10 Characters/Things You Might Not Know Were Cyborgs

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Cyborgs are everywhere in science fiction — including some that nobody ever thinks of as cyborgs. Many of your favorite heroes — and spaceships! — have biological and mechanical components. Here's a list of the cyborgs you might not remember.

Note: Some of these examples aren't uber-obscure, so if you're a huge scifi geek you may already know about them. But we're surprised how often people don't think of these characters and ships when they're listing famous cyborgs from science fiction.

So here goes:

Captain Picard. No, not the Locutus thing. The stalwart captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D (and E) is a cyborg. He was stabbed through the heart by a Nausicaan back during his time at Starfleet Academy, and ever since then he's had an artificial heart, which almost went wrong and killed him a couple times.


The Starship Voyager has bioneural circuitry which is, in some sense, alive. It gives the ship all sorts of advantages over a regular Federation starship — except that it's vulnerable to biological attack. Like in one episode, the ship gets hit with a nasty virus, leading to the most famous line of Voyager dialog of all time:

Luke Skywalker loses his hand at the end of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and gets an artificial hand afterwards. People just don't think of him as a cyborg character, even though it's a huge trauma for him.

Victor Bergman in Space: 1999 has a mechanical heart as well. But unlike Captain Picard's heart, Victor's actually turns out to be a huge advantage in several episodes — in one case, he gets electrocuted, and it's only his artificial heart that saves his life.


Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop has a cybernetic eye, his right one, which he says was replaced after an accident — but the purpose and nature of his cybernetic eye is never entirely made clear. According to the Cowboy Bebop Wiki, he sometimes claims his real eye can only see the past, and the prosthetic eye can only see the future.


Dana Scully from The X-Files has a chip implanted in the back of her neck in The X-Files. I suppose the idea is to control her reproductive system remotely, or something. They never really explained it all that well, but it was a cool example of the intersection of mild body horror and paranoia.


Bennet "Ben" Marco in the 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate doesn't just get brainwashed by the bad guys — instead, he has a computer chip inserted in his brain to allow him to be controlled via RFID. Yes, that's right — the same technology that's in your swipe card and the inventory tags on your shirts.

Other spaceships. Some of these you might have known about, but others might be a surprise. The Moya in Farscape is actually an organism, or a bioship. And the Minbari White Star Fleet in Babylon 5 has Vorlon bio-armor technology. The Doctor's time machine, the TARDIS, on Doctor Who is strongly suggested to be partly biological, and in fact a deleted scene from season four has the Doctor offering his half-human clone a piece of the TARDIS (which looks like a chicken nugget) so he can grow a new one:

And finally, a couple of cases where being a cyborg is crucial to their origin story, but people still sometimes seem to forget:

Iron Man is a cyborg. We shouldn't even need to include him, because he's so obviously unable to survive without the arc reactor in the middle of his chest, keeping his heart beating. But a lot of people seem to think he's just a guy in a suit of armor.


The Daleks. They're not just robots. They're not just alien blobs inside armored casings. They're mutant creatures that need their armor to survive.


Additional reporting by Kelly Faircloth.