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August 18 2010

The results of the SFX Top Character polls. The people have spoken! Find out how the likes of Lorne, Giles, Topher, Dr Horrible, Jayne, Spike, Angel, Drusilla, Darla, Malcolm Reynolds, Wesley, Buffy, River, Willow, Faith and Kaylee fared in their respective categories. And vote for the Ultimate Character by clicking here.

Giles is up there but not Spike!?!


I forgot that they were in different categories. *facepalm*

[ edited by Skytteflickan88 on 2010-08-18 11:03 ]
@Skytteflickan88 - LOL!

Worth noting that in pretty much every category Whedon characters are very high in the ranking, even if they aren't the "top" picks.

The "ultimate" vote is a toughie....
It's Giles!! Giles!!! Has Joss ever created a better character? Today I'm saying.... NO!

The Whedonverse did really well. Apparently there are still quite a few of us fans still out there. :)
Actually, looks heavily 'stacked' with Whedonite voters. I mean, Topher Brink as #2 behind Giles?
Yep, discount 'Doctor Who' (which a) will always do well in any UK based poll anyway and b) is probably enjoying an uptick in popularity and mindshare due to the generally very well received recent series) and Whedonverse characters do extremely well. Whether through voter organisation or genuine popularity is an open question.

Re: Ultimate Character, ooh, Batman or The Doctor (from that list anyway) ? Too hard.

I like that they've presented ALL the results (i.e. ranked rather than just the top 3 or whatever). Can't disagree with best Superhero (Batman, natch) but it's also cool to see e.g. Halo Jones on there, she's an often overlooked Alan Moore creation IMO ("Where did she go? Out! What did she do? Everything!" ;) a fairly early Strong Female [SF&F] Character and definitely an ancestor of Buffy's in that sense. However, Gully Foyle at dead last in Anti-heroes ? Madness of the highest banoonisity. Kids today, sheesh... Given the probable slight UK bias in the voting, that's the most surprising result for me.
I must say I was pretty pleased with that list, all my votes were represented somewhere. I was pretty surprised about Dr. Horrible being top of the anti-hero list, and Kaylee in the heroine list? I mean don't get me wrong I love Kaylee but she isn't exactly a heroine.

For the ultimate category I'm voting Sarah Connor.
Surprised Faith wasn't in the Anti-Hero/Dodgy Do-Gooders category.
Faith is either a hero or a villain though really (i.e. when she's good she's not really much darker/less traditionally heroic than Buffy, when she's bad she's quite clearly a villain by Buffyverse standards - killing humans, attacking Angel etc. A troubled villain, with human qualities - like all the best ones - but a villain nonetheless).
Yeah, there's an inevitable British bias, but normally these types of polls have a US bias, so it makes a change at least. ;)

Most surprising to me is Topher in 2nd ahead of the likes of Galdalf and Obi-Wan. I guess that was us. But I'm also pretty shocked that Han Solo is only 7th and Indiana Jones 9th. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull might account for the later, but I really thought Han Solo would be up there with The Doctor.
Yeah, I think that's us too.

The UK bias also means you don't always just get the usual suspects (so Judge Dredd, John Constantine and aforementioned Halo Jones pop up or Servalan on the villains list whereas I doubt they would on a US poll). Makes for a bit of variety.

(That's a chanty kind of thing)
Did anyone else find it strange to find Vetinari on the Sages Etc. list? I think of him more as a Machiavellian know-it-all,one that is far too active, even if it's in a behind the curtain sort of way, to be an adviser/guide type.

Re Ultimate Character: Is that where this poll is heading? *appalled* I just, ya know, voted, cos everyone else was voting... plus... lists! To persist down to one (ONE!) character would, I think, be both masochistic and obsessive...

*...contemplates navel... goes back to reexamine lists...*
(1) What the heck is a "boffin?" (2) Technically, Blade is not completely a vampire; he's a daywalker. (3) SC over Buffy? SC over Ripley? (4) Yay Giles! (5) Angel and Spike split the vote, darn it!
Man alive, does Google not work in America anymore (I ask cos you're not exactly the first on here to bring up that point Dana5140 ;) ? Boffin. Boffin. Boffin.

(they shouldn't be mixed with sages and mentors IMO, too different)

Did anyone else find it strange to find Vetinari on the Sages Etc. list?

Nope, you're not alone BreathesStory.
That was...weird. And interesting. I think Giles was the only one of my votes that topped his list. Wait, maybe I voted for Dr. Horrible, too.

I'm uncomfortable with the result of the supernatural beings list. Aslan's gonna smite you all, wait and see.
Finally, a vampire poll where Jessica Hamby (True Blood) beats the sparkly one!
Yay, Giles!

I'm surprised though to see Kaylee on the favorite heroines list but not Zoe- unless I missed it. Maybe they needed a "Favorite 2nd in Command" list.
Two points about the word "boffin" .... all three links provided mention that it's British slang (or "mainly" British), so that explains a lot, for me.
And everyone seems to agree that lumping it in with sage and mentor, makes no sense.

There, I feel better now. ;_)
Oh Giles, so glad i'm not alone in my undying love for him and that accent! Saw some tasters choice coffee today in the foreign foods shop and just thought; it was better with him.
And Sarah Connor was a fine option for beating Buffy. If anyone had to, i'm glad it was her.
Yeah, boffin isn't exactly in the same class as sage and mentor as it describes cleverness, not wisdom. I guess there probably weren't enough characters to build up a list of 20 and make them distinct. Although...we could try....
- Topher
- [season 1-3] Willow
- Professor Farnsworth ('Futurama')
- Orac ("Blake's 7")
- The Doctor (if he wasn't on the "Heroes" list)
- Adric ('Doctor Who')
- Q (from Bond, stretching SF&F to breaking point and beyond)
- Henry (from 'Eureka')
- Sam Carter (from Stargate, except she's maybe a bit too physically active/able, probably should've been on the heroes list in fact)
- Dr. Theopolis ('Buck Rogers')


- Barnes Wallace (from 'The Dam Busters' - yeah, yeah, I know. But he's like the Ur boffin ;)

... help ?
I mean, I'm really a big Fan of almost everything from the Whedonverse, especially Giles so go him! But in this case my vote has to go to the Doctor. Noone else on the final 10 can compare to him. :)
Wow, this list is extremely Whedonverse heavy. I'm kind of happy that Dracula is still the most popular vampire though. Gotta love the classics. =)
For those who don't want to Google: "boffin" = tech expert who understands all manner of tech stuff and invents all manner of tech stuff. Q is the boffin in the James Bond movies; Topher is the boffin of "Dollhouse." For the longest time, I thought boffins and puffins were the same thing and I couldn't figure out how computer expertise made a person comparable to a diving bird with an orange beak.

Totally unrelated, I love that Lorne came in second only to Daleks.
Hey, I know I can google the word, but I get a better sense of the true meaning by asking here, y'know? :-)
Fair enough. It's just a different approach I guess - whenever you lot refer to, I dunno, Ryan Seacrest or Bob Barker or a piece of clearly US slang that I don't know then my first impulse is usually just to Ctrl-T then click in the little box at top right, type "ryan seacrest" (or whatever) and press return. If that doesn't do it then I ask. Horses for courses ;).

For those who don't want to Google ...

Or, apparently, click the three links I supply above (one of which I posted when this poll has come up previously and folk've asked what 'boffin' means). What am I, chopped liver ? I dunno why I bother sometimes *mutters, grumbles ...* ;-)

And imagine a puffin boffin. In fact, imagine one that's sexually active: a boffin' puffin boffin.

ETR: an 'or whatever' that was no longer, like, relevant or whatever.

[ edited by Saje on 2010-08-18 17:07 ]
I was so happy with the winners of the "Vampires" category - Spike, Darla, Angel, Drusilla, Dracula, Damon, Stefan - and then Jasper and Edward won, too, and I was like, "No. Just... no." xD
No need to pout, Saje. People clicked on your links (or at least one of your links picked at random.) Your work was not in vain. ;-)

Although I did not vote for many of the winners, I considered voting for most of them...except the Daleks and the Master. I've always thought the ongoing villains in Dr. Who were its weakest element. I was really surprised to see Dr. Horrible there, but then, my son tells me that it was popular in his school and he has been passing it to his friends out of state. So I'm thinking that where a surprising Whedonverse character came in 2nd or 3rd, maybe it was us, but if they actually won, they probably had to have had help from outside. Just a thought.

Oh, and as far as Spike and Angel losing to Dracula, they probably did split the vote, (not to mention Druscilla and Darla being in there) but it is still DRACULA after all. I'd be really curious to see the figures and just how close it was...or wasn't.
... help ?

I'd leave in Doc Brown and Brains from the original category and add Fred. With her physics background and running the lab at Wolfram & Hart, I think she qualifies. It's not a series I watched much, but there must have been some boffins on the various Star Trek shows.
Great to see the strong Whedonverse presence. As for my ultimate character: Sarah Connor, hands down. Mad love.
All I can say is, I love chopped liver. Though don't take that the wrong way, saje...

I've always thought the ongoing villains in Dr. Who were its weakest element.
I agree with this. Love The Doctor to pieces, but the Cybermen, Daleks & Master have never done anything for me (although I did like the latest incarnation of the Master). Actually, I loved Old Series Daleks (mostly because they're so much fun to imitate, I think), but I'm really sick of them in the new series.

Ultimate character? C'mon. In what way? The one I love the most? (Giles) The most compelling? (Batman) The one with the best story-generating possibilities? (the Doctor)
The boffin position on Star Trek shows usually fall into other categories as well or was spread out. Spock is under aliens, (as well he should since looking like an alien while being a good guy was a huge breakthrough for US TV) Data and the EMH are under robots and androids...I guess they could have Wesley Crusher, but I don't think anyone would vote for the poor fellow, and who wants to do that to a teenager. ;-) One could probably make an argument for every engineer on the shows as well as whats her name, the empath. They are in mostly technical environments with everybody acting as an advisor so they really had whole casts of boffins.

Of the final group, I had to vote for Spock. He caught my imagination first and is still a great character. He is the one I find myself most emotionally attached to. I do love Giles, but he can't beat out some of the others even for 2nd. Dr. Horrible is not developed enough yet to be in contention at all. Dr. Who is such a brilliant creation that he would probably have to be my choice if Spock were not there. Now if other Whedonverse characters had made it to the top, I might have had a harder time choosing...
The ongoing villains have been overused on the new series IMO, particularly the Daleks. I did like John Simm's Master though (except towards the end of 10's run when he really went over-the-top banoonoos). And yep, hard to beat The Doctor when it comes to narrative possibilities, the TARDIS is pretty much the ultimate story engine (textually and meta-textually).

It's not a series I watched much, but there must have been some boffins on the various Star Trek shows.

The trouble with the Trek boffins (e.g. Spock, Data etc.) is, as newcj says, they tended to be heroes too (there were no real "backroom boys" - that's just the slightly antiquated phrase BTW, boffins can be women too - that were just boffins and though e.g. Scotty was clearly shown, time and again, to be very clever academically, he always seemed a bit too practical to be a real boffin, not scatty enough). Boffins that're also soldiers/sailors present the issue of being a bit too worldly to really fit the spirit of the definition IMO.

But yeah, Fred fits as do Doc Brown and Brains. 'Bout 12-ish so far.

People clicked on your links (or at least one of your links picked at random.) Your work was not in vain. ;-)

Hooray ! *gathers toys back up into his pram* ;)
Boffin List Suggestions:

1. Mr. Peabody, inventor of the WABAC Machine (from Rocky and Bullwinkle)
2. Dr. Frankenstein
3. Scotty (He pulled off miracles on a regular basis.)
4. Buckaroo Banzai (He completely bypassed the 5th, 6th, and 7th dimensions to drive through the 8th!)
5. The Time Traveler, from H. G. Wells' "The Time Machine"
6. Captain Nemo (Way ahead of his time.)
7. MacGyver (I think he qualifies as an expert.)

I wish I could of thought of at least one woman.


Qualifications to be an "Ultimate Sf/F Character", think...

1. Archetypal--refuses to stay in a box and plays on the imagination
2. Flexible--not a one story and then you're done kind of character
3. Complex--with you know,with layers and contradictions and stuff
4. ...and probably some other attributes I'm forgetting about...

Ooh, this is gonna be a tough one.
Oh *kicks self*, Bennett ! Bennett is the boffin's boffin, for sure. Still not entirely convinced Sam Carter fits but yeah, it'd be nice to have a few more women in there. Pretty sad comment on our times really.

Hard though it was I voted for The Doctor as ultimate character in the end (Batman will get plenty of votes too i'd imagine). Wondering what archetype he fits best though. "Mysterious Stranger" I guess ?
Looking at BreathesStory's qualifications list, thinking I'll probably go with The Doctor, too.

How about Mac as the boffin from Veronica Mars? (And I've suddenly realized that it's no wonder I liked Star Trek so much with all those boffiny heroes wandering around.)

Also, just wanted to point out that, though I knew what a boffin was, Saje has already sent me to Google twice today (for "scatty" and "kruft.") Good thing it's such a short walk to Google.
If you're including Sam Carter as a boffin, you could throw Rodney McKay in there too.
How about Mac as the boffin from Veronica Mars?

I had the same thought, but the poll is for sci-fi and fantasy. Great show though. I saw it last summer (or the one before maybe) when it was on every single weekday in the UK. They just went straight through all three seasons - without a DVR I would have struggled. And it's still not out on DVD here!
Great character too, Mac's one of my favourite screen techies.

If you're including Sam Carter as a boffin, you could throw Rodney McKay in there too.

Yep, good one, the list is starting to look pretty healthy. And there's Rush from SGU too.

(Daniel Jackson's a bit dodgy IMO because although as an intelligent, widely read person he knows a bit about science/technology he's not really a sciencey/techy sort so not really a "proper" boffin)

Also, just wanted to point out that, though I knew what a boffin was, Saje has already sent me to Google twice today (for "scatty" and "kruft.")...

Well, they need the ad hits, I think they may be down to their last $150 billion or so ;).

(strange the stuff that it doesn't even occur to you isn't widely known - 'kruft' is kind of domain specific and 'boffin' is certainly British/Commonwealth slang - there's a Boffins bookshop in Australia, how cool is that ? - but 'scatty' I just blithely stuck in without even considering it might not be universal)
Wish I had voted in the original polls. Maybe my vote could have put Spike at #1 vampire - though he would be my second choice overall. My first overall choice will always be Spock. All others would have been Whedon characters (with Farscape characters coming in close behind).
Kruft brings up a lot of varied references including: a municipality in the district of Mayen-Koblenz in Rhineland-Palatinate, western Germany. ;-)

We have scatterbrained and scattered in the US so scatty seems a reasonable relation.

As in anything like this, some categories took great characters out of the competition who might have had a chance in the final while putting characters in the final who have no chance at all. (shrug)
Regarding the boffins list, I know he appeared in the heroes section but Sam Beckett possibly? I mean I know he does his fair share of non-nerdy things as his various incarnations but I always thought of him primarily as a slightly naive genius.

And, er, Miles Dyson (I know, dubious)...what was the name of that really smart Doctor companion ages ago?
You may mean Adric (companion to the Fourth and Fifth Doctors). I mentioned him above although i'm not totally sold myself since he was arguably specifically a maths genius rather than necessarily a science/tech type. Romana (I and II) was also very clever but, being a Timelord (Timelady ?) herselves maybe more heroes than boffins, dunno.

So, so far:

- Topher
- [season 1-3] Willow
- Professor Farnsworth
- Orac
- The Doctor (if he wasn't on the "Heroes" list)
- Adric
- Q
- Henry Deacon
- Samantha Carter
- Rodney McKay
- Nicholas Rush
- Dr. Theopolis
- Fred
- Doc Brown
- Brains
- Mr Peabody
- Bennett
- The Time Traveller (from 'The Time Machine')
- Sam Beckett

with honourable mentions to many of BreathesStory's suggestions just cos, to me, MacGyver, Scotty, Buckaroo Banzai and Captain Nemo are all too much "men of action" to really be boffins. It's not cut and dried though.
So one more and we could officially begin the Boffin Vote? (Of course I'm going to have to look up almost half of them. It's sort of like trying to vote for local judges.)

Re the Boffin Definition: Is there a connotation that these are sort of "all brain" type of people? "Scientific Expert" IS a bit broad. Am I missing some subtext?

Would Sherlock Holmes qualify? The monographs, the devotion to the scientific method, the invention of methods and procedures, the expertise in cataloging the world, the testing... Yeah, probably a reach. There's got to be more than these...
This thread seems way more safe than that IDW one ;). Has anyone else watched and loved the new Sherlock from Moffat/Gatiss? Just wanted to pipe up and say I'm enjoying reading your comments even though I haven't been contributing myself of late.
Stopped reading Angel after 'After the Fall' and i'm behind on "season 8" so i've largely avoided those threads but when the comments went from an average of 80 or a 100 to, like, 400 comments for some issues I figured something big must've kicked off ;).

Has anyone else watched and loved the new Sherlock from Moffat/Gatiss?

Yep and yep ;). Hard to imagine how an update could've been done better to be honest. Cumberbatch and Freeman are great*, certainly in eps 1 and 3 - the Moffat/Gatiss ones - the dialogue absolutely sings, the "air text" device works, his explanations of his process make sense and ring true (and reminded me of 11 in e.g. "The Beast Below", probably because those bits were inspired by Holmes) and they get a lot of the edges back into both characters that some interpretations sometimes smooth off. All in all they've walked the line between updating it and maintaining the spirit of the characters and stories pretty much perfectly IMO. Really hope they get a chance to do more (I know the will's there but Moffat has to be super busy with Who and by the time he's free maybe the actors will have filled their schedules).

Is there a connotation that these are sort of "all brain" type of people? "Scientific Expert" IS a bit broad. Am I missing some subtext?

Would Sherlock Holmes qualify?

Can't speak generally but in my mind, the spirit of 'boffin' has an aspect of unworldliness, of a kind of geeky obsession with and focus on their "thing" (whatever it may be in the science/tech sphere), maybe a slight eccentricity. The nearest US equivalent is probably 'egghead' and I may be wrong but to me that's always had connotations of not really being that physically capable, there aren't many egghead action heroes. Similarly, boffins are more "blue skies" thinkers to me, they might come up with something amazing but it probably wouldn't be them that makes millions off it.

As to Holmes, he uses science but it's specifically to solve crimes, not because he's particularly interested in it in and of itself (as he famously claims in 'A Study in Scarlet', he wasn't even aware the Earth went around the Sun because it doesn't help him on his "quest") and he's not really into technology. He's also very able physically (boxing, fencing, general agility etc.).

* (Cumberbatch apparently considered going for The Doctor when Tenn announced he was leaving but decided against it and though I love Matt Smith I think he'd have been great in the role - looking forward to seeing him in the "Tinker, Tailor..." remake even though i'm still a bit ambivalent about the whole idea)
Saje, hey you're the instigator of the list, I figure what you say goes. So, how's it feel to be The Arbiter of The Word (that should so be a title), the on point representative of a whole culture?

I admit to being a bit obsessed with this topic. I'm currently incubating this adventure story thing with a female mad scientist and a samurai so I have been researching a whole list of stuff--but I hadn't gotten around to this yet. A list like this gives me a bunch of prototype characters to research. (Yes!) I've already started the new research folder in and have christened it "Boffin." : ) Although, I'm not sure exactly how boffin-y she's going to turn out to be.

Anyhoo, new suggestions:

1. Mr. Universe

Plus, what about so called "evil or mad" scientists? (I've been googling.)

2. Ernst Stavro Blofeld
3. C. A. Rotwang, from "Metropolis"
4. Dr. Moreau

And why doesn't Dr. Frankenstein qualify? Obsessive, created life... Does bio-technology not count?
Finally I make it to TAoTW ! Talk about levelling up, been grinding around as "Just Some Guy With an Opinion" for absolutely ages ;).

Mr Universe I could go for, he's maybe more "just" a geek (since he seems to be purely a techy) and maybe a bit too hands on but he's certainly a bit eccentric, unworldly and not really an actiony type.

And with "mad scientists" (or maybe more "mad industrialists" in Blofeld's case), again, their aims are almost always quite worldly (irradiate the world's gold reserves to drive the price up etc.), too purposeful. I also don't usually think of boffins as being baddies but that's probably just personal prejudice. Dr. Frankenstein (from the novel) is maybe on though, he seemed to be doing it for the sake of it and was very into the work itself (and certainly didn't intend for it all to go so awry - a couple of missteps aside, he's actually quite a sane scientist ;). Again, personally I tend to see them as more in the physical sciences, technology or engineering but that's partly because of a "garden shed tinkerer" element that you sometimes see in screen boffin depictions (bio-tech hasn't reached the point - yet - where brainy, slightly odd inventor types play around with it in their garage workshops. Give it a few years though... Terrifyingly enough ;).

The more I think about what a boffin actually is to me, the harder it is to pin down.
Even the OED seems a bit bewildered, you have my sympathies. Well, in your new office as TAoTW, if you would care to consult some advisers...

OED online definition of boffin:

2. A person engaged in ‘back-room’ scientific or technical research. Hence boffin(e)ry, boffins collectively; also, the activity of a boffin.

The term seems to have been first applied by members of the Royal Air Force to scientists working on radar.

1945 Times 15 Sept. 5/4 A band of scientific men who performed their wartime wonders at Malvern and apparently called themselves ‘the boffins’. 1948 ‘N. SHUTE’ No Highway iii. 61 ‘What's a boffin?’ ‘The man from Farnborough. Everybody calls them boffins. Didn't you know?’.. ‘Why are they called that?’.. ‘Because they behave like boffins, I suppose.’ 1948 LORD TEDDER in A. P. Rowe One Story of Radar p. vii, I was fortunate in having considerable dealings in 1938-40 with the ‘Boffins’ (as the Royal Air Force affectionately dubbed the scientists). 1952 Picture Post 30 Aug. 20/1 Only a backroom boffin out of touch with the classroom could hold this pious belief. 1954 Economist 19 June Suppl. 6/3 The graduate from research{em}roughly..the boffin of industry. 1957 R. WATSON-WATT Three Steps to Victory xxxiii. 201 The proud title of Boffin was first conferred on a few radar scientists by Royal Air Force officers with whom they worked in close co-operation... I am not quite sure about the true origins of this name of Boffin. It certainly has something to do with an obsolete type of aircraft called the Baffin, something to do with that odd bird, the Puffin; I am sure it has nothing at all to do with that first literary Back Room Boy, the claustrophiliac Colonel Boffin. 1958 Times Lit. Suppl. 14 Feb. 83/3 In one of those diverting interludes..he writes an anatomy of Boffinry. 1958 Economist 25 Oct. 298/1 The unexpected success of the boffins' conference at Geneva..ending in agreement on the feasibility of controlling a nuclear test suspension. 1960 J. MACLAREN-ROSS Until Day viii. 132, I was engaged in some boffinery in a blasted back-room unit. they at least seem to be in agreement with you. The online ones anyways. I've no access at the present moment to the advisers with an actual physical presence. Perhaps they would have more verbosity to share if consulted in chambers.

It's interesting to me that having funding, even from the government doesn't seem to be a disqualification. I guess that would make some of "our" DARPA folks qualify, nut jobs-- *cough* (sorry) dreamers that they are.

So Arbiter of The Word, have you met your goal and found twenty? And if so, who are they? Are you satisfied? Have you attained a sense of completion or do we need to have a vote now? (I'm thinking that the votes of two people aren't going to be very statistically helpful, so that means you'll need to call in your peeps. I'm not going to even try anymore to explain this word to mine.)
I agree that villains can't really be boffins. When I was trying to come up with some more earlier on, I thought of Warren and Dr Horrible, but it just doesn't seem right.

And my vote's for Doc Brown!
Hey... someone else is still reading this thread. Make that three votes!
Cool, I think between the three of us we're a totally representative sample of the general sci-fi "population". Ahem ;).

Chose The Doctor for Ultimate Character so I suppose technically, if I consider him a boffin then I should vote for him to be consistent. So I vote Sam Carter ;).

(she's a tough, physically capable soldier - pilot/airperson ? What're airforce personnel called when they're qualified pilots but don't spend most of their time flying ? - but she also solves a lot of problems with her science/technology knowledge. They fudge it and probably use as much technobabble as Trek but the Stargate shows also, every now and then, have actual science based solutions to actual science based problems and it's usually her that comes up with them. So she may not be the top exemplar of boffin-ness itself but she's my favourite of the ones we came up with. That aren't The Doctor ;)
Well, that's two votes in for those avidly watching our "when we can bother" polling results with only... one? (Say it ain't so!) vote left to be cast. Who will The Boffin be? Stay tuned to this thread for your exclusive coverage...

Anyways so yeah, I'm gonna have to do a little bit of research so I can conclusively decide my ill-formed and reactionary vote. I am sadly, a stellar representative of those voters who have never heard of "one or two" candidates. I blame it on unequal campaign funding. (My vote will be cast by Tuesday.)

I have been wondering what to do in the event of a tie (a distinct possibility) and came up with this idea: instead of a runoff amongst the top contenders, what if we have the Ultimate Character cast the deciding vote from the list of tying candidates? After all, the U.C. would be the one who would most likely have to work with The Boffin. (It looks like SFX is supposed to announce the U.C. results in on Wednesday.)

The only problem I foresee with this plan, kicks in only if The Doctor takes the ultimate win. (Which is highly likely because 1. this is primarily a UK poll and 2. if anyone can be all things to all people, albeit in a consecutive sort of way, it's him.) Having The Doctor cast the deciding vote could be a problem because, well, which incarnation would vote? The SFX poll made it quite clear that we weren't supposed to play favorites with the incarnations. Would they have to reach consensus amongst themselves? (Luckily he's on an odd number at the moment.) Would they need to fight it out? Who would win?
(There's a really bad riff on "Who's on first?" in that question just beggin' to go "thud.")

And a pilot is still a pilot even if their current duty assignment is not defined by that AFSC. At least that's my best guess. I know more about the army than I do the air force. I also haven't seen many episodes of "Stargate" since it began, so I don't know exactly how she was portrayed--yet. (Voting research!) This is of course assuming that the writers cared about real life accuracy. ~_^
Much as I love Giles and Dr. Horrible, I have to go with Batman on this one.
After much thought and gratifying research, I hereby cast my Boffin vote for Professor Farnsworth.

So by my calculations the polling results are:

Samantha vote
Doc vote
Professor vote

We have a TIE! Anyone else wanna vote? The clock is ticking.

Side notes: I was wrong. This was not like trying to vote for local judges. This was waaay easier. I had no problems finding any information. Sad that. I guess locals running for office don't have fans...

And speaking of fans... Point of interest: Topher has NO Wikipedia entry. (hint, hint)

I also haven't seen many episodes of "Stargate" since it began, so I don't know exactly how she was portrayed--yet. (Voting research!) This is of course assuming that the writers cared about real life accuracy. ~_^

No military background at all myself (let alone with the US military) so i've no idea personally but I do know that the shows (or at least the shows' portrayal of the military) are quite highly thought of by the US airforce itself with various quite highly ranked officers appearing in cameo roles. When we first meet Sam BTW she explains she has hundreds (maybe thousands, can't remember) of hours flight time in fighter jets etc. so she's most definitely a pilot, she just also has a Phd. in astrophysics and published papers on wormholes (making her pretty much the ideal candidate to join the first SG team).

(you've voted BTW BreathesStory so "research" suggestions may be moot by now but for Carter specifically i'd suggest the later episodes rather than the very early ones although watching her in the pilot, then S1 ep 'Solitudes' then later episodes like 'Tangent' - a good "Smart Sam Solves Stuff" ep - or 'Grace' gives an idea of how she changes - SG-1 is highly episodic and syndication friendly but the main players do definitely develop over its course. She has a lot of great moments early on but the character started out as a bit of a feminist mouthpiece IMO - constantly commenting/proving that she could keep up with "the boys" etc. - and it's my experience that feminist mouthpieces aren't nearly as successful at promoting the feminist cause as are female characters that basically just get on with being smart, funny, tough, skilled people and let us decide for ourselves that hey, here's a woman that can clearly keep up with "the boys")
RE: "keeping up with the boys"

I figure that the early seasons portrayal of Sam Carter as a "feminist mouthpiece" also added to her realism. It's still a world that has sprung up out of a male... ritual context? social grouping? Um... I can't think of the right words... Dammit. Well, whatever. Anyways, I don't mean my inept categorizing to be disparaging in any way at all. I've always loved expressions of "male bonding." (Even though I hate the term.) I figure, given your description, that as she became more comfortable as part of the team and specifically around her colleagues, that it would be logical for her need to verbally assert herself to fade away. The initial need would be very real though, even if it's ill advised because it's a fiction turnoff. I think it's still a very real question in a woman's mind, whether the new man presenting himself in front of her will be able to "see" her or not. The urge for Sam Carter to overcompensate due to bad past experiences would always be there. And there's no way, being in the military, she wouldn't have had at least a few bad experiences.

And yeah, I agree, I always figure the best way to promote the feminist cause is by doing "it"--at least in fiction. If the character comes through time after time, it does carry far more weight and more resonance than any words. Unfortunately, in the real world the spotlight barrages of snappy PR seem to be responsible for most shaping of world views. I'm not convinced that the real world notices and incorporates very much outside of that professional spotlight, at least up till now. This is one area that I expect the internet will change.

I'll add some "Stargate" to my very long list of things to eventually watch. How the hell do people ever find enough hours to watch and read all the good stuff?

So, the big questions... Who would the Doctor think is the best boffin of those three? And under what conditions would he make that choice? (I'm guessing from my spotty viewings of "Dr. Who" over the years that he'd be leaning toward the younger female. ; ) She at least, sounds very dependable.)
I dunno, he's often been a bit ambivalent towards soldiers so that aspect might put him off. On the other hand, she's definitely a scientist (i.e. curious and has a first impulse not to kill but to understand), brainy and basically decent so he'd like that. And later series Carter has a real can-do, never say die attitude too (partly something she starts off with, partly something she gets from O'Neill and partly presumably born from, well, having seen time and again that she actually can-do i.e. once you've saved the world 10 or 15 times it's bound to give you a justifiably optimistic appreciation of your own abilities ;) which I think would appeal to his sometimes slightly rosy view of humans.

He'd probably like all of them in some ways though.

I figure, given your description, that as she became more comfortable as part of the team and specifically around her colleagues, that it would be logical for her need to verbally assert herself to fade away.

Yeah, this and also she probably came to understand that, whatever other male officers might think, O'Neill's initially abrasive attitude really was more to do with her PhD than the location of her reproductive organs (he's not a big fan of scientists, in fact before he gets to know her and Daniel Jackson he's pretty distinctly anti-intellectual and even afterwards it's more a case of them being the exception that proves the rule). Early S1 episode "Emancipation" treats the feminist thing most explicitly (good moments but not a great episode IMO, to describe it as "a bit on the nose" would be an example of that gift for understatement we're supposedly famous for over here ;) although all through S1 the writers seemed to struggle a bit with her character (e.g. with how feminine she was "allowed" to be for instance or how hard they were going to press the "woman in a man's world" angle).
Well, she sounds very cool. It will be good for me to have another "strong female character" to check out. I vaguely remember watching the first few episodes when it premiered and liking it... I'm not sure why I didn't continue. It was probably a time thing. And hey, I just found out that Hulu has all 10 seasons conveniently available. : ) I'll check it out once I finish up "Veronica Mars." (Another show I didn't get to watch when it was originally out.) Do you have any favorite standout episodes with Captain Carter being all boffiny? You know, for research purposes.

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