WHAT Are Your Favorite Spaceships from Movies And Television?


There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Jun 29, 2014
Which ships from which films and tv series are your favorites?
I will fully admit that this is nearly all based on nostalgia and warm fuzzies:

The Imperial Star Destroyer in the opening of the original Star Wars blew me away as an impressionable teenager. However I really like the brute-force engineering of the Earth Alliance destroyers in Babylon-5.
In my humble opinion, there is no contest for the best spaceship ever shown on tv or in a film...it's the Shadow Vessel from Babylon 5...if you haven't seen one, please look for a few images. I think both for originality of design (these are so innovative, and just d*mn spooky), and for their importance to, and impact on, the context of the show, nothing compares.

The spaceship from the film Earth vs. the Flying Saucers is amazing...a Ray Harryhausen creation. A great classic saucer.

And finally, the original Enterprise...from the first S.T.. I'll admit it's not the greatest ship design ever, but I remember when the show aired in the 60s, and the *WOW* factor was significant...I had never seen a spaceship that looked like this before (at the time they were usually saucers, or rocket-y in appearance; maybe this was a little of both?).

ps--Bick's choice is very nice, too!
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I have been thinking about this thread since my post and what I would pick if I were to try to leave nostalgia out of it. I think it would be the the USS Sulaco:



Ha, there are so many;

Well, i have a Millennium Falcon collection focus, so she's right up there. :)

The USS Enterprise in all of her incarnations, but especially the A and E.

I agree with Cats Cradle, the Shadow ships from Babylon 5 were an incredible design. I also found the White Star ship particularly beautiful.

I always had a soft spot for the Star Fighters from the 80s Buck Rogers TV Series. Very sleek and i think they still hold up well.
No, it's Commander Makara's "catfish in space" cruiser from Starfleet

No, HB, no! The Shadow Vessel would sting that giant fishy and leave it drifting helplessly in space! :) (That is a terrific ship, though...I'll give you that!)

And also...Oh God! I had that album back in the day! I was (still am) a massive Brian May fan, and just had to own it. The guitar work of course was pretty cool, but the music itself, not so much! :)
I prefer my spaceships to look like real working environments not just a lot of brightly-lit, stupidly-wide corridors and acting areas for the cast to perform in. (Every and any iteration of the Enterprise and anything with ventilation ducts big enough to crawl down are just that. So are the White Stars and most of the rest of Babylon 5 for that matter - though at least Bab 5 had a maintenance squad to make just off-screen sparks every other episode - what did they find to weld all the time?

The Eagles from Space 1999. Had a weird combination of sleek aerodynamic cockpit and utilitarian girderwork that made them seem credible somehow. Cheap and easy to make too. They must have knocked them up by the dozen given the number that seem to get exploded or lost every week.

Firefly - of course. Now there's a ship that looked lived in. I saw an episode of Enterprise the other week in which our heroes encountered a slowboat - a cargo ship with a generations of family living on board - and the ship looked like any other corridor with doors. No attempt to make the thing look like people actually lived in it. Just a couple of shots of kids playing hide and seek. Firefly's set designers/dressers did a hell of a job.

Toybox from Planetes - a real housebrick of a craft held together with spit and duct tape, and one of the few credible zero G realisations on TV - the 'Fishbones' from that show were nice too.

The Valley Forge
from Silent Running.

The Galactica (the 'new' one) - I've never liked the ubiquitous slidey doors that seem to come as Hollywood standard for all spaceships. The Galactica had door handles.

and just because utilitarianism isn't everything:

The United Planets Cruiser C-57D
from Forbidden Planet.

Ikari XB-1 - a spaceship so pointlessly huge it allowed one character to bring a piano on board as part of his personnel weight allowance.
Great choices, JunkMonkey! Used to love Space 1999. And the Firefliy ships were amazing.

I really liked the interplanetary ship in 2001: A Space Odyssey, too.
My favourite would have to be the Bebop, from the anime Cowboy Bebop. The flagship Brunhild from Legend of the Galactic Heroes would be a close second, though.:)
So, here are my requirements:
  1. Whooshy
  2. Unnecessary wingy bits
  3. No girders (see 1) (though the Eagles are not too bad)
I am reminded of someone's quote about cinema spaceships - prior to 2001, all spaceships were like cigars. Post 2001, all spaceships were about three hundred times bigger than they actually needed to be.

Anyway, that said, here is my candidate:


Ohh, great call with the Eagles and Valley Forge.

The Discovery and Leanov from 2001 and 2010 (and latterly the Omega Destroyers from Babylon 5) were all of nice design.