Top 25 Sci-Fantasy Icons Of The 21st Century

We asked you to vote for the greatest sci-fi and fantasy characters of the 21st Century, and here’s the top 25

Because you demanded, as the saying goes. We originally published the result of our Greatest Sci-Fi & Fantasy icons in an SFX Collectors’ Edition published a couple of months back, but as that has now gone off sale, and many of you diodn’t get the chance to read it, we’re republishing the top 25 here.

Aa a heads up, here’s a reminder of the criteria we set out when the voting commenced back in April. To qualify to be on this list the character had to be from television or films – we weren’t accepting nominations for characters in books, comics, audio adventures or videogames. They had to have appeared on the screen in new material after 1 January 2000 – so that meant the likes of Han Solo wouldn’t be in the list; and if the characters, like the crew of a certain starship Enterprise for example, had been portrayed in the 20th century by others, we asked you not to vote for those incarnations of them, but to focus on their contemporary equivalents (whether you did or not is another matter!).

25 Walter Bishop

From: Fringe

Mad as a March hare and twice as fun

We already knew John Noble was one of those actors who could deeply inhabit any role after watching him trying to burn his son alive as Denethor in The Lord Of The Rings, but nothing prepared us for the joy of his Walter Bishop. Rescued from a mental asylum during Fringe’s debut, he’s spent the past few years delighting us by being despotic and sinister in one universe and as vulnerable as a child in ours, all the while failing to remember the name of his assistant (it’s Astrid!) and extolling the joys of candy, dangerous science and forgetting to put his clothes on. You never know what he’s going to do next – and that’s why he’s so wonderful.

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24 Echo

From: Dollhouse

Sci-fi’s most lovable schizoid


Echo is unique in this poll as the only character to completely change personality on a weekly basis. Thanks to Rossum’s mindwipe tech, Echo went on missions for the Dollhouse as everything from a blind woman of faith to a sassy master thief. All this changed in the second season, however. “By then, empowered with all these personalities, there was less ‘I like broccoli’ Echo and more ‘I’m gonna kill some bad people, really f–k ’em up’ Echo!” an equally sassy Eliza Dushku told SFX. From blank slate to the saviour of the human race, Echo gives Buffy a run for her money as Whedon’s premier female icon.

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