I recently finished the first draft of my short story ‘Shadow of the Rain Catcher’ – which I’m pretty happy with at this stage. It still needs a lot of work but the tough part is finished. It was really enjoyable to write, partly due to the bad guy which is a robotic drone. I had loads of fun bringing it to life, but in order to get the best baddy I could imagine I did some ‘research’ (I basically watched some films with robots in) and did a bit of online searching to get some ideas together.
The whole process rekindled my love for robot movies! And it got me thinking about the best and worst robots/AIs/robotic technology in films and books. After such extensive and backbreaking research, I thought it was my duty to post my top 5, best and worst robots that have graced our screens/books… so here they are.
5 Best Robots
Marvin from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy holds a special place in my heart, mainly because my dad used to call me Marvin when I was little. But apart from that, there’s something innately funny about a depressed robot with chronic bad luck.
Sniper from Neal Asher’s novel ‘The Skinner’. If you haven’t read Neal Asher before, I would highly recommend any of his polity books. They are stuffed full with explosions and violence, but all in context with his imaginative vision of the future. He is certainly my favourite SF writer of this generation.
That exoskeleton robot suit that Ripley climbs into in Aliens (seen again more recently in Avatar). What can I say? I wanted one then, and I want one now. I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanting one.
T-1000 form terminator Judgment Day. The scariest, baddy from the best Terminator film, the T-1000 was genius, and gets the number 2 spot.
HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. I love the story of HAL 9000 so much that I wrote a short story ‘D.A.V.E’. as a (sort of) tribute. (Click my ‘Published Stories’ tab for a read). I mean, what do you do when you rely on a computer to run every aspect of the ship, and then it goes bananas?
5 Worst Robots
I love Doctor Who, but frankly speaking the Daleks are rubbish. Not that I wasn’t sufficiently afraid of them as a child. I was. I chose them because they’re useless lumps of metal with high pitched voices. They could do with trading in their chunky model for something like Ripley’s Robot suit from Aliens. Now that would make for some worrying bad guys. Maybe they would actually destroy the Doctor with bodies like that…
Robbie the Robot from Lost in Space is annoying.
C3P0 from Star Wars has no backbone and would sell its mother for a can of WD40.
Paulie’s robot from Rocky 4 is a great idea! I just didn’t get why they made it look like a walking dustbin.
Johnny 5 from Shot Circuit is so bad it’s funny.
I must have missed a few obvious ones here, so feel free to comment with your suggestions!