Top Ten: TV Robots

Bidi-Bidi-Bidi — we have our ten best TV robots.

As a young boy, there was very little that I thought was better than an awesome robot. And now I’m a grown man with a job and a car and serious commitments? Well…I still think there’s little better than an awesome robot.

After some extensive research, I can confidently say that there are some pretty damn awesome robots on TV. Narrowing it down to ten was difficult — it involved many strenuous hours of watching TV. But I put in all this hard work so you don’t have to. Your welcome.

10: Alpha 5 — Power Rangers
Bet you didn’t see this one coming! Back in the 90’s Alpha 5 would spend his day’s in a blind robotic panic shouting “Aye-yi-yi-yi-yi” while a bunch of teenagers in crash helmets and lycra beat people up.

Alpha lives with his big headed boss (and possibly lover) Zordon in a command centre where he makes works as a technician and arms dealer for the power rangers. There’s a childlike innocence about Alpha and while he may not be the coolest TV robot ever he gets extra points for making C3P0 look butch.

9: Sheriff Andy — A Town Called Eureka
Possibly the most human-like robot on our list Andy is here because he’s just lovely.

I couldn’t decide which of the Eureka robots to put on this list. The one that flies around GD putting out cigarettes by squirting water on them almost won out, but in the end it had to be Andy. He’s just such a nice guy. Robot. Machine. Thing.

Loyal, hardworking, incredibly intelligent (he is a computer) and with a charming smile that makes my girlfriend’s knees go weak, he’s the kind of nice guy you’d want your sister to marry so you could have a sneaky pint with him whilst she goes shopping. But what makes Andy cool in my book though is the fact he is obviously a fan of the fuller figured woman, with his romantic interest being…a house. I kid you not.

8: Twiki — Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
Think robot and you’ll no doubt think of Peter Crouch, think robot sounds and you’ll no doubt think ‘Bidi-Bidi-Bidi’ and that’s all thanks to Twiki.

Twiki is cool on several levels firstly being voiced by Mel Blanc who is, of course, the voice behind so many classic cartoon characters. Second is the fact that Buck Rogers is heavily influenced by Star Wars and there are definitely some R2/3P0 parallels to be made between Twiki and his chest-hugging companion Dr. Theopolis.

The main reason Twiki makes the list though is because this pint-sized robot is a feisty little bugger. Classic quotes include “Eat lead, sucker!” and “You ever had TWO broken arms, buster?”

7: The Robot – Lost In Space
Warning! Known formally as a (deep breath) ‘Class M-3 Model B9, General Utility Non-Theorising Environmental Control Robot’ we’ll call it ‘The Robot’ for short.

It has classic 1950’s B movie looks, a good old fashioned monotone voice to warn Will Robinson of danger and a plethora of good old-fashioned robo-skills which included scanners for sensing danger, robotic strength and an array of fantastic weaponry. Quite handily it could also produce exact duplicates of small objects, meaning you’d hardly ever have to pop out to the shop again. If that’s not enough for you it even plays the guitar!

If only he’d been able to send email he could have saved the Robinisons so much trouble, and the world from the 1998 movie remake.

6: K9 — Doctor Who
Man’s best friend is a dog. Geek’s best friend is a robot. K9 is the perfect companion!

K-9 may not be cute and fluffy and he may prefer a nice game of chess to fetching a stick but he does have computer intelligence, the ability to speak, a laser in his nose and he’s very unlikely to be afraid of the vacuum cleaner (although he may try to hump it).

5: Optimus Prime — Transformers
As a child of the 80’s robots didn’t get much cooler than robots that could disguise themselves as everyday vehicles (if after that sentence Go-Bots popped into your mind please hang your head in shame and leave the room).

I’m of course talking about transformers and as we all know when it comes to Transformers Optimus Prime is the mac daddy.

You might be fooled into thinking that Prime isn’t the best Transformer because he turns into a truck rather than a fighter jet, sports car or a massive 80’s boom box but you’d be wrong.

Prime is cool because he’s the ultimate good guy. He’s a pacifist at heart and is just striving for peace, kinda like a giant robotic Ghandi only not as shiny and with a sword and Ion blaster…

4: Lieutenant Commander Data — Star Trek: The Next Generation
What list of robots would be complete without your one of a kind sentient 24th century android with a desire to become more human.

Data started his TV life with a straight-laced childlike naivety, by the time The Next Generation came to an end he had emotions, made bad jokes, experienced love and even sacrificed himself to save the crew.

Data is what most robots can only dream of becoming, well if robots could could dream. He’s played poker with Stephen Hawking, writes poetry, plays the violin and oboe, has a cat called spot and even has a fully functioning wang.

3: Cameron – Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Her Robo-skills include infiltrating the human race, killing and being irresistible.

Do I really need to say anything more about this robot? You want one don’t you!

Every geek wishes they had their very own robot and if you got to choose the design then there’s a very good chance said robot will look like Cameron. Obviously that’s just because she’d be slightly more discreet and easier to store than something that looked like Arnie you understand. Ahem.

2: Bender Bending Rodriguez – Futurama
Bender is perhaps the most versatile robot on our list as his talents don’t stop at bending, oh no. He can be a water boiler, vacuum, projector, card shuffler, fridge, popcorn maker, flame thrower and yes even a toilet.

Bender is the robot that would have Asimov turning in his grave. He’s thief, a liar and an insensitive, selfish, chain-smoking, gambling alcoholic. In fact he’s just about everything a robot shouldn’t be but he does it all with a ‘loveable rogue’ quality that prevents him from being a complete robo-shit. This is why Bender is one of the coolest robots not only on TV but of all time.

1: Kryten – Red Dwarf
Number one TV robot of all time, as voted for by me without so much as consulting you because you’re bound to be wrong, is…… Kryten.

Imagine C3P0 had grown a pair, but then that pair had shrunk slightly and Kryten is what you’re left with. He’s everything you could want from a robot – He’ll do your washing, hoover your house with his groin and cook dinner too.

There’s no denying Kryten looks like an action figure that’s been chewed by a bulldog and then left on the rug after a six hour trip through it’s digestive system but that’s what every geek wants! What’s the point in having a robot that looks human? We want angles and a built in TV screen.

Kryten is defective, he’s bad tempered, neurotic and needy, but instead of giving him the Pinocchio complex some of our other robots suffer with this only serves to give him personality.
Basically he’ll be your favourite gadget, your best friend and he’ll iron your underpants.

Garry Pinches

Updated: Aug 19, 2011

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