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A Top Ten List

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  • A Top Ten List

    From time to time I go on Youtube and watch the various Top Ten this or that videos produced by Watch Mojo dot Com. I find them entertaining, most of them, but always interesting for the background information they include in each list. With that as an inspiration, and with full acknowledgement such list are their original idea, I decided to make a list of my own. The topic for my list certainly isn’t earth shattering or even important, but it will be fun to write, and hopefully to read as a bit of diversion. Feel free to comment and either question or debate my choices, but just for the fun of it here is my personal list of:

    Top Ten Science-Fiction Movie and Television Female Characters!

    Sub-titled: Top Ten Science-Fiction Movie and Television Babes!

    Take your pick.

    Some of my choices may be obvious while others not so much. I tend to pay attention to the supporting and background cast as much as the character leads. However my criteria for selection did not begin and end with physical appearance. Sometimes a strong female character may not be the best looking in a film or television show, but this is offset by their on-screen presence. A perfect example of this is actress Tracee Lee Cocco, a background player on Star Trek the Next Generation who never delivered a line but often did more to carry a scene than the primary cast. On occasion a supporting cast member can overshadow the lead, as viewers feel more of a connection to that character than they do the featured performer. Both Kirstie Alley’s Savik from Star Trek II and Ornella Muti’s Princess Aura from Flash Gordon fall into this category. Savik was wonderfully naïve while Aura was deliciously evil. Neither made my list, but both still good solid characters.

    As for the movie Flash Gordon, I also liked Kala, in all that black leather…

    I will, of course, attempt to justify my choices and explain why I felt them worthy of this list. Some of those selected are true kick-ass babes while others are true Science Fiction icons while others are just characters I enjoyed watching on screen. In preparing this list I also included the current rash of Super Hero movies under the umbrella of Science Fiction because, well, space Vikings and iron suits surrounded by babes is the core of classic Sci-Fi. And for those who have read my Star Trek threads, not all of my choices hail from that franchise. One or two, maybe…

    Due to site restrictions I will have to break this list up into multiple post. But to begin, ranked from 10 to 1 as is done by Watch Mojo, my tribute to the Top Ten Science Fiction Female Characters begins with:

    Number 10: Vasquez – Aliens

    Talk about a woman who knew how to use her guns.

    This movie was the absolute best of the Alien franchise, and in my opinion Vasquez was the best supporting cast member in any of them. Her line “Let’s rock!” has been quoted, at least in military circles, as often as “Say hello to my little friend!” has been in the bedroom. She was a true bad-ass, kick-ass, no nonsense war fighter with far more sense than that sniveling Lieutenant the Colonial Marines took to LB-426. And when she went out, she went in a blaze of glory.

    I realize the above is debatable. Many fans of Aliens would, legitimately I admit, point to either Hudson or Hicks as stronger supporting characters. But if I were counting on someone to have my back when fighting against slobbering acid-for-blood aliens I would want…ok…Hicks. Except that Vasquez had a bigger gun. However another reason I decided to include her on this list stems from the novelization of this movie. Written by Alan Dean Foster, in that work he describes the job of a Smart-gunner. He makes the point that every other member of the Colonial Marine team had multiple specialties and skills, multiple task to perform. Except for the two Smart-gunners. Their only task was to kill. Actress Jenette Goldstein accurately brought that maxim to the big screen, effectively portraying Vasquez as a confident and lethal killer.

    When considering the history of Science Fiction movies made since the release of the original Star Wars, most fans would include Aliens on any list of notable Sci-Fi features. It is an iconic movie, solidly holding its place over time as one of the best ever produced. Goldstein went on to appear as a supporting actress in a number of other films, to include Terminator 2 and Titanic. But, whether she is happy about this or not, she will in all probability always be best remembered for her performance as the kick-ass and take names Private Vasquez.

    My next choice may raise a few eyebrows, but hey, no guts no glory.

    Number 9: Penny Robinson – Lost in Space

    Yeah, yeah, but recall this movie was released in 1998, when both I and actress Lacey Chabert were younger. Perhaps she was too young then as well, but seriously, I liked the updated portrayal of the character. The original Lost in Space television show incarnation of Penny Robinson was that of an often spoiled little brat mixed with Lisa Simpson know-it-all sanctimonious superiority piled on top of 1960’s sickeningly cute syndrome. The movie incarnation was that of a mawkish imp, a rebel with a cause made up to turn the hearts of every teen-aged boy alive and hormonal in the 1990’s. And she succeeded. Following the release of Lost in Space Chabert found herself with a rather large fan base, and had I been a teenager at that time I might have joined.

    However while the movie did make money and was considered a moderate success, it was panned by critics at large. One critique labeled the film “the dumbest and least imaginative adaptation of a television series yet translated to the screen.” I felt this a bit harsh, as with a campy, crappy series such as the original Lost in Space was, a television show with production values below even those of the insidiously horrible Batman, I wouldn’t go into the movie version expecting to see Citizen Cane. And when has Hollywood made a good adaptation of any 1960’s television series? Ok, the Star Trek series did well, but anyone recall The Wild Wild West? The Addams Family? Those who produced Lost in Space at least made the effort to be different, to reinvent the wheel as best they could, as best they were allowed, to appeal to a modern audience brought up hooked on Star Wars.

    Really, that shouldn’t have been very hard.

    Still, the portrayal by Chabert of Penny Robinson was, in my humble opinion, both effective and believable. I recall teenage angst, and dealing with teenage girls both as a High School kid and as a teacher. They are often rebellious, smug, and seldom rational. This Penny Robinson managed to be all three. Chabert took an established character, an icon of 1960’s Science Fiction, and remade her in a highly believable and compelling fashion. This is the true measurement of film characters, that when watching them the audience feels some connection to that character as it is being portrayed, some empathy, followed by a catharsis when that character triumphs in the end. The Lost in Space movie may have been panned by critics and therefore one and done, but the character of Penny Robinson was forever changed in the process. If another Lost in Space movie is ever made, in crafting the character of Penny Robinson those writers won’t be looking back to Angela Cartwright for inspiration, they will be looking back to Lacey Chabert and the adorable Imp she put on screen.

    Thus she earns a spot on my Top Ten list.

    Oh, by the way, a more recent picture of Chabert:

    Perhaps they should do another Lost in Space film…

    Number 8: Xev Bellringer – Lexx

    Ah, as quirky as the series Lexx was, it was always worth watching for the female leads. I don’t really recall much of what Zev did in the show, but sometimes that just doesn’t matter. What was Lexx about, anyway? Who cares. I mean, come on. Blue hair, deep penetrating eyes, the name Bellringer, huge…tracks of land. What else does a living star-ship crewman need?

    Played by actress Eva Habermann this incarnation of Zev was featured during the entire first season of Lexx and in the first two episodes of season two. She was then replaced by a red-head with a square chin. Not that Xenia Seeberg was bad looking, but still. Hailing from the planet B3K (they really knew how to party), Zev was a cluster lizard transformed into love slave. Where can I buy one of those machines? But I digress…

    The plot of the series revolved around a rag-tag crew of space-faring folk on board the living star-ship Lexx, ostensibly looking for a collective home. The backdrop for this trek was interstellar war between Earth and some bugs (millions of ‘me, Mr. Rico!), but the only war the captain of the Lexx, Stanley Tweedle, cared about was getting Zev into bed with him. She was a love slave after all, but for some reason could never force herself to fulfill her programming where Tweedle was concerned.

    Can’t blame her, I guess.

    In truth I never felt the show Lexx much of a hallmark in Science Fiction television, but when it comes to Science Fiction babes, well, the producers knew what they were doing.

    I recall a thread on these forums somewhere where the series Lexx came up. If there are any fans of the show as members here, let me know what you think of my placement of Zev Bellringer. Or just what you think of Zev Bellringer. For fans of Star Trek, my next selection was a tie.

    To be continued.

  • #2
    Top Ten List Continued:

    Number 7: Hoshi Sato and T’Pol – Star Trek Enterprise

    Babe Fight!!

    I agonized a bit over which of these two femme fatales to choose for inclusion, until I had an epiphany and decided it was my list so why not both? Huh, amirite?

    As you all know Star Trek Enterprise was the fifth incarnation of the Trek franchise, and whereas over the years the show featured its share of attractive women few rose to true babe status. Not that I am misogynist, or anything. However Enterprise was produced during an age of television when many shows were attempting to push the boundaries of acceptable programming. Enterprise was no exception, attempting to work within the established criteria of Roddenberry’s vision combined with the apparent need to be more edgy than what had come before. Edgy at least in the sense of how the female characters were portrayed. No doubt Troi was a babe, her place in TNG defined primarily as eye-candy for the young male viewer. However whereas Troi was often put on display quite scantily clad she at least had some clothing on. Hoshi and T’Pol? Often not so much.

    However, as characters go both tended to be well-written and portrayed. Hoshi was the Reluctant Astronaut, extremely capable yet often ridden with self-doubt concerning any task set before her. T’Pol was the stoic Vulcan, assigned to the crew initially as combination spy/pain-in-the-ass annoyance to Captain Archer. Over time both would grow as characters and surpass the standard set by the likes of Uhura, Troi, Yar, Kes, and Dax. I left out Janeway because, you know, she was really a man. And in context of the Trek franchise no one filled out a Captain’s Chair better than T’Pol.

    Even her Mirror Universe self could heat up a room:

    As I discussed in my reviews of Enterprise the series truly found its legs in Season Four, and should have been renewed for a fifth season. That is wasn’t was, I believe, a loss to both the Trek Franchise and to Trek fans, as that season as proposed was to center around the Earth/Romulan war hinted at in TOS. Regardless, the characters of Sato and T’Pol remain icons of the Trek universe, and a model for writers to emulate when crafting future Sci-Fi endeavors. I support this conclusion with simple comparisons.

    Science Fiction as a film media is rife with female characters. Some are compelling, strong, interesting, believable, empathetic, while others are wooden and, well, boring. Take for example Princess Amidala from Star Wars. Ok, sure, Natalie Portman is a very attractive woman, but it wouldn’t bother me a bit if Marvel banished her from the Thor franchise and replaced her with an actress willing to act even in a film she doesn’t want to be in. Sorry, Marvel rant. But as Princess Amidala Portman was wooden, impassive, and rather emotionless. When Anakin dumped her and went rogue I could muster no sympathy, for in truth I didn’t blame him, Darkside or not. The same is true with Penny Priddy from Buckaroo Banzai. True, a fine looking woman but a completely forgettable character.

    The list goes on. Number One from Babylon 5. Did she ever smile? Carmen Ibanez from Starship Troopers? I was hoping the bugs would suck out her brains, and always thought they didn’t because they could tell she didn’t have any. Teyla Emmagan from Stargate Atlantis? The Borg Queen had more personality. Trinity from the Matix, Diana from V, Nova from the Planet of the Apes reboot, Jessica Six from Logan’s Run, Dana Scully…give me three Orion Slave Girls on screen any day of the week as opposed to any of these one-dimensional soulless agony aunt coccydynias.

    (That means pain in the ass, as in watching these women was a giant pain in the ass.)

    As characters both Sato and T’Pol managed to avoid the deficiencies of those listed above. In context of watching the series from season one forward Sato is immediately endearing, while T’Pol achieves the same over time. Never mind they were attractive women, most viewers became endeared with them because they solidly fit their assigned roles as crewmen on the good ship Enterprise. And that is the important difference. As a TNG fan I of course found Troi a beautiful woman reasonably well portrayed, but as a character I rarely enjoyed her moments on screen. She was a whiney little bitch with little actual purpose and often just in the way. As an Enterprise fan I identified with both Hoshi and T’Pol. They held my interest and I cared what happened to them. They captured my attention, even in that crappy dog episode, but especially when they appeared naked.

    Or packing heat.

    And thus they make my list.

    Number 6: Leeloo – The Fifth Element

    I could post a dozen pictures of this Sci-Fi babe and still feel it wasn’t enough. If ever there was such a thing as unintentional Sci-Fi Porn, watching this movie was it, an observation which kind of makes sense given The Fifth Element was a French film.

    The Fifth Element featured some Hollywood heavy-hitters in the principal cast, notably Bruce Willis and Gary Oldman. But in truth the film would hardly be worth watching if not for the performance of Milla Jovovich as the reconstructed from a hand arcane language babbling kung-fu fighting bullet dodging fifth element temptress wrapped in ace bandages sent to save the world from destruction by a great evil all while looking hotter than any three Orion Slave Girls ever to dance before Captain Pike. Or Captain Archer. Either one. Jovovich was brilliant in this role, her performance as the hard-hitting Leeloo far superior to that of Carrie-Ann Moss as Trinity in any of the Matrix movies. As with Penny Robinson from Lost in Space Leeloo’s character was defined by childish wonder and impish recalcitrance. However unlike Robinson Leeloo was reckless with a purpose, brash by design. Her sole purpose for being is to fulfill her role as the foretold fifth element, without the presence of which the Earth is doomed. As the plot unwound she would instantly transform from wide-eyed wonder child to consummate killer in pursuit of her destiny, literally in the blink of an eye.

    This was a decent film. My wife hates it but I always felt that is because when we met she was as skinny as Jovovich was during the filming of this movie but isn’t now, so…(don't anyone tell her I said this, it will be our little secret) regardless when The Fifth Element is on and I have the time I will watch just to see Leeloo perform surrounded by visuals worthy of any big-budget Sci-Fi movie. The action sequences were well choreographed and executed, and if I were going to get my butt kicked by a woman I don’t think I would feel so bad if she looked like this:

    I have always had a soft spot for red-heads.

    As Sci-Fi movie characters go Leeloo may not have achieved true icon status. This is partially because The Fifth Element was one of those films audiences either loved or hated, the critics tending to mirror this phenomena as well. But I restate without Leeloo, or at least Mila Jovovich as Leeloo, the film would most probably have been a total disaster. She made the screaming DJ tolerable.

    Multi-pass. Heh...

    Number 5: Gigolo Jane – AI

    This movie should have been about her.

    Gigolo Jane’s on screen time was limited, but in context of the movie AI she made quite an impression. Played by actress Ashley Scott the character is that of a female android, known of as a Mecha, designed as a pay-for-play sex machine. She is the counterpart to Jude Law’s Gigolo Joe. Both are far more human in action and spirit than Data ever achieved, but this can be forgiven because the Gigolo models were built to exhibit true human emotions whereas Data began life as a walking calculator.

    Jane’s only line is to ask “Hey Joe, what do you know?” Joe’s reply is the expected “Hey Jane, how’s the game?” Unfortunately we as viewers are left to imagine, but geez, what imaginations ten seconds of screen time can conjure. Take a look at that suit she sports. Seven of Nine could only hope…

    There isn’t much more to say about Gigolo Jane, other than to stress as female Science Fiction characters go, hers was memorable. Her ten seconds of screen time left me longing for more, and that is one true indicator of the effectiveness of any literary or movie character.

    I wonder, if androids are ever perfected for use by mankind, how long will it take for someone to field a prostitute model. Probably not long, given the nature of man. There would be pros and cons to this, of course, even ignoring the moral ramifications. But can you imagine a stormy wife demanding to know if her husband has indulged in relations with another woman? The answer, of course, would be well dear, she was a robot, so it does not count.

    Science Fiction. I love it.

    To be continued, sometime tomorrow.
    Last edited by Martok; 23 Dec 14, 06:50.


    • #3
      Huh ! No room for Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor )?

      Major (later Colonel) in the Bajoran militia and (briefly) a Star Fleet Commander - the only time I ever found that uniform sexy - DS 9's tough, intelligent, no nonsense, and very attractive liaison officer/second-in-command, never lost touch with her roots, or her finer feelings - a loyal friend, a staunch ally, and an implacable enemy.

      I'd rate her as 1-5.
      Attached Files
      Indyref2 - still, "Yes."


      • #4
        Originally posted by the ace View Post
        Huh ! No room for Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor )?
        I have four slots left...

        I will post the rest of the list sometime today.


        • #5
          If Susan is not on your list, I will be disappointed.

          How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic:
          Global Warming & Climate Change Myths:


          • #6
            I still like the Moonbase female operators on the 70's TV show "UFO".


            • #7
              Quorra of Tron:Legacy

              Producers conceived Quorra from an androgynous perspective, in this they failed because Olivia Wilde can never androgynous in any way!
              Last edited by McMax; 26 Dec 14, 12:21.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Capt AFB View Post
                I still like the Moonbase female operators on the 70's TV show "UFO".

                LT Gay Ellis but all of Moon Base's female personal looked as good!


                • #9
                  Thanks for the replies. I will finish this soon, Christmas, kids, etc, etc.


                  • #10
                    Just about any of the Doctor Who's companions...
                    Credo quia absurdum.

                    Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman


                    • #11
                      Apologies for the delay. To continue the list of my Top Ten Science Fiction Female Characters (Babes), we get a bit more sinister as we go along:

                      Number 4: Pris – Blade Runner

                      In my opinion this was the best role Daryl Hannah ever had.

                      In the annals of Science Fiction Blade Runner is often considered a masterpiece, a hallmark film which set a standard and tone later films would attempt to emulate but often fail to achieve. It holds a rating of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, and is on Roger Ebert’s list of Great Movies. Upon release critics were not initially kind, the Los Angeles Times dubbing it “Blade Crawler.” One critic of the day, Pat Berman of The State, did tag the film as “science fiction pornography,” a fact I include just to show I wasn’t the only person to ever use that metaphor. However the film suffered from less than a stellar beginning, largely attributed to it opening against other big name Sci-Fi films such as The Thing, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and E.T.

                      As time passed and director Ridley Scott kept tinkering with the film it grew in acceptance to the point where no Sci-Fi fan can legitimately call themselves a Sci-Fi fan without having seen this movie. The producers of the reincarnated Battlestar Galactica credited Blade Runner as inspiration for general tone of that series, and it was cited as direct inspiration for the Ghost in the Shell series of video games and anime. Embedded in this legacy is the performance of Daryl Hannah as the basic pleasure model Replicant, Pris.

                      Without delving into the plot Pris is a supporting character present to fulfill a specific task. As a pleasure model Replicant she uses her talents to seduce one J. F. Sebastian and solicit his help in gaining access to the ultimate designer of Replicants at large. Their god, as it were. Replicants are programmed with only a limited life-span, and Pris and her cohorts are desperate for more. Her primary screen time is relatively short, but quite effective as she transforms from lost waif seeking refuge to psychotic killer intent on murder. Hannah played this role to perfection, making for one of the most sinister, eerie, and compelling few minutes of movie viewing I have ever sat for. A most disturbing moment was when she rolled her eyes up into her head. One could just feel the menace, and this while she sat motionless posing as one of the least threatening objects anyone could find in a room full of toys. Her death scene was inspired. Watch for yourself.

                      Literary and film characters are designed for specific purposes. They are crafted to fulfill a role within the plot, to portray an image or be the physical embodiment of a message the writer wants the reader or viewer to receive and understand. Not all characters are meant to engender empathy, as some are decidedly meant to represent the dark side of humanity and clearly illustrate the malevolence of purpose. The Replicants had a purpose, and within the context of the plot of Blade Runner, the character of Pris was meant to be the physical incarnation of the Replicants will to survive. She wasn’t inherently evil, but in dealing with both J.F. the Toymaker and Deckard the Cop Pris was ruthless, pitiless, and cruel in her pursuit of a few more moments of life. And incredibly believable.

                      Within a film which has become known as a Science Fiction masterpiece, a true work of art, the character of Pris is the smile on the Mona Lisa. Without it you still have a notable work of art, but with it you have an opus.

                      As an incidental, some years ago the rock group White Zombie put out a song entitled “More Human Than Human.” As many of you will know, this phrase served as the moto for the Tyrell Corporation in regard to their product and was heard in the movie. I recall hearing the song and wondering if Rob Zombie was a fan of Blade Runner, but then saw a picture of Rob Zombie and decided I no longer cared.

                      Number 3: The Borg Queen – Star Trek First Contact

                      It would be easy to say something trite here, such as “if evil has a face…” But that would be clichéd and, in context of The Borg, inaccurate. The Borg are no more evil than an army of fire ants scourging their way across the corpse of a small animal, or a swarm of locust devouring a crop. They are an entity which does what it does, swarm the galaxy to assimilate humanoid cultures and incorporate them into its own. But like an army of fire ants, the Borg have a queen. As is any Queen intent in pursuing the growth and stability of the collective, the Borg Queen is not just resolute, she is ruthless.

                      In Trek canon the Borg Queen is first encountered in the feature film Star Trek First Contact, played by actress Alice Krige. Of course, as all Trek fans know, by the time the events of First Contact played out the Borg had been around for quite some time. The notion there might be a controlling entity of some form had been hinted at, but not previously encountered until her head and upper torso were lowered from the rafters of engineering and mated with a cybernetic body. One hell of an entrance, and no mistake. As Queen of the Borg she then interacts with both Data and Captain Picard before being melted like the Wicked Witch of the North after first contact with some form of super-acidic green engineering gas.

                      But, as they say, you just can’t keep a good man down, a maxim which applies even given this is the Borg Queen. She would be resurrected to menace Seven of Nine and Captain Janeway during the latter run of Star Trek Voyager, episodes which were fairly well done and enjoyable. But the character was established here, on board the Enterprise, as one of the most memorable in Sci-Fi history.

                      Speaking in context of the character, what struck me in the performance of the Borg Queen was her singular purpose, her unassailable devotion to the collective. Everything she did was to insure the survival of the brood, and to achieve that end no act was considered heinous. Indeed the morality of any act wasn’t even a concern. To assimilate either the crew of the Enterprise or the entire population of Earth was considered one in the same. Numbers were irrelevant, rectitude irrelevant, resistance was futile. The end would always justify the means. To apply adjectives to the Borg Queen’s actions and motives are therefore difficult. Inherent in this theorem is the nature of the Borg. Within the collective individual Borg are mere automatons, the only singular actions they take being those dictated by the collective. They have no emotion in any sense humanity would truly comprehend, for by definition a singular mind is incapable of comprehending the true workings of a hive mind. Manifest within the individuality of the Borg Queen is the representative emotional core. She is the conscious of the Borg, she is their soul. She manifest their passion, their rationality, their fear, anger, mercy, remorse, or remorselessness. She is simultaneously good and evil. Good in her dedication to achieving the goals of the collective, evil in her dedication to achieving the goals of the collective, with a very subtle difference between the two.

                      As an example, apply the term insidious to the actions of the Borg Queen. Within the plot of First Contact her machinations were most definitely insidious, but not so as that term applies to the attempt to assimilate Earth thereby rendering over eight billion people one with the Borg because again, that is what the Borg do. The Borg Queen was insidious in her machinations against Data, an individual. Typically the Borg ignore the individual in favor of the whole, but on this occasion Data, a sentient machine, is in possession of something the Borg Queen desires. Stored within his processors is information required to facilitate the assimilation of Earth and thus insure the survival of the collective, and she will have it. How she attempts to retrieve that information is both insidious and malevolent, and brilliantly strategized to target Data’s one true weakness as both machine and individual, his desire to be human.

                      Individuals are often easily influenced by subtle manipulation of their emotions. In one of the most well delivered lines of the entire movie the Borg Queen responds to Data questioning her motives by stating he hasn’t been properly…stimulated.

                      Within her expressions one can clearly see deceptive concern masking pitiless design. Brilliant characterization, not to mention acting.

                      Among Star Trek fans the Borg Queen has enjoys broad appeal, no pun intended. She is considered one of the preeminent villains of the franchise, easily on the same level as Khan Noonien Singh. Her running squabbles with Captain Janeway are the stuff of Voyager legend. However whatever iconic status the Borg Queen achieved over the life of the Trek franchise, the standard was set with First Contact. There are none other like her, and when considering the pantheon of Science Fiction villains few rise to her standard. Ming, perhaps, or Thanos. But neither of them possess quite her charm.

                      Poor Picard. Oh what a piece of work is man, indeed.

                      Number 2: Nebula – Guardians of the Galaxy

                      The new kid on the block made quite an impression.

                      Daughter of Thanos, sister to Gamora, Nebula is the female villain of the film, a role which is played, at least in my opinion, to sheer perfection. To wit, Guardians of the Galaxy was not only the best super hero movie of 2014, it was the best movie of the year. Given the main characters were known only to an esoteric few the film still drew vast audiences and to date has pulled in over seven-hundred and fifty million dollars world-wide. Not bad for film starring a CGI Raccoon.

                      I thought the movie brilliant, well crafted, and visually stunning. The film featured a bevy of comic book characters well written for the big screen. One, I thought, stood out.

                      In her role as miscreant Nebula successfully embodied what few film villains have achieved. As a villain, she was evil personified, but evil effectively nuanced to engender some level of empathy from the viewer. Jealousy, spite, acrimony, and sadism were all manifest aspects of her personality, character traits which are not typically sympathetic. Yet as is both inherent and required in the formula for creating a compelling character Nebula had a justifiable reason for being so rancorous.

                      As I stated in the introduction to this list, when viewing movies and television series I attempt to pay as much attention to the supporting characters, background players, and bit players as the feature leads. This wasn’t really hard to accomplish in watching Guardians of the Galaxy, as I was one of those millions who plopped down ten bucks to see a group of characters I knew little to nothing about but wanted to see in action because hey, it was a Marvel movie, and their batting average has been pretty good lately. When viewing I found Rocket, of course, biting, satiric, and humorous. Starlord was goofy yet admirable, Gamora conflicted yet driven by virtue. Including Groot and Drax the band of misfits were well played. However when considering the entire film one scene struck me as profound in the character building process and gave voice to Nebula’s dark-side diva.

                      There is a scene during which Ronan takes the Infinity Stone for himself, smashes it into his hammer, and then informs Thanos he will be along shortly to terminate his services. As Ronan turns to exit stage left Nebula interrupts him and ask:

                      “After you destroy Xandar, you are going to kill my father?”

                      Ronan demands if she would dare to oppose him. Her reply explicates her nature:

                      “You see what he has turned me into. You kill him, I will help you destroy a thousand planets.”

                      True evil is hard to portray, as true evil is founded upon unbridled hate. In the Marvel film Captain America the First Avenger the Red Skull is meant to epitomize the absolute evil of the Nazi war machine. Yet he comes across as cartoonish and exaggerated, and thus accepted rather than believed. As Nebula delivers her terms to Ronan, the viewer can see the seething rage just below the surface. When the daughter of Thanos states she would help destroy a thousand planets with complete disregard to however many beings may inhabit them, it is clear she will do it. Hatred for her father is manifest, fueled by what he has made of her. But unlike Gamora, who decided to rebel and attempt to thwart the plans of Ronan and thus Thanos, Nebula pledges to be a willing participant in those plans, even to the point of genocide. Those being led through the labyrinth of this design can empathize with her plight, understand the dark torments of her soul, if they have ever shared some inkling of circumstance. The Borg Queen was neither good nor evil, yet she was both. Nebula is willingly evil with good cause. Anyone who has ever lamented their paternal heritage can relate.

                      I thought this character inspired.

                      One other supporting point. The essence of drama is conflict. Nebula’s conflict is not defined solely by those around her, but is an extension of herself. She exudes rage, avarice, torment, depravity, damnability, and a consuming desire for revenge. She is beautiful in her malice. Her sultry voice doesn’t hurt either. But as female Science Fiction villains go, Nebula truly sets a standard:

                      “The screams of my victims fill every field.”

                      The Red Skull could only hope. Great stuff.

                      Oh, and in honor of the holidays, a warm family photo:

                      Before I reveal my final selection I will list a few Honorable Mentions for my list of Female Science Fiction Characters. Thanks for reading and stand by.
                      Last edited by Martok; 27 Dec 14, 01:14.


                      • #12
                        What follows are characters I considered for the list but ultimately passed on. They are worth a mention, however...

                        Honorable Mention Female Science Fiction Characters:

                        Judge Anderson – Dredd

                        From the much improved version of the comic series, Judge Anderson was a girl you could root for even as she was gunning down hordes of drug-pushing creeps. Or perhaps because of that. Either way her mind games were the stuff of legend. She's a pass.

                        Galaxina – From the movie by the same name.

                        Anyone who has seen this movie knows it was a low budget Sci-Fi comedy, meant to both parody and pay homage to such established franchises as Star Trek and Star Wars. I remember watching it and feeling Galaxina achieved a level only slightly above other such genre films as Six String Samurai or The Toxic Avenger. But it had its moments. The whole “Harlee-David-Son!” bit was funny, as well as the Blue Star Holy-Grail icon being eaten by a rock monster at the end of the film.

                        Hit Girl – Kick Ass I & II

                        Not really a Sci-Fi film but rather a dystopian action-comedy, Hit Girl nonetheless stole both movies as the kid turned crime-fighter psychopath with a heart of gold.

                        Chiana – Farscape

                        Another blue-skinned beauty anti-hero up against the establishment and trying to prevent the man from keeping us down.

                        Sharon Valerii – Battlestar Galactica

                        There are many copies, and they have a plan. You have to wonder about a Cylon who in one copy could fall in love with and be loyal to a human while in another copy be the most despicable and treacherous woman since the first time I said I do.

                        Ezri Dax – Star Trek Deep Space Nine

                        Just more fun than Jadzia.

                        Ro Laren – Star Trek the Next Generation

                        Easily the best character to grace the TNG franchise.

                        Kala – Flash Gordon

                        Idiot! The Emperor will shoot you for posting this picture. Dispatch War Rocket Ajax to bring back his body!

                        Only one left. Anyone care to guess?

                        I will post the last pick for the Top Ten list tomorrow...
                        Last edited by Martok; 27 Dec 14, 01:20.


                        • #13
                          What about Number Six from Battlestar Galactica?

                          To me, she is the perfect female embodiment of consummate politician, a pretty body, high-end intelligence, skilled in manipulation, and able to use her body and wits to get what she wants. She doesn't let anyone boss her around. Her character isn't one dimensional either. She's a well fleshed out character with a complicated past that's central to the storyline behind Battlestar Galactica.
                          Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                          "Aim small, miss small."


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cheetah772 View Post
                            What about Number Six from Battlestar Galactica?

                            To me, she is the perfect female embodiment of consummate politician, a pretty body, high-end intelligence, skilled in manipulation, and able to use her body and wits to get what she wants. She doesn't let anyone boss her around. Her character isn't one dimensional either. She's a well fleshed out character with a complicated past that's central to the storyline behind Battlestar Galactica.
                            Which Number Six? I like most people did not know for a long time that it was a multitude of different characters. I previously had thought the Sharon "Boomer" Valerii and Sharon "Athena" Agathon - two different Number Eights were just exceptions to the general rule.

                            Caprica Six
                            Head Six
                            Shelley Godfrey
                            Gina Inviere
                            Natalie Faust
                            Tough Six
                            White Coat Six
                            Black Suit Six
                            Gold Tunic Six
                            Executioner Six 1
                            Executioner Six 2
                            Dissenter Six
                            Diseased Six
                            Faith Six
                            Black Hair Six
                            Heavy Cylon Raider Pilots

                            I'm sure I'll remember more later.

                            Yes the Sixes was one basic model, but there were many versions with many different programs and personalities. They just almost sound the same, think and look fairly similar until you really start to study the details, listen carefully, pay attention to their clothes, hair color - tint - style, and their normal facial expressions. They actually call each other by different names.

                            When I first saw the series on TV, I had no idea to the complexity. Finally a couple of years ago I rented the DVDs and watched it again. Something bugged me and I rented them again and really really paid attention to details before I began to sort out the different Sixes and began to catch names. I just happened to rent them again during this Holiday Season and I am about to go and get Season 4.5.

                            Only two copies look at Baltar lovingly: Caprica Six and Head Six.
                            Last edited by Salinator; 27 Dec 14, 21:40.
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                            • #15
                              Impressive, most impressive. For the record I had chosen all ten of my selections prior to posting the first six. You guys will have to take my word for that, but it is so. If I do another list, and I have one in mind, I will finish writing the entire treatise before posting just to avoid the segmentation I imposed here. However, I did ask if anyone cared to guess my final selection and Cheetah got it immediately. Gratz and well done. With that as a starter, my final selection for my Top Ten list of Science Fiction Female Characters/Babes is, of course…

                              Number 1: Number Six – Battlestar Galactica

                              The Prisoner never looked so good. This Number Six was every aspect of womanhood and humanity rolled up into one sultry, voluptuous, calculating machine.

                              The revamped Battlestar Galactia was an excellent series, at times Science Fiction at its finest. Aside from good story telling it featured a few quite memorable characters, well written and well portrayed. Sharon Valerii was one, Starbuck of course another, Adama. But at the top of the pyramid was the sixth in the line of twelve known human appearing Cylon models.

                              To truly do this character justice I would have to write about twenty thousand words. I won’t, this is all meant to be a fun thread and not a thesis. But a few hundred is appropriate. As has been stated already Six was a multi-faceted, complex and highly nuanced character. Within her one form she had many forms which would appear throughout the series performing task as complex as helping to bring about the destruction of humanity to mundane as coating the interior hull of the Galactica with Cylon goo.

                              Of all her incarnations the one I found most compelling was Mind Six. Or Inner Six, or Head Six, if you prefer. Regardless in this form I felt she embodied the malevolent nature of the great Cylon plan, manipulating both circumstance and Gaius Baltar more effectively than a wife’s lawyer would a man trapped in divorce court. I found Mind Six not just compelling but scary, for a number of reasons.

                              She appeared suddenly without warning whenever she chose. No one could see her except Baltar. She drove him to the point of near insanity. She could touch him, woo him, influence and control him. Exactly how she was able to do this was never truly explained, except perhaps with her own confession to being an angel of God. When she appeared she would often give “advice” to Baltar, or simply berate him into doing her will. She used religion as a manipulative tool, attempting to convince Baltar to accept the existence of the Cylon God and to embrace his part in God’s plan. I found this interesting, for if God ever sent an angel to appear to me who looked like her, and she started babbling about God’s plan, I would suspect she had actually been sent by the devil. Especially if she smiled with surreptitious glee when speaking of the impending extinction of all humanity all according to the plan of a god she named as Love. That would be enough to make anyone’s head spin.

                              My thought is Mind Six was simply an extension of Caprica Six, the sleeze-bot inserted to Caprica in order to seduce Baltar and convince him to betray humanity. Caprica Six was also incredibly manipulative, using her abundant feminine wiles to target Baltar’s obvious weaknesses. That she was successful in this endeavor was not surprising, given Baltar’s character flaws, but would be brilliantly played upon as the series progressed. For a period of time Baltar believed Mind Six was a representation of his guilt, and like any good vamp Mind Six used this against the good doctor to nudge him in the directions she desired. Manipulation is an effective tool when attempting to achieve a goal, noble or insidious. Both Caprica Six and Mind Six were masters of manipulation, and thus figures to be feared.

                              Another aspect of the Six character I found not only intriguing but unnerving was featured in the opening episode of, I believe, one of the Galactica mini-series. A human envoy is sent to a remote space station on schedule to sit and wait to see if the Cylon representative will make an appearance. None has for forty years. However on this occasion the Cylon diplomat does enter the negotiation chamber, and it is Number Six. It was hard to tell if the human envoy was more afraid of the two Cylon Centurions present or the approach of Six. I lean to the latter, as she was just that imposing.

                              She made quite an entrance.

                              What this scene illustrates, to me at least, is the true nature of the Cylons in regard to their plan, the core of their being once they decided to eradicate humanity. Within the span of a few short minutes, the poor human diplomat is stripped of his dignity, his conviction, his devotion, his character, and finally his life. But the latter had to be achieved first, and decidedly could best be achieved by the form and presence of Number Six. All she had to do was appear to one diplomat, and humanities ultimate downfall was established, written in stone as if with flame from on high.

                              Consider this. The Cylons were certainly observing the reaction of the human diplomat to Six’s appearance. Had the human fought back, rejected her kiss, told her to frak off, then the reaction of humanity as a whole may have to have been reconsidered. Sheep go willingly to the slaughter, wolves do not. But the pitiful human wilted at the mere look of Six, her slightest touch. The guy had a picture of his wife and kid on the table, yet when she bent to kiss him that consideration evaporated like breath on a winter’s day. He was so easily turned, so easily manipulated out of whatever noble convictions he may at one time entertained, as to be instantly exposed as a sheep ripe for slaughter. Six, of course, would simply download following this debacle. Humanity wouldn’t get off so easily.

                              I thought this a brilliant use of the Six character.

                              Throughout the run of Battlestar Galactica Number Six was a character revealed to be steeped in mystery. In her various incarnations she would express guile, remorse, virtue, vulnerability, immorality, cunning, subtlety, brutality, treachery, malice, passion, and love. She was a dramatis personae of great depth, making for one of the most memorable female Science Fiction characters of all time.

                              When the Cylons made her, they broke the mold.

                              Well, after about a million copies. Can’t blame them for that.

                              So it is complete. I hope everyone who took the time to read this enjoyed it. As always feel free to comment, take care, and thanks for reading.
                              Last edited by Martok; 28 Dec 14, 01:00.


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