Entertainment The Greatest Scientist TV Characters  

Ranker TV
Originally by
16.6k votes 1.4k voters 18.6k views 61 items

List Rules Fictional professional or amateur scientist TV characters - no medical doctors (or real scientists!)

The best scientists in TV history run the gamut from dependable pragmatists (Agent Scully, The X-files), to socially inept academics (Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory), to imminently gifted inventors with creepy fetishes (Dr. Krieger, Archer). Then there are those great TV scientists who have a simple bent on world destruction and/or domination, but we’ll get to them later.

TV’s greatest scientists instill a sense of wonder in the universe. From Saturday morning programming, like Beakman’s World, to prime-time cable-vision, these towering intellects open a window to the awe-inspiring possibilities of the space-time continuum. Whether through breaking down the barriers in intercultural understanding (Star Trek), or through crafting a transistor radio out of coconuts (The Professor, Gilligan’s Island), watchers feel smarter just being in their company.

However, the darker side of science can instill a feeling of terror in most viewers. One great TV scientist managed to turn the periodic table into something (even more) sinister (Walter White, Breaking Bad); another great mind uncovered the devastation wrought by a simple virus – one beyond his own capability to cure (Edwin Jenner, The Walking Dead). And we haven’t even touched on shape-shifting mass (Bruce Banner, The Incredible Hulk), or crafting explosives from the contents of one’s trashcan (Mac MacGyver, MacGyver).

The best TV scientists introduce us to new worlds (Lost in Space) and old ones (PrimEval), use their knowledge to combat evil (Juliet Parrish, V), and spend an inordinate amount of time explaining that they are “not that kind of doctor” (Ross Gellar, Friends).

Vote up your favorite smart characters on this TV scientists list to determine the best fictional scientist on TV.
list ordered by
1
354 200
Spock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Star Trek: The Animated Series
Science Officer
2
308 159
Sam Beckett is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Quantum Leap
Quantum Physicist
3
318 112
Gaius Baltar is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Battlestar Galactica
Computer Scientist
4
198 112
Leonard McCoy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
slaft added Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series
Physician
5
234 208
Montgomery Scott is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Star Trek: The Animated Series
Engineer
6
200 166
Angus "Mac" MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Angus "Mac" MacGyver MacGyver
Engineer
7
291 216
Lex Luthor is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
BartMark added Smallville
Mad Scientist
8
286 337
Professor Farnsworth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Futurama
Inventor
9
237 208
Dr. David Bruce Banner is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Incredible Hulk
Nuclear Physicist
10
177 107
Hawkeye Pierce is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
slaft added M*A*S*H
11
211 116
Maximillian Arturo is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Sliders
Physicist
12
157 223
The Professor is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Gilligan's Island
Inventor, Engineer
13
312 254
Dr Krieger is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Archer
Inventor
14
270 481
Sheldon Cooper is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Big Bang Theory
Theoretical Physicist
15
172 219
Walter White is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Breaking Bad
Chemist
16
162 133
Samantha Carter is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Stargate SG-1
Astrophysicist
17
100 78
Gil Grissom is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
analise.dubner added CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
18
247 291
The Doctor is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Doctor Who
Quantum Physicist
19
204 200
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Dexter's Laboratory
Mad Scientist
20
148 190
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Muppet Show
Chemist
21
154 253
Professor Frink is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Simpsons
Inventor
22
205 322
Dana Scully is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The X-Files
Physicist
23
90 63
Beaker is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
24
75 91
Dr. Quest is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
bruce-adams added Jonny Quest
25
209 166
Rick Sanchez is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
lynette-lyn added Rick Sanchez Rick and Morty