100 Sci-Fi Icons


I am a big fan of the science fiction and fantasy genre which should be obvious to regular readers.  In fact, my last post compared the Harry Potter series with the Star Wars species.  I am also a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, X-Files, Star Trek amongst others.

I was therefore recently pleased to see a special issue of the SFX magazine at the local newsvendor’s magazine stand.  This magazine is a British publication which is dedicated to reporting on TV series and movies of the science fiction and fantasy genre.  This particular issue was the special “Top 100 Sci-Fi Icons” issue in which the result of an on-line survey of more than 10,000 Sci-fi fans was reported.

I was excited to find out how well my favorite characters had done in the survey, so I bought it and hurried home.  In the comfort of my hobbit hovel, I quickly scanned the results from the 100th placing on to the 1st place.

Three of my favorite characters were placed in the top 5 including the number 1 spot. I loved it.

Here are the top 5 positions;

  1. Captain Malcolm Reynolds – this antihero is the captain of the Firefly-class spaceship, Serenity.  He loses a lot and often but still wins enough to stay alive to fight another day and to offer another quick smarty pants quip.  Played by actor Nathan Fillion.  (one of LGS’s favorites)
  2. The Doctor – This distinctively British eccentric is actually a time traveling alien – last of the Time Lords.  I don’t get to watch the Doctor Who series in Malaysia so I can’t comment much but I am told the series has recently been given a fresh breath of life with a revamped and recharged new season.  This long running series has had 11 actors play the Doctor.
  3. Captain Jack Harkness – Also from the newly revamped Dr. Who series and later in the spinoff series, Torchwood, this bisexual inter-galactic con man and immortal is a ground breaking and charismatic character.  He is played by John Barrowman.
  4. Buffy Summers – The ordinary school girl with an extraordinary destiny and chosen to bear a heavy burden.  Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer like to describe her with the words “She saved the world a lot”.   Vulnerable and yet physically strong; shallow and yet with a depth of character that enables her to bear much suffering to fulfill her responsibilities.  She was brought to life by Sarah Michelle-Geller.  (Squirrel’s number 1 favorite).
  5. Spike –  One of the most complex characters ever.  You fear him, you like him, you hate him and you cry for him.  He was a psychotic bloodsucker and delighted in killing slayers but he was also a poet and at times a love struck puppy.  He comes stylishly wrapped up as a hedonistic punk rocker in a long leather coat.  He will eventually recover his soul and save the world by sacrificing his life ……but he gets to come back!  I did say he was complex!  Oh, and what a charming false English accent!  He was incredibly well played by James Marsters.  (Squirrel’s number 2 favorite).
Captain Malcolm Reynolds
The Doctor (the Time Lord and his Tardis)
Captain Jack Harkness
Buffy Summers - The Chosen One
Spike - William the Bloody Brilliant.

Other interesting facts:

  • For Harry Potter fans, you will be pleased that the boy wizard comes in at 7th position.
  • Not one, not a single one of the Twilight series characters made it in the top 10 but several characters from the other vampire series, True Blood did.  There is justice in the world. Hahaha.
  • Only two actors appeared on the list for two different characters.  These are James Marsters who played Spike ( Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Captain John Hart (Torchwood – 86th position) and Summer Glau who played River Tam (Firefly – 11th position) and Cameron (The Sarah Connor Chronicles – 16th position).  The Squirrel also thinks very highly of the River Tam character but Cameron – not so much.
  • Spike was also top villain, closely followed by Darth Vader.

Well, I have the list.  Any thing else that you would like to know?  Want to know how your favorite character fared in this survey?  Just ask.

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16 thoughts on “100 Sci-Fi Icons”

  1. Ah a squirrel after my own heart!
    I love the ones you mentioned and would have been looking for these same. Basically, I support anything that comes from Joss Whedon’s creative mind. I like Capt’n Jack Harkness for his cheekiness. 🙂 I loved the relationship dynamics between Mal and Zoe. Its hard to portray that kind of non-sexual camaraderie to people who have never experienced it. Spike transformation and depth of character twisting and turning into a life of its on BVTS was exceptional.

    Was “Lost” on the list? I liked Sun and Jin. I’m sure I probably cried when they died.
    ~Melanie

  2. Mark,
    Sorry, no Tolstoy -he really did not do anything remotely Sci-fi. But may I recommend Spike who was a poet before he became a vampire.

    Melanie,
    I have not had the opportunity to watch Capt. Harkness. As you liked Mal and Zoe’s platonic friendship, I liked Buffy and Spike’s one sided unrequited love relationship. Lost did make it on to the list but not Sun or Jin. Hurley came in at 48th, John Locke at 58th and Sawyer at 59th.

  3. When I was four or five I came across a picture book version of “The Hobbit” and adored it; when I was five “Star Wars”–and I mean “Star Wars”, not Episode IV: A New Hope (bleh!)–came out. I might not have seen Star Wars until I was six though, maybe. It was such a long time ago, I am having trouble remembering. But after that, I was hooked on the genre as a whole.

    So where did Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Bilbo and the other hobbits appear on the list?

  4. Oh and keep an eye out for a new TV series called “Falling Skies.” Very good, as was “Jericho” a couple years back. “Jericho” didn’t catch on as much as it could have, and ended after it’s third season (maybe it’s second) but I have hopes for “Falling Skies.”

  5. Wandering Coyote,
    Pleased to meet another Firefly fan and of course I knew Nathan is a Canuck. I also really thought he did a great job as the misogynist demon possessed priest in the last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    Riot Kitty,
    Wow, Mike D must have spent a heck of a long time putting that list together! Impressive.

  6. Crag,
    Good to see that you are still kicking. Ok, Star Wars – Darth Vader (13th), Boba Fett (46th),
    LOTR – Aragon (42nd), Frodo (47th), Gandalf (79th), Gollum (88th). No Skywalker or Hans Solo although Indiana Jones made the list.

    Thanks for the heads up on “Falling Skies” but here in Malaysia, we seldom get shows like that or if we do, it is usually 3 years late. We’ll see.

  7. Good list! We’ve just started watching “Torchwood: Miracle Day.” It’s the American version sort of. We never watched it before. That guy’s okay, but no one I’d put on a list. And I have never followed “Dr. Who.” I’m happy with Malcolm, Buffy and Spike but I would certainly put Captain Picard over the Brits. Oh, yeah, it’s a Brit magazine. And where was Aragorn?
    Yes, “Falling Skies” is great. First season ended last Sunday and it has been renewed. Yay!

  8. oooo…love the new Doctor Who’s. And really enjoy Matt Smith as the new doctor. Firefly was also great and wish it hadn’t met it’s demise. Star Wars was good, but never got into Star Trek. HP is okay. I enjoyed the books better than the movies. Couldn’t get into Buffy for some reason, but it was a Joss Whedon thing and I find I like his stuff….usually. The only sci-fi/fantasy I enjoy that’s not on this list is Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instrument series. It’s fairly new. I’m not sure why I like her series and not Twilight…oh well. 🙂

  9. I am not that of a science fiction fan although I did like star track. My husband is a fan so I sometimes get to see some of the characters. like doctor who. Silly man

  10. geewits,
    Yeah, Picard came in at 40 with Aragorn at 42. There was a bias to British series as might be expected. I sure hope “Falling Skies” makes it to Malaysia. Unfortunately, sci-fi has a relatively small following here. Malaysians prefer cops and robbers type shows.

    emerrube,
    firstly, congrats for not liking Twilight…..it does not deserve its hype. I have not heard of this Mortal Instrument series. Not another vampire theme I hope.

    Marja,
    Maybe its more of a guy’s thing ……with the exception of a few female readers here.

  11. Hmmm..Nathan Fillion! 😉

    Great list! One of my fav sci-fi characters is Leeloo from “Fifth Element” and Ripley from “Aliens”.

    Have you seen the movie Brazil? If not, you MUST watch it! Pure amazing!

  12. Pauline,
    Brazil? ….where the nuts come from? Yes, I have seen it. One of my favorites. As a guy, I must be blind and in a coma not to be drooling over Leeloo and Ripley is tops too. The reason none of them appeared in the list is that the organisers asked voters to only nominate characters that have appeared on TV or cinema since 2000.

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