Home Blog History 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s present

The 1980s

In pure sci-fi terms, this decade is the most important for me - as it features the sci-fi film Bladerunner, which is certainly one of my favourite films of all time - if not THE favourite. Superman, Star Wars and Star Trek all continue in the 1980s, as we see an increase in the use of technology, and CGI, in particular, culminating in the visually stunning Tron. Lets get on with Bladerunner...


The film tells a story of a cop whose job it is to rid the world of replicants - man-made humanoids, superior to normal humans and almost indistinguishable from them. Since the creators fear them, they are built with a 4-year life span. For us, we are interested in three of them. Firstly we have Pris, a "basic pleasure model", played by Darryl Hannah. In the film, she ambushes Deckard (the Bladerunner) and puts up a pretty mean and acrobatic fight against him. She is, however, no match for a futuristic and powerful gun and meets a violent death. Secondly we have Zhora, a special-ops assassin model played by Joanna Cassidy. She spent most of the time hiding away, masquerading as an exotic dancer with a side-show of writhing snakes. Guess what? She meets a violent death too - shame eh? Finally, and of course the main female character, Rachel, played by Sean Young. Rachel was the love interest in the film, if you haven't seen it, and was also a replicant. Stylish and intelligent, she was "special" - meaning that she didn't have the curtailed life-span of other replicants - and fled with Deckard to start a new life.

Daryl Hannah Pris Bladerunner

Daryl Hannah as Pris in Bladerunner (1982)

Joanna Cassidy Zhora Bladerunner

Joanna Cassidy as Zhora in Bladerunner(1982)

Sean Young Rachel Bladerunner

Sean Young as Rachel in Bladerunner (1982)

Space girls

Many sci-fi films in the 1980s were multi-genre crossovers, especially horror. Because this dilutes the sci-fi quality of the character, and because there are many to choose from, I have been more selective than in other decades, and this trend will continue as we move on. In my blog, I described an hierarchy of sci-fi babes, and characters in outer space find themselves high up on that list.

Battle beyond the stars

A space-opera, made to take advantage of the market stimualted by the Star Wars phenemenon. Here we have the proverbial beautiful daughter of an old man on life support, a valkyrie, eager to prove herself in battle and for good measure, a character played by Lost in Spaces's Marta Kristen...
Darlanne Fleugel Nanelia Battle beyond the stars

Darlanne Fleugel as Nanelia in Battle beyond the stars (1980)

Sybil Danning St Exmin Battle Beyond the Stars

Sybil Danning as St Exmin in Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)

Marta Kristen Lux Battle beyond the stars

Marta Kristen as Lux in Battle beyond the stars (1980)


For decades, our hero, Flash Gordon has been saving the universe. He was assisted in the 1980 film by Dale Arden, played by Melody Anderson, who was a highly intelligent woman with doctorates and degrees and a founder of social and psychological movements in the USA (strange that she took the role then!) I think she looked a bit drab until Ming got his clutches on her and then she started dressing up in sexier costumes. Ornella, on the other hand, looks great as Aura throughout the film and looks both sexy and sly at the same time.
Melody Anderson Dale Arden Flash Gordon

Melody Anderson as Dale Arden in Flash Gordon (1980)

Ornella Muti Auro Flash Gordon

Ornella Muti as Auro in Flash Gordon (1980)

Star Wars

In the 1983 film, Return of the Jedi, we see Princess Leia in her slave costume forn the first time. I've said before that I don't really consider Carrie Fisher was particularly sexy, but for the fans....here's a couple of images.

Carrie Fisher Princess Leia Bikini2

Carrie Fisher Princess as Leia in The Return of the Jedi (1983)

Carrie Fisher Princess Leia Bikini2

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in The Return of the Jedi (1983)

On a desert planet...

In 1984 an attempt was made to put Frank Herbert's novel, Dune, on the silver screen. Improved upon since then, it had little sci-fi babe potential, apart from maybe 2 characters...

Virginia Masden Princess Irulan Dune

Virginia Masden as Princess Irulan in Dune (1984)

Sean Young Chani Dune

Sean Young as Chani in Dune (1984)


I mentioned in the 1970s that we would meet Dorothy Stratten again, and wow, here she is. She plays the lead role in Galaxina (1980) as the female android, surprisingly called Galaxina. She is a robot, but teaches herself to talk and reprogramme herself so that she can fall in love with the captain. Its a spoof of several films including Alien, Star Trek and Star Wars. You can catch it on the WWW so give it a go...

Dorothy Stratton Galaxina Galaxina

Galaxina played by Dorothy Stratton in Galaxina (1980)

Who you gonna call?

Who would have thought that the actress who played Ripley in the Alien films could be so sexy? Well here she is as the Gatekeeper in Ghostbusters.... and we'll be seeing more of her in the future, too!!

Sigourney Weaver gatekeeper ghostbusters

Sigourney Weaver as the Gatekeeper in Ghostbusters (1984)


In Saturn 3 (1980) sex goddess Farah Fawcett-Majors, who if you didn't know was in the orginal Charlie's Angels (then you haven't lived), played Alex, part of a scientific team living on one of Saturn's moons. She was living in peace with her lover, gorging on ample fruit and veg they had grown whilst Earth starved. Whilst taking a dreaming pill, Alex appears in a sexy outfit that I personally think doesn't work.  Anyway, it was cut from the film, although still used as publicity.

Another former angel, Cheryl Ladd appeared in Millennium (1989) as Louise Baltimore. Very few good images to be found, but I will do my best to get  a better one when I have time...

Farah Fawcett Alex Saturn 3.jpg

Farah Fawcett as Alex in Saturn 3(1980)

Cheryl Ladd Louise Baltimore Millenium

Cheryl Ladd as Louise Baltimore in Millennium (1989)


Despite not appearing in the remake of Tron (1982), Cindy Morgan's character, Yori, was an important part in the original as a friend of Tron's. Considered groundbreaking at the time, the computer animations were created on a computer with only 2MB of memory! Mostly helmet-wearing, I think she looks great in this promotional picture.

Cindy Margan Yori Tron

Cindy Margon as Yori in Tron (1982)


Not on the wiki list, Krull (1983) features Lysette Anthony as Lyssa, the princess who's child will inevitably rule the universe....providing she stays alive long enough!  Strange how the wiki list missed it, it was a big film in the 1980s and has attained cult status amongst many followers. I suppose it means I will have to continue adding to the wiki listings over time.  And it doesn't even feature in the IMDb main listing as sci-fi, but under the lower genre tagging! So it is a fantasy film, but as a Star Wars knock-off it is most definitely sci-fi.

Lysette Anthony lyssa Krull

Lysette Anthony as Lyssa in Krull (1983)

Mad Max

For some reason we have been able to avoid the Mad Max franchise, but no more! I'm not a massive Tina Turner fan, but as Aunty Enity in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, (1985) she plays a true sci-fi babe, glamorous in that costume and snarling with ruthlessness...

Tina Turner Aunty Eity Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome

Tina Turner as Aunty Eity in Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome (1985)


One of my favourite sci-fi films of the era was Cocoon (1985), a film I've watched many times over. It wasn't until I researched the film in detail that I realised that Kitty, the beautiful Antarean alien, was played by Tahnee welch, who is the daughter of Raquel Welch. This image is taken from the pool scene with Steve Guttenburg, but I wish I could find one of her in her scuba outfit!

Tahnee Welch Kitty Cocoon

Tahnee Welch as Kitty in Cocoon (1985)

That's weird!

In Weird Science (1985), a couple of lads throw together a few bits and bobs, including a Barbie doll and hack into a government computer to create their own perfect woman. The result is Lisa, played by the very sexy Kelly LeBrock. Now if only MY computer could do that sort of thing.... Kelly was an incredibly sought-after model and played a couple of roles as "The perfect woman", in this and The lady in Red, which is not Sci-fi so you can look it up yourself! In the meantime, enjoy this picture of Lisa.

Kelly LeBrock Lisa Weird Science

Kelly LeBrock as Lisa in Weird Science (1985)

Super bitch

Sci-fi babes are most often super heroines but from time to time we come across some really nasty pieces of work. One such super-bitch is Ursa, played by Sarah Douglas in(1980). She is the second in command of the three from the phantom zone and General Zod's consort.

Sarah Douglas Ursa Superman 2

Sarah Douglas as Ursa in Superman II (1980)


The jury is still out, as far as I am concerned, as to whether Geena Davis really can play a sexy character. In her two main sci-fi attempts,  Veronica Quaife in The Fly (1986), and Valerie Gail in Earth Girls are Easy (1988), she doesn't quite hit the mark (although in some scenes, as Valerie Gail, in Earth Girls perhaps close). In the latter, the role was turned down by Madonna.

Geena Davis Veronica Quaife The Fly

Geena Davis as Veronica Quaife in The Fly (1986)

Geena Davis Valerie Gail Earth Girls are easy

Geena Davis as Valerie Gail in Earth Girls are easy (1988)


When science fiction and comedy come together, they are often in the form of a parody and none is better than Spaceballs (1987). The main character is Princess Vespa, and boy is her tongue as acidic as her name! However, the show-stealer for me is only in the film for a few seconds and can easily missed. Rhonda Shears as "a waitress" deserves better!

Daphne Zuniga Princess Vespa Spaceballs

Daphne Zuniga as Princess Vespa in Spaceballs (1987)

Rhonda Shears waitress spaceballs

Rhonda Shears as "Waitress" in spaceballs(1987)

Amazon Women on the moon

The film is actually a collection of 21 snippets, contributing towards a spoof of science fiction in general. The segment entitled "Amazon Women on the Moon parodies some films already featured here, such as: Fire Maidens from Outer Space, Cat-Women of the Moon and Fantastic Voyage. Here's a selection of those with some sci-fi credentials...

sybil danning Queen Lara Amazon Women

Sybil Danning as Queen Lara in Amazon Women on the Moon (1987)

Lana Clarkson Alpha Beta Amazon women

Lana Clarkson as Alpha Beta in Amazon Women on the Moon (1987)

Sci-fi Television in The 1980s

On to the small screen...

A decade where John Lennon was assassinated, Reagan was president, Britain went to war over the Falkland Islands and the Berlin Wall fell. The 1980s was a time when technology made its way into most housholds; the fax machine, VHS recorders, personal computers using floppy disks and polaroid cameras all made their personal mark during this decade. Later in the decade, Apple released its Macintosh model and Compact disks made their debut. People were playing Pacman and trying to solve Rubik's cube. The space shutle made its appearance and also a disastrous destruction. In fashion terms, big hair and shoulder pads were all the rage and on the Silver screen, there were a number of films emerging with women playing major and strong roles - on television, the series "V" was a massive success! The era was the time of the blockbuster film, with ET leading the way. The Star Trek franchise continued with 4 more films in the decade and the onset of Captain Picard and his Next Generation, paving the way for a huge expanse in science fiction in futire years...

V (1984-1985)

The world welcomed the visitors from outer space and discovered them not to be as they thought - a group of travellers searching for new food sources for their starving planet. And yes, humans were deemed to be very tasty...

We were spoiled with sadistic and cruel babes as Visitors in this mini but very successful TV series. No more so than Diana, played by Jane Badler, who shocked viewers buy swallowing a guinea pig whole! Clever, cruel, cunning and very seductive, she was the commander of a mothership and second-in-command overall. She liked nothing more to torture humans who needed "attitude adjustment".

Vain and power-hungry, was the head of security on Earth, Lydia. Whilst not as sadistic as Diana, she aimed to rid the fleet of Diana and made several attempts to get rid of her whilst remaining loyal to the Visitors' command.

Its nice to meet Sybil Danning again. Here she played Mary Kruger, the Dark Angel of Dallas, who only lasted one episode - shame. She was an apprentice of Diana and invented a machine that would process Humans better than the freezing process. Nice job!

On the resistance side, Faye Grant played Julie Parrish, a research scientist at the local hospital, who became the leader of the resistance. For me, she was the babe of the show.

Jane Badler as Diana in V

Jane Badler as Diana in V (1984-5)

June Chadwick Lydia V

June Chadwick as Lydia in V (1984-5)

Sybil Danning Mary-Kruger V

Sybil Danning as Mary-Kruger in V (1984-5)

Faye Grant Julie Parrish V

Faye Grant Julie Parrish V (1984-5)


As mentioned before, its actually unusual to come across the hybrid comedy-science fiction genre, but in the 1980s we meet 2 of the very best. In Red Dwarf, we meet the delicious Kochanski, the love-prize of the main antagonist, Lister, and briefley,Katerina Bartikovsky, a hologram who is a scientific genious and very strict and serious.

Secondly, the chirpy Trillian, a personal favourite of mine from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, played bySandra Dickinson. She was the only human female left in the universe, and was from Islington. She would often play air-brained blondes on TV, but here she was a brilliant mathematician and astrophysicist in real life. The original radio character had an English accent, but I preferred Sandra's squeaky American version.

Chloe Annett Kristine Kochanski Red Dwarf

Chloe Annett as Kristine Kochanski in Red Dwarf (1988  - )

Sophie Winkleman Katerina BartiKovsky Red Dwarf

Sophie Winkleman as Katerina BartiKovsky in Red Dwarf (1988 - )

Sandra Dickinson Trillian Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Sandra Dickinson as Trillian in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (1981)

Kinvig (1981)

Gosh - I had all but forgotten this TV series until I researched it and remembered I had actually seen it! Prunella Gee played an annoying customer of Kinvig's repair shop, Miss Griffin, who then turned about to be from Mercury.

Prunella Gee Miss Griffin Kinvig

Prunella Gee as Miss Griffin in Kinvig (1981)

Misfits of Science (1984 -1985)

Here's a very young and sweet-looking Courtney Cox as Gloria Dinallo, a mutant with telekinesis powers in this little-remembered series.

Courtney Cox Gloria Dinallo Misfits of Science

Courtney Cox asGloria Dinallo in Misfits of Science (1984-5)

Galactica 1980 (1980)

Not a very successful return for the franchise, lasting only one series, but it did include a new character, Jamie Hamilton, played by Robyn Douglass, who I thought was quite cute actually! Not a lot more to say than the next series was far better...

Robyn Douglas Jamie Hamilton Galactica 1980

Robyn Douglas as Jamie Hamilton Galactica 1980 (1980)

ImageThe 1980s

The 1980s had just over 350 science fiction films, many of which were crossovers with the horror genre in particular. Because life is too short, I've held back on including many characters, trying instead to focus on the ones I have come across in films I have seen and think need to be included, either for sci-fi credentials or stunning beauty... Its the decade that brought us Bladerunner and more Aien, Superman, Star Wars and Star Trek films so it has a good pedigree anyway. From a television point of view, the decade boasts very few stand out series and characters. Thank goodness for Star Trek: The Next Generation which rescues the 1980s from becoming very mediocre...