One factor that takes science fiction shows from cheesy to interesting is when the characters are more than just attractive actors. Pretty faces are fine for eye candy, and just like anyone else, I do enjoy drooling from time to time. However, I find substance and smarts much more attractive than a pair of washboard abs attached to a complete doofus. Several intelligent, yet easy to look at men, exist on sci-fi television. Here are my top ten:
Captain Malcolm Reynolds
The leader of the ‘Firefly’ crew is an obvious pick. He’s loyal and not afraid to take risks. He has to carefully plot to stay out of the Alliance’s path. And as Inara once pointed out, men aren’t often a mystery like Mal is.
Dr. Carson Beckett
The affable doctor on the crew of the ‘Stargate: Atlantis’ team is good to have around in a bind. He saves lives, and maintains a sense of calm even around Dr. Rodney McKay. The lopsided sort of smile is just a bonus.
Captain Jean Luc Picard
How many other men can say phrases like “make it so” and “engage” and make them sound enticing? The confident leader of the U.S.S. Enterprise in ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ can talk in alien metaphors and survive sparring matches with Q.
Notice I chose lawyer Lee Adama. The former Viper pilot from ‘Battlestar Galactica’ is almost unmatched in flight skill. Even though the infamous towel scene was spectacular, he really didn’t win my heart until the speech he made defending Gaius Baltar. I like that kind of passion.
Dr. Daniel Jackson
The resident archaeologist of the ‘Stargate: SG-1’ team starts the series as an allergy ridden scientist. By the end, he’s a smarter scientist who is capable of firing a gun and defending himself. He might win for best combination of brains and brawn.
He’s determined and enthusiastic in spite of having a cynical sense of humor. Mulder keeps the X in ‘X-Files.’
‘Doctor Who’ has given us eleven versions of the Doctor. In any carnation, the nine hundred year old mind can’t be ignored. It changes so fast between childlike wonder, glee, and rapid calculation and theories that no human can hope to keep up. It’s amazing to watch him figure something out.
From NASA astronaut to lone human in a part of the universe where he is an alien, Crichton doesn’t have it easy in ‘Farscape.’ His most admirable skill is the ability to adapt.
Commander William Riker
How could I leave out Number One? Though he seems to like being second-in-charge, that shouldn’t be held against him. Besides, he out-charms Picard any stardate.
I adored SeaQuest and posters of Jonathan Brandis from Teen Beat used to adorn the walls of my bedroom. He was a cute genius, and he basically talked with a dolphin. For those sentimental reasons, he makes my list.
Update: For the gentlemen we also did a female version.