Inter-species relationships and their particular problems
They say opposites attract but in the realms of sci-fi the opportunities for unusual pairings are more extreme than most. We’ve taken our pick of ten of our favourite inter-species (common or garden humans not included) couples in comics, TV and film. We haven’t put them in order (cause frankly choosing them was difficult enough – the decision to include Scarlet Witch and Vision and ignore Wolverine/Jean Grey caused much controversy and not a little pouting) but we think we’ve got some of the best non-human pairings out there.
What do you think? Who have we missed? And who’re your favourites who aren’t on the list?
Succubus (her) & Wolf-shifter (him)(opens in new tab)
Who: Bo (Anna Silk) and Dyson (Kristen Holden-Ried)
Where: Lost Girl
You’d think the whole ‘potentially sucking the life force from a suitor until they are dead’ succubus thing is going to scupper any potential for romance – as well as being the kind of cautionary sexual allegory and advert for celibacy that Stephanie Meyer herself would be proud of – but despite the accidental killing thing, Bo does okay on the romance front.
Dyson ticks lots of the sci-fi and fantasy romantic hero boxes. Potentially awkward multi-century age difference? Check. Propensity to brood? Check. Hidden agenda which will cause massive problems when it’s finally revealed? Check. Self sacrifice for our heroine? Definitely.
Any other potential suitors? Lauren (a human doctor and, yes, a woman – and she’s more likely Bo’s potential suitor, not Dyson’s).
Star-crossed lovers or happy ever after? (Spoiler warning if you’ve only just started watching season one in the UK) With season two only just started airing in Canada, it’s too early to tell for sure but initial signs aren’t good. He accidentally had sex with her Mum and then did a deal with the Norn to give up what was most important to him in the world, which he thought would be his wolfdom, but of course is actually his love for Bo. Definitely not worth buying a wedding hat just yet.
Think of the children! At the moment the possibilities of progeny are slim, but if there ever were any they’d be very pretty. And have a great sense of smell.
Mutant (her) & Android (him)(opens in new tab)
Who: Scarlet Witch and Vision
Yes, we know the obvious odd couple of the X-Universe is Wolverine/Jean Grey (especially with that bloke Cyclops popping up to make such a tempting love triangle), but The Avengers’ Scarlet Witch and Vision’s relationship has spanned more than four decades for goodness’ sake. She’s the daughter of Magneto, mutant royalty practically, and he’s an android – definitely the oddest odd couple, even in a universe populated by mutants.
Any other potential suitors? Vision has flings with Ms Marvel and Mantis while Wanda dallies with Wonder Man.
Star-crossed lovers or happy ever after? Well they got married, but as most spouses know, that’s never a guaranteed happy ever after, although even on that basis Marvel writers got to the point where it felt like they were channelling EastEnders , such was the level of misery heaped upon them. There were all the problems with her repeatedly going mad, him getting rebooted or rebuilt more often than a PC running Windows Vista , and their children turning out to be the kind of troubled teens a BBC Three documentary would baulk at.
Think of the children! They had children, twin boys, Thomas and William. But they turned out to be shards of the soul of the demon Mephisto and were reabsorbed into the demon whence they came, leaving Scarlet Witch crazed (again), this time with grief.
Pyrokinetic (her) & Demon (him)(opens in new tab)
Who: Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) and Hellboy (Ron Perlman)
Yes, we know Hellboy and Liz’s relationship only occurs in the film, and hadn’t been hinted at in any way at in the comics. But their relationship and the sparky chemistry between Blair and Perlman make them one of the most fun couples in modern sci-fi – the banter between them feels realistic, and their affectionate and occasionally petty bickering is something anyone who’s ever been in a relationship can relate to, Right Hand Of Doom or not.
Any other potential suitors? None for him (he only has time for his cats), FBI Agent Myers in the first film for her, although we later hear Hellboy used his clout to get him transferred “out of jealousy”.
Star-crossed lovers or happy ever after? Abe Sapien tells Liz she’s pregnant with twins in Hellboy II , and plans are afoot for a Hellboy III so watch this space...
Think of the children! Looks wise we’re hoping they take after their mother. Though horns would be cute.
Metamorphmagus Witch (her) & Werewolf (him)(opens in new tab)
Who: (Never Nymphadora) Tonks (Natalia Tena) and Remus Lupin (David Thewlis)
Where: Harry Potter
It’s fair to say Lupin played hard to get. Tonks fell for him during their time working together in The Order Of The Phoenix, and initially despite having feelings for her he refused to get into a relationship – he worried about the age difference and the dangers of her dating a werewolf, which is somewhat short-sighted bearing in mind the fact the Order was busy fighting Death Eaters at the time so things were already pretty hairy. His refusal to get involved hit Tonks badly, changing her trademark pink hair brown and seeing her patronus change to a werewolf – an awkward sign that Remus was still in her head and heart. Eventually they got together and married, although her unexpected pregnancy saw them split briefly as Remus worried he was putting her and their child in danger. In a universe where the only other loving couple were Mr and Mrs Weasley, we needed Tonks and Lupin to be happy.
Any other potential suitors? None mentioned, but they were busy fighting evil.
Star-crossed lovers or happy ever after? Their relationship lasted all the dark days in the run up to Voldemort’s return, but they were two of the most gut-wrenching deaths in the Battle of Hogwarts, so it’s a bit of a hollow victory.
Think of the children! Ted Remus Lupin (known as Teddy) was raised by his maternal grandmother, although he spent a fair amount of time with his godfather, a certain scarred and bespectacled wizard. JK Rowling never quite explains how things turn out, but in our heads he at least gets a happy ending. Otherwise it’s too depressing to bear.
Ghost & Vampire
(or Type 3 and Type 2 respectively if you’re being judgemental)(opens in new tab)
Who: Annie (Lenora Crichlow) and Mitchell (Aidan Turner)
Where: Being Human
Annie’s taste in men has always been a bit ropey (her abusive ex pushed her down a flight of stairs to her death remember), but her relationship with Mitchell split Being Human fans into two camps – those who were thrilled that finally the slow burning sexual tension was acknowledged (although it took Annie being dragged through the door into purgatory for the broody one to actually admit his feelings, that’s emotionally stuntedness) and those who were hated Annie’s blindness to Mitchell’s evil. Either way, only the hardest of hearts could fail to be horrified as the relationship unravelled as fast as it came together, as a result of Mitchell’s involvement in the Box Tunnel murders.
As we got to the shocking finale of series three (and with Aidan Turner heading off New Zealand-wards to film The Hobbit ) it became clear: Annie made Mitchell human, she helped him want to be good, but it wasn’t enough...
Any other potential suitors? Loads. Apart from evil Owen for Annie there was also evil Saul (although who wouldn’t go a bit loopy if Terry Wogan was talking to him through the telly?) and nice-but-dim Hugh. Mitchell meanwhile had Lauren, Lucy, Daisy, Josie and even a flirtation with Lia. Although he did meet her after following Annie into purgatory to save her, so that garners major brownie points.
Star-crossed lovers or happy ever after? No happy-ever-afters here. Once Daisy and Mitchell went on their killing spree, it was only a matter of time before Mitchell’s horrific actions caught up with him. He and Annie didn’t stand a chance.
Think of the children! Annie’s lack of corporeal form makes procreation rather awkward – and after that hideous attempt at a threesome (with her “possessing” another woman to act as a kind of sex avatar) it’s probably best surrogacy wasn’t looked at as an option.
Fae & Vampire(opens in new tab)
Who: Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Bill (Stephen Moyer)
Where: True Blood
Real-life partners Paquin and Moyer play the on-again off-again couple whose love story has more twists and turns than a twisty turny thing. Bon Temps is a hot bed of rudeness and inter-species bed-hopping, but their relationship is one of the show’s most enduring. The thing is, while we can see why you’re supposed to root for Sookie and Bill overcoming the odds and getting together in the end, we can’t be the only people secretly hoping our favourite Southern waitress ends up with the scene-stealing Alexander Skarsgard’s Eric, who forms the third point of their love triangle (and nabs most of the best lines).
Any other potential suitors? Ridiculous numbers, especially for Sookie whose nubile blondeness and exotic fairy ways seems to make her top of the lust list of every supernatural in town – Eric, Sam and Alcide for starters. Meanwhile, Bill’s most notable ex is Lorena – and their pairing gives rise to one of the most graphic (and literally snappiest) sex scenes the show’s ever seen.
Star-crossed lovers or happy ever after? At the current time they aren’t together, but who knows where they’ll end up. Their relationship is pretty much a revolving door of angst – we foresee a lot of Bill lurking in shadows shouting “Sssssssuckie!” into the wind in their future.
Think of the children! Definitely beautiful, probably broody and – bearing in mind revelations in series four – pretty much supernatural royalty. .
Vampire & Lycan/Vampire Hybrid(opens in new tab)
Who: Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman)
In sci-fi, love is so often about difficult and angsty choices, and when Selene chooses to infect Lycan Michael with vampirism it has massive ramifications for them both. Outcast from both their cultures and fighting lycans, vampires and eventually humans too, the Selene/Michael story is not a cheery one, but the heart of it is very much their romance.
Any other potential suitors? Kraven was interested in Selene, but she spurned his advances.
Star-crossed lovers or happy ever after? Happy-ish ever after. Or as good as it gets when you’re fighting for your lives.
Think of the children! No matter what they look like we envisage them wearing a lot of black leather.
Goddess & Vampire(opens in new tab)
Who: Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) and Angel (David Boreanaz)
Angel, like most vampires, had a propensity for brooding, and Cordelia “I think it, I say it, that’s my way” Chase was his perfect foil, puncturing the worst of his pomposity and keeping him grounded when he lost perspective of the big picture. Cordy was very much the heart of Angel Investigations, and her need to help the helpless, and ability to remind him of his humanity formed the core of their relationship. It is also one of the funniest pairings on our list with both giving their fair share of Whedon-quips.
Any other potential suitors? Lots. Cordy’s great love was Doyle, while Angel’s was some tiny blonde slayer or other, but over the years there were others – especially for Angel who was hundreds of years old by this point.
Star-crossed lovers or happy ever after? Possessed by Jasmine, Cordelia had a relationship with Angel’s son Connor, which is always going to be a difficult thing to get past. Returning briefly for Angel’s hundredth episode Cordy/Angel shippers finally got them to have their kiss and declare their love for each other – but the moment was fleeting as her meeting with Angel was actually a favour of the Powers That Be and her physical body had died, leaving Angel to move onto a werewolf and, yannow, the apocalypse.
Think of the children! Frankly having already seen Connor we’d really rather not.
Bajoran & Changeling(opens in new tab)
Who: Major Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) and Odo (Rene Auberjonois)
Where: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
The slowest burning relationship on our list, the Kira/Odo pairing is not the obvious first choice from DS9 – with fan favourites Worf and Dax also fitting our criteria rather nicely (and they did have a fantastic wedding – wouldn’t you love a ceremony where the best man gets to beat the groom with a big stick?). But watching the relationship between the major and the security chief develop over the seasons – starting with Odo pining for her, having met her years before and saved her from Gul Dukat, lasting through him finding out she was the murderer Dukat had believed her to be, and onto Odo’s turn to the dark side – is genuinely heart warming, not least because they’re both such grumpy, conflicted characters, and yet in each other they find a kind of peace.
Any other potential suitors? Lwaxana Troi is Odo’s main non-bumpy nosed love interest with him marrying her while she’s pregnant so she won’t lose her baby as per Betazed law, while Kira acted as a surrogate for the O’Briens’ baby which led to awkward flirting with Miles before a fling with Shakaar.
Star-crossed lovers or happy ever after? The Dominion War sees Odo leave the station to join The Great Link, however despite the Major’s responsibilities to remain the two remain a couple, albeit long distance and against a background of war.
Think of the children! To be honest, bearing in mind Odo’s shapeshifting abilities we’re not sure we want to even imagine them having sex, thank you.
Pig & Frog(opens in new tab)
Who: Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog
Where: The Muppets
The happiest pairing on our list, Miss Piggy and Kermit have been together for decades, and despite her propensity for bad-tempered kung fu and his wacky escapades their love has been enduring. Now we know that Miss P and her frog are only loosely sci-fi (although Muppets From Space counts, right?) but with the new film coming up – and a list so filled with depressing endings – we felt we should end with a pairing that reassures that love will last, and that there’s someone out there for everyone.
Any other potential suitors? A few along the way – including some celebrities, but pig and frog love lasts.
Star-crossed lovers or happy ever after? Resolutely happy ever after – in this galaxy and every other.
Think of the children! We’ve already had canonical insight into what they’d look like – the girls seem to be rather piglike while the boys are froggy. Better that than an Underworld style hybrid though: What would you call them? Frigs? Pogs?
Who do you think has the best inter-species relationship in sci-fi? Who have we missed? And who’re your favourites who aren’t on the list? Have your say in the comments below...