11/08/2011

Meet the greatest space travelers ever. They're soldiers, construction workers, scientists and children. Here is the second of a five part series counting down the 100 greatest space travelers of all-time.

Everyone has dreamed of going into space. While most of us will never get there hundreds of movies, television shows and books show people traveling into space. We compiled a list of the ones we consider the top 100 space travelers of all-time. You can read the criteria we used here.

Previous #100-81 
Next #60-41

The List
80. Capt. Shane Vansen (Kristen Cloke)
Space: Above and Beyond

When Vansen was a child, she watched the murder of her parents by AI machines. Since then, she devoted her life to avenging their death. Called the "toughest man in the United States Marine Corps," Vansen fought battles against impossible odds. Space: Above and Beyond lost the battle, though. The show suffered from poor ratings and only lasted one season. But it was nominated for two Emmy Awards and one Saturn Award. IGN called the show "yet another sci-fi show that went before it's time."

79. Captain Nathan Bridger (Roy Scheider)
seaQuest DSV

Yes, Captain Bridger deserves to be on the list. The goofy, boring television show seaQuest DSV was about a high-tech submarine in the near future. To save the show from crashing ratings, the show took on a more sci-fi feel. In the second season finale, the seaQuest was picked up by an alien starship and transported millions of light years away to the planet Hyperion. The concept was abruptly dropped in the third season when the show jumped ten years and the captain was replaced. We can assume it was fun while it lasted.

78. Korben Dallas (Bruce WIllis)
The Fifth Element (1997)

A taxi driver, Korben Dallas (Brce Willis) accidentally picks up a half-naked passenger who turns out to be the key to saving the planet. It's a good thing Dallas is a former military operative. He and "Leeloo" (Milla Jovovich) embark on a mission to find the stones and in the process encounter one weird situation after another. Yippee Ki-Yay Klaatu Barada!

77. Will Robinson (Billy Mumy)
Lost in Space (1965)

He lived on an alien planet with a flying saucer and a robot under his command. Will Robinson was living every boy's dream.

76. Phillip J. Fry (Billy West)
Futurama
Phillip was just a simple pizza delivery boy until he was frozen in a cryogenic chamber and woke up one thousand years later in 2999. Naive, stupid, and hilarious, he achieved his childhood dream of traveling to the moon. Then, after visiting the theme park there, he traveled the galaxy. His love of classical music like "I Like Big Butts" and anchovies quickly won our hearts.

75. David Freeman (Joey Cramer)
Flight of the Navigator (1986)

Freeman was just a regular kid until he was abducted by an alien spacecraft. He found himself dubbed "the Navigator," pilot of the UFO. Doesn't get much cooler for a little kid.

74. Major Rebecca Childs (Hillary Swank)
The Core (2003)

The preposterous disaster film The Core had one redeeming value: It introduced us to astronaut Rebecca Childs. When the Earth's magnetic field messes up the instruments of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, she takes command and does an emergency landing in Los Angeles, California. Impossible, but that's the kind of spunk that we like.

73. Capt. Spurgeon "Fish" Tanner (Robert Duvall)
Deep Impact (1998)

A comet is on a collision course with Earth. They send a crew to blow it up with a nuclear bomb. All the astronauts are laughing at the old guy they're sending with them. They stop laughing when Tanner's experience saves the mission. As a veteran astronaut, Duvall's calm in the face of certain death raises him to one of the greatest space travelers on film. The scene where he's reading Moby Dick to Monash still makes me smile.

72. A.J. Frost (Ben Affleck)
Armageddon (1998)

Yeah, he was kind of annoying and stupid, but he was key to the mission to save Earth in this disaster film. We have to take points off for being Ben Affleck, but he does get to hit on Liv Tyler.

71. Andie Bergstrom (Kate Capshaw)
Space Camp (1986) 

She trained at NASA to be an astronaut, but ended up an instructor at a kid's "Space Camp." When an accident launches her and the kids into space, she is the only one with enough experience to take command of the ship. One of the few space babysitters.

70. Federal Marshal William O'Niel (Sean Connery)
Outland (1981)

When Federal Marshal O'Niel (Sean Connery) travels to a mining outpost on Jupiter, he's investigating a series of bizarre deaths. He finds a deadly corporate conspiracy. While the director intended it to be a remake of the 1952 western High Noon, it wasn't well recieved. Still, Connery is always great even in space.

69. Commander John Koenig (Martin Landau)
Space:1999 (1975)

The leader of Moonbase Alpha on the British 70's show Space:1999, Commander Koenig managed to be the first astronaut to travel in space using the moon. A nuclear explosion on Earth's moon launched it out of the solar system. He made the hard decision to not to evacuate and instead remain on Alpha and search for a "new Earth."

68. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (James Doohan)
Star Trek (1960s)

He couldn't change the laws of physics, but he got pretty close. Scotty helped keep the Star Trek Enterprise running strong. Doohan's perfect Scottish accent helped give character to the hard drinking engineer. He's our favorite space mechanic.

67. David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum)
Independence Day (1996 film)

In Independence Day, Levinson rides along in an alien spaceship to the mothership. He succeeds in planting a computer virus that shuts down the entire alien computer network. Proof that Apple computers are truly great machines. Goldblum's classic "must go faster" line worked even better than it did in Jurassic Park.

66. Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton)
Star Trek: The Next Generation

Wesley Crusher was a teenager who just happened to be a genius. Shortly after boarding the Enterprise, he ended up saving the ship on multiple occasions. Some people found him annoying, but you have to admit that his ability to show up a crew of the best and brightest of Starfleet at a young age is impressive.

65. Rebecca "Newt" Jorden (Carrie Henn)
Aliens (1986) film

In James Cameron's 1986 sequel Aliens Ripley and Space Marines go to rescue the colonists of LV-426 from an alien infestation. They're too late to save the them except for one little girl. She's smart and resourceful enough to be able to evade the creatures while everyone else gets eaten. That makes her one of the greatest and most unwilling space explorers ever.

64. Leland Joseph "Lee" Adama (Jamie Bamber)
Battlestar Galactica (2004)

The son of Commander Adama, Lee was never comfortable in his role as a fighter pilot. Even though he was great at it. When the Cylons massacre the human race, and leave them wandering the galaxy, Lee finds himself at odds with his father on more than one occasion. His loyalty to his friends is legendary, especially with his friend Starbuck. He eventually becomes a politician and Vice President of the Twelve Colonies.

63. Hikaru Sulu (George Takei)
Star Trek (1960s)

Oh my! Sulu is a man of many talents. Actor George Takei calls him "a swashbuckler out of the 18th century." One of the few Asian-Americans on television in the 60's. He rose from the ranks of helmsman to becoming captain of his own ship the U.S.S. Excelsior. They recast him in the 2009 film Star Trek, but still managed to capture the panache of the man.

62. Doug Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
Total Recall (1990)

Get ready for a surprise! An average construction worker living a boring life decides to go on a virtual vacation to Mars. Suddenly he finds himself embroiled in a Martian conspiracy and a secret life as a revolutionary. Or is it all a dream? Total Recall (1990) is based on the Philip K. Dick story, but directed by Paul Verhoeven, it's more action film. As Quaid, Schwarzenegger delivers some of the best lines of his career and created one of the most ingenious space travelers of all time.

61. Lieutenant Starbuck (Dirk Benedict)
Battlestar Galactica (1970)

On the television show Battlestar Galactica, Starbuck is a gambling, womanizing, cigar-smoking Viper fighter pilot. And he's great at all of it. He flirted with every female he came across including his ship computer C.O.R.A. Basically he was A-Team's "Face" in space. Commander Adama called him a man "he loves like a son." They did a gender switch for the 2004 remake which prompted an outcry. Despite everything he is still the coolest seventies traveler in space.

Come back tomorrow for numbers 60-41 as we count down the top 100 space travelers of all time!

Check out the whole list: #100-81 #40-21

How do you feel about the list so far? Who do you hope is on the list?

2 comments:

Bowietrek said...

This is an interesting list, but why is it limited to film and tv only? The most interesting characters are from books.

Maurice Mitchell said...

You're right Bowietrek. Books do have some amazing characters. We'll try and do a book follow-up list.

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