Top 10 Cyborgs in Television and Film
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Alex Crilly-McKean
Neither fully man nor machine, these synthetic personas go beyond their original programming. Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we count down the top 10 cyborgs in movies and TV. For this list, we're looking at movie and TV characters that are part human, part-not-quite-human. Whether they're hero or villain doesn't matter, as long as they're an iconic cyborg in sci-fi.
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Written by Alex Crilly-McKean
Top 10 Cyborgs in Television and Film
Neither fully man nor machine, these synthetic personas go beyond their original programming. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down the top 10 cyborgs in movies and TV.
For this list, we’re looking at movie and TV characters that are part human, part-not-quite-human. Whether they’re hero or villain doesn’t matter, as long as they’re an iconic cyborg in sci-fi.
#10: Luc Deveraux / GR44
Jean-Claude Van Damme had to show up somewhere. The original movie in this franchise is cheesy and basically an excuse for mindless action; but, the idea of dead soldiers being reanimated to duke it out thanks to a clandestine government project and some nifty new tech – well, that’s something we can’t not enjoy. With explosions, broken bones and impalement via hay harvester, these cyborg UniSols may be basic but they sure can dish out the punishment – and GR44 is the strongest of them all, and the only one able to regain some humanity.
“Universal Soldier” franchise (1992-)
You never know who you can trust. Former workers under human rule, these extremely intelligent cybernetic creations didn’t just rebel; they managed to nearly annihilate all human life in a single swoop. A specific few cylons have human appearances, including the seductive Number Six; and some don’t even know they’re not human – those may be the most dangerous of all. What’s so compelling about this race is that you favorite character could be human one episode, only to turn out to be one of them in the blink of an eye.
“Battlestar Galactica” (2004-09)
#8: The Cybermen
The Daleks weren’t the only things giving us nightmares. One of the famed Time Lord’s oldest enemies, these silver robotic monstrosities originally appeared in 1966. How’d they come about? On Earth’s twin planet Mondas, their version of the human race began implanting man-made pieces into their bodies to keep themselves alive, a process called “cyber-conversion” or “robotisation” – but eventually, they lost everything that made them human, that is except the brain. They are also completely without emotion, so you won’t be forgetting these cybernetic terrors any time soon.
“Doctor Who” (1963-89; 2005-)
#7: Steve Austin
He’s harder, better, faster and stronger than anything other man you’ll meet. This star of the ‘70s series is the perfect example of how a cyborg can be marketed as a good guy. When astronaut Steve Austin is injured during a crash, he is rebuilt with bionic implants, giving him super strength, speed and vision. Fortunately the Bionic Man uses his powers for good instead of evil, and becomes a secret agent. Turns out that’s a recipe for success, as the show and its lead actor became huge pop culture icons.
“The Six Million Dollar Man” (1974-78)
#6: Inspector Gadget
He’s got an infinite number of tools at his disposal, yet he’s the most accident prone and inefficient detective of all time. As a cyborg that can extend his limbs and pull helicopter blades out of his hat, Inspector Gadget always managed to put a stop the plans of his arch-enemy, the enigmatic Dr. Claw. However, that was often due to the intervention of his super-smart niece Penny, and her even smarter dog Brain. But the gadgets are still hella cool, and M.A.D. was always foiled, so whatever works.
“Inspector Gadget” (1983-86)
#5: Roy Batty
With only a few years to live and marked for death for the crime of wanting to be human, Roy Batty is as sympathetic as cyborgs come. Desperate to prolong his life and outrun Harrison Ford before he can be “retired,” this leader of the rebel replicants leaves quite a few corpses behind before his luck runs out. Smart, speedy, strong and a helluva fighter, Batty is by far the most dangerous of all his replicant pals. But, with his embryonic emotions, he sure can spit out a moving movie soliloquy, too.
“Blade Runner” (1982)
#4: The Borg
Out of all the villains of the Next Generation, there could be no other contender than this horrifying collective of assimilators. With the goal of achieving their own form of perfection, the Borg captures members of other races and turns them into one of their own, becoming part of their hive mind. This race of cybernetic organisms left a huge impact on the franchise as a whole, with characters like the Borg Queen and Seven of Nine cementing their place outside the series.
“Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-94) / “Star Trek: First Contact” (1996)
Alex Murphy was just a run of the mill cop that was savagely gunned down during a raid. But, his near-death experience ended up being the greatest step in law enforcement the world had ever seen, thanks to Omni Consumer Products. Becoming more machine than man, Robocop managed to clean up crime around the clock and take out the bad guys with ease by following his prime directives. He even overcame his own programming to take out a corrupt CEO. Now that’s going beyond the call of duty.
“RoboCop” franchise (1987-)
If you’re his target, then there’s no stopping him. Originally sent from the future to kill the mother of the man who would one day become leader of the human resistance, this classic Arnie character does exactly what it’s programmed to: mow down anything in its path. Nearly indestructible and deadly with a gun, this cyborg will chase you down no matter where or when you are. And fortunately for the good guys, he can be repurposed to fight for what’s right.
“The Terminator” franchise (1984-)
Before our number one cyborg reveals himself, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Barry Dylan
- Edward Scissorhands
“Edward Scissorhands” (1990)
- Garth A7
“Cyborg 2087” (1966)
#1: Darth Vader
A servant of the Galactic Empire and seemingly one of the most evil characters the universe had ever seen, Vader was a powerful Jedi that turned to the dark side and got a few necessary cybernetic additions along the way. One of the most iconic villains of all time, this Sith Lord managed to force choke his way to our top spot. With his ever present respirator and robotic hand, this cruel cyborg managed to inspire and shock sci-fi fans with his ever so quotable catchphrases.
“Star Wars” saga (1977-2005)
Do you agree with our list? Which televised or cinematic cyborg is your number one choice? For more of your favorite top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.