Fans of tattoos are in heaven this month: not only have you got the return of Prison Break, and new MTV show Just Tattoo Of Us, Jaimie Alexander's tattoo-based thriller Blindspot returns to continue its second season of tattoo-based mysteries every Thursday at 9pm on Sky Living (CH 112) and Sky Living HD (CH 111).
In its honour, we have rounded up the weirdest, most wonderful and just plain badass tattoos from television history.
Jane Doe (Blindspot)
Jaimie Alexander makes the entrance of all entrances in Blindspot: she emerges naked, from a duffel bag in Times Square, covered from head to toe in tattoos. That kind of thing tends to catch the attention. Jane's tattoos are of the Prison Break/Memento variety – coded clues that will eventually unlock the mother of all mysteries over a timeframe yet to be determined by how popular the show is. You have to respect the all-body tattoo; it's like someone saw a sleeve tattoo and thought: "Yeah, I want that, but all over both arms, both legs, my chest, my stomach, also my back and... well, everywhere". Do not mess with someone willing to be stabbed by a tiny needle that many times.
Michael Scofield (Prison Break)
The frankly ridiculous concept for the first season of Prison Break saw structural engineer Michael Scofield wind up in prison with his brother. Twist #1: it was a prison that he designed. Twist #2: he had the entire plans of the prison tattooed all over his body. Twist #2 does kind of make Twist #1 redundant a little, given that if he designed the building, he shouldn't really need the plans permanently inked on his body, but you have to admire the chutzpah. In a later season, Michael had the tattoos removed, rightly surmising they did not age well at all.
Chakotay (Star Trek: Voyager)
Woah. A face tattoo. Even in the darkest recesses of space, it's a look that says "Do not spill my pint". To be fair to the Star Trek Voyager First Officer, Chakotay's tribal face tat is relatively harmless, perched above the eyebrow in the "Roger Moore zone", well clear of the "Mike Tyson T-Zone". We eventually find out that Chakotay's ink is actually a tribute to his father, who had the same face tattoo in tribute to his father, and so on, which is weird, because at some point, the men in Chakotay's family stared down at their newborn sons and thought: "I can't wait to inject ink under the skin of that gorgeous little face".
Danny Rand (Iron Fist)
Oh here he comes, Danny Rand, back off his gap year wearing a keffiyeh and a bit of red string round his wrist, reading a book about philosophy and talking in ancient Chinese proverbs. Pfft. Total culture thief. He's such a part-timer, it's... um... oh okay, he also has a gigantic chest tattoo. Literally a huge dragon tattooed on his chest. Wow. Okay. That's kind of... permanent. I mean, it's not like he just came back from travelling with a new haircut or something. I expected him to come back and attempt to write the first chapter of an inevitably terrible book before giving up. Should we start calling him "Iron Fist"? Let's start calling him "Iron Fist".
Marvel's Iron Fist is available to watch now on Netflix
Jax Teller (Sons Of Anarchy)
“Hello, my name is Jax, which is definitely a name, and I am from a motorcycle gang called the Sons of Anarchy. I would like a tattoo please because I am apparently not already threatening enough, and I would like it on my back because it is the flattest and almost manliest place to have a tattoo. I would like the tattoo to be of Death holding a scythe because motorcycles have famously high fatality rates. Please hurry, I have a motorcycle running outside and petrol is expensive.”
Snake (The Simpsons)
There's you, agonising over the catalogue in the tattoo artist's waiting room – the tattoo artist it took you 15 months to choose after an extensive online search through Yelp reviews. You've finally settled on the Chinese symbol for "Freedom", have you? It'll have to wait, because a giant buff dude with a denim jacket just strode into Springfield's Tattoo Parlour and his name is Snake and he wants a tattoo of a snake and his life is literally that simple. Yeah he knows what he wants because he's smoking in here even though there are signs that explicitly tell him it is forbidden and, oh look, he's already stolen your girlfriend. Buh-bye!
Starbuck (Battlestar Galactica)
Although Kara "Starbuck" Thrace didn't go the whole Chakotay, she does sport a rather badass looking tattoo on her arm. The winged circle combines with the identical tattoo on her husband Anders' arm so that when they embrace, they create the synchronised image of, er, a winged circle but this time with two wings. This one possibly sounded better than it came out. Still, in times of intergalactic turmoil, it's just nice to think that there are still couples out there willing to work on tattoos that look cool in a hug. That's a concept that transcends time and space.
Matt Pritchard (Dirty Sanchez)
During that microscopic post-Jackass window about a decade ago, when combining extreme danger with pranks was enough to land you a TV show, four Welsh lads created Dirty Sanchez. One high-larious escapade saw the show's lead nutter, Matt Pritchard, tattoo his own er... private area... with the words "I LOVE DAINTON" to infuriate his best friend Lee Dainton, who presumably was against the idea of having his name tattooed on his, or indeed anyone's... private area. It was a great gag and we all had a laugh and then we got over it but Matt Pritchard still has a tattooed private area, which really is quite funny actually.
Ed Jerse (Never Again - The X-Files)
Tattoo-sporting chap Ed Jerse is a fairly unique character in The X-Files universe in that he managed to successfully chat up Agent Dana Scully, not just convincing her to stay the night, but convincing her to get her own tattoo. Jerse was aided in all of this by his own tattoo, a pin-up girl above the words "NEVER AGAIN", who talks to Ed in the evil voice of Jodie Foster, which actually amounts to a fairly quiet week on The X-Files. Ed's talking tattoo continually brands him a “loser”, despite the impressive prowess he displays in the above feat. Next week on The X-Files: a man whose nose ring keeps giving him bad gambling tips.
Sure, Rachel got a small heart on her hip: big whoop. Phoebe got the whole WORLD tattooed on her shoulder, albeit the Earth as seen from a great, great distance (it's the way her mother sees her from Heaven). You can be as sniffy as you like, Rachel, with your haircut and your job at Bloomingdale's and your awful boyfriends. Phoebe is from the streets. If she says that blue freckle is the Earth as seen from a great, great distance, the way her mother sees her from Heaven, you need to respect her!
Blindspot airs every Thursday at 9pm on Sky Living (CH 112) and Sky Living HD (CH 111). Also available after broadcast in Catch Up. Find it in Catch Up > Channels > Sky Living.