Road Trip Wednesday: Heartless Love

Welcome back to Road Trip Wednesday, hosted by the fantabulous writers at YA Highway. This week’s question:

“In our Bookmobile selection this month, Debra Driza’s MILA 2.0, the main character discovers she’s an android trained to obey orders. We want to know: What other human-like robots (or robot-like humans?) have you enjoyed in books, TV, or movies?”

Let’s split this into the categories, to make it easier on my poor indecisive brain.

Books

You can’t really talk about robots without mentioning Isaac Asimov, writer of some of my favorite science fiction stories. I, Robot is an amazing collection of stories centered around the development of robots throughout the lifetime of a famous robopsychologist, Susan Calvin. The first story in that collection, “Robbie”, features my current favorite robot character on the page. This is mostly a nostalgic love; I wanted Robbie to look human, and he didn’t, but his character more than made up for it. (He had glowing red eyes and parallelepipeds for his head and torso…since when is a friendly robot supposed to have red eyes??) He wasn’t the Tin-Man, he couldn’t speak, but somehow he managed to shatter all my preconceived notions of what a lovable robot should look like.  And he was a nursemaid. Win.

TV

Truth? I don’t have a favorite TV humanoid robot. I hardly watched any TV shows when I was growing up, and I haven’t been able to catch up on all the ones I’ve heard about: Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek…I know they’re all science fiction shows that would offer me an ample supply of mechanical beings to choose from, but clearly I haven’t vegged in front of the tube enough. I don’t know of any. Recommendations, anyone??

Movies

This one was the hardest, I think. As much as I loved R2-D2 and C-3PO (my first movie robots), and as greatly as I enjoyed the movie adaption of I, Robot and its creative bending of Asimov’s Three Rules as manifested in the character of Sonny… this next guy still steals my heart, every time.

(source)

How can you not love this?

(source)

 

What robotic characters have you enjoyed? Any TV recommendations of the mechanical sort? 

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10 comments on “Road Trip Wednesday: Heartless Love

  1. Christine M. says:

    Oh wow! I forgot all about R2D2. He was my favorite robot in Star Wars because he had so much more character than C-3P0. 🙂

  2. Awww Wall-e. I love that movie. And R2-D2. There are heaps i didn’t think of that i do adore.
    =)

  3. Colin says:

    I’ve not read any Azimov… yet. I have the first in his “Foundation” series sitting on a shelf waiting for me.

    As far as lovable robots on Doctor Who, I suppose K-9, the robot dog, is the obvious choice. But I would also seriously consider D-89, the friendly robot on the classic story “Robots of Death” (one of my all-time favorites). Actually, he might give K-9 a run for his money with this topic. 🙂

    • Rae says:

      I have heard so much about Doctor Who, but I’ve never seen an episode. I think the length of the series is what is so intimidating. I know there is a minefield of robots (good and bad) to choose from it, though.

      • Colin says:

        Just take the plunge, Rae. An hour out of your life to watch some quality Brit TV. Sure, the show has been a British institution for 50 years, but that just means there’s a lot of material for geeks to geek out on. You can just sit and watch an episode without getting into any of that, and enjoy the story for what it is. Let me know what you think… 🙂

      • Rae says:

        Aack! Must. Finish. Finals. And then… 🙂
        Is it better to start at the beginning of the entire thing, or just the 2005 reboot/revival?

  4. Colin says:

    Oh, alright… finish your finals if you MUST… 😉

    Where to start with Doctor Who…? That’s a tough question. I would recommend you start with something from the re-boot. If that piques your interest, perhaps start from the beginning of the new series, and maybe dip into the classic series depending on how into it you get, and how intrigued you are with the show’s history, and some of the references to classic stories in the new series.

    Some suggestions:

    – Rose (New Series 1, Episode 1): Not the best story, but introduces you to the Doctor.
    – The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances (New Series 1, Episodes 9 & 10): Scary, suspenseful, and written by Steven Moffat. In fact, I would heartily recommend any of Moffat’s stories from the first four seasons of the new series (this pair, The Girl in the Fireplace from season 2, Blink from season 3, and Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead in season 4)
    – Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways (New Series 1, Episodes 12 and 13): The Doctor faces the Daleks, and introduces the concept of regeneration–something that’s helped keep the show going for 50 years!
    – The Shakespeare Code (New Series 3, Episode 2): A good story, and some good laughs.
    – The Unicorn and the Wasp (New Series 4, Episode 7): A murder mystery with Agatha Christie.
    – Midnight (New Series 4, Episode 10): Russell T. Davies at his script-writing best. Most of the story takes place in one location. It’s a how-to on writing suspense.
    – Vincent and the Doctor (New Series 5, Episode 10): Written by Richard Curtis (“Notting Hill”, “Four Weddings and a Funeral”). The Doctor meets Vincent van Gogh. The best story of season 5.
    – The Doctor’s Wife (New Series 6, Episode 4): Written by Neil Gaiman. A great story with plenty of smiles along with the drama.
    – Anything from season 7–the current season. I’ve been enjoying the new season a lot. If you have BBC America, and are available at 8pm on Saturday evenings for the next month, you can watch it with the rest of the country.

    I hope that helps you, Rae. 🙂

    • Rae says:

      WOW. I was not expecting such a detailed reply–thank you!! I really appreciate the episode list…although now I am completely out of excuses to keep from watching it! 🙂 Thank you!

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