Fictional Characters The Greatest Scientist TV Characters  

Ranker TV
Originally by
14.9k votes 1.3k voters 17.7k 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
296 198
Spock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Star Trek: The Animated Series - Science Officer

2
191 82
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
225 184
Montgomery Scott is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Star Trek: The Animated Series - Engineer

4
219 157
Sam Beckett is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Quantum Leap - Quantum Physicist

5
279 253
Professor Farnsworth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Futurama - Inventor

6
305 174
Dr Krieger is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Archer - Inventor

7
151 190
The Professor is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Gilligan's Island - Inventor, Engineer

8
211 106
Gaius Baltar is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Battlestar Galactica - Computer Scientist

9
254 209
Lex Luthor is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
BartMark added Smallville - Mad Scientist

10
264 381
Sheldon Cooper is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Big Bang Theory - Theoretical Physicist

11
189 165
Angus "Mac" MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Angus "Mac" MacGyver MacGyver - Engineer

12
163 217
Walter White is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Breaking Bad - Chemist

13
198 197
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Dexter's Laboratory - Mad Scientist

14
201 206
Dr. David Bruce Banner is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Incredible Hulk - Nuclear Physicist

15
236 261
The Doctor is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Doctor Who - Quantum Physicist

16
151 245
Professor Frink is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Simpsons - Inventor

17
131 104
Hawkeye Pierce is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
slaft added M*A*S*H

18
205 163
Rick Sanchez is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
lynette-lyn added Rick Sanchez Rick and Morty

19
150 129
Samantha Carter is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Stargate SG-1 - Astrophysicist

20
197 261
Dana Scully is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The X-Files - Physicist

21
71 86
Dr. Quest is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
bruce-adams added Jonny Quest

22
195 202
Data is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Science Officer

23
125 114
Maximillian Arturo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Sliders - Physicist

24
141 190
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Muppet Show - Chemist

25
85 61
Beaker is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters