Admiral Bill Adama in ‘Battlestar Galactica’ – the characters of BSG come from distant planets, so in some ways it is debatable whether we should assign them our own racial categories. However, I recall an interview with Edward James Olmos in which he said that Adama was a Hispanic character in his opinion, so who am I to argue! Obsessive tooth brushing and bad parenting aside, Bill Adama is a great and memorable character. EJO is a Mexican American who has been acting since the 1960s, most famously in ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Miami Vice’. He also co founded the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival and often takes the role of director.
Annie in ‘Being Human’ – Annie is a ghost with crippling self esteem issues – but she’s also a sweet, bubbly girl who is fiercely loyal to her housemates and also able to stand up for herself when it counts. Lenora Crichlow is a young Londoner whose father came from
Julian Bashir in ‘Star Trek: DS9’ – Bashir/Dax was probably my first OTP. He can be an insufferable know it all at times, but Dr. Bashir is one of those loveable nerds. I so need to rewatch DS9. Alexander Siddig/Siddig El Fadil is Sudanese-English and has appeared in major movies such as ‘Syriana’ and ‘
Shepherd Book in ‘Firefly’ – Book is not one of Firefly’s most prominent characters, but he is certainly one of my absolute favourites. He presents a wise and calm exterior as Serenity's resident priest, but there are several hints in the series that he may be more than he appears. He is played by Ron Glass, an American actor who has been working in TV since the 1970s.
Ebony in ‘The Tribe’ – initially just the side kick to crazy gang leader Zoot, Ebony comes into her own during the first series of the show and beyond, revealed as a cunning, manipulative woman who will stop at nothing to gain power and influence for herself. Even when she becomes allied with the Mallrats in later series she’s still out for everything she can get. Definitely one of my favourite anti-heroines! Meryl Cassie is a New Zealander who, in addition to acting, also sings with her sisters in a band called ‘Nubian Angels’, and provided a large portion of the vocals for the Tribe album ‘Abe Messiah’.
Jen in ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ – Jen is a wilful young girl who fights against the life that’s planned out for her by her wealthy parents and who also goes against tradition to become a great martial artist. Her actress, Zhang Ziyi (or Ziyi Zhang), is a Chinese actress and model who has worked extensively in
Martha Jones in ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Torchwood’ – the Doctor’s first black assistant, Martha is an intelligent young woman who leaves behind her medical training to travel time and space. Her sense of wonder and courage are a good match for the Doctor’s, and she remains my favourite companion to date. Freema Agyeman is a Londoner of Ghanaian and Iranian heritage who also stars in ‘Law and Order:
Max Guevara in ‘Dark Angel’ – a genetically modified super warrior, Max is one of my favourite heroines, not just for her general badassness, but also for her compassion for and loyalty to her fellow transgenics and her best friends Logan, Original Cindy, Alec and Joshua. Jessica Alba was only 19 when she first played Max, and has since risen to international fame. She has a diverse heritage – her mother is Danish/French Canadian and her father is Mexican American. I think Hollywood ruined her, but back in the day she was gorgeous. (I also have to mention Original Cindy here – she was a great character who needed more screen time in the show!)
Pocahontas in ‘The New World’ – this may be considered cheating as Pocahontas is a real historical figure, but I love the portrayal of her in The New World by talented (and previously untrained) young actress Q’Orianka Kilcher. Q’Orianka was born in
Tai-San in ‘The Tribe’ – from her first appearance in the show, Tai-San comes across as self assured and confident, placing great store in her spiritual faith. She soon becomes one of the anchors of the Mallrat Tribe and even manages to persuade fickle ladies’ man Lex into marriage, matching his fiery temper with her own. Michelle Ang is a New Zealander who has appeared in many of the country’s most famous programmes (including Xena), as well as hopping over to
Tara Thornton in ‘True Blood’ – Tara is a damaged, difficult woman, but it’s hard not to sympathise with her when she’s been faced with an alcoholic mother, romantic woes and supernatural interference. She’s never afraid to speak her mind, which balances out her best friend Sookie’s rather whimsical nature. Rutina Wesley is an American actress with a theatrical background who also appeared in the dance film ‘How She Move’.
Toshiko Sato in ‘Torchwood’ – Tosh is Torchwood’s resident gadget geek who uses her expertise to analyse alien technology. She’s a rather shy woman whose romantic liaisons in the show are usually less than successful, but her quiet determination saves the day on several occasions. Naoko Mori was born in
(Nyota) Uhura in ‘Star Trek XI’ – Uhura is the
(By extension this also includes Nichelle Nichols’ original Uhura. Nichelle is awesome, but it’s been a while since I watched any original Star Trek, and I had to pick one of them. Original flavour Uhura was famously involved in one of the earliest interracial kisses on US television).