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Times Online’s 50 Best Robot List One Big WTF


Any Top 50 (or Top 10 or Top 20 or Top 100) list is by its very nature contentious. That’s why editors like them. They stir up discontent in the peanut gallery, despite the fact that most non-autistics would be hard pressed to name their top 5 anything at the drop of a hat. But show that same person someone else’s list, and they’ll become fiery with passion, convinced that that person is an idiot and they are wrong, wrong, wrong.

But this Top 50 Best Robots list, as published by the Times Online? A string of unpronounceable phonemes vaguely resembling the internet acronym “WTF” come tumbling off my lips.

They based their list on a load of scientific criterion like “dangerousness” (D.A.R.Y.L. makes the list?) and “plausibility” (I love this last one, since Mechagodzilla is on their list). But ultimately, they make clear that their list is based mostly upon memorability. Which makes it all the more bizarre that I don’t recognize a good chunk of these robots.

And, I mean, how do “Evil Bill and Ted Robots” rank at number 8 but Bishop from Aliens comes in 20 places higher? How does one of the Phantom Menace’s robots beat out C-3PO? And how the hell do The Sentinels — which only show up in X-Men 3 in a meaningless cameo in which all you see is their flashlight eyes and a severed head &mdash rank before frickin’ Maria from Metropolis?

It’s a cynical list, assigned by an editor to a writer who didn’t care with the only point being to stir up contention. And judging from the fact that each entry has a link to a YouTube video clip? I’m guessing it’s really a “50 Robots We Found Clips For On YouTube” list.

The 50 best movie robots [Times Online, via SF Signal]

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