Friday, June 21, 2013

Reader Top Ten Greatest Science Fiction Film Characters: David Read

Reader and writer David Read is the author of our nest "top ten greatest science fiction film characters list," and he's got some great choices.

David writes:

1. Bernard Quatermass - Quatermass and the Pit

I love the mixture of compassion and steel that make up Quatermass, surely the ideal scientist!.  Andrew Keir did a much better job than Brian Donlevy at marrying the two, and this helps the film immensely.

2. R.J. MacReady -The Thing

Everything changes, everything is malleable, no one is who they seem. Except MacReady.. Unchanging.  he starts the film as a sullen uncompromising loner, and ends the film the same ... Well maybe the same. . . In a film of bleak desolation, the only light is the stubborn resistance he brings.

3. Dr. Ellie Arroway - Contact

At the heart of every SciFi fan is a dream of the WOW.. We may enjoy dystopian futures, ravenous aliens and epic laser battles... But in that moment as Ellie's space journey pauses and she hangs above a galaxy, the wonder and emotion in her eyes is so powerful, we would give anything to witness that reality.. to be a teenager reading Sci Fi for the first time and going... WOW

4. Darryl Revok - Scanners.  

I know people refer to it as the exploding head movie, but it's really the Michael Ironside movie.  If the good guy had been on par with the baddie, this would have been a great film.  Ironside owns the film, and seems to give Revok depth (certainly compared to Stephen Lack!) and one really can't help liking him.  One of the best eighties bad guys, and a great calling card for Ironside

5. Ellen Ripley - Aliens

You have to have Ripley, but only in Cameron's matriarchal masterpiece. Before, more passive than protagonist ... After, just tough, but for one movie... Perfection.

6. Arthur Dent - Hitch Hikers Guide

Ok, so the film is probably the least of the versions available, but Martin Freeman did a grand job in bringing the universes finest whinger to life... The future might be full of Ellen Ripleys... But I suspect there will be more Arthur Dents, confused every-men in need if a cup of tea.

7. Morbius - Forbidden Planet.

Villain or victim? Sci fi's Prospero deserves a mention.. The film still looks great today, and I remember as a kid how much his creature from the id scared me.

8. Maximillian -The Black Hole 

If memorable is a keyword here, the Maximillian has to be in my list.    I am not sure how old I was, but he scared the hell out of me an I had nightmares about red eyes and spinning blades.  I realise he is probably the only memorable thing in this somewhat tedious film, but this vil robot is burned in my memory

9. Sam Lowry - Brazil

If there is a future where the corporations truly are the gods of the planet, someone needs a conscience, a whistleblower, man unbowed, we need Sam Lowry more than ever.

10. Stella Star - Starcrash

If there are millions of alternate universes, I hope Stella is in one of them... After all, what would a universe be like without Caroline Munro...

David has some great choices on this list.  I love to see that Stella Star made the cut, but especially Quatermass...such an influential character on film and television.  And, I also really love that Maximillian is on this list as well.  That flying robot is a devil, and everyone who saw The Black Hole (1979) as a kid has been terrorized by the sight of that machine (and his whirring, propeller hands...) Maximillian is so frightening that even his maker, Reinhardt feared him.  A great, enduring, and unforgettable character.


  1. Great to see another vote for Dr. Ellie Arroway!

  2. Quatermass and the Pit a.k.a. Five Million Years To Earth is a excellent film. Great choice Bernard Quatermass.