The rules of our game/#86-100
This week, we'll finally penetrate the Top 50 (ooh, I'm a bad boy, though I didn't do it on purpose) of science fiction's sexiest gals. Feel free to disagree with the order - I know I already do - but the point is to pay homage to all the wonderful female characters SF film and television have planted in our dreams and fantasies. Definitely not an easy master list to compile, and I'm sure I'll have to post an addendum at the end. One of the questions I had to ask myself is: How iconic is the character? Often times, sheer sexiness carries the day, but in some cases, characters have been denied entry into the list because their genre presence/impact wasn't enough (and yet, some personal favorites did squeak in). So I hope you like these hot, confident chicks. Picking up where we left off...
55. Polly from Doctor Who (Anneke Wills)
Nothing against the companions that came before her, but Polly is veritably the first "Doctor Who girl" chosen for her sex appeal. The quintessential 60s mod posh queen, Polly was elegant, hip and sexy without trying. and one can well imagine that if Ian and Barbara hadn't already broken the seal in ancient Rome, Ben and his "Duchess" would have been first to inspire "hanky panky in the TARDIS" fantasies. She was also the first companion to be picked up in a nightclub. Oh, Swinging London!
54. Pris from Blade Runner (Daryl Hannah)
The list isn't short of bad girls, and for the gents who prefer that type (or just can't help themselves), there's Pris. Creepy goth-punk was never so sexy, and it's no wonder Sebastian let her in to play with his toys. Throw in some acrobatic, head between the legs, killer action for good measure. She's the "pleasure model" you probably won't survive. The only question is raccoon make-up or no?
53. Rose Tyler from Doctor Who (Billie Piper)
She had the Time Lord uncharacteristically swooning with her wide smile and Captain Jack-attracting bum. Rose gets this high on the list thanks to her natural flirtatiousness, though she gets a bump from other things Billie Piper has done, namely all those trashy pop idol photos and of course the erotic comedy, Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Though we're looking at characters proper, this kind of thing tends to leak into our perceptions of that character. Definitely some leaking here, even if all the characters in New Who didn't fall for her, hard.
52. Martha Jones from Doctor Who (Freeman Agyeman)
The Doctor's next companion places one position higher even if she didn't turn the Time Lord's crank. First, Freeman Agyeman is an exotic beauty and we all know by now how that rates with this blogger. Her beautiful skin tone and slightly almond eyes are all that. Second and most importantly, she's not quite as clingy as Rose is, and definitely not as selfish (traits that detract from sexiness). I've always loved how she could put the breaks on the Doctor and call him out on his bull. "I do what I like" is one of the strongest moments of Series 3, and consequently, one of its sexiest.
51. Theora Jones from Max Headroom (Amanda Pays)
Somehow, Amanda Pays could always carry off 80s shoulder pads. If I end up doing a similar list for superhero shows/films, you can bet her Tina McGee from the Flash will on the list with the same exact comment. Theora was a major reason to watch the short-lived Max Headroom show (and to buy it when it is finally released on DVD next month) as Pays exudes a sort of cool, British sexiness as the Network 23 producer.
50. Saint-Exmin from Battle Beyond the Stars (Sybil Danning)
Wearing one of the costumes frequently voted as a one of the sexiest in all of genre fiction, Saint-Exmin is a pushy Valkyrie who uses more idioms than Captain Kirk for sex. Sybil Danning is herself a sex idol, especially in genre films, and as hostess of her own collection of Adventure Videos where she'll teach you, among other things, how to kill a ninja. That's all extra cred that leads a relatively minor character is a B-movie to be so well remembered and starts off our Top 50.
49. Sheba from Battlestar Galactica (Anne Lockhart)
The original Viper pilot, long before Kara Thrace put on a flight suit, Sheba was probably my favorite character on the original series. Cain's daughter from the Pegasus is yet another strong woman in a traditionally male role (at which SF excels), but that didn't stop sparks from flying between her and Apollo. Extra points for rebuffing Starbuck. Extra points as well for being played by Anne Lockhart.
48. Jo Grant from Doctor Who (Katy Manning)
Jo's a lot scattier than most of the characters on this list, but it takes all kinds. The scattiness is irrepressibly endearing and Jo stands probably as the first companion the Doctor ever fell in love with. Watch The Green Death again and tell me he's not jealous of the younger version of him she marries. Even if Jo didn't spend her time on the series in short skirts and go-go boots, there are always those nude pictures of Katy Manning straddling a Dalek. Once seen, they cannot be unseen.
47. Kyra Nerys from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Nana Visitor)
It's no secret that I find the women who could break me over their knees to be extremely sexy. The more unapproachable, the better, you might say. Though Major Kira started out as entirely too angry and "butchy", it's in her mellowing that we found her sexiness. She's passionate and that's a major draw. The more relaxed hairstyle and curvier costume certainly didn't hurt, nor did the fact her true love turned out to be the social loser plagued by unrequited love. That's a strong fantasy in geek circles. I don't even need to put the Intendent and her milk bath on the pile, do I?
46. Samantha Carter from Stargate SG-1/Atlantis (Amanda Tapping)
There's a good reason more than ten men have fallen for her in Stargate. Sam may be a military woman - a "warrior", as many on this list are - but the casting plays against type. She's a petite blonde, and charmingly disarming at first, but she's completely competent as a leader, strategist and fighter, all without sacrificing her femininity. It's too early to tell if her portrayal of Dr. Helen Magnus in Sanctuary will dethrone Sam Carter, but with a good decade of SF presence, it doesn't look likely.
45. Myka Bering from Warehouse 13 (Joanne Kelly)
A newer kid on the block, secret service agent Myka Bering folds competence and vulnerability into a beautiful, full-lipped, curly-haired package. I first discovered Joanne Kelly in the Canadian series Slings & Arrows (as the now ubiquitous Rachel McAdams' replacement) and she quite frankly made an awesome Juliet. Always a class act in whatever outfit they put her in, Myka is just a little bit neurotic, which is charming as hell.
44. Saavik from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Kirstie Alley)
"Oh that Romulan ale..." The barely canonical fact that Saavik is half-Romulan means there's deep passion brewing under the Vulcan surface. With all respect to Robin Curtis' portrayal in the next film, it's Kirstie Alley's Saavik that has captured the imagination, in no small part thanks to that turbolift scene. No wonder Kirk strats to feel old in ST II.
43. Inara Serra from Firefly (Morena Baccarin)
Putting a space geisha (or "Companion") on the list is kind of obvious, and Morena Baccarin's graceful and mysterious portrayal of Inara is certainly deserving. One of the great disappointments stemming from Firefly's early cancellation is the abortion of the Mal-Inara relationship. They certainly had chemistry, which translated to the viewer. But why so low on the list? Though incredibly beautiful, Inara is just a little bit to ethereal and distant to get any higher. Vivaciousness counts for a lot (in case you're wonder where Zoe and Kaylee are).
42. Princess Aura from Flash Gordon (Ornella Muti)
1980's Flash Gordon is a kitsch piece of camp that goes for broke when it comes to sexiness (maybe Flesh Gordon was a primary source). Italian actress Ornella Muti's Aura has apparently been sown into her vinyl costumes and when not calling favors from her numerous lovers (including Timothy Dalton, who rocks a mustache like no other), gets busy sitting on Flash's lap while he tries to pilot a ship. There's no short supply of her vamping. I won't even get into the spanking.
41. Ardala from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (Pamela Hensley)
Coming just short of the Rick Dees version of this list is another princess from the pulpy future, but she's not one of the good guys. Her evil agenda was two-fold: 1) Conquer Earth, 2) Make Buck Rogers her consort. I think her priority must've been #2, going by the consistent out-sexiying of Wilma Deering, by whatever means necessary. Whether that's putting the goods out there with the help of glittering bikini tops, or arranging her own shotgun wedding. Doing research, I was surprised to find Pamela Hensley only appeared in 4 episodes of Buck Rogers. And yet, she's the first thing I recall when I think of Buck Rogers. Biddi biddi biddi, indeed.
Come back next week as we delve into the Top 40!