PDA

View Full Version : Scifi character with the greatest longevity, your opinion ?



Manchurian Taikonaut
2007-Nov-01, 07:48 PM
Is it Dr Who one of the oldest cult tv shows. How about Sam Carter from Stargate, appears in SG-1 and in the spin-off series Atlantis, all played by the same actor/actress. How about Godzilla, all those cult B-movies ? Perhaps its Peter Parker and his Spiderman ego, a comic book, a cartoon and a trilogy of movies ? "Gunsmoke" holding the record for the longest running drama series

Can you measure something like this

honorable mention goes to Capitan Kirk, he even came back from the dead

NorthGuy
2007-Nov-01, 07:57 PM
Frankenstein's monster still has the old spark after 190 years.

Noclevername
2007-Nov-01, 08:03 PM
Do you mean how long the character itself has been around in real time, or fictional longevity? Some characters are older than the Universe, in the context of the stories.

KaiYeves
2007-Nov-01, 09:47 PM
I would have to say Peter Parker or Reed Richards.
They've been proving for over forty years that it's cool to be a geek.

Romanus
2007-Nov-01, 10:08 PM
Going on "fiction" longevity--that is, how long the character has been in the media under the control of various authors and artists--Frankenstein's monster was an excellent choice. I'd also add Captain Nemo, and H.G. Wells's nameless Time Traveller.

Gillianren
2007-Nov-01, 10:12 PM
I would have to say Peter Parker or Reed Richards.
They've been proving for over forty years that it's cool to be a geek.

If you must go with comic books every time, you have to remember that most of the DC heroes are older than the Marvel ones, even if you don't like DC.

However, I agree; it's the Creature, if we are looking at longevity of the character. No, obviously, he hasn't been played by the same actor every time, though the image most people have of him is the Karloff. (DeNiro did a pretty decent representation of the character as written, I though, even if I didn't think they should've stuck Mary Shelley's name in the title given how much they changed.) However, the Creature is from one of the first works of science fiction, and everyone knows who he is, even if they don't read sci-fi--or realize that he never actually gets a name.

KaiYeves
2007-Nov-02, 12:09 AM
If you must go with comic books every time, you have to remember that most of the DC heroes are older than the Marvel ones, even if you don't like DC.
You're right, Gillian.
Then I'd have to say my favorite Justice Leager, the Martian Manhunter.

I'd also add Captain Nemo, and H.G. Wells's nameless Time Traveller.
I'd also add Mr. Fogg from Around the World in 80 Days.

Gillianren
2007-Nov-02, 12:36 AM
You're right, Gillian.
Then I'd have to say my favorite Justice Leager, the Martian Manhunter.

Who isn't as old as Superman, an actual by-Gods alien.

Noclevername
2007-Nov-02, 12:54 AM
I'd have to go with Frankenstein's big palooka on this one. The films, comics and books that have used one version or another of the big lug (usually the Karloff-derived, green bolt-necked version) span most of his existence. Not to mention the various homages and parodies, like Herman Munster.

Occam
2007-Nov-02, 01:20 AM
What about the obvious inspiration for Frankenstein's monster, the Golem?

Noclevername
2007-Nov-02, 01:35 AM
What about the obvious inspiration for Frankenstein's monster, the Golem?

The Golem is supernatural in origin. Not science fiction, though the definition is sometimes blurry.

novaderrik
2007-Nov-02, 02:25 AM
isn't Spock something like 200 years old in the TNG era?
and his father was like 300 when he died.
of course, Q has been around forever, and will always be around, so i guess he kind of wins.. at least in the Star Trek universe.
aren't there some really, really old characters in the Stargate universe, too?
i think the little bug eyed alien dudes they have on all the earth ships are pretty old..

Tucson_Tim
2007-Nov-02, 02:29 AM
isn't Spock something like 200 years old in the TNG era?


I may be wrong but I think they want to know how long in real years. The Frankenstein Monster seems to be the current leader at 190 yrs**.

** Previous poster said 190 years

CodeSlinger
2007-Nov-02, 02:33 AM
Maybe this is a bit of a stretch, but if you're willing to view Gulliver's Travels as sci-fi, then Lemuel Gulliver beat the Creature by almost a hundred years (in terms of publishing date).

Noclevername
2007-Nov-02, 02:34 AM
Marvin the Paranoid Android. 37 times older than the Universe. ;)

Tucson_Tim
2007-Nov-02, 02:36 AM
Maybe this is a bit of a stretch, but if you're willing to view Gulliver's Travels as sci-fi, then Lemuel Gulliver beat the Creature by almost a hundred years (in terms of publishing date).

Good one. Not sure if it's sci/fi though.

I was going to nominate Grendel from Beowulf, but not sci/fi.

Noclevername
2007-Nov-02, 02:42 AM
The further back you go, the harder it is to distinguish between fantasy and sci-fi. Cyrano DeBergerac (the real one) wrote about men flying to the Moon, but the story contained no science. Even Gilgamesh was based on what was believed to be true about the heavens and the Earth at that time, in that culture.

CodeSlinger
2007-Nov-02, 02:47 AM
I agree, Tim, I haven't decided myself whether Gulliver's Travels really qualifies as sci-fi. There are, though, a few vaguely sci-fi elements, like the Engine (almost like a computer) and the flying island of Laputa using aerial bombardment of rocks (The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, anyone?). Also, not that this makes Gulliver's Travels sci-fi, but the term endian-ness in modern computing was taken from the story :)

Tucson_Tim
2007-Nov-02, 02:52 AM
I agree, Tim, I haven't decided myself whether Gulliver's Travels really qualifies as sci-fi. There are, though, a few vaguely sci-fi elements, like the Engine (almost like a computer) and the flying island of Laputa using aerial bombardment of rocks (The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, anyone?). Also, not that this makes Gulliver's Travels sci-fi, but the term endian-ness in modern computing was taken from the story :)

I believe you. I've only read it once - too many years ago to remember much. It sounds like a serious contender to me.

Noclevername
2007-Nov-02, 02:57 AM
Gulliver's Travels also contained other sci-fi elements: a nonhuman sapient species (the Hwynnim... however the heck it's spelled), nonsapient hominids (the Yahoos) and the Struldbrugs, who had eternal youth at the cost of severe health problems (a failed attempt at bioengineering?)

The magic mirrors, though, are pure fantasy.

PhantomWolf
2007-Nov-02, 04:06 AM
Well technically The Phantom is one of the oldest comic book ones, his first appearance was 1936, and while Superman was created in 1932, his first appearance wasn't until 1938. Even Billy Zane couldn't quite manage to kill off The Ghost Who Walks.

PhantomWolf
2007-Nov-02, 04:07 AM
I'd have to say Yoda though, he was already 900 years old a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. ;)

Graybeard6
2007-Nov-02, 05:26 AM
How about Lazarus Long ? Born November 11, 1912 and lived happily ever after.

Noclevername
2007-Nov-02, 05:30 AM
As long as we're throwing in comics characters, Galactus predates the Big Bang.

MG1962A
2007-Nov-02, 07:17 AM
Can I suggest an honourable mention to the Martians of HG Wells - although they dont have the longevity, they do have the honour of being represented in every form of mass media so far invented.

WHarris
2007-Nov-02, 11:45 AM
isn't Spock something like 200 years old in the TNG era?
and his father was like 300 when he died.


Take about a hundred years off of each. Sarek was 202 when he appeared in the TNG episode "Sarek", so he was 204 (or close to it) when he died two seasons later.

Doodler
2007-Nov-02, 12:46 PM
Well technically The Phantom is one of the oldest comic book ones, his first appearance was 1936, and while Superman was created in 1932, his first appearance wasn't until 1938. Even Billy Zane couldn't quite manage to kill off The Ghost Who Walks.

I didn't think the Phantom movie was that bad, to be honest. Not great, but certainly no more or less cheeseball than the comic that spawned it.

Doodler
2007-Nov-02, 12:48 PM
I'd have to go with John Sheriden and Delenn.

Heck, they were still talking about them a million years later.

A.DIM
2007-Nov-02, 01:45 PM
I'd have to say Gilgamesh.

Though the Epic, one of the earliest pieces of "literature", is historical fiction it contains some scifi elements (eg. Enkidu, Humbaba, the "guardians").

He was also in The Avengers comics.

Noclevername
2007-Nov-02, 02:34 PM
He was also in The Avengers comics.

The Avengers version was one of the Eternals, and his history was somewhat at odds with the traditional King of Uruk.

Lovecraft's Cthulu was originally intruduced in a (for the time) sci-fi context as a being "from the void between the stars", although later writers emphasized the supernatural aspects.

Paul Beardsley
2007-Nov-02, 06:05 PM
One who hasn't been mentioned yet is Tarzan.

"Tarzan?" I hear you say. "Get out of town! He was just a muscly adventurerer who swung on ropes around the jungle. He wasn't a sci fi character!"

But in the books, and in a reasonably faithful TV series in the 1990s (which I never saw), he got around. He featured in one of the earliest remembered cross-overs, appearing at Pellucidar at the Earth's Core.

My wife suggested Quatermass. I don't think he's quite got it, but his type is certainly lasting - the benign, somewhat abrasive scientist who doesn't know it all but who makes the best guesses, gets involved in the action whether he wants to or not, and probably gets exasperated by foolish authority figures. You see his like in Jon Pertwee's portrayal of Doctor Who, and possibly in Mulder in The X Files.

I'd go along with some of the other suggestions, including Wells' Time Traveller. And if we're not restricted to literal people - how about the planet Mars, as envisaged by Schiapparelli and Lowell? Clearly a distinct "character" from the real planet.

mike alexander
2007-Nov-02, 06:08 PM
How about Prof. Challenger?

Noclevername
2007-Nov-02, 06:20 PM
The Phantom actually fits in both categories; longevity both in and out of fiction. We know there's a Phantom at least until 2040.

Tucson_Tim
2007-Nov-02, 06:24 PM
I'd have to say Gilgamesh.



"Gilgamesh and Enkidu at Uruk"

Noclevername
2007-Nov-02, 06:30 PM
Sherlock Holmes. The first fictional hero of Forensics.

KaiYeves
2007-Nov-02, 07:39 PM
Who isn't as old as Superman, an actual by-Gods alien.
The Manhunter was already on Earth as an adult when the infant Kal-El's pod crashed.
I will second the nomination of Yoda.
I haven't seen the show, but isn't Doctor Who supposed to be really old?

Noclevername
2007-Nov-02, 07:58 PM
The Manhunter was already on Earth as an adult when the infant Kal-El's pod crashed.


Superman, first published in 1938. MM, first published 1955. However, in-story, both spent an unknown amount of time in deep space before arriving on Earth. Krypton might actually have exploded before Mars lost its ecosphere, who knows?

Delvo
2007-Nov-03, 12:51 AM
Most of the "ancient" suggestions don't apply because the characters didn't invent things themselves or discover them through a process of experiment and analysis; whatever thing they used or sought was just already there and given to them, or there waiting to be found by someone who set foot in the fright place or passed through the right trials and hardships.

The oldest examples I can think of, of a fanciful-seeming element of a story being invented by humans putting their minds and hands to work, are the wings of Daedalus and Icarus.

Noclevername
2007-Nov-03, 12:57 AM
Most of the "ancient" suggestions don't apply because the characters didn't invent things themselves or discover them through a process of experiment and analysis;

Neither did Luke Skywalker. The main character need not be a scientist for it to qualify as science fiction.

However, exactly what does qualify as science fiction is not always clear, because the definition of science has changed over the centuries.

IsaacKuo
2007-Nov-03, 12:18 PM
Okay, there were ancient Greeks who we might reasonably consider scientists of their time, so some of their stories with scientific content might be considered "science fiction". Therefore, I nominate Achilles, one of the characters in Zeno's story about him and a tortoise.

KaiYeves
2007-Nov-04, 09:35 PM
The oldest examples I can think of, of a fanciful-seeming element of a story being invented by humans putting their minds and hands to work, are the wings of Daedalus and Icarus.
I agree.
And I nominate Chiron the centaur as the oldest science teacher!

Charly
2007-Nov-05, 04:49 PM
Hmmm

How about 40k - Emperor of Mankind.

3000bc-41000ad

Noclevername
2007-Nov-05, 05:03 PM
A British comic character, Durham Red. A mutant vampire mercenary who lives over 1200 years.

Noclevername
2007-Nov-05, 05:04 PM
Highlander never really distinguished if it was sci-fi or fantasy, did it?

ADDED: How about Nathan Brazil from the Well World series? Older than the Universe.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2007-Nov-08, 07:12 PM
I agree with Frankenstein's monster, it/he must be the oldest character

Gillianren
2007-Nov-08, 07:15 PM
He. In the book (and the Branagh movie, the only movie version I've actually seen), he wants Victor Frankenstein (who wasn't a doctor) to make him a mate.

Jason
2007-Nov-08, 11:26 PM
I also agree with Frankenstein's creature. He is still going strong today.

How often have you seen film adaptations of Daedalus and Icarus?