Sci-Fi Hair Cuts You Wouldn't Want

Barber-hell-aaaaaaahhhhhh! This weekend’s classic SFX feature celebrates the sci-fi bad hair day

The Peladon Miners

From: Doctor Who "The Monster Of Peladon" (1974)
Played by: Various desperate bit-parters

Affectionately known by the production team as "the badger look", the barnets foisted on the miners of Peladon were a unique combination of afro and humbugs, with a hairline starting at the eyebrows. Many of the miners looked like the result of ’70s Tom Jones being run over on a zebra crossing. They could probably get away with riding a motorbike without a helmet.

Ruby Rhod

From: The Fifth Element (1997)
Played by: Chris Tucker

The screeching DJ in the Luc Besson‘s gaudy space opera sports a couple of dodgy ’dos throughout the film, but it’s impossible to imagine anyone ever asking their stylist to emulate this phallic keratin sculpture. Admit it – you’re already thinking, "Dick head!"

Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg

From: The Fifth Element (1997)
Played by: Gary Oldman

And The Fifth Element achieves a double whammy with this Hitler-after-brain-surgery creation sported by Gary Oldman. Oddly the Hitler moustache appears to have slipped onto his chin. And while we’re on the subject of Oldman…

Count Dracula

From: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Played by: Gary Oldman

Blimey, has he got the Sydney Opera House on his head?

Henry Spence

From: Eraserhead (1977)
Played by: Jack Nance

Looking at Spence, you have to wonder if he had a secret fling with the bride of Frankenstein and Marge Simpson was their love child. Still, his hair makes sense of the title… not that much else about the film makes sense.

Jareth The Goblin King

From: Labyrinth (1986)
Played by: David Bowie

Jim Henson’s children’s fantasy should be a timeless classic but there’s nothing timeless about Bowie’s Toyah fright wig. It screams 1980s louder than a Frankie Says T-shirt.

Aunty Entity

From: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
Played by: Tina Turner

Mel Gibson’s hair extensions in the third Mad Max film were (almost literally) ropey enough to hang him, but the Acid Queen’s spectacular mop is almost as ’80s as Bowie’s in Labyrinth. This time we get random shaved bits and an odd sticky-up section at the front that queasily seems to foreshadow Cameron Diaz’s spunky gel in There’s Something About Mary .

Obi Wan Kenobi

From: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Played by: Ewan McGregor

Oh dear Lord, that ratty ponytail! You just want to attack it with a pair of scissors. The expanded-mythology explanation (ie, it’s explained in a book somewhere) is that it’s Obi-Wan’s own hair mingled the hair of his mentor – which all sounds a little bit kinky.

It’s all very well taking the mick out of SF haircuts that are supposed to be bizarre, but there have also been plenty of occasions when barnets that were supposed to be just everyday and unnoteworthy took on a strange life of their own, including this mop-ley bunch:

General Madine

From: Star Wars Episode VI: The Return Of The Jedi (1983)
Played by: Dermot Cowley

Usually men wait until their going bald to assume the comb-over, but Dermot Cowley didn’t let a full head of hair get in the way of a parting that seems to start somewhere below his right ear. And with that beard he also looks bizarrely like that optical illusion in which you can turn a drawing of a man's face upside down and it still looks like a man’s face.


From: Total Recall 2070 (1999)
Played by: Karl Pruner

He’s an android, so presumably he doesn’t have a mum, which is strange considering he's got the kind of haircut that looks like it could only have been cut by his mum.

Tom Greer

From: Surrogates (2009)
Played by: Bruce Willis

Apparently, this is the image older Tom Greer wants to project with his surrogate – younger, hairier, blonder, and not unlike Lieutenant Gruber from ’Allo ’Allo . The effete Nazi youth vibe just doesn’t do it for us.

Pavel Chekov

From: Star Trek (1966-9)
Played by: Walter Koenig

When Chekov was added to original Trek in the hope of appealing to a younger (female) audience, the producers were thinking of a Davy Jones of the Monkees mop-top look. So they gave Koenig a wig to wear until his own hair grew long enough. Sadly, the wig looked like a highly-lacquered Tribble, balanced on his head, waiting to leap off at any moment. Koenig has even admitted he mistakenly wore the thing back to front on occasions.

Johnny Blaze

From: Ghost Rider (2007)
Played by: Nicolas Cage

Poor old Nicolas Cage. We’re sure he’d love to go gracefully bald but producers don’t seem willing to let him, and film after film he’s had to put up with some really bad hair days. As Johnny Blaze he looks like he’s dipped his head in a vat of tar. And talking of Cage…

Balthazar Blake

From: The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010)
Played by: Nicolas Cage

Looks like he thought he was auditioning for Medusa in Clash Of The Titans .

The Entire Cast Of The Tribe

From: The Tribe (1999-2003)
Played by: Various Aussie teens

The award for ensemble efforts in the bad hair department goes to the Aussie, post-apocalyptic children’s drama The Tribe . The pictures above merely scratch the surface. It was like five series of Duran‘s Duran’s Wild Boys video.


From: Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-94)
Played by: Michael Dorn

It took quite a few seasons before the production team found a hair style that worked for Worf (ironically a ponytail, which rarely works for most men). His worst period was the "page boy" look. No wonder other Klingons used to point and call him names. The big girl.


From: Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-5)
Played by: Jolene Blalock

During the first season of Enterprise, poor old T’Pol was lumbered with a misjudged approximation of the Spock look that usually made it look like she was preparing to be a human cannonball. Thankfully the looked was softened for later appearances.

And now for some fun with dreadlocks, which look cool on the right people (soul singers, Glastonbury crusties), but downright ridiculous on the wrong ones (fat actors and albino stick insects).


From: Battlefield Earth (2000)
Played by: John Travolta

Dreadful. But in that respect is fits in nicely with the film as a whole.

The Twins

From: The Matrix Reloaded (1966-9)
Played by: Neil and Adrian Rayment

A bit of a tonsure going on at the front, a fuzzy section, then some overly-styled dreads that look like they should be hanging in the kitchen door of a ’70s vegetarian restaurant. Somebody thought that was a good look?

The Centauri

From: Babylon 5 (1993-8)
Played by: Peter Jurasik, Stephen Furst and others

Ah, the best till last. The peacock fans that adorned of Babylon 5 ’s Centauris were a statement symbol – the more important the Centauri, the bigger their hair was (a bit like women in the ’80s). The bizarre barnets were a great SF conceit that well-suited the pomposity of the race, but blimey, you couldn't help but wonder what they looked like when they got up in the morning.

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