The annals of television science fiction history is riddled with famous spaceships. Whether we are talking about the various ships that exhibited the name U.S.S. Enterprise in the Star Trek franchise or the saucer-shaped Jupiter 2 from Lost in Space, the trusty ships which have served as the modes by which our futuristic heroes have traveled the cosmos are indelible.
Instead of simply listing all of the famous ships that we could think of, in the spirit of a different approach, we’re going to take the time to celebrate the TV spaceships in which we’d like to live in, enjoying a mellow drift into the vast phalanx of the unknown. Indeed, the universe is vast and dangerous and to accommodate our slothful requirements, we’ve put together a list of 5 very aesthetically different candidates in our search for the most excellent of transports. So, on that note, let’s take a look at 5 TV spaceships, ranked by which we'd like to live in most.
5. The Satellite of Love - Mystery Science Theater 3000The irony of this pick is that the palindromically-phallic vessel of Mystery Science Theater 3000--named after a Lou Reed song--is that it isn’t so much a “spaceship” as it is a thing that was shot into space, meant to stay there permanently. Also, its two historically notable human occupants, Joel Robinson (Joel Hodgson) and later Mike Nelson (Mike Nelson) were exiled there against their will. So, why would anyone want to live there? Well, besides having its own movie theater and the presence of wisecracking robot friends, it contains what may be the most powerful device known in science fiction history: the suspension of disbelief.
Yes, just as the show’s theme song implies, you need not worry about how the ship’s sole human occupant “eats and breathes and other science facts” because the show’s sheer power to ignore reality is so immense that it’s rendered The Satellite of Love as a vessel of unlimited life support, power and provisions; that’s something none of the other of the fancier ships with their “deflector shields,” “transporters” and “warp drives” can truthfully say.
4. Battlestar Galactica – Battlestar Galactica (2003)What better way to travel through the stars than with the definitive seed of civilization itself? The eponymous carrier of the Battlestar Galactica mythos, represented here with the 2003 reimagining was, by the technological standards of the planet, Caprica, a half-century old hulking hunk of tin just waiting to be put out of its misery with a decommission. However, when the Cylons attacked, their complex computer virus-like infection would leave helpless the more advanced Battlestar models comprising the rest of the fleet… all except for the antiquated Galactica. That’s right, its Luddite technical suckage actually saved all of humanity!
Besides its enormity, Battlestar Galactica is also armed to the teeth with the latest weaponry and has multiple flight decks to accommodate the Viper and Raptor fighter ships. While its militaristic living aesthetics are probably not a selling point, it carries itself with the character of a heavy, quality-constructed classic car. Yup, it’s the best of American ingenuity… about 150,000 years before there was an America. (“Battlestar ‘Murica!”) It watches over the smaller ships of the surviving Colonial fleet like a sullen sentinel of superiority, just waiting for any Cylon ship stupid enough to come their way to experience robotic wreckage. There are definitely worse places to live.
3. Serenity - FireflyThe famous Firefly-Class Series 3 vessel of Firefly called Serenity began its life under the stewardship of Captain Malcom Reynolds after he purchased the grounded and scrapped ship in a junkyard. Named after a critical battle in the Unification War, the former military vessel would poetically come to represent Malcom’s escape from his military life and the grip of the Alliance.
While on the surface, the ship seems formidable with a certain avian-esque character, a slick salesperson might call its interior aesthetics “cozy.” Certainly, it is not the most spacious ship out there and that internal tightness isn’t exactly traded off for heavy duty firepower, either. In fact, Serenity has no weapons at all. It’s like a vessel for space hippies! However, it has never seemed to need them, since the more interesting exploits of Captain Mal and company tend to keep them grounded, anyway. Besides, it’s the spaceship equivalent of a charming informal RV, as you and just a few select friends traipse across the cosmos, looking for fun and plunder. It drives home the old adage that sometimes less is more.
2. TARDIS – Doctor WhoProbably the most iconic, “obvious” choice that will appear on this list, the TARDIS (an acronym for Time and Relative Dimension in Space) of Doctor Who, is probably the most universally vexing vehicle in science fiction history. While the uninitiated might be off-put by the “Britishness” of a weird guy flying around in space in a claustrophobic, old-fashioned blue police telephone booth, its power is quite formidable… as is its actual square footage.
The TARDIS utilizes technology that would be the ultimate solution for feng shui in real life, as its famous “bigger on the inside” feature is but one of this ship’s main selling points. The other? It’s a freaking time machine! Thus, in actuality, the TARDIS seems to have everything going for it as far as interstellar living, despite its innate quirkiness. It even handles its own internal remodeling on occasion!
However, it has one notable flaw that could prove to be an issue for R&R: its unpredictability and proclivity for taking you where IT thinks you NEED to be, rather than were you actually wanted. Yet, if you are the type who enjoys flying by the seat of your pants (theoretically through space and time for all eternity,) then the TARDIS is where it’s at.
1. U.S.S. Defiant – Star Trek: Deep Space NineIt’s unfortunate that Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the least-celebrated of the venerable A-list sci-fi franchise. The show, which launched in early 1993, was always dramatically solid. However, as far as excitement was concerned, it got off to a slow start. That would all change when the show experienced a dramatic overhaul in Season 3, shifting focus from interplanetary politics and religions to an all-out war with powerful invaders from another quadrant of the galaxy called The Dominion. As a result, this show about an old Cardassian space station occupied by The Federation, would need the plot to provide it something more mobile. Enter the U.S.S. Defiant.
A prototype Federation warship designed specifically to fight another great threat in The Borg, the promotion of Commander Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) to Captain would also come with this most awe-inspiring of gifts with this Defiant Class warship. This sucker is armed with the latest technology in weaponry with pulse phasers, quantum and photon torpedoes, and advanced deflector shields that cover already-formidable outer-plating around the hull. However, the pièce de résistance may even put those amazing things to shame: It has a cloaking device! Whereas once the Federation had ethical conflicts with the deceptive nature of cloaking devices, as utilized by both the Klingons and the Romulans, the Defiant would become the living embodiment of the biggest example of flip-flop-ism in the galaxy!
Inside, it’s standard Starfleet fare, with some acceptable aesthetics. It may not be a behemoth of a glorified space luxury liner like the U.S.S. Enterprise D of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but it is livable with all the futuristic provisions one would need. While its biggest downside is that, unlike the Enterprise D, it has no holodeck, its status as the hardest, sleekest, most kick-ass ship in the entire fleet that can even cloak itself makes it hard to pass up as an intergalactic abode.
Which Ship Would You Prefer To Live On?