Best of 2017 Awards: The Winners (Part 3)
Connor Johnston presents the thir set of results of DWTV’s annual awards as voted for by you.
BEST FEMALE GUEST ACTOR: Stephanie Hyam as Heather
Runner Up: Rachel Denning as Erica
Unlike most science-fiction shows, Doctor Who fans are used to the majority of an episode’s cast changing week to week. Usually with only one appearance it falls to guest actors to make the most of their respective 45-minutes to create the believability of a new setting and scenario all the while adding depth to their own performances. 2017 saw both Mina Anwar and Nikki Amuka-Bird return to the Whoniverse in new roles, while other notable actors included Samantha Spiro’s Hazran, Adele Lynch’s Iraxxa and today’s runner up: Rachel Denning’s charming and instantly likable Erica. With appearances in both The Pilot and The Doctor Falls – It’s Stephanie Hyam’s Heather who claims victory with 38.02% of the vote.
Whether it be playing the role of a mysterious outside, menacing alien or lovesick salvation – Hyam’s Heather made quite a strong impression despite limited screentime. It’s not lost on me that Heather and Bill’s relationship is the first time we’ve seen a companion navigate a same-sex relationship in the show – though it is a credit to both Hyam’s performance and Moffat’s scripts that this fact is never paraded or highlighted as having any difference to any others companion’s love story (plainly because there isn’t). Heather’s return was a development that completely blindsided and utterly fulfilled audiences. Aside from it making sense from a script perspective, it was just so gratifying to be able find joy and happiness in a companion’s departure without reservation for the first time in decades.
BEST MALE GUEST ACTOR: Mark Gatiss as the Captain
Runner Up: David Suchet as The Landlord
It wasn’t just the women having all the fun this year! The other half of the demographic saw a number of performances by male actors catch our eye, from Joseph Long’s uncanny return as the Pope in Extremis, Pete Caulfield’s memorablue appearance as Dahh-Ren in Extremis to Nicholas Briggs lending his vocal talents to revive Rusty in the Christmas Special. We’ve already spoken at length about our runner up’s, David Suchet, captivating performance as the Landlord in Knock Knock for which he won Best New Villain – though not even that award could earn him enough to overtake Mark Gatiss’ stunning performance as the Captain in Twice Upon a Time, with 48.03% of the vote.
Not a stranger to acting credits in Doctor Who, Gatiss has rightfully received an immense amount of praise for his humble and considered portrayal of a previously unintroduced Lethbridge-Stewart. Having the 12th Doctor’s final act be one of generosity and kindness that stressed the importance of every individual life was such a suitable and warming Christmas conclusion, though was enhanced by how much the audience had managed to invest in Gatiss’ character in such a short amount of time.
BEST FEMALE ACTOR: Pearl Mackie as Bill
Runner Up: Michelle Gomez as Missy
Once again Michelle Gomez finds herself in another remarkably close poll – and once again it is a head-to-head against the Mistress and Pearl Mackie’s Bill for Best Female Actor. Despite capitalising on three series’ worth of appearances with a final arc based on the flexible nature of a Time Lord’s moral conscience – it is Mackie who’s introduction as Bill claims the crown with 55.92% of the vote.
From the moment she was introduced to audiences questioning the logic of the Daleks, Bill was always going to be a fan favourite. Her energy, optimism and unwavering sense of adventure gave the series a brand new perspective from which to view the universe, while her more vulnerable and sincere moments gave audiences a brand new perspective from which to view the Doctor. The dynamic between Capaldi’s Doctor and Bill too provided its fair share of memorable moments. Bill was never just a point of support or interaction for the Doctor; she’s was there to challenge him, learn from him – and more than anything causes him to re-evaluate the way he sees the universe.
BEST MALE ACTOR: Peter Capaldi as the Doctor
Runner Up: Matt Lucas as Nardole
Despite having double the contenders of its female equivalent, our final acting poll of the year produced a far clearer result. Both David Bradley and John Simm produced commendable performances reviving characters from the show’s history with great success – though neither manage to place today. Although having to challenge a number of preconceived criticism, Matt Lucas’ equal part hilarious and equal part intimidating Nardole finishes as runner up. However, there is only one man who could surprise no one with a victory of 84.73% – for the fourth year in a row: Peter Capaldi.
Akin to Moffat’s best writer win, it seems utterly impossible to capture all the reasons why Peter Capaldi and his performance of the Doctor is worthy of praise. Since 2014 Capaldi has enchanted millions of fans through his take on a timeless character that consistently remained both unique and true to history. His performance in 2017 is no different. From capturing the Doctor’s moral vulnerabilities in his relationship with Missy, his physical vulnerabilities following his blinding as well as confronting his inner demons in rejecting regeneration – the Doctor we met in 2017 was a far more emotive one then we’re used to. Alongside these explorations however remained an unbreakable sense of adventure and love of the universe – that made tuning in every week an unquestioned thrill.
BEST CLIFFHANGER: World Enough and Time
Runner Up: The Doctor Falls
The Moffat era’s relationship with multi-part episodes has been anything but consistent. From Series 7’s lack of, to Series 9’s abundance – from Series 8’s clear structure to Series 10’s Monk fuelled confusion. While it isn’t exactly clear on what approach worked the best (Series 5) – there is no denying the power of the cliff-hanger that accompanies said episode whenever a continuing narrative comes around. From the Doctor’s lack of vision to Bill’s lack of judgement, our first look at Bradley’s First Doctor to our first look of Whittaker’s Thirteenth… there was clearly no lack of breathlessness and drama this year. Not to be one to buck the trend, the Doctor Who TV community has awarded yet another victory to World Enough and Time with 46.02% of the vote.
The return of Simm’s Master was something that no one would have predicted prior to its official announcement, and even despite knowing a return was imminent Razor’s identity reveal still proved to be one of the most shocking and surprising developments of the series. Though it’s not only Simm and Moffat to credit with such an bombastic cliff-hanger, for it’s the reactions of both Gomez and Capaldi and their genuine shock that enhances the tension completely. On the other side of this scene is of course the realisation that Bill has been converted into a Mondasian Cyberman – a horrific reality that is captured so beautifully by Talalay’s travelling lens that not only illustrates that a part of Bill’s consciousness still remains but also foreshadows her eventual rescue.
Join us again tomorrow for the complete results.