fictional characters The Greatest Scientist TV Characters  

Ranker TV
Originally by
14.2k votes 1.2k voters 16.4k 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.

1
278 194
Spock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Spock Star Trek: The Animated Series - Science Officer

2
179 75
Leonard McCoy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
slaft added Leonard McCoy Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series - Physician

3
209 150
Sam Beckett is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Sam Beckett Quantum Leap - Quantum Physicist

4
211 177
Montgomery Scott is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Montgomery Scott Star Trek: The Animated Series - Engineer

5
261 247
Professor Farnsworth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Professor Farnsworth Futurama - Inventor

6
205 96
Gaius Baltar is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Gaius Baltar Battlestar Galactica - Computer Scientist

7
286 168
Dr Krieger is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Dr Krieger Archer - Inventor

8
144 180
The Professor is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Professor Gilligan's Island - Inventor, Engineer

9
248 199
Lex Luthor is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
BartMark added Lex Luthor Smallville - Mad Scientist

10
252 366
Sheldon Cooper is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Sheldon Cooper The Big Bang Theory - Theoretical Physicist

11
178 160
Angus "Mac" MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Angus "Mac" MacGyver MacGyver - Engineer

12
185 192
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Dexter Dexter's Laboratory - Mad Scientist

13
145 212
Walter White is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Walter White Breaking Bad - Chemist

14
191 201
Dr. David Bruce Banner is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Dr. David Bruce Banner The Incredible Hulk - Nuclear Physicist

The Best Re-Casting of Famous TV Roles

15
123 96
Hawkeye Pierce is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
slaft added Hawkeye Pierce M*A*S*H

16
144 238
Professor Frink is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Professor Frink The Simpsons - Inventor

17
223 257
The Doctor is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Doctor Doctor Who - Quantum Physicist

18
195 160
Rick Sanchez is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
lynette-lyn added Rick Sanchez Rick and Morty

19
141 125
Samantha Carter is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Samantha Carter Stargate SG-1 - Astrophysicist

20
186 256
Dana Scully is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Dana Scully The X-Files - Physicist

21
119 111
Maximillian Arturo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Maximillian Arturo Sliders - Physicist

TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

22
66 85
Dr. Quest is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
bruce-adams added Dr. Quest Jonny Quest

23
185 201
Data is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Data Star Trek: The Next Generation - Science Officer

24
133 188
Bunsen Honeydew is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Bunsen Honeydew The Muppet Show - Chemist

25
79 58
Beaker is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters

26
73 80
Professor Moriarty is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
slaft added Professor Moriarty Sherlock

27
51 75
Gil Grissom is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
analise.dubner added Gil Grissom CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

28
127 222
Leonard Hofstadter is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Leonard Hofstadter The Big Bang Theory - Experimental Physicist

Every Depiction of Physical Disability In US Television

29
98 175
Raj Koothrappali is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Raj Koothrappali The Big Bang Theory - Astrophysicist  

30
74 133
Dick Solomon is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Dick Solomon 3rd Rock from the Sun - Physicist

31
31 20
Temperance
Gabby Gellerman added Temperance "Bones" Brennan bones

32
131 212
Bernadette Rostenkowski is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Bernadette Rostenkowski The Big Bang Theory - Microbiologist

33
138 227
Amy Farrah Fowler is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Amy Farrah Fowler The Big Bang Theory - Neuroscientist

34
36 30
Jimmy Neutron is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
bpeterson37 added Jimmy Neutron The Egg-pire Strikes Back, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

35
32 25
Professor Utonium is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Marina Figueroa added Professor Utonium The Powerpuff Girls

These Disney Princess Were Absolutely Terrible Role Models

36
70 93
River Song is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
River Song Doctor Who - Archaeologist

37
49 107
Beakman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Beakman Beakman's World - Scientist

38
75 157
Howard Wolowitz is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Howard Wolowitz The Big Bang Theory - Aerospace Engineer

39
64 94
Jadzia Dax is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Jadzia Dax Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Science Officer

40
82 80
Walter Bishop is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Walter Bishop Fringe - Mad Scientist

41
38 48
Mojo Jojo is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
dread-ed added Mojo Jojo Powerpuff Girls Z

42
1 7
Gale Boetticher is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Gale Boetticher Breaking Bad

The Best Fat Cartoon Characters on TV

43
44 62
Rodney McKay is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
DianaGoodrich added Rodney McKay Stargate Atlantis

44
34 49
H.M.
slaft added H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock The A-Team

45
28 74
Dr. Clayton Forrester is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
bojanthebest added Dr. Clayton Forrester Mad scientist from MST3K

46
64 176
Ross Geller is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Ross Geller Friends - Paleontologist  

47
12 19
Jack Hodgins is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Gabby Gellerman added Jack Hodgins bones

48
37 71
Hans Zarkov is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Hans Zarkov Flash Gordon - Rocket Scientist

49
37 93
Mohinder Suresh is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Mohinder Suresh Heroes - Geneticist

50
40 104
Charlie Eppes is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Charlie Eppes NUMB3RS - Mathematician