Television cops would be nothing without the ridiculously gorgeous scientist/pathologist/doctor who delivers silly techno-babble with a straight face. What did the police do without knowing just how important are the bullet trajectory, splatter sequences and varying possible indentations caused by an array of weapons? Let alone hack into mobile phones and triangulate like no one has ever triangulated before.
To celebrate these cerebral heroines, we have a run down of the best of the best in no order at all. Which is your favourite?
Temperance “Bones” Brennan – Bones
Bones is weird. She doesn’t get jokes, is socially dysfunctional and can be a bit rude. She doesn’t mean it though, she just doesn’t understand people. Live people that is. If you’re dead, she gets you. A brilliant forensic anthropologist with more doctorates than shoes, Bones isn’t based on the character in the Kathy Reich’s books, but on Reich’s herself. Bones may be an expert in the lab, but love is a different matter. She’s open about shagging to purely “satisfy biological urges” but her heart is shut up tighter than the arteries of a heart attack victim. Oh and she’s played by Emily Deschanel, so you can add hot to the mix.
Bonnie Barstow – Knight Rider
Women of a certain age will, I’m sure, remember the only reason we watched Knight Rider. Ok, the car was cool, but did you see the mechanic? Bonnie Barstow pretended to be in love with Michael Knight when she was really having it off with your one from The A-Team. True story. In one of the most testosterone-filled shows of the testosterone-filled 80s, Bonnie showed that you can be a tomboy and sexy too. She made my 10-year old heart flutter.
Silvia Castro – Los Hombres de Paco
Silvia was cool. She didn’t care for the posturing of the other police officers where she worked, she didn’t try to fit into their world. She was herself and to hell with you if you didn’t like it. This bravery and trust in her own instincts was the reason that there was so little angst when she fell in love with a woman. Not just any woman but head-strong, impetuous, gorgeous Pepa. Silvia was, with one raised eyebrow, able to reign Pepa in. Just one look and Pepa was under control. Is it pathetic how upset I am that all of that was in the past tense?
Velma Dace Dinkley – Scooby Doo
What? Look, if it weren’t for Velma, those pesky kids wouldn’t have foiled any of the kookie goings-on. Scooby and Shaggy would be watching Cheech and Chong films, and that other pair would be busy snogging behind the haunted bike shed. Not a ghostly deed would be uncovered. If not for this, then Velma has to be a heroine for sticking to her determination to make orange pullovers a viable fashion option.
Dr Felix Gibson, Dr Frankie Wharton and Dr Eve Lockhart – Waking the Dead
You have to hand it to the BBC, when they need brains they constantly stumble upon beauty too. In Waking the Dead, they have had three pathologist-types and all are hot ladies. Surely some sort of record. Frankie left when her…cough…good friend, Mel, died. Then Felix took over. She was ballsy as hell and not afraid to stick it to the man. “The man” being Boyd of course. Once she left, Eve took over. Sigh…Tara Fitzgerald. Was there ever a prettier English rose? Not that Eve is a girlie girl. She has her own body farm for Sappho’s sake.
Penelope Garcia – Criminal Minds
Queen of Nerds, Goddess of Geeks, Penelope Garcia is simply one of the best characters on television. She also has some of the best lines on television. She’s hilarious, has the sharpest intellect in the box and a heart of gold. Let’s face it, Criminal Minds would be dead without her. It’s too poe-faced and worthy, even though Morgan is hotter than hell and JJ and Emily? Wooo mama! But Garcia is the heart and soul of the show. Plus, she is played by an out and proud lesbian, pictured here with her fiancee, Melanie Goldstien. Cute!
Sara Sidle & Catherine Willows – Criminal Minds
First of all I have to admit, I’m not a CSI fan. Sorry! Don’t attack, it just takes itself so seriously yet is one of the most ridiculous shows on the telly box. There’s blood all over a man with a bullet-hole in his head, but at the end of the show, if turns out he actually died from eating the liver of an infected flea which was fed to him by the person who then made it look like a suicide. It’s just so convoluted.
However, when you have two of the kickest-assest (it’s a word ok?) women on TV, you can pretty much forgive it anything, even Nick’s comedic chin.
Dr Nikki Alexander – Silent Witness
When Amanda Burton left Silent Witness after eight years, the powers that be tried a few different replacements but couldn’t settle. Then they met Emilia Fox. Her Nikki Alexander isn’t just a pathologist but is also a paleontologist, so there. Unlike some of the other characters on this list, Nikki is neither weird nor emotionally damaged. She’s impetuous, and can be naively idealistic. She’s also gorgeous, and should only ever wear scrubs.
Maura Isles – Rizolli and Isles
Genius, weirdo with odd inability to fit in; all very cliched. But then this is Rizzoli and Isles, one of the most cliched shows on telly. Also one of the gayest shows on telly. Ever heard the expression “eye sex”? It could have been in vented for this show, people! Plus, these two are your perfect butch/femme pairing. Jane is all baseball loving, no make-up wearing cop and Maura is soft and gorgeous. Ok they’re both gorgeous but Maura is the heart of the pair. And Jane knows it, man the way she looks at her.
Dana Scully – The X Files
The original world-weary woman who has more expertise in her pinkie than most of the men on the show. Dana managed the careful balance of genius, sensitivity and ethical awareness like none other. She was our eyes on the show. When Mulder went off on one and we were desperately trying to keep up with him, so was she. Then she’d conveniently break it down for the idiots in the audience. And she rocked those suits.
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