Geek Pride Week: Our top 5 favourite techies in film history

Celebrate Geek Pride Week with us by honouring five iconic techies from cinema history. Discover the genius of Q from James Bond, Alan Turing, Doc Brown, Mark Zuckerberg, and Ian Malcolm.

It’s Geek Pride week and we’re proud to be fuelling the careers of a whole new generation of techies. To celebrate this special week, we’re going to reflect on five iconic techies from cinema history. From Jurassic Park to The Social Network, we’re giving these guys all the credit and criticism they deserve.

5. Q – James Bond

In fifth place, the iconic quartermaster in the James Bond series, is beloved for his genius in creating cutting-edge gadgets and weapons. Played by various actors, Q is a quintessential film geek: highly intelligent, inventive, and slightly eccentric. His banter with Bond and his passion for tech innovation make him one of our favourite national treasures. Whether he’s providing Bond with an exploding pen or a modified Aston Martin, Q's blend of dry humour and dedication to his craft makes him a cherished character, showcasing that even the most unassuming tech wizard can be a hero in their own right.

4. Alan Turing – The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game is an award-winning film based on the life and work of notorious cryptanalyst, Alan Turing, who played a huge part in the development of theoretical computer science.

The film begins with Turing’s recruitment by the British government during WWII to join a team at Bletchley Park, tasked with breaking the German Enigma code. Portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, Turing is depicted as intellectually superior but socially isolated. Turing's ingenuity leads to the creation of a machine which successfully deciphers the Enigma's encrypted messages. This breakthrough is pivotal, significantly shortening the war and saving countless lives.

The Imitation Game also explores Turing’s personal struggles, particularly his homosexuality in an era when it was criminalised. This focus illustrates the profound injustice Turing faced, culminating in his arrest and conviction for gross indecency. The stark contrast between his heroic war contributions and his tragic personal life serves as a powerful commentary on the intolerance of the time.

While Turing may not have been universally celebrated during his life, his pioneering work laid the groundwork for the computer age. The Imitation Game honours Turing by paying homage to not just his work, but the societal challenges he was made to endure.

3. Doc Brown – Back to the Future

In third place, the man who enriched so many of our childhoods; eccentric and wildly inventive, Dr. Emmett Brown, affectionately known as Doc Brown. In 1985 classic, Back to the Future, Doc Brown is the mastermind behind the iconic DeLorean time machine, a creation that sets the entire film trilogy into motion.

Doc Brown is characterised by his wild hair, frenetic energy, and boundless enthusiasm for scientific discovery. His brilliance is matched only by his unconventional methods and occasional absent-mindedness. Despite these quirks, Doc’s deep sense of morality and dedication to his friend, Marty McFly, are what we love about him.

The story takes a dramatic turn when Marty, played by Michael J. Fox, accidentally travels back to 1955, where he meets a younger version of Doc. Together, they must navigate the challenges of altering the past while ensuring Marty can return to his own time. Doc's inventive problem-solving skills and unyielding determination are on full display as he devises complex plans to harness lightning to power the DeLorean for Marty’s journey back to the future.

Doc Brown may not always conform to societal norms, but his unwavering commitment to scientific exploration and his courageous spirit make him a beloved figure in popular culture.

2. Mark Zuckerberg – The Social Network

In at #2… Love him or loathe him, Zuckerberg has been one of the most influential people of a generation in both the tech world and popular culture. Now a globally recognised businessman, meme muse, and billionaire, he wasn’t always so illustrious. Zuckerberg’s rise to fame began at Harvard where he developed a programme called Facemash in which people could choose who they thought was the most attractive out of a collection of fellow students.

2010 film, David Fincher’s The Social Network, loosely recounts Zuckerberg’s origin story. While he’s depicted as intellectually exceptional and ambitious, it’s also highlighted that he’s insecure and not very well-adjusted socially. The film also delves deeper into the moral ambiguity surrounding the founding of Facebook, touching on the fallouts between Mark Zuckerberg and his friend and co-founder, Eduardo Saverin, and the intellectual property theft purported by the Winklevoss brothers and Divya Narendra.

Zuckerberg seems to consistently find himself at the centre of global controversies and although he may not be everyone’s favourite entrepreneur, he’s certainly paved the way for a whole new way of thinking when it comes to globalisation and connectivity.

1. Ian Malcolm – Jurassic Park

In first place, the internet’s favourite icon, Jeff Goldblum, as Chaotician Ian Malcolm. Goldblum adopted one of his most impactful roles in 1990 and made a huge impression on our screens as an eccentric, charming, charismatic geek; but what made Malcolm such a memorable and loveable techie?

Malcolm was a true interdisciplinarian with a wealth of knowledge in mathematics and chaos theory, making him a force to be reckoned with in the face of complex systems and unpredictability, imperative in an environment like Jurassic Park. He was also perpetually sceptical and able to think critically, meaning he felt confident and equipped to question the authority of those running the park.

We also loved Malcolm for his strong moral compass and his inclination towards ethics. He frequently questioned the ethics of "playing god" and manipulating genetics, which resonates with our own concerns about the implications of technological advancements.


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