I know, I know: why have ten best robots when the worst list only had eight? Well, two reasons. One, I just can’t bring myself to not include any of these marvellous machines. And two, I WRITE THE LIST SO WHAT I SAY GOES! It’s good to have power! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!
Point is, we’ve covered the worst, now it’s time for the best. These robots have found a place in our hearts despite the fact that they have no hearts themselves. Insert Wizard of Oz reference here.
Also, you may be wondering why there’s no Terminator here. And there’s a good reason for that. See, Terminator is a, quote, “…cybernetic organism. Living tissue over a metal endoskeleton.” Therefore, he’s a cyborg. Therefore, he doesn’t count. Write your own top robot list if you disagree.
DISCLAIMER! This list is my own opinion, which makes it more important than yours. The Internet isn’t a democracy kids; it’stime you learned that.
10. K-9 (Doctor Who)
Yeah. People either seem to love this guy or hate him. Personally, I don’t mind him. It was the 70’s people! The writers of Doctor Who were probably stoned off their noggins. You can’t blame them for thinking that a robot dog would be a good idea. Just as well, because the character ended up being the most successful character in Doctor Who outside of the Doctor himself.
He’s been in not one, not two, but THREE spin off shows. First there was K-9 and Company (also starring the late, great Elizabeth Sladen), The Sarah Jane Chronicles, and a short lived Australian show that technically exists outside DW continuity, as the rights to the character belong to his original creators and not the BBC. Copyright law can be a bitch to everyone, I guess (Geddit? Bitch? Like a female dog? Y’know, cause… he’s a… dog… moving on.).
9. GLaDOS (Portal)
AAAAHHHHHH!!! EVIL! SHE’S EEEEEVIL!!! Yeah, it’s hard to imagine a character with a more frightening monotone than GLaDOS. The antagonist of the Portal video games, GLaDOS pits the main character of the games, Chell, against a series of increasingly difficult tests in the Aperture Science facility, before attempting to kill her outright.
What’s so scary about her is that, when you first play the game, she doesn’t seem that bad. Just a benign A.I. announcer that guides you through the bizarre tests, promising cake at the end. Of course, as you progress, GLaDOS’s dark intentions slowly come to light, as you learn a horrifying secret… THE CAKE IS A LIE! DUN DUN DUUUUUUN!!!
8. HK-47 (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic)
Remember this happy chappy? Who didn’t love HK-47? Who didn’t raise an eyebrow in surprise when the simple droid you purchase on Tatooine in Bioware’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video game turned out to be an assassin droid with a penchant for calling organic beings “Meatbags”?
He was just FUN. He was like if they gave C3PO a blaster rifle, a dark, twisted sense of humour, and a healthy dash of dignity that they elected not to give him in Attack of the Clones. Never forget, Star Wars fans. Never forget! The point is, HK-47 was cool, threatening, and incredibly funny. “Shall we find something to kill to cheer ourselves up?“.
7. Marvin the Paranoid Android (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy)
Sometimes, when I look at the state of some films that Hollywood seems content to shove down our throats, I feel like Marvin. That is to say, very depressed. Yep, if there’s one thing people remember from Douglas Adams‘ wonderful Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy radio series/book/TV series/film/text adventure game, it’s Marvin.
I’ve always wondered why Marvin is always so depressed, but the answer is actually quite disturbing. Remember how he always goes on about how he has a “brain the size of a planet”? It turns out, he’s right. Marvin’s computational power is so hyper advanced that nothing he does is intellectually simulating enough. It’s like asking Albert Einstein to play with children’s blocks all day. And the blocks have no letters or numbers on them and are all one colour, grey. He’d be depressed too, eh?
6. Astro Boy (Astro Boy)
Why doesn’t he have a shirt? Seriously Japan, you gave him boots and some kind of swimming trunks. Why not a t-shirt, huh? Created by Osamu Tezuka, who’s considered in Japan to be the father of Manga, Astro Boy (also called Astro sometimes) is one of Japan’s most enduring and legendary characters, featured in several Manga, TV series, and even a crappy CGI film starring Nicholas Cage. Yaaaaaaay.
There’s even a new series coming out that currently has the title of Astro Boy Reboot. There’s a pretty cool trailer for it and… holy crap! He’s wearing a shirt! Alright! Maybe the world is finally listening to me! Maybe people will start taking my ideas seriously. Stop laughing! It’s gonna happen one day. You’ll see! You’ll all see!
5. Bender Bending Rodriguez (Futurama)
Do I really need to introduce this guy? It’s Bender, y’all! The hard-drinking, swearing, chain-smoking robot that loves to party! WOOOOOO!!! He’s been somewhat of a breakout character for the show, which is saying something considering how many great characters Futurama has. Chances are, even if you’ve never watched the show (and if that’s the case, shame on you!) you’ll recognise him.
What is it about Bender that we love so much? Is it because underneath his gruff, “bite my shiny, metal ass” exterior, there’s a circuit board of emotion? He clearly loves his best friend Fry, and has even formed a romantic attachment outside of his usual parade of robo-hookers. I don’t know. But what I do know is this… MATT GROENING BETTER FIND SOMEBODY TO AIR FUTURAMA BECAUSE I CAN’T HANDLE IT NOT BEING IN MY LIFE!!!
4. R2D2/C3PO (Star Wars)
I don’t care if this is cheating. I’ve said it before, my list, my rules. If I want two robots on the same space, I can do that. Besides, C3PO and R2D2 are kind of a package deal, aren’t they? I can’t imagine them apart. *Remembers that comic that showed C3PO’s death* Must… not… cry… *Burst into tears* HE LOVED R2! OH GOD!
Ahem. Sorry. Anyway, their inclusion in the prequel films was one of the few things I liked about them. Some people found it a bit convenient and, yeah, I get that. But it sort of makes them like this Greek chorus, always observing the events of the Star Wars saga. It’s kind of beautiful. That is, until they gave R2 rocket jets and turned C3PO into a Battle Droid. Damn you, George Lucas.
3. Optimus Prime (Transformers)
I know in the last article (which I’ll assume you’ve read because I’m an arrogant son of a gun) I said no Transformers, but that’s just because I have no respect for any of the Transformers. I really just don’t give a damn. Don’t give me that look. I couldn’t care less about any of them. Except one. The big dog. Optimus motherlovin’ Prime. Awwwww yeaaaaaaah.
Seriously, this guy is universally beloved. I’m pretty sure that if he were real, everyone would want him to run their country. Hell, former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown once said that he could solve most of the world’s problems. I’m not even joking. And y’know, I believe him! Optimus is like the robot version of Captain America. You just can’t help but like him! Unless Michael Bay is involved, then you just feel disappointment and betrayal.
2. Wall-E (Wall-E)
*Bursts into tears* Ah, ha, ha… WALL-E!!! Gosh darn it Pixar! Why do you insist on making me feel all these emotions! WHY? I’m English! Expressing emotions is illegal here. It’s punishable by exile to Wales! WALES!!! Do you want me to go to Wales, Pixar? DO YOU? There’s nothing there but hills, sheep, and angelic sounding, all-male, choirs. And yet you insist on making me cry over toys, old men, emotions in people’s heads, and a robot that collects knick nacks!
Seriously though, how beautiful was Wall-E? I think people forget how difficult the film must have been to make. I mean, they made a compelling love story between two robots. Take THAT Richard Curtis. You’ve never done that, have you? But we cared about Wall-E just as much as any human character. Still, at least I’m certain that there’s no other robot out there that can make me cry.
1. Iron Giant (The Iron Giant)
OH GOD! *Deluge of tears* He- he- he loved that little boy! Ah, ha, ha, ha… WHHHHHYYYY? Why’d he have to diiiiieee? Boo-hoo-hooooooo!!! And- and- and, he wanted to be like Supermaaaaaaaaan *Sobbing uncontrollably*. I have all these feels and I can’t stop theeeeeem!!! *Continues crying like a little boy* He didn’t want to be a weapon! He just wanted to play with Hogarth and eat metal! Why couldn’t you let him do that, Christopher McDonald? You monster!
And then- and then- the missile came down- *Bawls like a schoolgirl* and he flew up… and he explooooodeeeeheheheeeeed! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! GIIIIIIIIAAAAAAANNNNTTTTT!!!! Why Vin Diesel? Why do you keep voice-acting monosyllabic aliens that sacrifice themselves for the greater good?!?!? Ah, huh, huh, huuuuuuh… IT’S TOO SAAAAAAD!!! *A river of tears emanates from his eyes* I WANT MY MUMMY!!!
Sorry about that. Ahem. Anyway, what do YOU think of this list? Was it a mega monopoly of mechanised marvels or a round up of rueful robots? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter! Meantime, I’ve got to find a way out of Wales. Yeah, the police found me crying and booted me to Cardiff. It sucks here. Torchwood lied to me.