Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Top Ten - Science Fiction Warships

This started out as a top ten starships list, but before long I couldn't split the top 13 I had apart, hence here we have a warships Top Ten, with a non-military list to follow later. The definition used to select these contenders is that they should be medium-to-large sized vessels (no fighters) that, even if not designed specifically as battleships, are still military in focus or designed to put up a fight.

Space Cruiser Yamato

This is a solid holdover from childhood for me. I remember renting a VHS chronicling the adventures of this refitted spacegoing warship. There's something about the simple elegance of taking a good, old-fashioned battleship, screwing in high-tech weapons and a star-drive and launching it into space. Sure, we're dropping points for practicality all over the place here, but compensating heavily in the style department.

Liberator (Blake's 7)

Whilst I always got the impression as a child that this ship seemed constantly to be stuck in reverse, this is an interestingly designed ship that had some serious muscle, from its "herculanium" hull to its assortment of deadly weaponry. Sure, the corridors were a bit wobbly and one of the passengers was a fish-tank full of fairy lights, but so what?

X-Bomber (Star Fleet)

This is a solid contender for the smallest vessel on this list, but boy does it punch above its weight. Commanded by Doctor Benn and an alarmingly small crew, the X-Bomber time and time again saved the Earth from the machinations of Makara's forces. Weapons ranged from small anti-starfighter cannons right up to the deadly "X-Impulse" energy blast. Apart from this, not only did the ship carry the three component parts of the Dai-X battle system, but it was a remarkably tough old bird and was capable of soaking up huge amounts of damage.

SDF-1 (Robotech/Macross)

Rounding out the Japanese influence at the foot of this list is the awesome SDF-1. A reconditioned vessel based on a wreck of alien design, even is crew never seemed fully aware of its capabilities. The SDF- 1's (Super Dimensional Fortress) most impressive trick, despite packing a huge arsenal of weapons, is its ability to transform into a huge robot with aircraft carriers for arms. And you thought Optimus Prime wuld be a bit useful at arm wrestling.

Romulan "D'deridex" class Warbird (Star Trek)

It only needed one short appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation for the Warbird to establish itself as a serious threat, and it never even had to fire a shot to do so. Generally considered to be more powerful than either Klingon or Federation ships of the same scale, the Warbird just looks mean, the downward sweep of the wings, the hook of the nose, the play of light over its hull... oh yes, this thing is trouble.

Sulaco (Aliens)

Now we're talking, more than most Sci-Fi warships of its time, this thing just looks like a solid bruiser. No sleek lines, no clever moving parts, no shiny, glowy bits, just dull metal, pointy bits and bits that look like they would really hurt if they shot at you. This is a ship we never see in a fight, granted, but you just know that it's open for business.

U.S.S. Enterprise (Star Trek)

And yes, I've opted for the "E" incarnation. Why? Because despite their reputation for getting into and winning fights, the previous enterprises were always more exploration vehicles. This, most modern Enterprise looked and moved every inch the warship. None of the clean fragility of the original or the sleek, family-friendly spaces of the D. This ship was designed for a period when the Federation was in trouble and fits the needs of the time perfectly. And finally, "Manual control" - Yes!

White Star (Babylon 5)

The second tiny terror on our list, the white star was a fusion of Minbari and Vorlon technology that ran rings around the larger ships that opposed it but still packed quite a wallop. Despite sadly looking like a quick cut-and-paste job when presented as a fleet for the first time, these are gloriously sleek and organic looking ships that made a crucial difference in the Shadow War. Ahell!

Super Star Destroyer (Star Wars)

And why not? It's massive, it has more guns than the average navy and could take n most fleets all on its lonesome. It doesn't make the head of the list purely because its arrow-like shape makes it the perfect configuration to cause the maximum amount of damage possible to your other super-weapon.

Which leaves...

Galactica (Battlestar Galactica(new))

This is another vessel where everything about it screams out that it is a solid, practical warship. Why does it make the list? Well, it's a carrier that is clearly designed for the task, not just a big ship that carries other ships. It seems to be all armour, except for the parts where you have engines and guns. And, dear grief, there is that "fire solution" which puts all the other anti-fighter defences of ships on this list to shame. Sure, it isn't the biggest, the fastest or the most powerful, but it's tougher than tough old boots originally worn by tough old men and made from the toughest leather from cows that used to start fights down the meadow on a Saturday night.

As always, feel free to argue and maybe, just maybe, you'll persuade me if I ever come back to this list. in the meantime, here's a quick list of a few of the other contenders that missed out on the top ten.

Honourable mentions: Klingon Bird of Prey, Minbari Cruiser, Drazi Sunhawk, USS Defiant, Corellian Corvette

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Slow burn return.

Yeah, yeah. Over a year, yadda yadda. What can I say, sometimes real life takes priority over the Blogosphere. But Fanboy Deathmatch is back and raring to go. I'll try and post new lists as often as possible but there's a lot happening this year, so I'm afraid you'll just have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, there's another project I've become involved in recently that I'll be sure to keep you posted on.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Fanboy Deathmatch 1

Ladies and gentlemen, cast your eyes left for our first Fanboy Deathmatch poll.

Tonight's main event is a cigar smoking, hotdogging slobberknocker featuring....

(In Starbucks)

Yes, this is an inter-gender-inter-iteration match between 2 of Galactica's best fighter pilots.

Will the hard-nosed female Starbuck fall for the wily charms of her male counterpart or will he have to call for help from Mr T?

The poll remains open for 1 week and the decision is yours. Any thoughts on the matter? Comment below.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Top Ten - Sci-Fi / Fantasy Cops

The rules are simple, the characters must work for a law enforcement agency rather than being freelance or specifically military.

in descending order...

Jim Gordon (Batman)
Be it in the comics, The Animated Series or the two most recent films James Gordon is a good cop. Intelligent and principled he is not afraid to put his life on the line to see a bad guy brought to justice. Nor is he afraid to bend the rules to get the job done when bureaucracy gets in the way. Sure, he's got an even more effective in the form of The Batman but he's still a stand out character on his own. The greatest crime that the Tim Burton films committed was leaving the Commish on the sidelines.

Zack Allen (Babylon 5)
Ahhh, controversy. I know that for most fans of the series Michael Garibaldi is going to be the obvious choice but I personally reckon that Zack was a better cop. Sure, Garibaldi was skilled and dedicated and a mean Starfury pilot to boot, but that's just the kicker. Garibaldi was full on Hero material whilst Zack was the dedicated plodder that got the job done, even though he was given to occasional bouts of heroism himself. He made some important decisions as his time as head of Station Security on B5 and always acquitted himself well, even if his uniform was a little ill-fitting.

Green Lantern
This may well confuse a few people that know me well and it confuses me a little bit. The guy above is John Stewart, one of several Earthmen (and literally thousands of beings) who have acted as "Cosmic cops" for the Guardians of the Universe. He's generally not regarded as the best GL (that honour usually falls to Hal Jordan) so why is he here?
Justice League is why. His presence as the GL in that series firmly sets him up as a hard-nosed cosmic cop, far more so than Green Lanterns are generally portrayed. In this incarnation he is much more of a cop than he is a Super-Hero so he stands out enough from the crowd to get this perfectly respectable entry here.

Constable Odo (Star Trek: Deep Space 9)

Again, there are better security chiefs around on Star Trek but Odo is different, mainly because he doesn't work directly for the commanding officer but on behalf of the law but also because he's the only one that sleeps in a bucket. His gruff nature and pasty face make him unappealing but somehow we come to trust this guy, even if he comes from a race of nasty-minded world-conquerors.

Samuel Vimes (Diskworld)

Although coming from humble beginnings on the streets of Ankh-Morpok and eventually achieving the heady heights of nobility Vimes is as dedicated a cop as you are likely to find. He's no great detective and has little to no respect for authority but he gets the job done through sheer bloody-mindedness. He may occasionally get overshadowed by some of his subordinates (Carrot in particular) but Vimes really is the man you want in charge of your police force, or in this case City Watch.

Dana Scully

Both Mulder and Scully made the shortlist for this run-down but only Scully made the final cut, why? Mulder is intelligent and relentless but gets side-tracked far too easily. Scully may not be the visionary of the pair but she knows how to go through the motions and prioritise effectively. If only she could keep hold of her gun she'd rank higher.

Grammerton Cleric John Preston (Equilibrium)

Starts off the story as a good-old stone-faced cop before relenting half-way through the movie and serving justice in a way that doesn't serve the law very effectively. Now I've tried to avoid cops that rebel against the system too much for this list as that tends to make them better heroes than cops, but in Preston's case I'm making an exception.
Primarily because without exception Preston has the best physical skills on this list coupled with an insightful mind and effective intuition, he's the kind of cop you would want working your case...unless you have something to hide that is.

Alfred Bester (Babylon 5)

Those of you annoyed that Garibaldi didn't make the list are going to be doubly annoyed with me now that this guy has made the top 5. Bester is loyal (in his own way) and dedicated with a strong determination to see a job through to the end. Although usually a villain for purposes of plot you also have to offer him a grudging respect, partially because he's the only character I know that can think of being treated as a Pinata as a compliment.


Even before becoming Robocop Alex Murphy was a good cop and whilst his death and resurrection were tragic he went on to become a truly great cop. Even with his very significant edges he was restored to being a very human character who was able to remember that he was a cop even when revenge was on the line.

Judge Dredd

Forget the Stallone Movie. Please, just put it out of your mind and remember that before Robocop was this guy, a guy so dedicated to the law that it was pretty much his entire life. OK, so he's perhaps fascististic and brutal by our standards but what he does is perfectly acceptable for the system he operates in. He has the skills, the presence and the determination and that makes him our number 1 cop.

Also rans: Fox Mulder, Bravestarr, Matt Parkman, Deckard, Jill Valentine.

Of course, feel free to argue over my assumptions here, that's what the comments box is for.

Welcome to Fanboy Deathmatch

Hello, I'm your host The Kevolution and this is Fanboy Deathmatch, the blog that really captures what all the fanboys (and fangirls) out there ultimately end up talking about. Who beats who.

With that in mind there will be two main thrusts to this blog, both of which come from things I've done in the past.

Firstly, Top Tens. All of this stems from a friend and I moaning about the "Top Ten Sci Fi..." series run on Sky 1 a few years ago and deciding to challenge each other to construct our own top 10s, originally based on what the show had covered and then drifting off into our own topics. We kept these up for quite a while and they turned into popular and oft-debated posts and I always meant to come back to them.

Well, now I have. I'll be posting Top Tens fairly regularly and trying to construct them as fairly as possible and whilst the emphasis will often be on Science Fiction the selections will often expand to cover Fantasy and Horror.

The second thing I will be doing is running Fanboy Deathmatch challenges by posting polls to see who you, the readers, think would win in a showdown between noted genre characters (or beasts/spaceships/factions). I first concocted this on the forums of "Does My Geek Look Big In This" and again it got quite a popular response.

I fully hope that as both of these are posted you take the opportunity to comment on what's going on, whether you agree or disagree or why you have registered a specific vote. I'll also take this opportunity to ask what Top Tens or challenges you would like to see (something I intend to do every couple of months anyway).

What you won't see her are in depth-reviews - there are plenty of people out there who do that very well already (My old mate Aaron, for example, at I intend to simply have some fun with this and may post the occasional extra observation or brief opinion on something (or simply something I find amusing for whatever reason).

Anyway, this is Fanboy Deathmatch - let the games begin.