You can’t judge a book by its cover, a song by its opening lines or a man by how many roads he’s walked down... or something. But you judge a hero or a heroine, a villain or a villainess, a Sith Lord or a hard luck Browncoat freighter captain on their mode of transport and what they'll do to defend it. If an Englishman's home is his castle then a genre character's vehicle or steed is their calling card. After all, without his horse, isn't the Lone Ranger just a slightly worrying domino-mask-wearing pedestrian?
So, without further ado, here's this week's question:
If you could choose a single steed or vehicle from all of genre fiction to ride, what would it be?
Blogbusters! Start your engines!
PigMonkey: The TARDIS is the sweet “never-be-late” box, but it was not the first vehicle to spring to my thoughts. The Millennium Falcon is a choice you'd expect from me, but you'd never get the Wookiee smell out of the upholstery. Besides both are quirky, known for being prone to breakdowns and such other catastrophes. They are old, temperamental and – oh yes! Let us not forget that they are regularly being shot at.
Now my choice is shot at as well, and justly, but I’m taking that into account, trust me.
It's not the Mystery Machine, though had you asked me aged eight it would have been.
Nor is it the Enterprise, Serenity or Galactica, though if you gave them to me I wouldn't give them back to ya.
On a technicality, you could ride Superman, anywhere you'd want to be. All you is need is a saddle, some goggles, and a whole lot of riding balls. ( Hang on – have we suddenly strayed into a Carry On film? – ed )
Optimus Prime would be a really sweet ride, but I'd turn into pudding if he transformed with me still inside.
It’s not a mythical creature I have in mind, like a dragon or unicorn of magical Chuck Norris
I admit my choice resides in obscurity, but I'm an obscure person, so at least there's continuity.
My choice is a mech, from the third series of Robotech : a motorcycle that requires no gas, and that becomes powered armour to bust out and kick ass – the Saber Cyclone, with big blades on its arms, a chest of missiles and other implements of harm. Imagine being armoured, and strengthened to the obscene, then strap two swords on your forearms and go play Wolverine.
So my choice is clear – and I know I'm alone – but I choose the VR-041, Saber Cyclone.
NO WAIT, THE BATMOBILE!(opens in new tab)
Troo Topham: I'd want a TARDIS, but a working one, I'm afraid, would be preferable to a certain Time Lord's rickety old box. It can go anywhere, at any time. Who would pick anything else? Find answers to any question you can think to ask. See events that only happen once in the entire lifetime of the universe. Cross insurmountable distances in an unpredictable amount of relative time. All from the comfort of your own five-star hotel.(opens in new tab)
Laura McConnell: Oh, goodness. I've always wanted an Incom T-65 (aka, an X-Wing), but I'm torn on this question. Can I have one machine and one animal? Is that allowed? If so, I'm sticking with my X-Wing. You can't go wrong with the fighter that killed the Death Star. Yes, I know it's not much for comfort, and Serenity has it beat in many ways, but in today's fantasy, I'm flying an X-Wing.
As for animals, there isn't much debate here. I want a luck dragon. Falkor or any of his kin fit the bill nicely. After all, who wouldn't want a little luck in their geeked-out ride?
If I have to pick one or the other...oh, that's rough, but I'll go with my oldest fandom. Pass me the orange flight suit, please. X-Wing. All the way.(opens in new tab)
Steven Ellis (reprogramming the test so it's possible to win...): Oooh. How can I pick? The Millennium Falcon? TARDIS? The USS Enterprise? The Sulaco? Doc Brown's DeLorean? Battlestar Galactica? An X-Wing or a Y-Wing? The Liberator? Serenity? Tony Stark's Armour? The Defiant? A Mark 2 Viper? Moya? Space:1999 's Eagle transporter? Seriously, how on earth do you expect me to pick just one of these amazing vessels? Nope. Sorry. Can't be done. They're all different, they're all cool and they all have their uses.
I'm gonna cheat here...
My favourite all-time ship is probably the Republic Gunship or LAAT/i (Low Altitude Assault Transport/infantry) from the Star Wars prequels. It just looks and sounds so cool and I'd love to have one to zip around in. The gunship, or Larty as it's affectionately known, is an assault transport designed for low level attacks and a drop ship to take troops to were they need to be; kind of like a modern day army helicopter. But it's not a space ship, so I think I'd need a space ship to keep my Larty in... The Larty would be great for flying around and stuff but like I say, it can't go into space or travel in time or any of the other really fun stuff. And if I'm having something to keep my Larty in, then I might as well have something big enough to fit a few more toys in.
I think I'd have a Venator Class Star Destroyer, again from Star Wars . Not the more classic Imperial Class from the original films. I just prefer the lines of this earlier model and who doesn't like a big ship with red go faster stripes? The reason I'd pick a Venator is that it's big, at over 1,100 metres long, and it has a huge hanger area; I reckon I could fit most of the other ships inside it. And live in it as well. The Venator would be my home base and in it's hanger I'd keep my Millennium Falcon, my TARDIS, my Larty and all the other smaller ships I could fit in there. I reckon I'd get all the smaller ships in there but I'd have to give up my Enterprise and my Galactica. But it'd be worth the trade off.
Can I do that? A big cool ship full of other smaller cool ships. That way I can travel in time when I want to and go see the dinosaurs or something, or if I feel like a little light smuggling then I've got Serenity or the Falcon to evade the authorities... And I'd still have my Larty for popping out to the shops...(opens in new tab)
Matt Risley: This is probably more out of nostalgia than functionality, but I'd love my own personal Falkor from The Neverending Story . Who wouldn't love a giant fluffy dog dragon? Even when Atreyu was annoying the Hell out of me, the one thing that made me consistently envious was his relationship with Falkor.
And, while we're in the realms of ridiculously imaginative fiction, as Falkor's devoid of dragon-like firebreathing and attack power, I'd like to make clear that when I imagine myself riding Falkor, I'm doing it quite clearly with some form of ray gun blaster in hand.
That way you'd get to be cute and badass.(opens in new tab)
Kell Harker: Horsey! Whether it's the Thoroughbred of Sin or Pegasus, fantasy horses have speed, power, and sometimes even a fun theme song.
Dave Golder: Either this (which I used to build using Lego, and still love, partly because there’s a dragon living in the turret)…(opens in new tab)
Or this plucky little ship…(opens in new tab)
I know it’s a Millennium Falcon rip-off and looks a bit like a metal narwhal, but I always had a fondness for the Defiant. Maybe it was because every other ship in Trek tended to manoeuvre like warships, while the Defiant nipped around like a jet ski.(opens in new tab)
Alasdair Stuart: I'm so conflicted. My 12 year-old self wants, badly, to say the ship from The Last Starfighter because, when it comes down to it, who wouldn't want a ship that could pull off an ultimate badass move like the Death Blossom? That being said, it does have the twin problems of draining all the power and, of course, being very early 1980s CGI. The same goes for the Tron lightcycles; I mean they look great but one emergency stop and you'll be turned into jam on the front windscreen. Although, that being said, being able to fold your ride down into something that resembles a slightly burly iPad stylus has a lot of appeal.
But it has to be the Falcon for me. The first ship I saw, before even the TARDIS, battered and scratched and crotchety and looking like she worked for a living. I love the sweep of her lines, the weird “Intense PacMan” silhouette she has and most of all, I love the fact she's unpredictable. Whoever built the Falcon's hyperdrive clearly helped out on a certain type 40 TARDIS too, as both have a tendency to take their Captains places on their own terms. Plus the Falcon has those awesome secret compartments, the twinned guns and the monster chess game we know, under no circumstances, not to beat the Wookiee at. The Falcon's a home as well as a ship and for that reason, she's my choice.
That and let's face it, that chess game is awesome.
So there you go, a wide variety of answers ranging from the Gallifreyan to the equine. If there's one thing they all have in common, it's that we chose them. If there's two things they have in common it's that these ships, and horses, make a statement, announce the arrival of their pilot with style, aplomb and occasional whinnying. Glorious, every one of them.
But what, I ask, is an awesome vehicle without a hangar? Or Garage? Or Batcave? Or, indeed, Stable? So next week, join us as we ask the Blogbusters the question;
If you could live in one genre fiction city, which one would it be and why?
Get those tourist guides to Gotham ready, and we'll see you in seven