Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hot Women in Science Fiction

I actually had a hard time with this because I had been unaware of the complete lack of striking females in science fiction. I don't mean to say that there are few good women (because I think there are a lot of strong female characters in sci fi), but none that really POP out at me like the males I listed in the previous post. I wonder why that it because I identify/relate more to men or that women just do not have as strong a presence in Sci Fi? What do you think, readers - and what sci fi females especially pop out at you?

Anyway, now that we're past the thinky part - onwards!

Uhura from Star Trek

This woman was awesome, especially when Sulu was infected with some kind illness and, flourishing his sword, and he cried out, "I"ll protect you, fair maiden!" and Uhura simply retorted, "Sorry, neither!"

When I think of the classic Uhura, that is what I always remember (since I watched the Old Series long ago and simply haven't had the chance to re-watch all three seasons). I also really enjoyed the time that Spock and Uhura played a duet together in the recreational room. So sweet.

I also want to include Nyota Uhura from the new Star Trek because I like them both in different ways and, in some ways, Nyota reminded me of what I loved about Uhura.

Because she also has a brain for languages! And that's just awesome. I also like how she didn't tell Kirk her name for three years (and how she told him her drink was on her) - very reminiscent of Classic Uhura. Love it. When I found out that Spock would be her love interest, I thought they were fracking crazy, but I really liked the way they handled it. There's no mooning going on, Uhura is so self confident and self-assured in both the series and the movie - it's delightful to watch.

Laura Roslin from Battlestar Galactica

I'll say it - I love Laura Roslin, president of the remaining colonies because she was filled with quiet strength. I disagreed a lot with her policies and her beliefs, but I respected her as a character and as a person. I loved her relationship with Admiral Adama, how it went from tolerating each other to mutual respect to tender love. I think one of the reasons I really identify and respect and admire her is because she wasn't overbearing. She never set out to prove anything to anyone - she was a fine leader, who wanted to bring her people to safetly, to find a world for them to live on, and to protect them, no matter the cost. The writers weren't afraid to color her grey, providing her with wonderful complexities, and I really respect that.

Toshiko from Torchwood

I've always loved Toshiko. Smart, absolutely brilliant. Yet she was always mooning over another character, who was a complete ass by the way. Davies has always been so brilliant - I don't really understand why he dropped the ball on Toshiko. I always wish she had been given more screen time, more story, more character -- but no, all that went to Gwen, who I really dislike and somehow she's managed to survive for three seasons grr. I guess Tosh is kind of like Harry Kim. Still, even with all the blundering, her character still manages to shine with potential. And that's why I tend to gravitate towards her because she really is fantastic, even if the writer's didn't see it. You caught a glimmer of that towards the end: she was so brave, so strong. I think it's always a good sign when one yearns to see more of a character, more of the secrets that exist in the shadows and are only implied on the screen.

Martha Jones and Donna Noble from Doctor Who

Martha Jones (above) was the Doctor's companion. I was so happy when she replaced the annoying Rose Tyler. Martha has a lot more character than Rose ever did. She's a doctor, incredibly brave and smart.. And she saved the world - the entire world - by telling stories. Excuse me, I need to melt in a puddle of love. She was like a dystopian bard - and that was brilliant, oh so brilliant. I love you, Martha Jones. But what I respect most about her, when she fell in love with the Doctor and he didn't reciprocate her affections, she didn't moon about it. She moved on - got on with her life. I just love that about her - how she didn't need the Doctor to feel alive, how she was happy in her own self. I just -- I admire that so much. Unfortunately, that also meant leaving the show as the Doctor's regular companion, making way for

Donna Noble! Oh, there are so many ways in which I love Donna: she's middle aged, the oldest companion in the renewed series (I still haven't seen any classic Who); she's the most important woman in the world (actually, I'd argue person because without her, citizens of earth would all have been exterminated by daleks or worse); she's cheeky; and she doesn't fall in love with the Doctor as Rose (who sucks) and Martha (who rocks) have done. It was so refreshing to see a platonic relationship -- yet a relationship of deep, abiding affection and love. I think, possibly, Donna is also the most tragic character in the Who verse -- but, no, I must not say too much. (But for those of you who wish to see more Donna here is a wonderful music video featuring Donna, complete with spoilers, of course.)

You know, I think the reason I love Martha and Donna so much is that they save the world -- the Doctor couldn't have done it on his own. We're finally moving away from the idea that a woman caused catastrophe to people causing catastrophe (usually men in the case of Doctor Who) to women from all walks of life saving the world with their strength - with their confidence in themselves, being completely true to themselves -- it's so, so brilliant.

Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager

I love Seven of Nine. I love the idea of individualism and identity that her character worked out over the course of the seasons. I love the idea of her. I love how Star Trek, even though they could be clumsy, usually handled her with finesse and poignancy that I still cannot forget.

For example, in one episode, an evolution of technologies grew a "borg" over night, one that was not connected to a collective. Seven of Nine was assigned the task of helping him, looking out for him, etc. At first, the "borg" plugged himself into Seven's technology, systematically downloading her knowledge, and she stopped him, stating that he was hurting her. And then, at the end of the episode, this:

I just love how they came full circle, how simple and innocent she is, how much this single scene still breaks my heart.

Cameron from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

In a lot of ways, Cameron is similar to Seven of Nine, except she was never once human. She is, simply, a robot. The show in part, similar to BSG/Caprica, explored if Cameron was just metal and parts, or if she was an Individual, a Person. There was this one scene I particularly loved - one of the characters had insisted they trash Cameron because she was a deadly robot, and, at the end of the episode, the same character watches Cameron dance with fluidity and grace, soul and humanity. It moved me to tears.

Here is a fan video about Cameron entitled "Does Cameron Dream of Electric Sheep" that I thought was totally fantastic. And heartbreaking -- and it also has the ballet scene that I mentioned above.

Also, in the video, you can catch glimpses of the chemistry John and Cameron had in the entire first season, watching them interact on screen gave me chills. But that element was severely diminished in the second season (due to some stupid love interest, of course).

Zoe from Firefly

Everytime I watch Firefly, I fall a little more in love with Zoe. Again, she's so strong and utterly human. One of my favorite quotes from her (that aren't snarky) is when an Alliance officer questions her:

Alliance Commander: You fought with Captain Reynolds in the war?
Zoë: Fought with a lot of people in the war.
Alliance Commander: And your husband?
Zoë: Fought with him sometimes too.

I really liked the way Whedon portrayed her relationship with her husband, Wash, and the relationship with the Captain. The different lenses in which he portrayed love and respect and affection are so chromatic, so different, and I think Zoe is one of the characters in which that is the most clearly seen.

I love her so much.

Trudy Chacon from Avatar

Even though the dialogue in this movie is about as generic as the plot (except for the creation of the Na'vi language), Trudy still stood up and said No when almost everybody else was saying Yes to slaughtering innocents just because it was orders.

That takes so much courage, worthy of admiration.

I've been thinking a lot about those kinds of situations lately. Sometimes, I wonder if I have the moral fiber to say no, when people should say no. I don't want to be that person. I don't want to be Amy Pond, overcome by so much fear that she became culpable for the sins of thousands before her. I don't want to be the entire classroom in The Chocolate War as Brother Leon bore down with staggering force against a small boy named Bailey. I want to be Jerry, before he agreed to stoop to their level. I want to be the Goober, who stopped playing football. I want to be Trudy, who defiantly took her finger off the trigger.

I don't know why all the good people always have to die.

Amelia - Amy - Pond from Doctor Who.

Newest companion to the Doctor. I liked her first off because she was so brave - even as a kid she wasn't put off by this mad raggedy doctor man. As an adult, she whacked him over the head with a cricket bat and then slammed his tie in a door! And I liked her because she thinks like the Doctor, which was demonstrated in episodes one and two (as evidenced the weird filming techniques). Brave and intelligent!

All that, of course, are only components of her most amazing quality: her self-assuredness. She's not afraid of her sexuality, which I really respect. I find it utterly refreshing that, though Amy is sexual (more so than the other companions I think, as evidenced by her snogging the Doctor and wanting to snog him later), it doesn't define her. She is so much more than the female companion/eye candy - she saves the day, she understands humanity in a way the Doctor can't because he's not human. She's bold and daring, insatiably curious (which isn't shown as a "bad" quality or fault -- ie, curiosity killed the cat, the Eve syndrome, etc).

From a slightly more English-Student point of view:

1. She's not a damsel in distress. As a woman, she's not there to be protected.

2. She's not the prop the big wigs use to say: Look at this cool woman who is so bad ass and not at all stereotypical. Let's make sure everybody gets it by having other characters (or even the female character herself) marvel how a woman could be so awesome (Butcher, I'm glaring at you). (I think the only show I've seen that actually pulled this off with any amount of success was Stargate SG-1, when Samantha said something along the lines of just because my genitals are on the inside than the outside doesn't make me less than any one of you or words to that affect.)

3. She's complicated. She's not just there to support the Doctor (though she does support him as he does her) - but she's on her own journey as well. She's grown as a character from the first episode to the last episode: in a nutshell, before she was running, and now she's not.

Like with Donna and Martha, the Doctor and Amy and even Rory are equally individuals and their relationship together fosters that instead of inhibits it. It's not like she has a gender role -- she's simply, beautifully herself.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hot Men in Science Fiction

This is by no means a comprehensive list - I happen to watch a lot of TV and I happen to like a lot of Sci Fi, so some characters didn't make it on the list because I focused mainly on those that intrigued me the most (some may notice that no one on Firefly made it - that's because they're all just so damn awesome). When I spent way too many hours on this list I gravitated towards characters with a lot of potential or a lot of unfulfilled potential to be truly and amazingly awesome. And now, in no particular order (because I like them all in different ways it would be impossible to construct a hierarchy), I present a few of my many heroes:

Cooper Hawkes from Space: Above and Beyond

Hawkes is so, so Sci Fi. He's an In-Vitro, home grown instead of the usual way. In-Vitros were second class citizens, and I remember one particular story line where he was being brainwashed in their institution, and he wondered who watched the birds -- and the question was so beautiful and poignant it broke my heart. But he was brave and he bucked the system, gave the man what for. (Just for the record, there were a lot of good characters in that show and I didn't dislike any of them. Hawkes just happens to be my bestest, and everybody should go watch the show right now.)

Admiral Adama from Battlestar Galactica

Coolest admiral ever. I just fell in love with this character as BSG progressed. Even when the Story Line turned weird and half baked, he was still awesome. I think I like him so much because he was so very human.

Sam Adama from Caprica

Gangster. Lover. Father figure. Season's not even half over and he's already more complicated than some people on the list. *HUGS* (I should also add that his brother, Joseph, is pretty cool too, but I gravitate more towards Sam.)

Ianto and Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood

<3 href="" rel="nofollow">BBC goes where American Television is too scared to go.

McKay and Zelenka from Stargate: Atlantis

Genius, funny, socially inept? Can totally relate to that (well, not the genius or the funny parts).

This is Zalenka. He is my personal hero because he's always in McKay's shadow. However, Stargate missed a wonderful opportunity. See, they mistakenly gave McKay numerous love interests such as Carter, some random biology chick, and Keller, but what the writers and head honchos didn't realize is that Zalenka and McKay are

In Love With Each Other.

So much chemistry on screen - these pics don't even do them justice. All that potential, wasted. Stargate, this is why I love you so much - but why don't you ever follow through!

Demetri Noh and Al Gough from Flashforward

Oh, Flashfoward. I'm so in love with you - do you even know? ABC, please please please don't cancel Flashforward. Because I'm in love with Demetri Noh (above), who didn't receive a flashforward and even though he puts on the tough FBI agent act, he's still so very scared.

I can't babble on about Al Gough (above) like I want to because if I did there'd be spoilers, but he was the master of his fate and the captain of his soul. I salute you, Mr. Gough.

Harry Kim from Star Trek: Voyager

Oh, Harry - so neglected by the script writers. Any idiot should have known that you had so much more character than They allowed you to have. Even a nincompoop knows that you had more character than stupid Tom Paris who still managed to get more screen time and story than you. And I don't care what the scriptwriters said, you and Seven of Nine had more chemistry than any pairing on that show. So there.

Daniel Jackson from Stargate Sg-1

He has glasses - always a bonus point, but he's also an archeologist and his brain is a magnet for languages (seriously, the languages the character speaks is somewhere in the double digits, I forget how many precisely). He's a man of language - how can that NOT be attractive? Unfortunately, language is an aspect that Stargate ignored - because I guess it would have taken to much work money to think up new languages and stick in some subtitles. Ah well, at least imagination can fill in the blanks.

Eli and Ronald Greer from Stargate: Universe

(God, I'm such a Stargate fan for no reason - don't hurt me!)

This is another character with so much potential. He's chubby and a total geek that just makes my heart wibble with all the nerd references. Unfortunately - Stargate is about to drop the ball on this character (or I think they are - someone had the brilliant idea to not run any episodes for four months...*grumble grumble*) and they have him falling for some Annoying Dumb Chick. Puhlease. It'll be really interesting to see where they go with his character - there's so much potential, they just have to follow through. You can do it, Stargate!

This is Ronald Greer. He also has a lot of potential to be an amazingly complex and 3d anti-hero - but I also fear there's potential for stereotyping too. So, my fingers are crossed because I really really like him and I want him to be a real boy - not some stupid, typical Pinocchio. And, as I've said, since Stargate Universe has been on hiatus for several months, I don't remember exactly what I like about him - but, out of all the military characters, he's the one I keep thinking about the most. Stargate, don't screw him up! [as of the ending of the first season, he still shows much promise]

Spock from Star Trek

You know that scene where Kirk is trying to get Spock to show that he's emotionally compromised and Spock just -- *shivers* Chemistry, man. Pure, sheer, hair raising chemistry (and I don't mean this is in a sexual way [though it's definitely there, I think], just something deeper than that which gives me chills every time I watch it). And for the record, Leonard Nimoy as Spock is amazing but I could easily spend another three hours looking at pictures of Spock, so. Spock is just - that perfect portrayal of human beast (and I mean this in a good and bad way) within us all. Like, Hawkes, Spock is just so sci fi.

Honorable Mentions:

Jin from Lost. I love Jin, I really do. At first I hated him and then I loved him and then the show went from half baked to dough and I just don't have the desire to wade through all the other muck to figure out whatever happens to him (which is why it's only honorable because I only know half his story). Still, I love him to pieces.

The second is Ryan Nichols from the new V show on ABC. He's only honorable because it's hard to judge a character from only four episodes, but from what I've seen so far, he has a lot of potential to be pretty awesome. Right now, he's like Willy from the old show (one of my fave characters) -- but cooler. It kind of depends on how ABC follows through. [as of the ending of season 1, he is still only honorable because there has been a new and intriguing plot development; how this is resolved in later seasons will determine his status as honorable or hot]