With Avatar now the highest grossing film in history and the ever popular Twilight franchise amassing huge wads of cash for anyone within touching distance of it, it seems we have a thing for a good old fashioned inter-species romp these days.
Here’s a list of what I consider to be ten completely inappropriate love affairs…
Avatar: Jake and Neytiri
Avatar has, at its heart, a story that’s been told a thousand times before and of these thousand tellings probably about 900-950 of them have been deeper and more subtle .
However, it is engaging and you can’t help but root for Jake and Neytiri even if they are ironically a bit two dimensional. It’s not a romance though that really ever feels anywhere near fleshed out.
Still, Shakespeare used old stories from myth and folk lore to structure his poetry around. Cameron used a clichéd story to structure his visuals around. If it’s alright for Shakespeare, then, I’d say, it’s fine for the rest of us.
Blade Runner: Rachael and Rick Deckard
There is, of course, an element of are they/aren’t they about this one. Rachael is firmly established as a full blown certified replicant, possessing the memories of Doctor Tyrell’s niece. Rick thinks he might be too. Rachael thinks Rick might be too. Is he? They don’t know and neither do we.
On the first viewing, Rutger Hauer stole this completely with his soliloquy, but when watched back, the Harrison Ford/Sean Young triste provides passion and intrigue in this notoriously slow classic.
Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined): Helo and Athena
The reimagined Battlestar Galactica could easily have been called Blade Runner reimagined. Although all the window dressing comes from the original BSG, the themes and the way they are explored are hugely influenced by the Ridley Scott/Phillip K Dick sci-fi opus.
The Karl Agathon/Helo, Sharon Valerii /Athena storyline is clearly inspired by the Rachael Deckard relationship minus the ambiguities surrounding his true nature. Whereas Deckard and Rachael play out their relationship in deserted flats and empty offices, though, Athena and Helo must struggle through theirs in full view of the judging eyes of the colonial fleet.
The pressure from without, on top of the internal conflict, makes the relationship tougher, but ultimately all the more inspiring.
Who Framed Rodger Rabbit?: Rodger and Jessica Rabbit
Is he a rabbit and she a human or are they both cartoons?
Even if we decide on the latter, it’s still inappropriate that the pair of them get together. The reason is a very simple one, too: she’s just far too hot for him no matter how funny he is. Actually, to be fair, she’s probably too hot for any other creature on the planet as well…
Twilight: Edward and Bella
I have to admit I have only read the first Twilight novel, so I’m a bit lost with how Bella’s relationship with Edward develops and also who this Jacob chancer is and where he fits into things.
I do know two things, though. Firstly, Jacob’s no Edward, and secondly, Bella must have some serious issues. After all, it’s fairly bad luck that the first guy you fall in love with turns out to be a vicious creature of the night. But when the second guy turns out to be the same? That’s not luck. Instead, it reeks of an underlying psychological dysfunction.
Red Dwarf: Lister and Rimmer
They would tell you that they hate each other but you wouldn’t believe them.
The seventh series (the first after Rob Grant had left the writing team) had an awful lot wrong with it. But on the upside, it did provide two truly great episodes in Tikka To Ride and Stoke Me A Clipper.
It also offered perhaps one of the most hilariously grotesque scenes in British television history. Yep, it’s the Rimmer-Lister kiss in Blue. I’d say it was love, just not as we know it….
Skins: Naomi Campbell and Emily Fitch
There’s no sexuality issue here, we should be clear. Nor in the case of the Skins pairing is it the fact that Emily is punching massively above her weight. It’s not even that they insist on having all their arguments in small rooms full of people. It’s just there’s a basic rule of thumb that I have which I think Miss Campbell should adhere to: never date your stalker. It will end badly.
I have to say, though, if you can overlook the stalk-y element of the early part of their relationship (which clearly Naomi has), their relationship turns out to be a brilliant story. The use of the twins and how Emily’s coming out affects her relationship with Katie was something that has never been done before and was incredibly powerful.
Final Fantasy Ten: Tidus and Yuna
It was cheesy, the dialogue was naff, some of the voice acting was pretty appalling (laughing scene, anyone?) and it ended badly (unless you bothered with the rushed, rather shoddy Final Fantasy Ten Two). It got you, though, didn’t it!
She was a bit wet, he was incredibly irritating, but they were young and innocent and so you couldn’t help but be on their side in their struggle against Sin and Master Seymour.
Also, when you invest that much time in a relationship, you’ve got to hope it’ll work out. I put more into their relationship than I put into my own, so I was a bit upset when Tidus turned out to be a dream of the fayth.
I’d lost my girlfriend for his relationship. The least he could have done was have been real.
Red Dwarf: Kryten and the Pleasure GELF
Red Dwarf strikes again! This one’s from the episode, Camille, summed up best by the man himself: “It’s the old story: droid meets droid, droid becomes chameleon, droid loses chameleon, chameleon turns into blob, droid gets blob back again, blob meets blob, blob goes off with blob and droid loses blob, chameleon and droid. How many times have we heard that story?”
An outrageously creative take on Casablanca. Not the funniest episode, but certainly one of the more thoughtful. And also one of the most downright unusual inter-species romances put on screen.
Doctor Who: The Doctor and Rose Tyler
Billie always liked older men, so I guess it’s no surprise that she fell in love with a 906-year-old, but she sort of overlooked the ‘man’ side of it. She also earned the wrath of Doctor Who traditionalists who were still struggling with Paul McGann helping himself to a snog in the 1996 television movie. Here, though, we have the Doctor falling in love with his assistant, once one of the biggest taboos in science fiction.
Add your own suggestions in the comments!