Which science fiction series has the scariest looking robots? Off the top of my head I can think of the borg, however they are sort of what one might call ‘cybernetic’, that is they are a mixture of biological material as well as organic (metal).
They look like a robot mated with a zombie. That deathly greenish “decay looking” skin really makes them seem hideous. Are they scary? Well, my kids sure think they are. I think what adds to their scary factor is that they are recognizably human, so it is easy to imagine ‘becoming a borg’ i.e. assimilation, and I’m sure it isn’t painless. What must it feel like to have a chunk of metal plated to your face? All images that evoke pain. So sure, it is high on the scary scale.
The next robot that came to mind are the Cylons (the new version – not the old guys) out of Battlestar Galactica.
Now my kids haven’t seen these guys – mainly because it really is an ‘adult’ series with lots of blood and gore. Not suitable for children! I rate these guys highly on the scary scale too. They look intimidating because of their size, and the lack of seeing any facial features except a grey finish really emphasizes the cold, brutal, total obedience of these things. The long spindly fingers(?) also reminds me of surgical instruments, i.e. they are waiting to carve you up. I would NOT want to meet these guys. So who is scarier, borg or cylon? I would probably go with cylon since according to Star Trek, borg actually leave an individual alone (unless they are ordered otherwise) whereas cylon will cut you up as soon as they see you.
How about other robots? If we jump back a couple of decades there was that brute enemy of robocop:
This was scary due to its size and power. It is a big mutha fracker. I’m sure if I was standing in front of it I would just want to get away as quickly as possible. And then get a psych evaluation on why the hell I was standing in front of it in the first place. Then there is also the terminator robot (without the Arnold skin):
For some reason this just doesn’t hit my scary button. Is that because I’ve seen terminator so many times? Or is it because it is just a metal skeleton with red eyes and a gun, and skeletons are “oh so 70’s”?
I couldn’t think of any other scary robots. Sure there are the cybermen from Doctor Who (who are also another example of a cybernetic organism)
So why the talk about robots? Today I see the news that for the first time ever they have attached a robotic arm to a quadriplegic man and connected it to his brain, such that he can move it by just thinking. Wow.