The Most Impractical Technology Designs In Science Fiction
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Sep 18, 2012

The Most Impractical Technology Designs In Science Fiction

In the past science fiction has often done an excellent job of predicting our future. Star Trek predicted the design of the mobile phone. Star Trek: The Next Generation niftily predicted the invention of the iPad. The Minority Report prophesised the rise of Xbox Kinnect. This prescience is achieved through a combination of detailed research, extensive consultations and dumb luck.
Of course, it doesn’t always work out so well. In fact, often designers will create things with hideous design flaws, such as:
The Enterprise’s bridge is in the most killable part of the ship

The USS Enterprise is one of the best and most iconic spaceship designs in history. Before the Enterprise the majority of spaceship designs were either rockets, flying saucers, or a plane, but like, a SPACE plane. The Enterprise was the first spaceship on television to look like it had actually been built in orbit and didn’t have to deal with petty, Earth-bound problems like air resistance or gravity.
I love the Enterprise. But, well, let’s be honest here. The placement of the bridge is bloody stupid.
The bridge is the control room, the nerve centre of the entire ship. Inside this room you will find virtually all of the most crucial crewmembers, from the captain to the pilot to the ship’s science officer. Destroying that room would be like cutting off the ship’s head.
So why is it smack on top of the ship in the most exposed possible location?
Modern ships, planes and even the space shuttle are controlled from a room on the top or front of the vehicle, this is true. This is because these locations give you the best possible view of the surrounded environment. But the Enterprise bridge doesn’t have any windows, just a massive television screen.
No, the bridge is where it is so that the camera could zoom in on it impressively in the first episode. Really this room should be buried deep within the bowels of the ship.
The lightsaber will cut your hand off before anyone else’s
I know, I’m annoying a lot of nerds here, but it needs to be said, lightsabers, while admittedly being one of the coolest weapons ever (It’s a sword, but like, a laser sword!) are terribly designed. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this.

This, as you can see, is a nerd, holding a lightsaber. Looks good doesn’t it? Wish you had one? Take a closer look at the lightsaber. Not seen the problem yet?
Okay, I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s a picture of another type of nerd, this time holding a regular, correctly spelled, non light sabre.

You see that big silver bit on the handle? That’s a guard that prevents the fencer’s hand slipping off the handle and only what is known by professional swordsmen as “the sharp bit”. Don’t let your hand slip onto the sharp bit.
The Daleks are just terribly designed

The Daleks are iconic, but are also one of the most shoddily done design jobs in geek history.
Now, the nerds who are upset that I’ve ruined lightsabers for them are going to come back in full force on this one.
“You can’t use the stairs argument!” they’ll be shouting. “Because in Remembrance of the Daleks and Dalek it was shown that Daleks can hover up staircases, and in subsequent episodes they were regularly shown flying!”
Well nerds, I’m sorry, but no dice. As you can see from the photo above, I am actually talking about the original Daleks as seen in the 1960s serial “The Daleks” otherwise known as “The Mutants” not too be confused with the John Pertwee serial, “The Mutants”. Out-nerded!
In the original Dalek story, the Daleks were not only unable to navigate stairs- they were unable to move around unless they were in contact with the metal floor of their own base. They had all the mobility of actual dodgem cars. At one point the characters even manage to overpower a Dalek by tricking it into rolling over a piece of fabric.
By the Dalek Invasion of Earth that had been fixed, but even then the supreme race has other flaws. For instance, the eye-stalk. Firstly, having only one eye is a serious flaw, as it means the Daleks have absolutely no depth perception. You can sneak up on one of them just by being a short person who’s pretending that they’re far away. Secondly, the stalk, well, what good is it? All it means is that the Dalek eye is on a thin, easily broken rod with limited manoeuvrability.

Author Bio: Chris Farnell is a freelance writer working with Marketing Jobs London. No, he doesn't have a girlfriend at the moment. Why do you ask?