Saturday, January 21, 2006

Pick Your Favorite Irritating Sci-Fi Kid!

Watching Space Academy this week, I was reminded that little Loki makes trouble every single week. He stows away on missions, steals Seekers and generally, he's a pain in the you know what.

And then I realized, this character is as much a "stock" plot device in the sci-fi genre as the robotic sidekick. And since here on the blog we've been picking dream crew (like a robot sidekick) aboard our dream ship (the movie version of the Enterprise, per your choice), it occurs to me we have to take the bad with the good.

So here's the deal. You're assembling your "perfect" crew, and yet sci-fi genre conventions require that - as captain of your vessel - you select an obnoxious kid as part of the team. After all, who are we going to rescue from danger when we stop facing evil twins, living machines, alternature universes and parallel planet evolutions?

The first obnoxious kid up for consideration is none other than Anakin Skywalker. He's a little too enthusiastic for my taste (prone to shouting "yahoo"), but he's cute as a button and can pilot a racing pod like nobody's business. He gets into trouble constantly (stowing away on a Naboo fighter) and hanging out with Jar-Jar, but the upside is that Anakin's midochlorian count is through the roof, and therefore he has a way with the Force. So he's our first selection. Just, uh, let's ditch him before he turns twenty or so...he's got a dark side.

Our second nominee is Wesley Crusher, son of Dr. Bev. He's been known to block off Main Engineering with a home-made forcefield when intoxicated. And in the episode "Justice," he caused an interstellar incident when he trampled on the grass and interfered in another culture. Wesley is smart (but insecure), yet he does have a knack for saving the ship. We might want to consider him. When he gets really annoying, let's just contact the Traveller again, and Wesley will go off to the end of the universe or something, only showing up for crew weddings ("Nemesis.")

Then there's the aforementioned Loki. From Space Academy. This orphan is always getting into trouble. He's been known to unwittingly conspire with aliens ("There's No Place Like Home,") take seekers out on joy rides, and even stow away on critical missions (with chimpanzees and robots, no less). Looking at the bright side for this curly-haired moppet, Loki possesses the power to transport himself across small distances, and has x-ray vision. Those abilities could come in handy.

Adric, anybody? I'm talkin' bout the Doctor's doomed companion on the British television series, Doctor Who. He's extremely bright, but like the others, has a knack for getting himself into trouble. If we pick him, let's be sure to encounter the Cybermen quickly...

Apollo's son, Boxey, on Battlestar Galactica, is another candidate. He's basically obsessed with his robotic dog, Muffit, and that's how he gets into trouble all the time. In "Saga of a Star World," he chases Muffit out onto the barren surface of Carillon and is promptly captured by Ovions. In "Gun on Ice Planet Zero," Boxey stows away on a shuttle craft to be near his dad. And worst of all, he grows up to ride a flying motorcycle in Galactica: 1980. Boxey is less irritating than most of the other candidates here, but unluckily for him, he possesses no super powers. Maybe we could throw in the robot dog?

And then there's Will Robinson from the original Lost in Space in the 1960s. Frankly, I don't think Will's really irritating at all. In fact, he saves the Jupiter 2, Dr. Smith and the Robot constantly. He's resourceful, intelligent, and can play the guitar.

Other candidates include Jake on Deep Space Nine...but honestly, I never found him irritating. I liked the fact that he became a journalist (rather than going into Starfleet), and I thought the actor did a great job with the character. Other possibilities (let's not be sexist here): Holly on Land of the Lost, and Buffy's prone-to-trouble sister, Dawn, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

So who's it gonna be, folks? Which kid gets a berth on our "fantasy" starship and crew? Don't demure. You must pick one...


  1. Everybody chant along now ...


  2. In terms of annoying kids, it's hard to avoid Wesley Crusher, but I will by saying Boxey but only if his robo daggit goes along too. Oh, and one more nomination - Naomi Wildmon on Star Trek Voyager (the younger Borg brats weren't around long enough to be really annoying). Naomi went on to be an annoying teenager on Reba.

  3. So we've got one vote for Adric (yikes!) and one vote for Boxey (if Muffit is included). I forgot totally about Naomi Wildman on Voyager, yeah!

    I think my choice is going to be...Will Robinson.

    So no clear winners yet...

  4. John, if we can open the choices to animated shows, as well, probably the most annoying kid in SF history is Speed Racer's brother, Spridle, who not only often stowed away in the trunk of the Mach 5 with his equally-annoying and identically-dressed pet monkey, but also had the most grating voice this side of Gilbert Gottfried.

  5. Anonymous11:30 AM

    Well, if I wanted a kid for my crew that wasn't annoying I'd pick Jake Sisko or Nog. Both of them are good kids that could really contribute to the crew. But, if I had to pick one of the annoying ones it would be little Anni himself, Anakin Skywalker. Anakin can fly pods, fly ships, fix ships, and use the force. He is a lot more useful and actually has something to offer.

    Now when do we get to pick our sci-fi babe for our ship?

    -Chris Johnson

  6. Hey Chris! The Sci-Fi Babe is next! I promise!!! But good choices. You know, you're right about Anakin. Even though he's cute as a button and kinda irritating, he is one hell of a pilot...

  7. my mind drifts to a character outside of sci fi but definitely in the same tradition. the kid in the poseidon adventure, who created a disaster movie archetype as the irritatingly enthused youngster who constantly spits out factoids about the vessel that will later come in handy. a friend of mine, watching poseidon (the first and probably best of the disaster cycle, for its purity of concept and selection of gene hackman as its star as a conflicted minister), quipped in the voice of this annoying youngster "hey, my name's exposition!"

  8. Well, no consensus so far on irritating kids yet. Hmmm...

  9. You forgot the one kid, one who is amazing with computers yet is quite weird (hey, I still love her anyway)-Ed from Cowboy Bebop! And she has a cute dog too (Ein).