They say a story is only as good as your villain and when it comes to the science fiction genre, the enemies that flank the episodes are often powerful and ruthless, holding the fate of entire civilizations in their hands. They could be alien, human or something else entirely, with the sci-fi scene offering the widest range of creative choices available.
The ten foes you'll find here have made a bigger impression than most, boasting some memorable performances that enhance their individual characteristics while heightening the danger they pose.
Creating a memorable sci-fi villain is a two-fold process: on the one hand you need a solid performance from a skilled actor to bring them to life; on the other, you need to consistently make their presence felt while making them a cohesive part of the plot. TV shows give antagonists a chance to hold a commanding sway over the narrative, influencing its direction and serving a constant obstacle for the protagonist to overcome.
With one entry from franchises past and present, here are ten picks for some of the best villains in small screen sci-fi.
10. The Governor - The Walking Dead
Starting off, we have The Governor from AMC's The Walking Dead, who served the main antagonist in Seasons 3 and 4. Played brilliantly by David Morrisey, this initially charismatic leader holds many sinister secrets and eventually comes into conflict with Rick Grimes and the other members of the group.
The unnamed villain appears welcoming at first, carefully managing his own community, but when he loses both an eye and his undead daughter at the hands of Michonne, his character explodes in a violent rage. He becomes hellbent on destroying his enemies, brutally executing members of his own side when they refuse to follow orders.
Negan may be the most brutal foe Rick and company have faced, but the Governor made an impact for how sinister and calculating he was throughout his on-screen appearance. He slyly charmed and coerced an entire community in believing his lies at Woodbury and then did the same for a band of outcasts on the outside, winning himself an army to assault the main cast's prison haven.
On top of this, he also brutalised many a character on Rick's side, from beating Merle to a pulp to decapitating Hershel in Season 4's climatic showdown. The Governor stands out as one of The Walking Dead's most unsavoury antagonists.