So, the votes are in. Before we get to the list, a quick bit of admin. I've had to disqualify Legion from Mass Effect, which got onto the poll without me realising, due to the fact that Mass Effect is neither a film nor a TV series at the moment, so therefore cannot qualify for a list of the best Robots/ Androids on Film and TV. Also, nobody thought to add C-3PO? I mean, I left him off my original 10 because I already had a Star Wars character, but leaving him out of the running entirely? Really guys?
But with that out of the way, the results are in, each vote has been analysed and we can now present to you your top 10.
10. Astro Boy (Mighty Atom in Japan)- Astro Boy
The oldest character on this list in terms of TV/ Film debut, Astro Boy first flew onto TV screens in 1963. That original series holds two very important distinctions. It is widely considered to be the first modern anime (certainly the first to use the aesthetic style we now associate with anime) and the first Japanese media export to the west, making it of great cultural significance. The titular character is an android created in the image of his creators son, but rejected when his creator realised that he wouldn't age like a normal child and was sold to a cruel circus owner, but was freed by another scientist, Dr. Ochanomizu/ Dr. Elefun after a fire at the circus. And lets be honest, that's a pretty dark backstory. Oh and at the end of the original series, Astro Boy sacrifices himself to save Earth by trying to normalize the sun, but that was left out of the American broadcast. Either way, how many others on this list can claim that they have 100,000 Horsepower and a machine gun that comes out of their backside?
9. WALL-E- WALL-E
Possibly the cutest robot known to man or machine and created by Pixar, who very rarely put a foot wrong (especially prior to 2010) you should not be surprised that this little trash compactor made the list. Despite only being able to say his own name (which never hurt Pokémon) he still manages to put across more emotion than half the rest of the list combined and probably one of the few who can dance with a fire extinguisher.
8. Marvin The Paranoid Android- The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy
(TV version, because I refuse to accept that the film exists)
Definitely the smartest entry on this list (and that's saying something), Marvin has a brain the size of a planet and is 50,000 times more intelligent than a human (although that could be somewhat of an understatement. A vast understatement). Shame that there isn't a task he could do that would use even the tiniest fraction of that intellect. A failed prototype for a series of robots with Genuine People Personalities, Marvin's overriding personality trait is depression, which probably isn't helped by the fact that he's so bored because nothing can occupy his planet sized mind. He also doesn't like doors because they're too cheerful and managed to survive until the end of the universe in a parking lot (of which the first 10 million years were the worst. And the second ten million were the worst as well. He didn't like the third ten million years at all and then he went into somewhat of a decline), only to be sacrificed so his crew mates could teleport off of a ship they'd stolen which was flying into a sun. So yeah, probably best you don't talk to him about life.
7. The Iron Giant- The Iron Giant
A classic tale of overcoming the circumstances of ones birth (or creation), here we have a huge weaponised alien robot who develops a close friendship with a small boy from Maine, as well as a Superman fixation, faces down with the U.S army and eventually sacrifices himself to save the town from being blown up by a missile. Notably he likes the taste of train tracks and phone lines, but doesn't like toy guns or dead deer. Oh and he can self-repair, which is quite hand when you've been reduced to your component parts by the U.S Navy.
6. Bender- Futurama
Looking rather like the Iron Giants smaller dead-beat cousin, Bender is definitely the most inappropriate character you'll find on this list and probably the least stereotypically "robot". He's an alcoholic, a chain-smoker, a gambler and a womanizer. He also successfully managed to legalise robosexuality (human and robot marriage), although he is self-professedly prejudiced against non-robots and has a "Do Not Kill" list that comprises of his best-friend Fry and no-one else. Oh and lets not forget that his first job was bending metal for the construction of suicide booths and he once tried to have a robot sex change by replacing his oil. But at least he's funny with it.
5. K-9- Doctor Who
Well, technically this entry covers about 4 different K-9's, he got upgraded or destroyed throughout his tenure on the show, but we'll just roll with it. Originally created as a companion for a lonely space scientist who missed his pet dog, K-9 first met the Doctor in the year 5000 where he is given to the Time Lord as he is too big for his creator to take him on the spaceship home (which is a bit of an oversight). Eventually, K-9 Mk1 ends up on Gallifrey when the Doctors companion at the time, Leela, leaves. And immediately the Doctor builds a new K-9, which can fly and has lasers. But then that one is damaged and is left in E-Space. The next one he gives to Sarah Jane Smith and it ends up blowing its self up to stop the Krillitanes, but the Doctor gets her a new one don't worry. Eitherway, what ever iteration of mans best robotic friend you're looking for, you'd be looking at a very useful portable computer with exception diagnostic abilities and a self-defence mechanism (see aforementioned laser).
4. Data- Star Trek: The Next Generation
What is it with Star Trek and having second-in-command characters who are emotionless?
The second officer and Chief Operations Office aboard the USS Enterprise-D and -E, Data is a self-aware and fully anatomically functioning android, which makes him unique on this list. Data's difficulty in understanding various aspects of human life, especially emotions, and his desire to increase his humanity and experience emotions was both a significant plot point and a source of humour throughout the series run. He also has a few useful traits that come with being an android, such as being immune to all diseases and most human afflictions, which has proven quite useful to his crew-mates on occasion. And he can be dismantled, which is quite useful if you need him but some part of his body needs repairing. So, quite useful to have around. Just make sure your ship doesn't malfunction.
3. Optimus Prime- Transformers Franchise
The leader of the Autobots in their war against the Decepticons and the most famous Transformer there is, Optimus Prime stands out as an iconic character. His classic Red, White and Blue colour-scheme and blocky form are instantly recognisable when paired together and even more so when you add his big-rig peripherals. A character with a strong-moral code and excellent leadership skills, his goal of human/ machine coexistence and the protection of life, he is the perfect Transformer to hold the Creation Matrix. Lets just not talk about the Michael Bay films shall we and just leave it at the cartoons. Please.
2. T-800- Terminator Franchise
A cybernetic killing machine, the T-800 is the foot-soldier of Skynet's robot army. Usually seen in the form of their robotic endoskeleton, they can be disguised as Arnold Schwarzenegger for infiltration missions, which is actually a fairly terrible disguise when you think about it. I mean, Arnie is a pretty famous actor and a former Governor of California, so people know what he looks like, so it wouldn't be very inconspicuous would it? Anyway, I digress. A terrifying foe to face and a fantastic ally to have on your side, they never stop until either they are dead or their target is destroyed, usually the later. And there's one thing you can always be sure of. They'll be back.
I mean it was obvious wasn't it? Even if his partner, C-3PO, was completely forgotten about, R2 ran away with the top spot by the same margin of votes that separated 10th place from 5th. And it's not hard to see why. A truly iconic design with character and personality despite having no dialogue, he's also one of only 2 characters to have been in every Star Wars film (the other being C-3PO, who, let's remember, wasn't even suggested for the poll). I think I pretty much covered R2 when we did the Top 10 Star Wars characters list, so I won't say too much more, but all I can say is, no surprise he won.
So, over to you guys. Do you agree with the list? Anyone care to explain why C-3PO wasn't suggested? Let us know in the comments below.
And with that
Hasta La Vista, Baby.