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Monday, 22 February 2016

10 Mad Scientists Who are Much More Interesting Than Dr Frankenstein #MonsterMondays 34

My new book The Machine (Rise of the Gifted) which came out yesterday and is free until tomorrow (yes this is a shameless plug :)) is contemporary science fiction with a side of male/male romance and has it's very own mad scientist in it. Hence I decided to do this week's Monster Mondays on that very subject. I do hope you enjoy it.

10 Mad Scientists Who are Much More Interesting Than Dr Frankenstein

No underground lair or isolated castle base would be complete without its very own mad scientist. They lurk in labs full of mysterious equipment and occasionally soliloquise about how they are going to take over the world. Without them no nefarious scheme is quite interesting enough. I already did a post about Victor Frankenstein back in Oct for week 22 and he's a classic, but I think these ladies and gentlemen are much more fun.

The Rani (Doctor Who)

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Now the Rani, played by the wonderful Kate O'Mara, is a true mad scientist. She is a renegade from the Time Lords just like the Doctor, but where as he usually has good intentions, hers are anything but.

The Rani is the epitome of a mad scientist in that all she cares about is her work. She really doesn't give a stuff about silly morality and will enslave whole planets for her experiments. She likes to play with lifeforms and chance aspects of their DNA to see what happens.

She may or may not have been involved with the Doctor at some point, the debate goes on. I personally really liked her as an adversary to the Doctor even if she did only have 3 outings in the series.

Dr Evil (Austin Powers)

No list of mad scientists would be complete without the great Dr Evil (Mike Myers). He hatches evil schemes to scupper Austin Powers at every turn ... and usually fails. More of an ideas man to his team of experts, he still seems to be the brightest of the lot.

With his cat Dr Bigglesworth and his very evil sidekick Mini-Me he totally plans to take over the world or at least ransom it for 1 million dollars - not realising about inflation. Of course he has to deal with the incompetence of his underlings, including Number-two and the whining of his son, Scott Evil, so he has much to cope with.

Dr Janice Lester (Star Trek TOS)

Now we have a lady who started off with the simple want to command a starship, just like her male counterparts. Thanks to the misogyny in Starfleet she became embittered and then, frankly, went a little bonkers.

She was once romantically involved with James T. Kirk, but the relationship ended when Kirk felt she was punishing him for the rules being against her. Rather than riling against the system, Janice decided to usurp it.

While on an expedition on the planet Camus II Dr Lester found herself an ancient machine capable of transferring the life energy of one person into another. The safety net for this process was that if both individuals remained alive the life energies would eventually transfer back into the original bodies.

Dr Lester lured Kirk to Camus II by killing nearly all the rest of her expedition party and then transferred into his body, taking over the Enterprise. Unfortunately for her, her madness began to show through and Spock found out the truth.

Dr Armin Zola (Captain America)

Zola is one of the masterminds of Hydra from the Captain America comics and films. Here I will be talking about his MCU incarnation.

Under the guidance of The Red Skull, Zola uses his genius to harness the power of the Tesseract to produce weapons for Hydra soldiers well ahead of their time. He is a true mad scientist, revelling in his work and enjoying the power.

By the end of CA: The First Avenger he has been captured by SHIELD and appears to cooperate. However, in CA: The Winter Soldier we find out the true extents of his genius and depths of his obsession with Hydra's greatness. He orchestrated the re-rise of Hydra and had his mind transferred into a computer so he could live on and see his schemes come to fruition.

Professor Maggie Walsh (Buffy)

Professor Maggie Walsh was a very powerful woman in charge of the Initiative, a government sponsored group who captured and studied supernatural life forms, trying to alter their behaviour. They were the ones to put a chip in Spike's head to stop him killing.

At first she thought Buffy would be a useful asset to her schemes. However, she soon learned what everyone who had ever met the Slayer always found out, Buffy was her own person and would be controlled by no-one. That was when Professor Walsh decided to dispose of her.

When this failed she tried to use her own creation, Adam, a cyborg, with lots of demon parts, to destroy Buffy and those like Riley, who defected. However, in the end, as with many mad scientist, her creation was her own downfall and she ended up a zombie controlled by him.

Dr Julius No (James Bond)

I couldn't really have a list of mad scientists without a true Bond villain now could I, and I have always liked Dr No.

Dr No is a mad scientist who specialises in radiation and set up his empire using gold stolen from the Tongs. His work cost him his hands, which have been replaced by bionic substitutes. When he genius was rejected by the Americans and the Soviets he joined SPECTRE instead and began to indulge his Napoleon complex to the max.

He uses his reactors on his private island base to try to disrupt American missile launches and cause war. However, he is, of course defeated by Mr James Bond.

Dr Pamela Isley (Poison Ivy - DC)

Dr Pamela Isley's tale is a tragic one of betrayal by a man, leading to her eventual descent into mental instability.

A brilliant mind, she was seduced by her professor Doctor Jason Woodrue, who convinced her to become part of his experiments. These experiments left her hospitalised with a changed physiology, making her touch deadly as well as giving her immunity from all poisons, viruses, bacteria and fungi, and making her barren.

Her decent into instability started with violent mood swings and when she finally settled in Gotham she became the infamous Poison Ivy. Her first move was the threaten to choke the city with spores. Of course she was caught by Batman and put in Arkham, but no one ever stays there for long.

Dr Horrible (Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog)

Dr Horrible is an evil scientist played by the brilliant Neil Patrick Harris. He runs a blog where he details his exploits for his followers and he has one weakness, Penny (Felicia Day), whom he loves.

His arch nemesis is Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion), who is the very definition of a tool.

Like all good mad scientists, Dr Horrible plans to do bad things and really, really wants to join the Evil League of Evil. They have agreed to evaluate him and so are watching his next terrible crime.

Unfortunately his love for Penny is holding him back ... but there are ways around that.

Dr Faustina (Wild Wild West)

If you have never seen the original series of the Wild Wild West, then you are missing out and don't tar it with the same brush as the 1999 remake film. It is James Bond on horseback in the wild west.

Dr Faustina is a true genius, able to create clones of people out of corpses, which she then uses to assassinate targets. In the episode "Night of the Big Blast", she makes a clone of West (Robert Conrad) and sends him off to kill four key officials.

This leaves the world thinking West is a traitor and dead, so it is up to Gordon (Ross Martin) to prove everyone wrong and to find his best friend.

Of course a brilliant woman like Dr Faustina isn't going to let that happen and she captures Gordon. She plans to use him to kill the President as payback for the government's short-sightedness in not recognising her genius and funding her experiments.

Brain (Pinky and the Brain - Animaniacs)

Last, but very much in no way least, the maddest, most evil genius scientist of them all: Brain.

Brain is the result of genetic experiments in mice. He is a genius with no equal and his only drawback is the fact he is three inches high and lives in a cage in the Acme labs. That, however, cannot stop him.

Every single night Brain comes up with a new way to take over the world. With his cohort, Pinky, he sets out to become the new world leader. Usually to have his plan foiled by something ridiculous, that even an evil genius cannot be expected to plan for.

However, there is one thing to be said about Brain: he never gives up.
Brain: Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?
Pinky: I think so, Brain, but...

Do you have a favourite mad scientist?


  1. Well I'm glad yo let the best till last. Seem to remember seein the first in Dr Who years ago

    1. It's a good rule of thumb to always leave the best until last ;) Ah original Who - still love it. Thanks for dropping by.

  2. I really wish Netflix or Hulu would get Animaniacs or Pinky and The Brain. Those were awesome shows. My mom LOVED Pinky and The Brain and often quoted it. I also think it'd be cool if in Doctor Who, The Rani made another appearance. We need another villain besides The Master who is also a TimeLord.

    1. Pinky and the Brain was absolutely awesome and I lived Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures. We used to watch them at uni, which makes me feel very old.

      The Rani was always brilliant because she really was just all about her experiments.


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