Today is Nikola Tesla Day, the day in which the world commemorates the birthday of one of the greatest scientific minds that has ever existed. Coincidentally, it is also the day that Jason Orange of Take That was born – also one of the greatest scientific minds that has ever existed. While he (Tesla) held some questionable (to modern eyes) views on society, he did argue in favour of women’s rights and thought that one day humanity would be ruled by queen bees – another similarity he shares with Jason Orange. Tesla’s inventions include alternating current, wireless telegraphy, the induction motor, remote control, and tesla coils. Jason Orange has invented nothing. In celebration of Tesla’s success and Orange’s singular failure, here is a list of seven of the coolest movie scientists of all (cinematic) time.
Spock – Star Trek
Spock may look all lovey-dovey and cuddly, but he’s actually an incredibly serious man – he prizes logic and rationality above anything else, a product of his Vulcan heritage. His human side kicks in occasionally, but if there’s one thing he’s famous for, it’s his skill as science officer on board the Starship Enterprise. Portrayed by Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek’s early incarnation, the pointy ears were later driven by Zachary Quinto, in a surprising performance. Whisper it, kids – he might be better than Nimoy. Just don’t tell Nimoy I said that. Never tell Nimoy. NTN.
Lex Luthor – Superman
Lex Luthor is just bad. Superman’s arch-nemesis, he’s a power-mad egomaniac, with megalomanic ambitions. Originally just a plain old mad scientist he later became the World’s Most Evil Bald Man, more dangerous than Mr. Burns and Ming the Merciless combined. He doesn’t use any aliases or have any superpowers, just the power of technology and infinite money. Like Batman, but bad, and bald. Badbaldman.
Q – James Bond
There’s been a few different Q’s. It’s a codename, like M or, in some theories, the name James Bond itself. Q has been in twenty of the twenty three extant Bond films, and he’s an integral part of not only the lore of the series, but also the technical team. Always handy with an exploding pen, a sniper rifle camera, or anything else you could easily use to blow up people, Q was and is an enormous success in aiding a government sanctioned terrorist responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people worldwide. Huzzah!
Tony Stark – Iron Man
Like Lex Luthor but good, or Batman but better, is the incomparable Iron Man. Tony Stark to his mum, he’s another (super)powerless nobody who, through means and mental capacity, went on to rule his own particular roost – that of international weapons development. Like Q in that he is also involved in terrorism, being a terrorist himself who got rich from government contracts before keeping the technology for himself to exact as and when he chooses, he also possessed Q’s sense of humour and joie de vivre. Also a killer beard, sadly lacking in Q.
The Inventor – Edward Scissorhands
Talented scientist he may be, why oh why give a child scissors on their hands? Not only does it stifle any sort of social interaction (outside of the fairly niche practice of ice sculpting), it also arrests any hopes of a running career. Even though he’s clearly a dangerous psychopath, he’s definitely the most lovable dangerous psychopath on this list. Ultimately a sympathetic character – even though he was portrayed by Vincent Price – his death broke the hearts of millions, not all of whom had scissors for hands. None, in fact.
Professor X – X-Men
Is he the reason the X-Men have that name? No. Well, maybe. Probably not. Who cares anyway? He’s bald – but good. His telepathic powers are so strong that he can read the minds of anybody within a 250 mile radius, cause hallucinations, and even make himself invisible. Impressive, right? And these are superpowers, not the manifestation of billions of dollars. Innate abilities. He can also blast you in your brain, causing you mental pain, which probably means you forget your PIN or something.
Doc Brown – Back to the Future
Never seen it, looks rubbish. He’s in it, he’s a scientist, he has a car, the end.