For a time, science fiction was a male-dominated genre on television. Early shows focused on male characters more, women rarely shown and not that important when they did. Star Trek changed that with Uhura a tough and appealing character that was also easy on the eyes. Since then, it’s almost a requisite for a sci-fi series to have some female character. It can be human, alien, android or something else but many can be more than just a hot body in a hot outfit. They can show strength, smart and more appeal to draw fans in. Indeed, often, it’s the ladies who don’t show off much skin that shine as sexy and it helps that they can elevate a show up majorly. With sci-fi making more of a comeback in the last few years (Indeed, the Syfy network is finally re-embracing their name), the chances of seeing a sexy woman around is much higher.
They come from every decade and across slews of networks. A few are from massive long-running hits while others from short-lived and sometimes more obscure shows. But they share an amazing appeal and sexual presence that always drives fans. While tempting, super-hero shows are their own genre and don’t quite fit this list and neither does supernatural. Whether from Earth or inhuman, these are 25 female characters who are the hottest part of their shows and the genre itself and why sci-fi ladies have an appeal all their own.
25 Number Six, Battlestar Galactica
The original BSG was a somewhat campy 1970s series. However, the 2003 reboot transformed it into a gripping drama that could get dark as hell. It kicked off with twelve planets of humans exterminated by the Cylons, the robotic aides who’d achieved independence. But many of these Cylons had human forms, the biggest the one named Number Six. From the beginning, promotional artwork featured Tricia Helfer looking absolutely stunning in a hot red dress. Her character seduced Gaius Baltar into giving up defense secrets allowing the Cylons to launch their attack. She then stuck around in his head as a strange “ghost” to taunt him. Helfer got lots of hot scenes, such as in bed with a red light going up and down her spine. She popped up as a few other versions of Six but the main one in that dress is best remembered. While BSG was hailed by critics for its power, Helfer made sure to keep the hotness off the charts.
24 Isabel Evans, Roswell
Long before Grey’s Anatomy, the Emmy and various hit movies, Katherine Heigl became famous on this WB/UPN series. She played Isabel, one of three half-human/alien hybrids who crashed on Earth as children. She appears to be a classic “queen bee” at school, cold, standoffish and arrogant. In reality, that’s an act to keep her secrets and not wanting to get close to people. Heigl had a fun style with jeans and alluring tops and her nice appeal on full display. In many ways, Heigl was perfect as a “cold beauty” and yet could showcase surprising warmth, not to mention some risqué stuff for the show’s run. She had powers of creating heat and walking through dreams and as the show’s plots bounced around and got wilder, Heigl made Isabel more relatable for fans. The series lasted just three seasons but it got Heigl on the map for her successful career and it makes sense Isabel could create heat as Heigl was able to do that all on her own.
23 Amy Pond, Doctor Who
Over the decades, the BBC’s long-running hit show has been a major success. The Doctor is known for his travels through time and space and the longevity is because every now and then, he “regenerates” into a new form. Twelve actors have played the role, each with their own vibe (Jodie Whitaker is going to be the first woman in the part) and often travelling with a fun companion. Freshly regenerated, the Eleventh Doctor crashed into the yard of a young girl called Amelia and promised he’d be right back for a trip. But that turned out to be twelve years and when he returned, Amelia was now Amy, a feisty redhead in a hot police costume. She joined with the Doctor (and eventually joined by future husband Rory) for a variety of wild adventures.
The character was great with her Scottish brogue and bright style and cited as one of the best companions ever. She handled a variety of crazy stuff like giving birth and then discovering the child would grow into the Doctor’s future wife River Song (it’s complicated) and a farewell that was heart-breaking to many. Karen Gillan just imbued the role with so much life that she has to rank among the best to ever travel in that TARDIS.
22 Shalimar Fox, Mutant X
Despite the title, this syndicated series had nothing to do with the Marvel comics. It focused on a battle between scientists who had genetically engineered people with special powers. They were divided between aspects of mind, body and spirit with a group forming to help those in need. Shalimar Fox was a feral feline, gifted with enhanced agility and reflexes as well as cat-like eyes. Playing her was Victoria Pratt, a knockout blonde in any setting (such as Cleopatra 2525) and perfect for this sexy character. Sticking to jeans and some nice blouses, Shalimar was a marvel to see, leaping about, taking down mooks, long blonde hair flowing and a wicked smirk. She was the backbone of the show, getting some juicer material and seeing her in action was sensational. The series ended suddenly on a cliffhanger after three seasons but at least Pratt showed how fitting the name of “Fox” was for how she looked on screen.
21 Maeve Millay, Westworld
Based on the cult movie, HBO’s acclaimed series focuses on a futuristic theme park made up like the Old West. Maeve is the madam of a bar, a cool and suave woman capable handling things. Like others, she is unaware she is an android “host” going through the same routine every day. But she soon finds out and begins to fight back. Thandie Newton has earned an Emmy nom for the part with a stunning beauty and amazing power. A highlight is when Maeve wakes up in a lab, completely naked but also totally in control. As she points out, real or fake, she knows how to wrap men around her finger and get them to do as she wants. She has heart, finding out the truth of her origins and a “daughter” she’s forgotten but still gorgeous in her work. Newton keeps the character manipulative and controlling which makes a shocking turn all the better. It’s easy to admire her beauty but it’s the spirit behind it that proves this “machine” is hotter than any human on the show.
20 Cameron Phillips, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles
On the face of it, Summer Glau seems an odd choice to play a Terminator. The former ballet star came to fame as the small but kick-ass River Tam on the cult series Firefly. But she did have a great turn in this Fox series based on the hit movie franchise. Cameron was a Terminator, reprogrammed to protect a teenage John Connor. Glau showed a nice drive in the part, usually flat and emotionless but handling herself well. She got major fight scenes, more brawling than fancy martial arts (as she was several hundred pounds of metal) and Glau made it all look lovely. Her gorgeous face was highlighted on posters and even with guns and metal showing, she was a sexy sight. She had a few hotter scenes, including flashbacks to the human woman Cameron was based on and often found little reason to wear clothing at times. The show sadly only lasted two seasons but at least Glau showed even a Terminator can be amazingly hot.
19 Claire Bennett, Heroes
“Save the Cheerleader, Save the World.” That mantra helped make Heroes a surprise sensation when it debuted in 2006. One of the first scenes showed Claire, a seemingly typical high school cheerleader, throwing herself off a tower then healing up. Part of a wave of enhanced humans, Claire could come back from virtually any injury in seconds thanks to her healing factor. This made her the target of the powers-snatching psycho Sylar who wanted it for himself. Hayden Panettiere was terrific in the part, showcasing a growing sexual presence with Claire just wanting a normal life but realizing it wasn’t in the cards. She was pushed in plotlines, including finding herself at college and drawn to another woman but still doing what it took to help her family. The show is infamous for having a terrific first season but then slumping in quality badly before its cancellation. But Panettiere was still great through it all to make that famous line one sci-fi immortality.
18 Lexa, The 100
At first, this CW series was dismissed as a “pretty teenagers” show. But it’s grown into a complex series bringing up serious issues amid some gripping drama. A century after nuclear war devastated Earth, the survivors on a space station send down 100 juvenile delinquents to find out if the planet is inhabitable. They find out there are various factions made up of the descendants of survivors of the war. One is led by Lexa, a feisty warrior who’s more than ready to fight for her people. Alycia Debnam-Carey was an instant fan favorite from her debut in the second season and fans loved the chemistry between her and main character Clarke. The show soon played on that with the two sharing a kiss but circumstances drove them apart. Still, Lexa was striking with her looks, outfits and able to battle men twice her size. Sadly, Debnam-Carey’s commitments to Fear the Walking Dead meant she couldn’t continue. Thus, just after a hot hookup with Clarke, Lexa was killed off in a move that outraged fans. But she made a return in a spirit form for a good sendoff and yet another reason why this series is a sensation.
17 Echo, Dollhouse
Eliza Dushku rose to fame as Faith, the wicked Slayer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a hot drive. There were plans for a spin-off but Dushku wanted something more original. In 2009, she reunited with Joss Whedon for Dollhouse. The series focused on a corporation that had “Dolls”, humans who could be programmed with personalities and skills for major jobs. Dushku played Echo whose roles could be everything from a dominatrix to a hot girlfriend to a foster mother and more. The twist was that unlike others, Echo could remember her past personas and use them in her jobs. This gave Dushku the chance to show off in a variety of very hot and sexy roles, including leather gear, bikinis and more. The series played with identity and upping the stakes, including showing a future where this technology brings about the end of civilization. It was sadly axed after just two seasons but it solidified Dushku as one of the genre’s hottest ladies in any part.
16 Helen Magnus, Sanctuary
Amanda Tapping was already well known to sci-fi fans for her part on the decade-long hit Stargate SG-1. However, that part wasn’t much on sexy stuff as Tapping went out of her way to make sure her character was seen more as a scientist and soldier. But for her own self-produced series, Sanctuary, she got a much hotter streak. Originally a web series, the show got popular enough for Sci-Fi to pick it up. Helen Magnus was from the Victorian age, part of a pack of scientists who extended her life by using vampire blood. Also, a nutty time travel bit had her reliving the 20th century in hiding from her younger self. Thus, she’s over 250 years old and still out there, trying to find “abnormals,” creatures that threaten humanity and contain them. With dark hair and a crisp British accent, Tapping made the role far more outgoing (with Helen shown as bisexual amid various antics) and very adventurous. She endured the loss of family and a variety of wild antics but still enduring and Tapping was able to leave not one but two hot sci-fi ladies for fans to enjoy.
15 Max, Dark Angel
James Cameron creating his own TV series was a huge deal in 2000. Set in a Seattle where a terrorist attack turned America into a third world country, the series had Max, a runaway from a secret experiment that created a special soldier. In other words, she was made out to be the perfect woman. So the casting of a young Jessica Alba in the part was perfect. The images of Alba astride a motorcycle in tight leather made the show a must-watch before it even premiered. Alba was great with a sexy drive (helped by how, with her feline DNA, Max went “into heat” now and then), showing terrific action pieces and a bevy of sexy outfits. It turned Alba into an instant sex symbol and still the role she’s best remembered for. The series was canceled after two seasons due to its high budget but it launched Alba’s career and if anyone fit the title of Angel, it’s her.
14 Stahma Tarr, Defiance
Jaime Murray is a fantastic actress who brings a truly sexy vibe to any role she has. From a con artist on Hustle to shows like Warehouse 13, Spartacus, Dexter and Once Upon a Time, Murray makes any character steamy and hot. So it’s no surprise that she could play one of the hottest aliens around. Set a century after an alien starship crashed and affected Earth, Defiance is placed in the titular town, once St. Louis. Murray is Stahma, a Castithan, a white-skinned aristocratic type. While her husband runs a crime syndicate in the series, Stahma is the true brains and far more ruthless. Clad in very revealing clothing (and sometimes none at all), Murray was so amazingly hot from naked baths to threesomes and yet ruthless enough to kill to get ahead. Her cool accent and mannerisms made her appear truly otherworldly yet also someone you’d want to get seduced by. Even under that makeup, Murray’s sex appeal could not be defied in any way.
13 Inara Serra, Firefly
To this day, Joss Whedon’s space Western is acclaimed as one of the best shows Fox ended way too early. It launched the careers of its various stars, hailed for its great tone and humor and the characters are still beloved. Among the best was Inara, a “Companion” who rented a shuttle on the title ship. In this future, a clan of what basically added up to legal prostitution formed and Inara was among the best. Played by the gorgeous Morena Baccarin, she went around in great outfits, a cool manner and obviously very risqué scenes. The banter between her and Nathan Fillion’s Mal was a great thing to watch and she also showed herself more capable in combat than one would guess as well as sneaky with her ways. Like the rest of the cast, Baccarin returned for the big-screen movie Serenity to make fans happy. Since then, the actress has starred in the likes of Homeland and Gotham but this role was what made her famous as a companion anyone would love to be around.
12 Diana, V
A groundbreaking mini-series event, V had Earth invaded by a pack of flying saucers containing humanoid aliens. Claiming to need aid for their world, they offer humanity technology for help. But as the Visitors take more control, a resistance discovers the aliens are really disguised lizards out to steal all of Earth’s water and turn humanity into food. The show was a ratings hit, a social commentary wrapped in great action and drama. Among the various characters was Diana, the supposed science officer for the fleet. In reality, she was majorly in command, a conniving and duplicitous woman out for power. Jane Badler was terrific and terrifying in the role, cool and seductive but also ruthless enough to wipe out millions for her quest for power. She was the highlight of the mini-series and a sequel and even surviving at the end. She was also the main threat for a short-lived regular series and even reprised the role in a 2009 revival, looking as hot as ever. She may have been evil and a true lizard but Diana was also one of the hotter bodies in any galaxy.
11 Hel, Cleopatra 2525
Gina Torres is a very popular woman for genre TV. She was famous as Zoe on the cult series Firefly and added turns on Angel, Alias, The Catch and her major part in the legal drama Suits. Before all that, however, there was Cleopatra 2525. This ultra-campy series was set in the 26th century as a former exotic dancer wakes up 500 years after being frozen from a bad breast enhancement. She discovers that robots now rule the Earth and humans have literally gone underground to stop them. Torres was Hel, the leader of a team and highlighted by her great uniform baring her toned mid-riff and muscular body. She could get into wild action stuff fighting with acrobatics, some undercover work and even some light comedy. The show didn’t take itself too seriously so she could be enjoyed and for all the sexy roles Torres has had since, Hel was pure angelic in her hot appeal.
10 Rommie, Andromeda
This popular syndicated series was basically a reverse Star Trek. In the far future, the Commonwealth is a peaceful organization of worlds, headed by starships that had artificial intelligence avatars. One ship, the Andromeda, is captured at the brink of a black hole, frozen in time for 300 years. When it’s freed, the captain discovers the Commonwealth has fallen and the galaxy in chaos and sets out to fix it. Rommie was the ship’s A.I. who managed to get herself an android body to help out. Played by the exotic Lexa Doig, she was quite the looker with a hot uniform and a great style as she brawled her way while also tops in science stuff. She could have a cool sense of humor but able to handle fighting a dozen foes at once with her form. Doig has gone on to star in genre shows like Continuum and Arrow but this is her more famous part to make an inhuman lady very sexy.
9 Two/Portia Lin, Dark Matter
This Syfy series has a good opening. Six people (and a female android) wake up on a spaceship with no memory of who they are. At first trying to help others, they discover they’re actually a pack of deadly mercenaries. Two (they name themselves in the order they woke up) is Portia Lin, wanted for over thirty deaths and a sociopath. Like the rest of the crew, Two struggles with whether to be defined by her past or use this clean slate for a better future. Melissa O’Neill was a winner of Canadian Idol but has some good acting chops too. Two gets sexy bits with hookups with a few characters and even with a woman. She takes up leadership of the team and her tank top and black pants fit her better than any uniform. Adding to the heat are several episodes of the Portia of an alternate universe who never lost her memories and O’Neill gets to be even sexier as this evil woman. But Two is still a hot fighter and one very sexy number.
8 Susan Ivanova, Babylon 5
Babylon 5 is still regarded for its genius in turning science-fiction conventions on their ear. It was one long massive story planned and spread over five seasons with a station at the center of intergalactic war. Characters could shift from a comic relief guy made a party to genocide to a seemingly sinister alien becoming a moral hero. A major character from the start was Susan Ivanova, the second-in-command for the station. Played by Claudia Christian, Susan was a marvel, a tough commander but also getting some of the best laugh lines of the show. At first all business, she got some sexier stuff and it was clear she’d had an affair with a female character. This was a woman ready to stand before an enemy fleet and announce “God sent me” before wiping them out and still look sexy doing it. Christian left after the fourth season with an ugly blow-up with producers and a shame as she was one of the best parts of one of the best sci-fi series ever.
7 Kiera Cameron, Continuum
This Canadian time travel series wasn’t as cut and dried as it seemed. In 2077, Earth is ruled by corporations in a harsh future. A resistance force gathers and when several members are slated for execution, they escape to 2012. Pulled with them is Kiera Cameron, a “protector” now hunting these terrorists down. But the series played with things as you realize the “heroine” is trying to keep a solitarian society intact and the “terrorists” may actually be right. Rachel Nichols was quite good in the main role, helped by her form-fitting high-tech suit which gave her special abilities and terrific in fighting scenes. With her dark hair, Nichols also got the emotional beats of Kiera wanting to return to the future and her son and realizing she may be on the wrong side of things. The show was gripping science fiction with shots at present society and Kiera herself a sexy but tough warrior whose growth was well worth the time to watch all four seasons.
6 Dana Scully, The X-Files
Sexiness isn’t always showing off flesh and in hot outfits. It can come from a woman with true beauty and drive and in that regards, Dana Scully is near the top of the list. When The X-Files premiered, Dana was the cool and analytical scientist, the skeptic to Mulder’s believer and always looking for a logical angle. With her red hair and outfits, Gillian Anderson was a marvel from the start, making this “Ice Queen” very hot with her looks, her gazes and an amazing aura about her. As the series went on, Scully got hotter, showing more sexy sides and storylines but also smart and true heart to make the show a long-running hit. Anderson would get both a Golden Globe and Emmy for the part and the recent revival had her as sexy as ever. There were a lot of mysteries on this show but one that could never be solved was how Scully looked so damn sexy in a suit.
5 The Clone Club, Orphan Black
Genetically, they’re the same so it does count. BBC’s recently completed series focused on a corporation who set about creating hundreds of clones, spreading them across the world and studying them as they grew up. The reason the show worked was simple: Tatiana Maslany. The Canadian actress won universal praise (as well as an Emmy) for her work as these clones, making several quite distinctive. You had Sarah, the con artist who sleeps with the boyfriend of the clone she impersonates in the pilot; Allison, the suburban mom who could get to twerking in her underwear; Cosima, the scientist in a steamy relationship with a woman; Rachel, the cold businesswoman with a dominating side; Helena, a nutcase but loveable; and Krystal, a bubble-headed lady in revealing outfits. Maslany looked great and sexy in each role to make them stand out and any of these ladies rank as sexy thanks to the gal playing them all.
4 Aeryn Sun, Farscape
It’s hard to describe this cult TV series as this was a show that would do episodes based in animation or pure sitcom. The plot was Ben Browder as an Earth astronaut knocked into a galaxy ravaged by War. He falls in with a group of escaped convicts who board a living ship. Aeryn Sun was a Peacekeeper, the rather misnamed group of brutal soldiers out to crush all opposition. From the start, Claudia Black showed a great style in the part, hot but capable in a fight. A classic episode has Browder’s Crichton in Aeryn’s body and unable not to enjoy looking at “the goods.” The connection between them grew more into love and later marriage amid some truly wild adventures (such as Aeryn giving birth while in the middle of a gunfight). Black would later reunite with Bowder on Stargate SG-1 as hot con artist Vala but fans best remember her as Aeryn, one of the hotter space soldiers ever seen.
3 Maya, Space 1999
Sci-fi critics debate Space: 1999 a lot. Some find it a terrible series with a hackneyed premise while others think it was ahead of its time. The plotline was that a massive explosion ends up sending the moon into deep space as a massive “spaceship” with 311 residents of a base on board. The first season was slow-paced and cerebral while the second had a more campy style with monsters. Coming in for the second to ramp up appeal was Catherine Schell as Maya. A slender woman with dark hair, she was part of a race that had barely survived a major environmental disaster. To adapt, they had found a way to transform their bodies into most any form. Joining the base crew, Maya soon fit in, changing her form into a variety of animals and aliens and had a bright humor (known for using her powers for practical jokes). Brilliant and inquisitive, she could be trusting but Schell managed to ground the character to make her a fan favorite. There were plans for her to grow in the third season but the show was canceled before that happened. While fans cite the second season of the show as poor, Maya was the bright spot to make it watchable.
2 Wilma Deering, Buck Rogers
For young males in the late 1970s, she was one of the biggest crushes alive. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was rather campy with special effects cheap by today’s standards. The revival of the groundbreaking character had Buck as an astronaut from the 1980s, frozen for centuries before revived in the far future. Erin Grey played Wilma Deering, a tough pilot who at first clashed with Buck but became a good aid to him. Grey was a breathtaking sight in tight jumpsuits, either a usual white uniform or a great set of regular outfits that fit her curvy form. Her lush hair flowed out and while she tried to be professional, she could show a very sexy side at times. The first season was good but a major overhaul hurt the second, leading to its cancellation. But Grey is still remembered as one of the early sci-fi hotties and a great one to enjoy.
1 Seven Of Nine, Star Trek Voyager
You can do an entire separate list for the ladies of Star Trek. But this is one lady so amazingly hot, she has to be included. Introduced in the fourth season, Seven of Nine was a young girl when she was assimilated into the Borg, a techno-organic race who wanted to turn all life into them. Freed, she joined the crew of Voyager and sought to recapture her humanity. Casting the gorgeous Jeri Ryan sure helped make the role stand out with her short blonde hair and a uniform that looked like it was painted on her shapely form. But Ryan also showed heart with Seven dealing with guilt over her actions and her cool delivery making her stand out more. One arched eyebrow did more to rile up fans than any skin-showing. The franchise has always gone for sexy women but Ryan has to rank as one of the best ever to steam up screens big time in any galaxy.