Musings of a Christian Geek about the Word, Geek Culture, Science, Music, Movies, and anything that is deemed noteworthy.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My Top 10 Science Fiction and Fantasy Characters: #10

I thought I’d change things up a little bit and satisfy my geekier side. I once heard that everybody has interests and hobbies but a geek is someone who enjoys and obsesses over those interests and hobbies exponentially more than the average person. In addition, like many a geek I have a passion for science fiction and fantasy and I was thinking the other day about whom my favorite genre characters would be. Thus, I have decided to make a list as I myself try to figure who my favorites are. Now, some of these characters you may know very well. While others are going to be obscure. Hopefully, as I explain and write about these more obscure characters, I hope to pique your interest. Now the genres of science fiction (sci-fi) and fantasy are not just relegated to books and, so, I will include characters from movies, television, literature, comic books, and video games. Well, without further ado, I present the first of my top ten favorite genre characters. I would like to warn everybody that each entry on the list might contain spoilers.

10. Data 

Before I talk about the character, I would like to share my thoughts on sci-fi television shows. I think most of them are just terrible. I find that most genre shows are just too corny or over the top without the budget to match. I am a constant reader of many different online magazines pertaining to geek culture and sci-fi television is always talked about in great length. I never understood the draw of Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (or the majority of Joss Whedon’s small screen endeavors), any Stargate series, or Babylon 5. However, I do have an affinity for Star Trek and I will say that I am a Next Generation guy all the way. There is no question in my mind that Picard is the best captain of the respective universe, but he is not the best character. That title, in my opinion, would fall squarely on Data.

Each iteration of Star Trek follows a track of having a Kirk like character and a Spock like character. Most of the other post-original series versions of the show have resigned to just having another Vulcan fill the Spock spot. Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG), however, reserved this spot for the android Data. Data is a fascinating character in that he is far superior to humans in just about every way but his only desire is to become human. Then, when he gets what he wants it initially becomes too much for him. He was able to power on through it eventually.  Plus, he was a scientist character who always spoke technobabble which was an easy way to attract my attention.

Credit should go to Brent Spiner who I believe is a much underrated actor. Out of all the characters on the show, nobody went through as many changes as Data. I remember watching the episode Masks in which Spiner plays a myriad of characters through Data and every character was very distinct. In addition, he would also portray Data’s evil android “brother,” Lore, and Data’s designer, Dr. Noonien Soong, from time to time.   

Best portrayal: Star Trek: First Contact

Greatest moment(s): At the end of First Contact after thinking Data had turned over to the side of the Borg, he purposefully miscalculates trajectories of torpedoes meant to destroy the Phoenix about to make contact with the Vulcans. As the Borg Queen looks on in horror, Data utters the line, “Resistance is Futile,” and punches the warp core destroying the Borg and their queen.