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EDITIONS
 Friday, 27 December, 2002, 10:46 GMT
Doctor Who is sci-fi favourite
Tardis
Doctor Who has left our screens but is not forgotten
Time-travelling hero Doctor Who has been named as the greatest science fiction character of all time.

The Time Lord, who has become something of a cult favourite, was played by eight actors over 33 years - including Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.

He famously battled against such memorable foes as the Daleks and Cyberman, and recently returned with a new drama which was broadcast online on BBCi.

The top 10 poll, conducted by SFX magazine, included four characters from the popular US TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

But lead character Buffy, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, had to make do with third place after being beaten by the show's bloodsucker Spike, played by James Marsters.

Top 10
1. Doctor Who
2. Spike
3. Buffy
4. John Crichton
5. Aeryn Sun
6. Han Solo
7. Willow
8. Darth Vader
9. Angel
10. Gandalf
There was also a strong showing from the space-set fantasy Farscape, from the Jim Henson Company, despite the show being cancelled in the US.

The lead character John Crichton, played by Ben Browder, was voted fourth favourite while Officer Aeryn Sun, played by Claudia Black, was fifth.

Classic Star Wars characters were also popular in the poll but there was no room for the central character of Luke Skywalker.

Instead Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford, ranked at number six and the evil Darth Vader (David Prowse) was placed at number eight.

Buffy character Willow, a good witch played by Alyson Hannigan, was at number seven.

Buffy
Buffy is played by Sarah Michelle Gellar
And Buffy spin-off character Angel, the vampire with a soul, was rated ninth in the league.

Lord of the Rings white wizard Gandalf, played Sir Ian McKellan in Peter Jackson's film adaptation which is currently storming the box office, came in at number 10.

Doctor Who left the small screen in 1989 after the BBC took the decision to cancel the series, but a huge fanbase still remains.

SFX editor Dave Golder said: "It just goes to prove that there is a certain magic to the character and the idea of the face-changing Doctor which strikes a chord with the public's imagination.

"Even more impressive is that the Doctor hasn't been on our screens for over five years now, and he still beat characters who have been in hugely popular shows and films that have been on our screens in the past 12 months."

There appears to be no waning of viewers' interest in science fiction, with Steven Spielberg's alien abduction series Taken giving the Sci Fi Channel its best ratings.

An average of 838,000 tuned into the two-week, 20-hour run of the series which ended on 22 December. It will be shown on BBC Two in the New Year.

 VOTE RESULTS
Who is the greatest sci-fi character?

Dr Who
 50.32% 

Spike
 8.79% 

Buffy
 7.87% 

Han Solo
 18.12% 

Gandalf
 14.91% 

8009 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

See also:

19 May 02 | Entertainment
07 Aug 01 | Entertainment
13 Jul 01 | Entertainment
12 Jul 01 | Entertainment
12 Jul 01 | Entertainment
20 Apr 01 | Entertainment
16 Jan 02 | Entertainment
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