Animal Magnetism.

Okay TV watchers…your fellow human beings are not the only ones that can bring some drama and comedy to a science fiction/fantasy television show. In fact, some of the most interesting sci-fi personalities have been animals that were either pets or simply worthy companions that were more preferable than humanoid company (hence the definition of a pet, huh?).

Anyhow, the quirky concept of bringing to mind some of the most interesting animals in science fiction/fantasy television is a challenging yet curious notion. So who are some of your favorite beasts of burden that pop up in your memory banks?

In Animal Magnetism, let us see if we can recall some of the cozy creatures that delighted us during our viewing habits from yesteryear. Whether real or animated or made out of scrap metal, the collection of critters in this article should make you want to go out and purchase a hairy friend at your local pet store in the nearby gallery. Well…at least we hope so anyway. Fleas and ticks would not dare to jump on the backs of some of these beloved beasts.

How can one not go ape over Debbie? Penny and Will…enough of the money business already!

Frank’s TEN selected animals/pets in science fiction/fantasy are as follows:

Debbie the Bloop from LOST IN SPACE: Unfortunately for Debbie the Bloop, she did not last long on the 60s space series ‘Lost In Space’. Debbie was a space monkey who had odd antlers on her head. The furry simian appeared in the early black and white first season of the program. Upon being discovered by the Robinsons on a desolate planet, young Penny took a shine to the alien banana peeler whose signature ‘bloop bloop’ sound was repetitive yet strangely endearing.

Sebastian from JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS IN OUTER SPACE: One might say that Sebastian the cat was a sourpuss in every sense of the word. Sneaky, conniving and rotten to the core, Sebastian had the same traits as his owner in the equally scheming and moody Alexandria. Physically black with white patches on its back (that matched Alexandria’s hairdo), Sebastian was always snickering and ordered to the dirty work as commanded by the spiteful Alexandria. Yeah, Sebastian was rather ‘catty’, but we loved his devilish ways.

K-9 from DOCTOR WHO: Nobody served as a dependable sidekick than the trusty robotic canine that accompanied the Doctor on his adventurous trips around the galaxy. K-9 was an odd-looking square metal fleabag with funky red and black lined visor eyes. K-9 had character and was a spunky soul wrapped up in a grayish tin exterior that could be as loyal as his four-legged flesh and bones counterparts. The Doctor could certainly leave K-9 in the TARDIS with the windows down and he certainly would not escape given the chance.

Astro from THE JETSONS: Good ole Astro was definitely man’s best friend. A doggone companion to George Jetson and his family, Astro would pounce on his master after finishing a hard day’s work at Spacely’s Sprockets. One would not say that Astro was starving for attention per se as in comparison to Fred Flintstone’s prehistoric pet dinosaur Dino, for instance. Still, Astro was appreciative and what father-and-son would not want this tail-wagging treat along to play fetch with? George and Elroy…give that cosmic canine a prized bone!

Spot from STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION: We all know how straight-laced and logical Data can be as he demonstrates his analytical mindset with the stiffness of an ironing board. Of course, one of Data’s rare instances where he can show a soft affectionate side (if possible) was when he lovingly carted around his beloved orange tabby cat Spot. Spot served as the testing ground for Data to feel emotional toward a living object that was not human. Spot probably would be fidgety around others but in the hands of Data he was as comfortable as catnip in a can.

Porthos from STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE: Hands down, Captain Jonathan Archer’s pet beagle dog Porthos was the cutest floppy-eared wonder that the galaxy has ever seen. Porthos, named after one of the Four Musketeers, had a puppy dog look that could melt lava inside a volcano. One could definitely enjoy the dog days of summer (or any other season) just by cuddling up to this adorable fleabag amongst the stars.

Krypto from SUPERMAN: There would not be a decent dog day afternoon without the mighty mutt of all mutts…the amazing Krypto! Naturally everyone knows who Krypto’s famous owner is, right? He’s the Man of Steel himself—Superman! Krypto was the super-powered caped canine that accompanied Superman on his heroic adventures to save the world from imminent harm. Go ahead and try to contain the hyperactive Krypto while walking him on his leash at night!
Gleek from SUPER FRIENDS: Gleek was the blue space alien monkey and served as the pet to the Wonder Twins, Zan and Jayna, on the ‘Super Friends’ animated series. Gleek was mainly used for comical purposes and always seemed to pop up at the end of the show in some quirky capacity. Armed with a strong tail and strange alien-sounding verbiage, Gleek is a wondrous species that adds more laughs than…sorry folks…a barrel of monkeys!

MAD Cat from INSPECTOR GADGET: The fat and fluffy feline MAD Cat was an evil nuisance to Inspector Gadget particularly because he belongs to the menacing Dr. Claw. MAD cat was vicious with a planted sinister look on its furious fur ball face. Dr. Claw treated MAD Cat with disdain on occasion but then the puffed-out pussy cat would take out its angst on IG and the world in general. Talking about a walking CAT-astrophe, huh?

Chipper from LAND OF THE GIANTS: Poor Chipper! Chipper was the pet dog of 12 year-old Barry Lockridge, who was among the seven air flight crew members that was stuck in a space warp that transported them to a strange world where humans and creatures were 12 times bigger than they were in size. As with his human colleagues, Chipper was in as much danger as being captured by the gigantic species — man and otherwise — that wanted his hide for food and other considerations. Sadly, Chipper could not play guard dog to protect his pre-teen owner and adult cohorts from the likes of these pesky giants.


Nibbler from FUTURAMA





Any endangered feline for ALF’s appetite from ALF


Frank Ochieng has contributed film reviews to SF Crowsnest off and on since 2003. He has been published in other various movie site venues throughout the years. Ochieng has been part of The Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and had written film reviews for The Boston Banner newspaper (USA) and frequently is a media/entertainment panelist on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 AM on "The Jordan Rich Show" in Boston, Massachusetts/USA.

4 thoughts on “Animal Magnetism.

  • Hello Frank

    I thought Krypto hung around more with Superboy than when he, the Kryptonian not the dog, was older.

    Did you ever read any of the Legion Of Super-Pets tales??


  • And once again I have to throw in my two cents worth. I can’t take a nostalgic trip to my childhood TV days without mentioning “Dopey” the friendly Brontosaurus that Holly Marshall made the family pet in Land of the Lost. The show was as hokey as they come but I loved it as a kid. I have said this before but once again thanks for the memories Frank.

  • Hello Frank

    Just a thought. What about the pets we know about but never saw, like Spock’s pet when he was a youngster, although it did appear in the animated series but not sure if that should be regarded as canon.


    • Tam and Geoff…glad to see that you are showing some “Animal Magnetism” of your own. Nice touch coming up with Dopey the Brontosaurus, Tam. And Geoff your suggestion of unseen pets sounds unique and intriguing as many folks did not know about Mr. Spock’s pet in his youth…or knew but just did not think about it one way or the other. Great input from the both of you!


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