Iko (iko ) wrote,
  • Mood: amused
  • Music: Terry Jones: Medieval Lives

Writer's Block: Robotic

Who (or what) is your favorite fictional robot?

When I first read this question, it popped into my head with music from the television programme and all:

"Your plastic pal whose fun to be with!"

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has been part of my cultural vocabulary ever since I was 7. Friday and Saturday nights, the local PBS station would show British television, both science fiction like Doctor Who (Peter Davison, MY Doctor) and Blake's 7 and comedy like Are You Being Served?, Fawlty Towers, and Monty Python's Flying Circus (which, at the time, I didn't care for).

"I think you ought to know, I'm feeling very depressed."

I remember missing the opening moments of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but I remember the hilarity of the scene in the pub when Ford first tells Arthur that he's not from Guilford after all, but a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse. The "computer screens" fascinated me, as I thought they were genuine, similar to the screens on my computers (at that age, I owned both an Atari 400 and a Heathkit) and I wondered if there was something like the Guide that I could get for myself. I was hooked. I thought that Ford Prefect was absolutely handsome, Zaphod Beeblebox was at a level of cool that I could never achieve, Trillian was sexiness that I could never achieve, and I was convinced that I could cheer up Marvin, my favorite Paranoid Android!

"Life. Don't talk to me about life."

A few weeks later, I discovered that it was a book series. I was browsing in a Barnes and Noble and spotted the first three books. I convinced my parents to buy it for me and I quickly devoured every line. Douglas Adams became one of my most treasured loves and I've collected all of his books, audios, and games ever since. I even remember playing the Hitchhiker's Guide game as a kid and being frustrated with the mail/babel fish/robot and the tea/no tea puzzles. I've owned the television show with every new phase of format: VHS tape, laserdisk, and it was one of the first DVDs I owned.

"Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to take you down to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction? 'Cos I don't."

I suppose my love affair really is with Hitchhiker's, but Marvin is such a big part of it. He's at the top of my list of favorite robots, the first that comes to mind, and I still cling to my childish hope that I could make him happy and hoopy.

"We apologize for the inconvenience."
Tags: hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, robots, writer's block
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