Only in science fiction…

Some of the weirdest inspirations for sci-fi icons.

Inspiration can come from anywhere, just ask any author, filmmaker, photographer, journalist, artist, sculpter… you get the point. All it requires is a little creative ingenuity and technical know-how to make it a reality, and science fiction, fantasy and horror are genres replete with iconic characters, films, television shows and more that originate from unlikely sources, a few of which are listed below.

who-regenerationDoctor Who’s regeneration

The BBC has recently revealed that the Doctor’s rebirth process was inspired (seriously) by bad acid trips. Internal memos have revealed that the process was meant to convey the “dank horror” of a poor LSD experience – hardly surprising, considering the show first aired in the Sixties.


The instantly recognisable, and wholly impractical, Empire assault vehicles from The Empire Strikes Back had a peculiar inspiration according to urban legend. Allegedly, George Lucas was quite taken with these cargo lifters at the Port Of Oakland, leading to the mechanised camels we’d eventually see stomping around Hoth. This has been disputed, however.

ShiningBijl1The Shining

Stephen King has said that The Shining not only grew out of he and his family spending time in an empty hotel, but also of his feelings of real antagonism at times toward his children. He has said that the book is a confession for his angry impulses, as well as a story.

CaptainkirkStar Trek

Although Roddenberry’s ‘Wagon Train to the stars’ was infamously modelled in part on Horatio Hornblower, privately, the man himself told friends that he intended for Gulliver’s Travels to be one of the chief inspirations, with each episode to be an adventure story and morality tale.