Escape From Reality: My Favorite Sci-Fi TV Characters

Science fiction has been used as an escape for a long time for many people. I am no different. Though my first introduction to sci-fi was kid’s cartoons, I have grown up with science fiction. It has been one of the most watched genres of my entire life. It has kept me grounded and let me escape to other worlds or other times. Science fiction has allowed me to disappear when I am having a bad day. It is one of the best forms of self-care available to me.

I have been binging on sci-fi recently to combat the depressive episode I am currently in. I began to think about who my favorite characters were over the years from different shows.  Though my two favorite shows of all time don’t really qualify as sci-fi, Buffy and The West Wing, I still had plenty of awesome shows to choose from.

Dana Scully

Maybe the quintessential nonbeliever in a believer’s world, Scully was one of the first people I felt like I was. I was always asking questions and trying to solve problems. My parents had real issues with me always asking why about anything, not just your typical kids stuff. I was a weird kid. I mean, I read encyclopedias to look for knowledge. Shout out to World Book 1991. Gillian Anderson has played three legit amazing parts on TV series and this was just the start of it all. Sometimes to de-stress I get my Mulder on and scream Scully. It seems to work.

Agent Scully

Jadzia Dax

Star Trek: Deep Space 9 is my favorite of the Treks. It has politics and intrigue plus space battles. It also had Dax. Dax was probably the first time I realized I was a girl through a character in pop culture. Besides Belinda Carlisle in 1989, Dax on DS9, brought those feelings to the forefront. How could they not? She was a smart, bad ass scientist who looked good kicking ass. I think what drew me in more than anything was her species, Trill, reminded me a lot of what it felt like to be trans. The Trill are actually two species, a human type host which has a symbiote worm thing in their belly. Not all Trill hosts get bonded with a symbiote over the years. Jadzia received the Dax symbiote which has the memories of all the previous hosts which could be male or female. This was the first kind of example I felt like that it was ok to maybe be a different gender than I was assigned at birth.

cast photo from Deep Space 9
Jadzia Dax

Kathryn Janeway

Captain Janeway was played magnificently by Kate Mulgrew. Though Star Trek Voyager wasn’t great, she provided some great moments. Janeway was the first featured female captain of a starship which is cool. There were some bumps in her writing from time to time but overall the character was really great. It’s interesting comparing Janeway to Red from OINTB and seeing the differences in Mulgrew’s acting.

Captain Janeway, Star Trek Voyager
Captain Janeway with one of her amazing faces

Turanga Leela

The only cartoon that appears on this list, Futurama is of course so great. I watched the debut of it being a huge Simpsons fan and was immediately drawn in by Leela. The one eyed outsider with purple hair? Of course I was going to love her. She was her own person. It felt very good given how the Simpsons have treated most of their female characters over the years. I love the Planet Express crew so much.

Leela from Futurama
Leela is awesome

Kaylee Frye

Just like Futurama, I was able to consume Firefly right when it debuted. As an avowed Buffy lover already and a huge Star Wars fan, Firefly seemed to be destined to be my favorite show ever. It didn’t turn out that way but I was sad when it was canceled. I have watched the series a few times through since then. Kaylee always stuck out to me as I guess, she is the most similar who I turned out to be. I could have listed Zoe or Wash here, but I went with my gut. Plus Jewel Staite appeared on another sci-fi show I loved when I was younger, Space Cases.

Firefly cast photo of Jewel Staite
Kaylee Frye looking all adorable

Samantha Carter

While I loved the original Stargate movie, it lacked women something fierce (not surprised it was directed by cis whitewasher, Roland Emmerich). The television show took the premise but went farther and better with it. Stargate SG-1 nailed the world jumping of the movie and allowed for more expansion. Samantha Carter was this amazing mixture of scientist and soldier. It’s like they combined Jackson and O’Neill and made this awesome character. She seemed to be the great balance between those two. I really liked Carter’s arc throughout the series. It seemed they kept her on a pretty steady growth tract. Jackson was all over the place.

Cast photo of Amanda Tapping from Stargate
Samantha Carter takes no shit

John Sheppard

The only male on this list deserves to be here because well he’s cute. I can’t help it. Sheppard from Stargate Atlantis just is hot. I really liked his character because was the one who didn’t know what was going on in the least most of the time. He was, me swing gun, me help. He grew out of that which is awesome. I thought Atlantis was a better show over all in general.

Cast photo for Joe Flanigan from Stargate Atlantis
John Sheppard is hot. I can’t help myself

Jo Lupo

Eureka is one of those shows that flew under the mainstream radar because it was on SyFy. The premise was awesome. A town full of geniuses create things and the sheriff’s office has to pick up the pieces. Jo was the Deputy Sheriff. She provided a great foil to Sheriff Carter.

Cast photo for Erica Cerra from Eureka
Deputy Sheriff Jo Lupo takes no shit

Laura Roslin

While everyone loves Starbuck or Six, I connected most with President Roslin. Battlestar Galactica provided a rich environment for explorations of human emotions and interaction. The politics of the fleet really was great. I though Roslin was an inspired character. She was thrown into being the president and took to that role amazingly well.

Cast Photo for Mary McDonnell
Laura Roslin looking Presidential

Melinda May

My current favorite TV character, Agent May provides the punch on Agents of SHIELD. As much as I hated the first five episodes of Season 1, SHIELD has rebounded and become must watch TV. Once they started tying in the MCU with the show, everyone got better. May has been the standout from day one. Even with her fling with Grant Asshole Ward, she got the last word in with her punches. May even has some heartbreaking moments in her story. I just love her so much.

Still Photo of Ming-Na Wen from Agents of Shield
Agent May on the Bus

There are a few shows I need to see. I hear great things about The Sarah Connor Chronicles. While I love Doctor Who, the Tenth Doctor and Donna were runners up on this list. I didn’t include Buffy or Supernatural because those are both horror/supernatural shows and not necessarily sci-fi, though Buffy had a few episodes of it. I didn’t include kid’s cartoons, leaving that for a future list as well as movie characters. What are some of your favorite characters?

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Queer Pop Culture Junkie in the Northwest. Addicted to Coffee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fantasy Sports, The Mountain Goats, and Tottenham Hotspur.

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