Which dirty sci-fi characters would mud-wrestle you for a wad of cash, if needs demanded it?  Sci-fi is full of duplicitous, scheming criminal masterminds, but just who would make the top 5?  Let’s find out.

1. Jayne Cobb (Firefly)

If you ain’t paying him to talk pretty, then he’s probably figuring out some clumsy way of betraying you, and running off with all your cash.

This guy’s more financially-driven than a Ferengi, and would shoot his own mother for some cash.

A classic ruffian, Firefly shows Jayne being turned to Mal’s side with the promise of some extra cash (and a private room!), before going on to betray Mal for some even more cash.  The result of which, of course, is leaving Jayne hanging out of the back-end of the ship as it breaks atmosphere, scaring him senseless.

If Jayne’s on your team, keep one eye on him.  Preferably two.  He’ll have hopped off to Persephone and bought his own ship if you’ve got any money left lying around before you can say, “I just left it in my bunk…”

2. Nicholas Rush (Stargate: Universe)

Stand between this guy, and some scientific knowledge, and you’re in serious trouble.  This is the last man you’d want to be tossing a coin with for the last space on a lifeboat.  Rush is one of sci-fi’s great schemers, and you’ll never quite know what he’s really up to.  Beautifully portrayed by Robert Carlyle, Rush remained an enigma for much of the series, before being partially redeemed towards the end.

Plus, he’s a tough bugger to get rid of.  Just ask Colonel Young, who left him bleeding out on a barren rock planet.  Still couldn’t get rid shot of him.

Meet Rush in a dark alleyway, and he’d probably point at a shiny object, smack you in the stomach, and then run off with all your cash.  Cunning.

3. Ronald Sandoval (Earth: Final Conflict)

If he’d murder a police commander’s wife just to marginally sway the odds of him become a Companion Protector in the Taelons’ favour, just imagine what he’d do if he you really pissed him off.

Although his character became diluted in later seasons, but the beautiful nuances of Sandoval’s character were apparent in the early days.  Perhaps beautiful is an overly endearing term, considering he had his own wife incarcerated in a mental institution so that he could focus on his job of protecting the Taelons.

Basically, if Zo’or wanted your cash, Sandoval would swing in with a battalion of Volunteers and thoroughly trash you, and everything around you, to make off with your wallet.

And knowing him, he’d probably keep half the cash for himself.

Oh, you conniving little wretch.

4. Garak (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

As Senator Vreenak discovered to his peril, if Garak wants you dead, you’re dead.

The most lethal tailor in sci-fi history, Garak’s bubbly personality masked a much, much darker side explored in episodes such as Empok Nor.

He’d have your credit card, and you wouldn’t even know it were missing.  And if you discovered it were missing, or that he’d replaced it with “A FAAAKE“, then you’d be popped off Tony Soprano-style within seconds.

No one does insidious quite like the Cardassians, and no one does Cardassian quite like Garak.

Hats off to the finest tailor in the Alpha Quadrant.

Make sure you tip.

5. Gaius Baltar (Battlestar Galactica)

Let’s face it, if you can help annihilate most of your own species, you can probably stoop to petty thieving.

This more-than-slightly deranged scientist shouldn’t be left alone with himself, let alone all your hard-earned wonga.

He’s sneak in when you’re not looking, pinch your American Express, before skulking off and conniving some way of having your house flattened by some Cylon Raiders.  To be fair, he’d probably accidentally organise the last part.  But the rest would be all him.

To give him some credit, he did perfect the ‘misunderstood genius’ look before Robert Carlyle stole it off him.

Honorable mention: Gollum (The Lord of the Rings; more fantasy than sci-fi, which is the main reason for his exclusion, but if he goes that mad over One Ring, imagine what he’d do at the local jewellers.  Or your family valuables.  A terrifying prospect.)