This weekend the new Pixar movie, Wall-E is set to hit theaters. The story centers on a Robot and as most of you are probably aware, robots are hardly uncommon in TV and movies. It makes sense as robots are very useful. They’re usually programmed to do things like clean, fight and lift heavy objects. The downside is they sometimes become self aware and turn against their masters. While I don’t think that will be an issue with Wall-E, it can be for some robots. Dwight Schrute of The Office was aware of this problem and brought it up when he was discussing building a robot for Michael:
Dwight: And how big do you want this robot?
Dwight: Mmm no. Better make it two-thirds. Easier to stop if it turns on us.
The potential for being evil and putting us all in mortal peril aside, TV robots often provide a fair amount of entertainment. Here are some of my favorite small-screen robots:
5. Vicki - Small Wonder
Vicki was a robot made to look and act like a 10-year-old girl. She definitely had the look down, and she was very helpful around the house. Her speed and strength were assets, not to mention her clever sound-effects. The problem with Vicki was that she didn’t act like a little girl. Instead of speaking casually, she blurted out loud phrases TALKING. LIKE A. ROBOT. And when she wasn’t talking she usually just stood there, hands at her side, staring ahead with no expression on her face. It’s a wonder that the Lawson’s were able to keep her robotness a secret. A small wonder. Heh.
Potential to turn evil: Low but Vicki could’ve torn up that house if ever she decided to defy her masters.
4. KITT - Knight Rider
My husband says KITT doesn’t qualify as a robot and some of you might agree. I personally am looking past the fact that he didn’t reside in a human-looking body like so many other TV robots. So what if KITT had a car for a body? He could go really fast and had a snarky personality, which kept things interesting. Plus he was reliable and that’s really important when it comes to a vehicle, especially in Michael’s line of work.
Potential to turn evil: Medium. KITT’s a loyal car though Michael would have to worry about villains tampering with KITT’s programming.
3. Cameron - Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
I heart Summer Glau so that definitely adds to the appeal of Cameron’s character. Cameron serves as the role of John and Sarah’s protector in T:SCC. One of the things that makes Cameron such a great part of this small-screen version of the Terminator story is that while she’s often fairly robotic in the way she behaves, there have been times when we’ve seen her break out of that and mimic human behavior. She also serves as an extremely useful ally to John and Sarah. Plus, she dances. Dancing robots. That’s crazy.
Potential to turn evil: High. “Sometimes they go bad. No one knows why.”
2. Buffybot - Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Spike had Warren make the Buffybot to fulfill all of his dirtiest slayer fantasies. Fortunately, he outgrew that phase and Buffybot came in handy in helping stop the apocalypse as well as taking over Buffy’s slayer duties while Buffy was temporarily dead for a while. While Buffybot may have looked exactly like Buffy, her extremely-cheerful attitude and enthusiastic worship of Spike was a hilariously shocking contrast to the real Buffy. Unfortunately, she was drawn and quartered by a gang of looting demons. RIP Buffybot.
Potential to turn evil: Low. Unless you’re a vampire. “Time to slay. Vampires of the world beware!”
1. Six - Battlestar Galactica
Who doesn’t love a robot that takes the shape of a hot chick? Ok, so the Cylons aren’t your conventional robots as their innards resemble our own but they are machines nonetheless. All of the Cylons have their redeeming qualities but what I love about Six is that from the beginning of the series, she’s always expressed a curiosity towards humans and a willingness to give in to her own human tendencies. She’s also probably the most emotional of the Cylons. This has caused problems with some of the Sixes. Two Sixes went crazy after being mistreated by humans.
Potential to turn evil: High – Six can be loyal and loving but if you screw with her, expect repercussions in the form of a lethal beat-down (RIP Barolay) or a nuclear explosion (RIP Cloud 9).
Pick Your Favorite TV Robot