Top 51 Sci-Fi Spaceships

2 Serenity

Firefly/Serenity

WHY IT’S GREAT She may look like a plucked parrot and lack the sleek design and elegant stylings of other ships on this list, but the Serenity is still as loveable as a fluffy wee kitten. Perhaps it’s because her crew all talk about her as though she’s alive (which we’re doing too – it’s catching!). Perhaps it’s because she seems to make sense, not only visually but practically; you can understand easily which bits of her do what, and her interiors reek of realism. Or perhaps it’s because she’s just as much a part of the crew as the crew themselves.

She’s not highly regarded by most people who come across her, however. Clearly Firefly-class ships are just a common-or-garden spaceship design, out of date and out of fashion. Yet Captain Mal Reynolds fell in love at first sight (top picture), and as the series went on, her quirky vehicular charm made us do the same. We were supposed to, by the way: there’s a reason the show is named after her classification, and the movie was named for her. She’s the (non-)beating heart at the centre of the Firefly universe.

We particularly love the way her interiors have been given Changing Rooms-style makeovers by the crew, from Inara’s silk-draped shuttle (who’d have thought such a tiny metal room could be so pretty?) to the flower stencils on the walls of the kitchen (no doubt applied by Kayleigh; we can’t really see Mal doing that). Little touches like this helped to turn the spaceship star of the show into an actual home… and wait, that’s it, by jove! THIS is why Serenity is so loveable. It’s because we can all see ourselves living on her, can’t we? Who wouldn’t give an arm and a leg for a meal around the table in the galley, eh?

Also, you have to love any ship so relaxed that there are toy dinosaurs on its flight deck. Superb.

WHAT IT MIGHT FAIL ITS SPACE MOT ON The engine’s port compression coil has a tendency to pack up, resulting in a whopping great explosion. In the depths of space they’re also hard to come by, as Mal found out to his cost in “Out Of Gas”.

Also, one thing that’s always bugged us about the Serenity are the ladders leading down into the crew quarters. All very ship-like, yes, but if you have to climb up and down a vertical ladder to go to bed at night, you’re a bit screwed if you’re also carrying a nice cup of cocoa.

IF IT WERE A REAL VEHICLE IT WOULD BE… A Citroen DS 23 Pallas. This is a car many people dismiss as bug-ugly, yet if you get it, you’ll see that it’s a work of fine, futuristic beauty. The Citroen was styled by French aeronautical engineer Andre Lefebvre and looks as though it could move through space with the same kind of clunky grace as the Serenity.

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