Forgive me if this topic has been visited before, but what are your top 5 favorite spacecraft from sci-fi films or TV programs? Why do you like these spaceships? I'm a firm believer that in good science fiction, the "spaceship" -- so to speak, is often a character all to itself.
Here are my picks and my reasons why:
1. Nostromo (Alien): Hands down, this is probably the most desolate, terrifying and industrially nightmarish spacecraft I have ever seen depicted in ANY medium. A vast maze of both bright, sterile rooms and dank, filthy corridors -- the Nostromo is a perfect breeding ground for terror -- alien or otherwise.
2. Discovery (2001: A Space Odyssey): The Discovery is the closest thing to a plausible spacecraft ever put to film in the realm of sci-fi, thanks to the brilliance of Arthur C. Clarke. It is stark, inhuman, and chilling. Every detail of its design corresponds to scientific principles; so realistic in design that NASA submitted a proposal to build an Earth-to-Mars ship based on Discovery from the book/film! Even the "small problems" such as the centrifuge circumference and lack of external "radiators" or "heatsinks" along the exterior were pointed out by Clarke as pecadilloes of the film-making process. Combine the visions of the two craft (book/film) and you actually have a spaceship which could be built in the next 50 to 100 years.
3. Sulaco (Aliens): This is how I picture a science-fiction military transport. While not as claustrophobic as its commercial cinematic counterpart, the Nostromo, it has great atmosphere, lighting, and details.
4. Serenity (Firefly): This is the ultimate privateer -- just an all-around cool ship with a top-notch pilot and engineer. What can I say? The mere presence of a craft like Serenity opens up a thousand possibilities for space adventure.
5. Icarus II (Sunshine): A somewhat darker version of Discovery, in my opinion, the Icarus II is a semi-plausible design with a very utilitarian exterior and adjustable "shadow shield" crowning the stellar bomb, crew area, and enigine. While the interiors remind me of many other sci-fi settings, the sheer oddity of its profile makes up for a lack of interior originality. Too bad they couldn't have worked in a believeable artificial gravity environment. Kudos for the NERVA style fission propulsion system.
Honorable Mention - The Treeship (The Fountain): From Aronofsky's "Love-it-or-Hate-it" science fiction film -- this ship design throws all physics out the window and makes no apologies for such. It is crafted of technology that surpasses surreal. Its like nothing I've seen before.
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