What is the best sci-fi spaceship ever?

Here’s a conundrum for you. What’s the best sci-fi spaceship ever? What makes it your favourite? There have been so many really neat sci-fi spaceships that there’s no right answer – or maybe any single answer – to this one.  We’ll all have our favourites, and they’re all valid.

An “Eagle” from Gerry Anderson’s mid-1970s “Space 1999”. A picture I made using my Celestia astronomy software.

I don’t have any single favourite. My top list de jour (which may change), and in no particular order, is:

  1. The TARDIS. Because it’s – well, it’s the TARDIS, innit.
  2. The Eagle Transporter. This has to be the most iconic ship from 1970s sci-fi, and for all the silliness of its apparently near-infinite mass-ratio and one or two other things, it really captured the look you might expect for a tough utility spacecraft of the near future.
  3. Battlestar Galactica (from the re-imagined 2003-09 mini-series and series). Just awesome all round, a kind of combo aircraft carrier/battleship with an operating concept and combat tactic that was a lot closer to the ‘wooden walls’ of Nelson’s time than a modern warship.
  4. Thunderbird 2 (from the original series – and yes, it isn’t a spaceship, but hey…) – looks like a 200-foot long bullfrog with an atomic motor. Yes, the Thunderbirds were nuclear-powered aircraft. It was all the rage back in the sixties. (“Come on in, the fallout’s lovely”).
  5. Discovery – deliberately worked up by Arthur C. Clarke, Stanley Kubrick, Fred Ordway and others to be a ‘realistic’ near-future spacecraft. Compromised in the film version by lack of radiators – though early concept drawings had them – and in reality the centrifuge was too small to avoid heavy Coriolis effects. But it wasn’t bad.
  6. The Lexx – a spaceship that’s actually a giant sentient dragonfly which blows up planets, crewed by a dead guy, a latrine attendant (who has the control key) and a ‘love slave’ (who’s in love with the dead guy). Totally berserk. Totally cool.

There are plenty of others – everything Trek, naturally; some of the Star Wars craft; the Nostromo – and I’m sure you’ll have some too.

What are your favourite sci-fi craft…and why? And, if you want to check out my concept for a sci-fi spaceship, check out my short story ‘Missionary‘. I did the maths to work out the hab module – and for the rest? Well, you’ll have to read the story… It’s available in the first Endless Worlds compilation, on Amazon.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2017

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19 thoughts on “What is the best sci-fi spaceship ever?

  1. My favourite is General Chang’s Klingon Bird of Prey that featured in the undiscovered country. There is a great hide and seek cold war style submarine like sequence between the Bird of Prey and the Enterprise A and some lovely interplay between Christopher Plummer and Bill Shatner.

  2. Pretty hard to answer the question when you provide my answer with nos 1 to 5 on your list, have not seen the Lexx so can not comment on that. As a huge Star Wars geek there are just too many ships in that universe to choose from, (apart from the obvious ones). Not a fan of the Star Trek ships, they don’t have seatbelts in the bridge and they never last long in sustained firefights and do not seem to be very robust vessels.

    Some of my favourite ships would be:

    The Heart of Gold, jut don’t use the improbability drive while ordering a cup of tea.

    Earth Force Omega Class Destroyers (Babylon 5), to me much like the Space 1999 Eagles, capture the look that you expect from a military spacecraft of the near future.

    Shadow Vessels (Babylon 5), “It was jet-black. A shade of black so deep, your eye just kind of slides off it. And it shimmered when you looked at it. A spider, big as death and twice as ugly. When it flies past, it’s like you hear a scream in your mind.” really just the stuff of nighmares.

    Daedalus-class battlecruiser (Stargate) ok they got their arses kicked by the Ori, but they are still cool.

    Goa’uld motherships. The reason for Pyramids explained, enough said

  3. I am old… Blakes 7, the Liberator. Being a BBC sci fi series it was probably made of yoghurt pots and a few squeezy washing up liquid bottles and travelled through space with the support of visible fishing line. Not to an eight year old though.

    1. I was a fan of Blake’s 7 when it first showed on TV in the late 1970s and have been ever since (have periodically watched episodes of it more recently). I still remember the battle at the end of Series 2 where the alien fleet appeared to consist precisely of yoghurt pots. On strings. I gather the main reason was that the production team came from ‘Softly Softly’ and had been given the same budget, except ‘Softly Softly’ was a procedural police drama they could film on location.

    1. The opening sequence of the original Star Wars certinaly hooked me onto Scifi. It’s even better now when immediately preceeded by Rouge One.

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