What is Raquel Welch doing in that weird bikini, next to those alien objects? Who are those shiny men lifting their legs in salute to her? We'll probably never know, but it doesn't matter. Her dance number fits into a long, proud tradition of science fictional dance routines, from Star Trek to Buck Rogers to the Fifth Element. Click through for our roundup, with tons of clips.
Why do so many science fiction characters bust out their dance moves? Is it because they're men and women of action, and they need to get physical? Or is it because rhythm is the last, greatest boundary of science? Whatever the reason, we love scifi dance routines, and these are our favorites.
Buck Rogers in the 25th. Century. There are so many great dance sequences in this series, like the disco skating ambassadors. And Buck teaching Princess Ardala to get down. But the greatest may be this scene from "Space Rockers," where the band plays their glowy instruments and a ton of space-ravers dance around with light-filled ropes. Twiki's robo-dancing is just the icing on the cheesecake.
Galaxina. We already celebrated the awfulness of this movie, but here's another great moment. A gang of mutant bikers have our heroine tied up and helpless. So of course their next move is to swing-dance around her, with elaborate dips and twirls. Because that's just how mutant bikers roll. (Eventually they decide to sacrifice her to Harley Davidson, but swing-dancing comes first.)
Star Trek, "Plato's Stepchildren." Power-mad philosophers need entertainment too. So first they make Kirk and Spock dance a jig together, and then they make Spock do a flamenco number around Kirk's head. Spock's footwork is so nimble and passionate, he had to have a dance double
Doctor Who, "Last Of The Time Lords." The new Master won us over totally when he whirled the super-aged Doctor around to the strains of the Scissor Sisters' "I Can't Decide." Creepy and sexy. How could the Sci Fi Channel have cut this incredible scene out of the episode in the U.S.?
Flash Gordon, "Infestation." Flash's best friend Nick has been infected with an alien parasite that will kill him if he gets too happy... and he's at a wedding. Oh noes! It's up to Dale Arden to keep Nick depressed while dancing with him. I love that the most scarring thing she can think of to tell him is that he's a terrible dancer. He yells "Stop!" and the audience is yelling right along with him. She does succeed in keeping him alive, but he's apparently eaten by a monster off-camera, because we pretty much never see him again.
The Fifth Element. Ummm... There's a blue opera singer whose voice covers like 28 octaves, doing a zany quasi-belly dance. And meanwhile, Milla Jovovich is kicking the asses of a bunch of Vogon-looking aliens in a very dance-y way. Here's the clip:
Seaquest DSV, "Destination Terminal." Guarding an undersea super-train, Commander Jonathan Ford decides to prove to Lt. Lonnie Henderson that he really does have a "feminine side," by busting out his dance moves.