Metal marvels we celebrate our top 10 TV and movie robots

Our top 10 list of TV and movie robots.

I bet you thought the Daleks and Cybermen would rule the favourite film and TV robot roost, didn’t you?

But the thing is, they’re not robots, they’re the soft, squishy bits of living organisms inside a metal shell.

Automatons, robots, androids, call them what you will but from the day the massive Gort stepped out of his flying saucer in ’50s sci-fi classic The Day The Earth Stood Still, we’ve been suckers for those mechanical men.

1. R2-D2 and C-3PO

The greatest droid double act in history, they’re like a robot Laurel and Hardy, adding much-needed comic relief to the po-faced Star Wars sci-fi franchise.

They bicker like a mechanical George and Mildred, and the prissy C-3P0 even gets the first line in the original movie.

But Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) and Kenny Baker the “man inside the dustbin” don’t get on at all, with Baker, 80, accusing Daniels of being rude to everyone, including him and fans.

Daniels insists he’s the only actor to have “appeared” in every Star Wars movie, saying Baker was replaced by remote-control R2-D2s for the sixth movie, despite the fact he’s listed among the credits.

However, R2-D2 was the first character confirmed to appear in the new instalment, due out in December.


It wasn’t just kids who loved Disney’s cute garbage-compacting robot, left behind on an ecologically-devastated Earth with just a cockroach for company.

High-tech EVE fell for the little yellow guy with binoculars for a head, and we were bowled over by this charming cartoon robot love story.


The T-1000 is technically a cyborg because he’s covered in human skin but we’ll gloss over that.

Arnie Schwarzenegger’s famed “non-acting” acting style was a perfect fit for the unstoppable killing machine, no wonder he’s filming another instalment.

4. K-9

Who wouldn’t want a robot dog that can shoot laser beams out of his nose?

Doctor Who’s faithful companion first appeared alongside Tom Baker, in the 70s, and his clipped tones and habit of taking orders too literally made him an instant hit.

John Leeson, who gave him that distinctive voice, was the first Bungle on ITV kids’ show Rainbow.


Kids couldn’t get enough of Mickey in the early 80s, as he trundled around a suburban semi being cheeky and reciting his “Boogie boogie!” catchphrase.

Former Monkee Mickey Dolenz produced and directed and he brought his old show’s trademark zaniness to the story of a young inventor who builds a robot to help around the house.

Irene Handl played the grandmother, with Mickey affectionately calling her “my little fruitbat”.


The terminally-depressed droid from The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is my personal favourite.

What’s not to love about a huffy robot constantly moaning about having a brain the size of a planet but being asked to do menial tasks such as parking the spaceship?

“Call that job satisfaction? Cos I don’t.” Wonderful.


The daddy of them all, Robby stole the scene every time he appeared in 1956 sci-fi film Forbidden Planet, pompously based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

He went on to appear in dozens of films and TV shows including, er, Columbo, and his seven-foot tall “man in a metal suit” design influenced robots for years afterwards.


He was basically Star Trek: The Next Generation’s version of Spock, all science and no emotion though, like Pinocchio, he longed to be a real boy.

We loved him so much, we even overlooked the fact Brent Spiner, the actor who played Data, got noticeably older and fatter as the series progressed.


We usually think of robots as metal men but KITT was an artificially-intelligent crime-fighting car, specifically a Pontiac Trans Am, driven by David Hasselhoff in the ludicrous TV show Knight Rider.

With a roving red robot eye on the bonnet modelled on the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica, the car sounded like an English butler as he spent most of his time trying to talk impetuous action man “The Hoff” out of trying yet another improbable driving stunt.


The Teletubbies’ sky-blue pet vacuum cleaner often gets annoyed at their antics.

At other times, he gets too excited and hoovers up their food or favourite things, causing the Teletubbies to shout, “Naughty Noo-Noo!” and chase him Benny Hill-style round their underground house before giving him a “Big hug!”.

This only makes sense after the fourth G ’n’ T.