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The 100 Greatest Sci-Fi Characters Of All Time

The 100 Greatest Sci-Fi Characters Of All Time

The 100 Greatest Sci-Fi Characters Of All Time

Celebrate the best of science fiction with our rundown of the 100 greatest characters of all-time! From Doctor Who to Star Trek to Westworld and Star Wars, we've combed cinema and TV to find the biggest heroes, the nastiest villains and the most fascinating figures from the universe of sci-fi.

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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd

in this issue

3 min
9 spider-man

“MY SPIDER-SENSE IS TINGLING!” Spider-Man is a superhero defined as much by his insecurities as his powers. Thanks to the bite of a spider altered by radioactivity (this was retconned in the movies as genetic modification because, you know, radiation bad), he can stick to walls, swings on webs that he shoots from his wrists, and possesses “the agility and proportionate strength of an arachnid”, not to mention a “Spider-sense” which alerts him to danger. Beneath the mask, however, he’s an ordinary kid with an ordinary kid’s anxieties and problems. He has trouble with girls. He has money worries. He isn’t some buff billionaire dabbling in the vigilante game. He’s an honest, well-intentioned everyman who gets beaten up by fate almost as often as by supervillains. In the classic early comics, Stan…

1 min
62 darth maul

Biodata FIRST APPEARANCE Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) PORTRAYED BY Ray Park (body) and UK comedian Peter Serafinowicz (voice) in The Phantom Menace, Sam Witwer (voice) in The Clone Wars animated series BEST MOMENT His awesome lightsaber duel with Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. KNOWN TO SAY “Die, Jedi, die!” WHY HE’S GREAT Maul was far and away the best new Star Wars character introduced in The Phantom Menace and then Lucas killed him off – what a waste! Everything from his startling appearance (those horns! That face tattoo!) to the balletic fight movies (courtesy of stunt performer Ray Park) made him a premier league bad guy and the film’s (literal) poster boy. And he killed Qui-Gon Jinn, the rotter!…

2 min
27 c-3po

“WE’RE DOOMED” Fluent in over six million forms of communication, C-3PO is capable of talking the hind leg off a bantha in all of them. He’s the Victor Meldrew of protocol droids who never shuts up, and always finds something to whinge about. He also seems to have the flimsiest joints in the galley if the number of times he’s lost limbs – or even his head – is anything to judge by. And even that doesn’t shut him up. He’ll doubtless say something like, “I’m falling to pieces!” The design of the neurotic C-3PO was unashamedly based on Maria from Metropolis, though rendered in gleaming gold. After decades of bulky screen ’bots, he was the most humanoid of droids, though the tight-fitting costume caused no end of discomfort for actor Anthony…

1 min
64 quatermass

Biodata FIRST APPEARANCE The Quatermass Experiment (1953) Full name Professor Bernard Quatermass PORTRAYED BY ON TV: Reginald Tate in The Quatermass Experiment (TV, 1953); John Robinson in Quatermass II (TV, 1959); André Morell in Quatermass And The Pit (TV, 1958-9); John Mills in Quatermass (TV, 1979); Jason Flemyng in The Quatermass Experiment (TV, 2005); ON FILM: Brian Donlevy in The Quatermass Xperiment (1955), Quatermass II (1957); Andrew Keir in Quatermass And The Pit (1967) WHY HE’S GREAT He’s had almost as many faces as Doctor Who. The chin-stroking, pipe-smoking boffin at the British Experimental Rocket Group, he investigated alien shenanigans with a stiff upper lip. And in the film version of Quatermass And The Pit Hammer Studios produced a bona fide sci-fi movie masterpiece. Good show!…

2 min
43 professor x

“LET’S JUST SAY I KNOW A LITTLE GIRL WHO CAN WALK THROUGH WALLS” Professor Charles Xavier had a vision. That vision became the X-Men. While officially he was the headmaster of the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, what he was actually doing was recruiting and training young mutants for induction into a team of superheroes. Yep, his student’s school uniforms are made from lycra. Charles has had the standard life for a character in the Marvel comics universe: he’s died a few times, become a super villain, dated an alien princess (the Princess-Majestrix Lilandra of the Shi’ar Empire), lost and regained his powers. While his outward persona has always been that of a philanthropic humanitarian (mutantitarian?) he also has a tendency to act like an authoritarian tit at times. He is, after…

2 min
13 robocop

“YOU HAVE 20 SECONDS TO COMPLY” RoboCop is effortlessly iconic. It’s not just his look – the original 1987 look, that is, which not even the sleek suit in the 2014 remake could dislodge from the public psyche – it’s the way he moves; the noise he makes when he moves; what he says; what he does. If Frankenstein was the modern Prometheus, RoboCop is the modern Frankenstein’s monster. When shot-to-bloody-stumps cop Alex Murphy is resurrected as a cyborg, he struggles to retain his soul as big evil corporation OmniCorp takes control of his body. In director Paul Verhoeven’s violent first film, RoboCop is both the bad-ass action hero and a sympathetic victim at the centre of a satire about consumerism, corporate greed and the media. He’s also highly quotable. It’s not Shakespeare,…