Robots As Fighting Machines
Welcome to Monsters and Mayhem. This week we’re focusing on Iron Giants. So, I came across an ad for a new TV show on ScyFy and realized I had the perfect topic for today’s post: how pervasive the notion of fighting machines is in pop culture and science fiction. When you stop to think about it, we’re pretty fascinated with the idea.
Probably the best known fighting machine is The Terminator — a machine, made to look human, sent back to the past to murder a revolutionary’s mother before he has a chance to be born, which follows along with our preoccupation with the idea that someday the machines we built as helpers become self-aware and kill us. Nice. But fighting robots have a long and storied tenure in science fiction: the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica (both old and new), pulp sci-fi comics of the 1950s, battle droids in Star Wars, Data in Star Trek: TNG (although, in Data’s defense, he preferred using intellect rather than force, never mind that he could put just about anyone through a wall), and, more recently in the movie, Real Steel.
I loved Real Steel. Hugh Jackman did a wonderful job and I don’t know where they found Dakota Goyo , but that kid can act. And dance. Like a BOSS:
The premise of the movie is that the biggest entertainment scene of the future is Robot boxing. Imagine UFC meets Robot Wars, and you have the idea. Pretty cool, right? There’s a lovely father/son story enmeshed in there, but for my kids, it was all about the robots pounding each other into scrap metal. And, lets’ be honest, I found the robots pretty badass myself.
Anyway, a good idea always deserves to be exploited (or so television marketers would have you believe). After Real Steel’s success, someone else just had to get in on the action, right? Usually movie-inspired TV shows tank (M.A.S.H. being the glorious exception), but this time, it might mean something pretty awesome. ScyFy has a new series starting–Robot Combat League. That’s right…the future is now, kids. Robot boxing has arrived! I think this may be a show my whole family can get behind, provided it’s not a cheesy mess. Then again, my family watches Mythbusters, Pawn Stars, and American Restoration on a regular basis–which probably says a ton about us, LOL. But, guys, there’s even a robot called Steampunk on the show! I mean, that has to be worth tuning in just once, right? And what other kind of boxing requires a twenty minute pit crew time-out between rounds? These robots are going to seriously damage each other. Gear-carnage! I’m going to give it a go and see if it’s worth watching. I’ll give you my thoughts next week.
A quick announcement–per last week’s offer to create some alternate-POV character interviews and scenes from the Matt Archer universe, the first snippet will be up on Friday. This week features Uncle Mike. And by popular request, I’ll be doing a couple of Mamie posts in the comment weeks as well.
In the meantime, have a great week! If you watch Robot Combat League, let me know what you think!