Fictional Characters The Greatest Scientist TV Characters  

Ranker TV
Originally by
14.7k votes 1.2k voters 17.3k views 63 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
288 195
Spock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Star Trek: The Animated Series - Science Officer

2
187 78
Leonard McCoy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
slaft added Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series - Physician

3
220 180
Montgomery Scott is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Star Trek: The Animated Series - Engineer

4
216 154
Sam Beckett is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Quantum Leap - Quantum Physicist

5
274 250
Professor Farnsworth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Futurama - Inventor

6
301 172
Dr Krieger is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Archer - Inventor

7
151 185
The Professor is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Gilligan's Island - Inventor, Engineer

8
210 102
Gaius Baltar is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Battlestar Galactica - Computer Scientist

9
253 204
Lex Luthor is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
BartMark added Smallville - Mad Scientist

10
262 374
Sheldon Cooper is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Big Bang Theory - Theoretical Physicist

11
187 161
Angus "Mac" MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Angus "Mac" MacGyver MacGyver - Engineer

12
157 214
Walter White is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Breaking Bad - Chemist

13
196 194
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Dexter's Laboratory - Mad Scientist

14
199 202
Dr. David Bruce Banner is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Incredible Hulk - Nuclear Physicist

15
232 259
The Doctor is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Doctor Who - Quantum Physicist

16
129 101
Hawkeye Pierce is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
slaft added M*A*S*H

17
148 243
Professor Frink is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Simpsons - Inventor

18
202 161
Rick Sanchez is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
lynette-lyn added Rick Sanchez Rick and Morty

19
146 127
Samantha Carter is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Stargate SG-1 - Astrophysicist

20
192 260
Dana Scully is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The X-Files - Physicist

21
70 85
Dr. Quest is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
bruce-adams added Jonny Quest

22
125 113
Maximillian Arturo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Sliders - Physicist

23
193 202
Data is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Science Officer

24
139 189
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Muppet Show - Chemist

25
83 60
Beaker is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters

26
79 81
Professor Moriarty is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
slaft added Sherlock

27
53 77
Gil Grissom is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
analise.dubner added CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

28
133 224
Leonard Hofstadter is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Big Bang Theory - Experimental Physicist

29
41 25
Professor Utonium is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Marina Figueroa added The Powerpuff Girls

30
38 22
Temperance
Gabby Gellerman added bones

31
103 177
Raj Koothrappali is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Big Bang Theory - Astrophysicist
 

32
78 134
Dick Solomon is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
3rd Rock from the Sun - Physicist

33
136 214
Bernadette Rostenkowski is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Big Bang Theory - Microbiologist

34
39 33
Jimmy Neutron is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
bpeterson37 added The Egg-pire Strikes Back, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

35
53 109
Beakman is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Beakman Beakman's World - Scientist

36
140 229
Amy Farrah Fowler is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Big Bang Theory - Neuroscientist

37
71 96
River Song is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Doctor Who - Archaeologist

38
78 158
Howard Wolowitz is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Big Bang Theory - Aerospace Engineer

39
45 49
Mojo Jojo is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
dread-ed added Powerpuff Girls Z

40
69 96
Jadzia Dax is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Science Officer

41
87 81
Walter Bishop is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Fringe - Mad Scientist

42
2 8
Gale Boetticher is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Gale Boetticher Breaking Bad

43
46 62
Rodney McKay is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
DianaGoodrich added Stargate Atlantis

44
35 50
H.M.
slaft added The A-Team

45
15 8
Rick Sanchez is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Rick and Morty

46
32 50
Artemus Gordon is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
slaft added The Wild Wild West

47
39 71
Hans Zarkov is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Flash Gordon - Rocket Scientist

48
29 75
Dr. Clayton Forrester is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
bojanthebest added Mad scientist from MST3K

49
67 179
Ross Geller is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Friends - Paleontologist
 

50
42 105
Charlie Eppes is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
NUMB3RS - Mathematician