In pictures: LGBT sci-fi characters on film and TV

Join us to boldly go into the wonderful world of queer sci-fi on the big and small screens.

25 November 2014

By Alex Davidson

As part of our major celebrations of sci-fi on film and TV, we take a look back at the LGBT characters who have appeared on the big and small screen over the decades.

Torchwood (2006-11)

Torchwood (2006-11)

Jack Harkness and Ianto Jones became sci-fi TV’s premier queer couple.

Barbarella (1968)

Barbarella (1968)

Anita Pallenberg plays the lesbian Great Tyrant, Black Queen of Sogo in Roger Vadim’s ultra-campy space romp.

V for Vendetta (2006)

V for Vendetta (2006)

The sad fate of a lesbian couple radicalised both V (Hugo Weaving) and Evey (Natalie Portman) in this dystopian glimpse into the future. Stephen Fry also stars as a sympathetic gay opponent to the repressive regime.

Wizards vs Aliens (2012-)

Wizards vs Aliens (2012-14)

A rare gay kid on children’s TV – Benny Sherwood (Percelle Ascott, right), science wiz best pal of the wizard hero.

Kaboom (2010)

Kaboom (2010)

Gregg Araki’s crazy homoerotic fantasy won the first ever Queer Palm at the Cannes Film Festival.

Born in Flames (1983)

Born in Flames (1983)

Sexuality, class and racism are explored in Lizzie Borden’s dizzying feminist sci-fi.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-9)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-9)

Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) became one of the most interesting – and sexually intriguing – characters in the Star Trek universe.

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (2011)

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (2011)

A sapphic alien falls in love with an Earthling in Madeleine Olnek’s sweet and funny comedy.

Cloud Atlas (2012)

Cloud Atlas (2012)

Is this the queerest blockbuster ever made? Ben Whishaw attempts to seduce Jim Broadbent while most of the cast play various genders (and races) in this wonderful epic from Tom Tykwer, and Andy and Lana Wachowski.

Doctor Who (1963-)

Doctor Who (1963-)

Lizard woman Madame Vastra and her human wife Jenny Flint are two of the most popular recent characters in the franchise.

Battlestar Galactica: Razor (2007)

Battlestar Galactica (2004-09)

In this TV film from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series, it is revealed that Admiral Helena Cain (Michelle Forbes) is gay.

Battlestar Galactica (2004-9)

Battlestar Galactica (2004-09)

Two more key LGBT characters from Battlestar Galactica – Cylons Number Three (Lucy Lawless) and Number Six (Tricia Helfer).

Caught Looking (1991)

Caught Looking (1991)

Years before Grindr, Constantine Giannaris glimpsed into a reality where a gay man explores his sexual fantasies through his computer in this saucy short.

Liquid Sky (1982)

Liquid Sky (1982)

Alien visitors land amid the hedonistic fashion scene of early 80s New York in this queer cult curio.

Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-94)

Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-94)

In TNG episode ‘The Outcast’ (1992), the crew encounter a planet of genderless humanoid aliens, where one of their number is persecuted for daring to define themselves through gender.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Riff Raff (Richard O’Brien), Magenta (Patricia Quinn) and Dr Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry) are revealed to be aliens from the planet Transsexual in this cult favourite.

Dandy Dust (1998)

Dandy Dust (1998)

Dare you watch Hans Scheirl’s controversial transgender cyber-punk splatter film, featuring such characters as Cyniborg and Spidercuntboy?

Prey (1977)

Prey (1977)

Sally Faulkner and Glory Annen play a couple who unwittingly accommodate a murderous alien in Norman J. Warren’s horror flick.

Dune (1984)

Dune (1984)

Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Kenneth McMillan) from David Lynch’s divisive fantasy is one of the most loathsome homosexual characters in cinema – a grotesque, bloated sadist.

Orphan Black (2013-)

Orphan Black (2013-)

Jordan Gavaris plays flamboyant rent boy Felix Dawkins in the queer-friendly sci-fi.

Orphan Black (2013-)

Orphan Black (2013-)

Two other major LGBT characters from Orphan Black: clone Cosima Niehaus (Tatiana Maslany) and scientist Dr Delphine Cormier (Évelyne Brochu).

Stargate Universe (2009-11)

Stargate Universe (2009-11)

Camile Wray (Ming-Na Wen) became the first LGBT character in this series, inspired by the 1994 movie.

Caprica (2009-10)

Caprica (2009-10)

Sam Adama (Sasha Roiz) is the knife-happy killer in the Battlestar Galactica spinoff.

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