hammer is amazing. Able to harness and shoot lightning, it returns mid-air to the hand that throws it. However, only one who is worthy of the power of Thor and the realm Asgard can lift and wield it.
The Iron Man Armor(Iron Man)
With many versions to choose from, Tony Stark(Robert Downey Jr) created the ultimate in robotic full-body prosthetics. The suit makes the wearer super strong, able to fly supersonic speeds and use repulsor/missile/projectile weapons to defeat all enemies.
Thereâ€™s many â€œJourney to the centre of the Earthâ€ films to choose from, but my guilty pleasure is â€œThe Core.â€ The Earthship in it is really clever. Virgil uses a great substance called unobtainium(not the same element as the one in Avatar) that transfers heat and pressure into energy to make the hull indestructible inside the 9,000 degree heat and millions of pounds of PSI properties of Earthcorefluid. It uses a special weapon consisting of tube ultrasonics and lasers to punch through the ground and a suped up MRI camera to see ahead through solid rock.
The smuggler ship of Captain Malcolm Reynolds(Nathan Fillion), Serenity is a wonderfully arranged transport with 2 shuttles, kitchen/dining room, bridge, engine room, living quarters, sickbay and a cargo hold.
The Sonic Screwdriver(Doctor Who)
The trusty tool of the Doctor(Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, John Hurt, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi), the Sonic is a wonderful instrument. It can control computer systems and open locked doors…well, ones with metal locks…each new version seems to have new abilities(The 11th Doctorâ€™s Sonic can scan like a tricorder, for instance…).
Aliens(Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon-5, Doctor Who, etc…..)
All those beings that donâ€™t come from planet Earth, whether they be friendly, dangerous, lethal or just flat out strange.
The Phantom Zone(Superman: The Movie)
Discovered by Jor-El(Marlon Brando), the Phantom Zone is literally a Zone of space that doesnâ€™t exist in our dimension except as a floating 2 dimensional plane that resembles a mirror. Kryptonian justice utilizes it as a prison for hopeless cases of criminals.
The Miniaturizer(Fantastic Voyage)
A ray beam that shrinks anything to any size for an hour, this device allows a team of surgeon in an experimental submarine to miniaturize to the size of a cell in order to be injected into a patient to do emergency brain surgery from the inside.
The Holodeck(Star Trek: The Next Generation)
A room that creates environments, characters and simulations out of hologram, transporter and shield technologies, the Holodeck is the ultimate in leisure time after a hard dayâ€™s work.
Death Blossom(Weapon of last resort on a Gunstar)(The Last Starfighter)
When all else fails, this weapon turns a Gunstar into a spinning spectacle shooting lasers and proton bulbs in every direction, quickly eliminating all fighters within range.
The Cloaking Device(Star Trek TOS)
Romulans came up with the tech, and then the Klingons got it when they allied with them. A gizmo that renders a starship completely invisible to ship sensors and visual scrutiny. The only drawback is it takes so much energy to operate, that you have to decloak in order to fire weapons, and that delay in the transfer leaves you vulnerable for a few seconds.
Digital motorcycles that shoot an energy ribbon trailer behind them, the Lightcycles are wicked fast, turn 90 degrees instantly and make for really exciting gameplay on the grid.
Memory implant device(Total Recall)
COOL concept. A machine that gives you the memory of your choice, this mechanism sends Douglass Quaid(Arnold Schwartzenegger) on an adventure that may or may not be real.
The Millennium Falcon
A YT-1300 transport ship from Planet Corellia, Han Soloâ€™s ship is known in the Star Wars universe as the â€œfastest hunk of junk in the Galaxy.â€ With special modifications, the hyperdrive can propel it at .5 past lightspeed. It has secret compartments, 2 repulsor cannons, concussion missiles and a holographic space chess table.
Sure the film is ridiculous B-movie action, but this weapon is pretty cool. A disk with 5 curved blades extending from it. Like Mjolnir, this weapon is controlled by the will of the thrower. However, this one also can hover in one place. Pretty neat, huh?
The Power Loader Suit(Aliens)
When the Colonial Marines need to move something heavy, or Ellen Ripley(Sigourney Weaver) needs to fight an alien queen hand to hand, this machine levels the playing field using hydrolics to maneuver really large robot claw arms and mechanical legs.
The Matrix(The Matrix)
Virtual reality so good, those in it cannot tell itâ€™s not the real world, the Matrix is the ultimate prison employed by machines to enslave the human race.
The Wave Motion Gun(Space Battleship Yamato)
When facing Gamilans, White Comet warriors or Cosmic threats of any kind, this super gun of the Space Battleship Yamato packs a supremely impressive punch when fired.
The Ring of the Green Lantern Corps(Green Lantern)
A sentient device that harnesses the emerald energy of will, the Green Lantern ring focuses the will of its user to turn thought into reality. Itâ€™s limits are only that of the imagination of the user.
The Neuralizer(Men in Black)
A simple device to protect the secret that there are extra-terrestrials living on Earth, the Men In Black use the Neuralizer to erase memories from people and then implant new ones. With dials to control the length of memory erasure, they can replace the last 5 minutes…or the last 40 years…COOL!
Terminators(The Terminator, T2: Judgement Day, etc…)
Cybernetic killing machines from the future sent back in time to destroy the leader of the human resistance to Skynet, the Terminators are lethal and bad-assed.
The Mothership(Close Encounters of the Third Kind)
Sure the Motherships in â€œIndependence Dayâ€ were larger, but the enormous craft seen at the end of â€œClose Encounters of the Third Kindâ€ was a spectacle of sound, light and color. It is really awesome.
Indigenous lifeform of the dessert planet Arakkis, the Sandworms guard the spice, Melange(The most precious substance in the Universe). Several hundred feet long, these awesome behemoths are nigh indestructible. The Sandworms are realized awesomely in either David Lynchâ€™s or made for TV Sci-Fi version of Dune.
And those are my..leseee…….1, 2, 3………15, 16,17…..28, 29….DAMN! 50 favorite thing in Science Fiction films and shows. Did I miss any of yours? Iâ€™d love to hear what things in Science Fiction you loved, my friends. Peace.