Buffy Summers had to be my letter B for so many reasons. The character, eventually, helped to rebirth a genre stereotype, which is now so much loved that it has almost become a stereotype in itself. Joss Whedon (whhhhhhedon ahem I’m done now) stated that he wanted the little blonde girl that everyone expects to die because they always do to kick ass…and so Buffy Anne Summers did, once a week for seven years.
However that wasn’t all she did. Buffy Summers made vampires and demons exist in the real world. She lived, she loved, she grieved and more than anything, she grew up alongside her fans. The genius of Wedon was simple, he took a girl who complained about cream rinse and took her through everything that most young women go through, with a side order of killer fate. From the Harvest, talking about getting a dog and being normal, to what actually proves almost to be her undoing, that most human of things, the death of a parent to something she cannot fight.
She has survived twist after turn (OK maybe she has died a time or two). She made it through a terrible movie, complete with Luke Perry, video games, books, a spin off (and oh but the fans want more) and now the graphic novels, there was even a shelved crack at an animated series and there are of course the college courses. Not just in fiction did a kick ass little blonde girl change the world.
It took me a while to think of a B, in the end I went by surname and chose Dr. Julian Bashir from ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ (DS9), played by Alexander Siddig.
DS9 was probably my favourite of the Star Trek series and I do think a large part of that was down to Bashir and his interaction with other characters – from his close friendship with Miles O’Brien to his unlikely one with Cardassian tailor (and possible spy), Garak.
The Chief Medical Officer on DS9, Bashir is introduced as a very green, inexperienced character. He bounced between arrogance and child-like zeal and many – characters and viewers alike – disliked him and thought he was annoying. O’Brien who becomes his best friend on the show being one of those who thought this way initially.
However, Bashir grew with the show, earning respect and friendship not just for his ability as a brilliant doctor. From being kidnapped and replaced by a Changling for over a month, being pursued for recruitment by Section 31 and having his genetic enhancements revealed, Bashir came a long way from the green newly posted doctor over the course of the series but still managed to keep his enthusiasm and compassion.