Entertainment The Greatest Scientist TV Characters  

Ranker TV
Originally by
16.6k votes 1.4k voters 18.1k 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
351 200
Spock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Star Trek: The Animated Series
Science Officer

2
306 159
Sam Beckett is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Quantum Leap
Quantum Physicist

3
318 110
Gaius Baltar is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Battlestar Galactica
Computer Scientist

4
196 111
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
232 207
Montgomery Scott is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Star Trek: The Animated Series
Engineer

6
199 166
Angus "Mac" MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Angus "Mac" MacGyver MacGyver
Engineer

7
291 214
Lex Luthor is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
BartMark added Smallville
Mad Scientist

8
285 336
Professor Farnsworth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Futurama
Inventor

9
176 105
Hawkeye Pierce is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
slaft added M*A*S*H

10
236 207
Dr. David Bruce Banner is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Incredible Hulk
Nuclear Physicist

11
211 115
Maximillian Arturo is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Sliders
Physicist

12
156 222
The Professor is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Gilligan's Island
Inventor, Engineer

13
311 253
Dr Krieger is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Archer
Inventor

14
270 479
Sheldon Cooper is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Big Bang Theory
Theoretical Physicist

15
100 77
Gil Grissom is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
analise.dubner added CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

16
170 219
Walter White is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Breaking Bad
Chemist

17
161 132
Samantha Carter is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Stargate SG-1
Astrophysicist

18
243 291
The Doctor is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Doctor Who
Quantum Physicist

19
203 200
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
203 322
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
74 91
Dr. Quest is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
bruce-adams added Jonny Quest

25
207 166
Rick Sanchez is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
lynette-lyn added Rick Sanchez Rick and Morty