Top Ten: Sci-Fi Politicians

As the 2010 election finally draws to a close, and a little disappointed none of the politicians have come out and staked their positions on the issues that voters really want to hear about - who's David Cameron's favourite Doctor? does Nick Clegg have any theory how Lost is going to end? has Gordon Brown even heard of Iron Man? - we decided to turn our attention to the only truly impressive duly-elected-representatives out there. Forget Cleggmania or WebCameron, the greats won't settle for anything less than building a Death Star or planning the end of the world from a small town in California. Here then are our choices for the greatest politicians in sci-fi history....

10. Greg Stillson - The Dead Zone

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Who is he? The nemesis of Johnny Smith in novel, film and TV show versions of the story, but it's only the latter where he truly receives a personality.
Political Skills: Well-presented, manipulative and backed by a shadowy cabal, Stillson is pure evil beneath a shiny, carefully controlled exterior. Any similarity to actual politicians, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Policies: Armageddon. And fixing global warming by sending air pollution into outer space in plastic bags. But mostly Armageddon.

9. Charles Logan - 24

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Who is he? The polar opposite of his most illustrious predecessor, he's the President we love to hate.
Political Skills: A master manipulator, he even manages to hold his tongue through a trademark Bauer-torturing, only to be caught out hours later. A knack for survival makes him one of the few 24 characters that's survived an entire five seasons.
Policies: Doing whatever Jack Bauer tells him not to do. After a season of simple incompetence, Logan realises his life expectancy will be higher on this show if he heads off the other end of the scale and becomes the show's greatest villain instead. The one person that Jack wants dead but is somehow still alive. Not nearly the man, however, that is...

8. David Palmer - 24

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Who is he? The first black American President. Or at least he used to be.
Political Skills: A tough, strong leader, and given the parade of useless presidents 24 has given us since, the only uncorrupted and competent politician in America.
Policies: Doing what Jack Bauer tells him to do. It takes him half a season to realise he's in a TV show, but once he does is quickly able to figure out that this means Jack will always be right. As of yet no other 24 president has realised this, except Mr Logan...

7. Khan Noonien Singh - Star Trek

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Who is he? A super-human tyrant that controlled over a quarter of the world during the Eugenics War.
Political Skills: Being a genetically engineered superman has to help your chances. A physically superior genius, he always has the option to talk people around, or to just hit them.
Policies: For a tyrant, he's not as bad as you'd think: his rule on earth was harsh but fair. His latter day anger and ruthlessness are mostly driven by revenge: first for being cryogenically frozen for 200 years, then for the loss of his wife, and finally for his name being turned in to a bad internet meme.

6. Richard Woolsey - Stargate

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Who is he? The US representative on the International Oversight Advisory Committee (IOA). Basically, the politician that annoys the rest of the Stargate cast.
Political Skills: Slimy and slippery, Woolsey can extricate himself from any situation and still end up on top. After being forced to resign from his old job due to fiddling defence contracts, Woolsey somehow still manages to get job working with one of the world's most top-secret organisations.
Policies: Following the book. And meddling. His softer side starts to show through though once he's on Atlantis, and realises his bosses can no longer keep a direct eye on him. Probably not a good idea to check his expenses account then.

5. Mayor Wilkins - Buffy The Vampire Slayer

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Who is he? Sunnydale's council leader, with one of the longest terms of office in history. Or maybe hisssssstory.
Political Skills: High moral standards, he instructs and proselytises in equal measure. Ruthless behind the scenes, but not wanting to get his hands dirty he has others do his dirty work for him. No apparent ideology other than to keep himself in power.
Policies: The cynic would suggest that the Mayor was a typical type of US politician, his public persona advocating the highest possible moral standards (he doesn't even like that darned cussing all the young folks do) while in private being, literally, a demon. Like a certain other famous politician of recent years, however, he really has convinced himself the two sides are mutually compatible, while like another famous PM, his immortality means that he really can go on and on and on. A literal snake in the grass, he also has an intern the likes of which would make Bill Clinton weep, although to his credit he only has fatherly intentions towards her.

4. G'Kar - Babylon 5

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Who is he? An ambassador from a race of warriors, a liberator of an enslaved nation and to some, a holy figure.
Political Skills: Oratorical and speech-writing skills that could put Obama to shame, coupled with a meekness and occasional temper that make him hugely relatable to pretty much everyone
Policies: The Declaration of Principles - "Here, gathered together in common cause. we agree to recognise this singular truth, and this singular rule: That we must be kind to one another, because each voice enriches us and ennobles us, and each voice lost diminishes us. We are the voice of the Universe, the soul of creation, the fire that will light the way to a better future. We are one."

3. Laura Roslin - Battlestar Galactica

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Who is she? Secretary of Education for the Twelve Colonies. Who swiftly becomes President when the rest of the Government are blown up.
Political Skills: While she started as the shy, retiring ex-school teacher, the realities of life aboard a fleet on the run from Cylons soon harden her in to doing anything to protect humanity. Including fixing an election.
Policies: With her vehemently pro-life viewpoint, it would be easy to dismiss her as a far-right loon, but to be fair, her blanket ban on terminations was only enacted to prevent the human race from dying out. A sympathetic President in an impossible situation, her tendency to act on religious beliefs and prophecies leads the less spiritual members of the crew to question her judgement.

2. The Doctor - Doctor Who

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Who is he? High President of Gallifrey (retired.) Possibly the only politician in galactic history to resign as soon as he's elected.
Political Skills: Fiercely intelligent and able to grasp a situation at a glance, he's a superb organiser and delegator who can persuade just about anyone to do just anything he asks while he coordinates, his eye always on the big picture. He's not afraid to get his hands dirty, however, and at the crucial moments is always on the front line. A natural born leader.
Policies: A unilateralist with a penchant for regime change, there aren't many things the Doctor shares with George Bush Jr but the relentless pursuit of their foes is a common factor. Always sticking up for the little guy against tyrannical regimes, the Doctor could be seen as a natural socialist, although his love of the finer things in life and hobnobbing with the great and the good (and telling others about it afterwards) means he'd fit in well amongst Tory grandees as well. Perhaps the best description of him is moral anarchist...

1. The Emperor - Star Wars

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Who is he? Emperor Palpatine, the true villain of Star Wars, rules the entire Empire with a crackly, lightening shooty fist.
Political Skills: He can shoot lightening. Out of his hands.
Policies: Destroying the Jedi. And building Death Stars. Rumour has it that a young Liberal politician once tried to convince him that he didn't need another Death Star. That Death Stars were weapons to fight an old war and that re-commissioning a like-for-like replacement after one got blown up was unnecessary. That politician died of an electric shock.

Did we get it right? Would the Emperor get your vote? Or would you have put your X next to "None of the above?" Let us know your own list below!

Last updated: 25/06/2018 15:15:22

Doctor Who

The long-running BBC TV science fiction series that started in 1963 and recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary. 2017 saw Peter Capaldi regenerate into the show's first female Doctor played by Jodie Whittaker. The Thirteenth Doctor's first season debuts in 2018, with Chris Chibnall replacing Steven Moffat as the current showrunner.

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