Top Ten Sci-Fi Spaceships

The Science-Fiction genre is replete with examples of iconic spaceships, often used as transports and even mobile homes for the characters in science fiction. As such, the ship almost becomes a character in itself, developing its own quirks and technicalities that give it its personality. But the question remains – which ship is the best? For this list we will be judging based on how useful the ship would be, and the extent of its powers. To begin:

10 – Red Dwarf – Red Dwarf

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Despite being a slow, unwieldy, ancient mining ship that is peppered with meteorite impacts, Red Dwarf always pulls though and provides a home for its disparate band of occupants. Also, it comes packaged with Holly, the transgender eighth generation ‘hologrammic’ computer with an IQ that supposedly exceeds 6,000. Depending on the day, Holly might be sane or totally senile, and the ship seems to attract trouble on a near-daily basis. Don’t look forward to speedy travel with the Dwarf, however, since it trundles along at a snail’s pace. You do, however, get Starbug, but its up to you whether or not that’s a good thing.

9 – High Charity – Halo

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The Covenant Holy City-ship of High Charity serves as the cultural, political and military headquarters of the alliance, and mobilises the Covenant assault force against Humanity.  The best thing about High Charity is its environments, which you explore during the Halo 2 levels Gravemind and High Charity. The curved purple interiors and modular architectural design demonstrate the alien nature of the Covenant, and in terms of power it boasts a slipspace drive for instant transportation and a vast array of destructive weapons, with docking structures that can contain and transport hundreds of capital ships. So whether you like strolling through botanical gardens or invading planets with huge fleets of warships, High Charity is for you.

8 – Thunderbird 3 – Thunderbirds

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The ultimate classic rocket design, Thunderbird 3 might not have weapons but it is extraordinarily fast – able to make it halfway around the world in a matter of minutes, in some cases. Overall, the red rocket tops any other rocket-type ship in sci-fi, and the best part about it is that you might even get Tracy Island thrown in, as well as the ability to travel to and dock with Thunderbird 5, an orbital space station. Designed to launch as an SSTO (single-stage-to-orbit) rocket, the ship can be re-used unlike contemporary rockets used by NASA, and it even runs on the same fuel,

7 – Ebon Hawk – Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

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The spiritual predecessor to the Millenium Falcon, the Ebon Hawk serves as the home for the traveling circus cast of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. This ship was constructed over 1,000 years before the Falcon, so it isn’t as fast but it does seem to be more heavily armoured. However, featuring dual engines, the Ebon Hawk was certainly fast for its era, and could certainly hold its own against more powerful ships like the Leviathan. After all, this was Darth Revan’s ship for a reason.

6 – Serenity Firefly

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Similar to the Ebon Hawk, Serenity is a freighter primarily, designed to haul cargo from planet to planet. Thanks to heavy modifications, however, she serves as the vessel of Mal Reynolds and his crew, a band of vagrants and smugglers who partake in various illegal activities. The ship was described by Firefly creator Joss Whedon as the ‘tenth character’ of the series, and she has character indeed – fans have likened Serenity to freighters like the Millenium Falcon. The biggest strength of Firefly-class ships is their durability and ease of repair, and Serenity is no exception.

5 – USS Enterprise-D – Star Trek: The Next Generation

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The USS Enterprise is a fantastic ship in its own right, but the USS Enterprise-D surpasses it in almost every conceivable way. For one, it is essentially just a more powerful version of the original Enterprise, and it also has much more advanced technology aboard like the Holodeck and the Saucer Separation. Not only that, but the ship is also more luxurious, with more space and better living conditions – the original Enterprise was built with practicality in mind, with dull grey bulkheads and no inch of space wasted, whereas the Enterprise-D has a warm beige interior design with the occasional appearance of wood paneling. With the addition of the crew, particularly Data, the Enterprise-D is equipped to deal with any obstacle, whilst also providing a comfortable environment.

4 – Millenium Falcon – Star Wars

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Allegedly the fastest piece of junk in the Galaxy, the Millenium Falcon is certainly a go-to starship if speed is a priority. Han Solo boasts in A New Hope that the Falcon ‘made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs’, which sounds like he made it up on the spot but will undoubtedly be extrapolated to the Nth degree in the upcoming Solo Movie, but the general jist of what he is saying stands – the Falcon is a fast ship. Able to outrun any Imperial starship, this unassuming-looking freighter has gone on to become one of the most famous ships in the Galaxy, and aided in the destruction of not one but two Death Stars. The only real downside of the Millenium Falcon is its amenities – it is essentially a grotty smuggling vessel, with very few forms of entertainment to pass the time during the long hyperspace jumps (unless you count a dodgy holographic chess set and a flying ball.) The ship would be handy in a pinch, but for long-distance travel the Falcon falls short of the best ‘conventional’ starship in Sci-Fi, which is:

3 – USS Voyager – Star Trek: Voyager

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The Intrepid-class starship won the top spot for Top 10 Federation Starship Classes, and the most famous ship of its class is at least half of the reason why. The exploits of the USS Voyager top any starship of this dimensional plane, and its already advanced and reliable design is augmented by many modifications that the crew picked up during the ship’s time in the Delta Quadrant, including some Borg technology and a massively improved warp drive. With the Voyager also comes the Delta Flyer, a greatly upgraded and improved redesign of the standard Federation Shuttlecraft for ship-to-surface transport or even ship-to-ship dogfights, an innovation that other Federation starships lack. Despite the greater focus on tactical systems and speed, the Voyager still features the entertainment systems available on the Enterprise like the Holodeck, and is sleeker, faster and comes with a holographic medic.

2 – Heart of Gold – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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The Heart of Gold is powered by the Infinite Improbability Drive, a wonderful new method of crossing interstellar distances in a mere nothingth of a second, without all that tedious mucking about in hyperspace. This incredible propulsion system temporarily launches the ship through every part of conceivable space simultaneously, and the only payoff is a temporary bout of extremely high improbability, which can cause hallucinations, out-of-body experiences, or a complete rewrite of the ships entire internal environment at a molecular level. Known effects have included the creation, and spontaneous upending, of a million-gallon vat of custard, marrying Michael Saunders, the transformation of a pair of guided nuclear missiles into a whale and a bowl of petunias, and transforming one of its crew into a penguin.

1 – The TARDIS – Doctor Who

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The TARDIS may not look like much of a spaceship, but its abilities exceed all of the other ships on this list combined. Capable of traveling anywhere in time and space, the TARDIS can quite literally take its crew anywhere in any time period, and even other dimensions under the right conditions. If that were not enough, the ship is dimensionally transcendental, meaning the interior exists in a separate dimension to the exterior, creating the illusion that it is bigger on the inside, and the interior of the TARDIS is so vast that after over 2,000 years of owning the ship the Doctor has still not managed to fully map the floor plan. The TARDIS is alive, in a sense, and can alter and reshape its interior to suit the needs of its occupants, as well as allowing for a huge amount of internal systems such as a karaoke bar, a cinema, a library and a swimming pool, all of which occasionally move, change, or in rare cases fuse (causing the swimming pool to sometimes appear in the library). The ship is shielded to the extent that Dalek missiles – of which less than 10 are needed to eradicate a planet – don’t even scratch the blue box. Undoubtedly, no other spaceship in Sci-Fi even comes close to beating the TARDIS.

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And that’s our list of the Top 10 Sci-Fi spaceships. If you enjoyed, be sure to leave a like, and you can follow us and like us on Facebook for more content like this. If you have your own list of Top 10 Sci-Fi spaceships, be sure to leave it down in the comments below!

 

Red Dwarf: Is Holly faking Senility?

————–Spoilers for certain episodes of Red Dwarf ahead————–

Red Dwarf is one of those shows that you can’t stop coming back to. Kind of like Star Trek: The Next Generation or The Simpsons, if you haven’t watched any episodes for months or even over a year, coming back to the show feels like you can take a fresh look at every episode, particularly if you’re like me and take a strongly critical approach to TV shows and movies. I have been watching Red Dwarf since I was a child, I was so young when I first started watching this show that I didn’t even get any of the jokes, I just liked the fact that it was set on a spaceship with a robot and a toaster that talks.

Regardless, coming back to Red Dwarf after a prolonged period of watching Doctor Who non-stop made me think to myself – is Holly actually senile or is he/she just putting it on? This is a question that can take the show in a whole new direction if you watch certain key episodes while considering the idea that Holly is in fact simply pretending to be senile as part of an elaborate act to help keep Lister sane. But first, I have to actually prove this.

To start with, I will discuss possibly the most telling piece of evidence that Holly isn’t actually senile – the Queeg prank. This prank which Holly plays on the crew during the episode Queeg essentially forms the plot of the entire episode, which is telling of the elaborate nature of the jape. Basically, Holly doesn’t take too kindly to the crew badmouthing his competency after a meteor hits the ship and Lister is injured mixing the damage. To get back at them, Holly pretends that another AI, Queeg, is attempting to take over Red Dwarf on the grounds that he is the ship’s backup computer. Holly, deemed by Queeg to be useless, is put on guard duty and Queeg takes over. This is the important part, and when considering this next part, remember that Queeg is Holly all along

After Holly is ‘demoted’ and Queeg starts running the ship, Rimmer is initially very impressed. He mentions how Queeg has managed to repair many of the ship’s broken equipment, such as the fire extinguishers, and how the skutters are ‘charging up and down the corridors’ performing tasks such as sweeping the floors. This takes a turn for the worst, however, when Queeg informs Rimmer that he will have to perform ‘holographic exercises’ in order to stay alive, and takes control of his body to get him to do a run. In the meantime, Lister and the Cat are forced to work to earn food, and this situation continues until Holly steps in and ‘challenges’ Queeg for Red Dwarf. What is interesting is that Holly is able to not only control his own TV body, Queeg and Rimmer all at the same time, he is also apparently capable of managing Red Dwarf  to a capacity beyond that of any senile computer.

So the question remains – why does Holly ‘pretend’ to be senile?
There are a few potential answers. The first, and most simple, is that the events of the episode Queeg are simply depicting a ‘one-off’ event that doesn’t really impact the rest of the show as a whole. The same can be said of the ending scene of Timeslides, in which Rimmer is alive but it is never explained how. Or, the aftermath of the episode DNA, which is never shown to us, we are left to assume that Kryten and Lister get their proper bodies back, but it is never explained.
The issue with this hand-wave assumption, however, is the fact that Queeg isn’t the only time that Holly shows unexplained feats of intelligence. In Parallel Universe, he builds a functioning dimension-hopping device, allegedly ‘by accident’, in Quarantine she is able to dispose of the Despair Squid with ‘Limpet Mines’ in order to save the crew, and also figures out how to prevent them from committing suicide. Holly also gets certain scenes in which he/she explains certain scientific elements of the plot to the crew. Although these were mostly given to Kryten after Series III, notable examples include Future Echoes and Polymorph. 

However, this does not explain the myriad of examples of Holly certainly showing signs of computer senility, which are common throughout the show (as this is the common assumption). Holly does on occasion perform acts of such monstrous stupidity that it could be said to genuinely put the crew at risk. Notable examples include Bodyswap, in which she allows Lister to go through with the entire risky ‘bodyswap’ operation that could have wiped out his mind rather than simply tell the crew that they are in no danger. In Marooned, Holly thinks she can see multiple black holes approaching, and so send the crew out of the ship for their own safety (which leads Rimmer and Lister to crash on a snowy planet) only to realise that there were no black holes, it was grit on the monitor. Also, so that it cannot be said that only female Holly is guilty of this, in Confidence and Paranoia Holly sits idly by while Lister romps about the ship with the potentially dangerous Confidence.

Despite this evidence seeming to prove my theory wrong, if the fact that Holly clearly shows that he is not computer senile in Queeg also applies to all the other episodes, it is possible that another explanation can be found for Holly’s apparent stupidity. The most likely theory is that Holly is merely pretending to be stupid in an elaborate gambit to keep Lister sane. Holly knows that Lister relies on him/her to survive, and so pretends to be stupid in order to allow Lister some sense of superiority. As explained in the Red Dwarf novel Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, Lister always found the concept of Holly a tad creepy – not overtly, but it is obvious by his reaction that it at least unnerves him. After awakening from stasis, in the novel Lister spends days wandering around the ship drunk, hurling ‘abuse’ at Holly’s face. Perhaps, then, when Holly revives Rimmer, he makes the decision to put on an act – perhaps his 3,000,000 years alone did impact on his IQ somewhat, explaining his/her occasionally irrational behaviour, but not to the extent that it renders him/her as incompetent as he/she claims to be.