20 January 2015

ARA 2014: Doctor Who

Happily, Kill the Moon has been voted our best Doctor Who episode of 2014. With its four points, it managed to best Into the Dalek, Robot of Sherwood and Listen's three, thanks no doubt to its sterling crew headed by Peter Harness in the writing corner and director Paul Wilmshurst.

If nothing else, Series 8 was a showcase for Jamie Mathieson's talents and it's for Mummy on the Orient Express that he wins this award. Both that and his other story Flatline were two of last year's best-loved episodes, with good reason. Mathieson just managed to edge out Steven Moffat (for Listen), Mark Gatiss and Peter Harness.

Paul Wilmshurst helmed three of last year's episodes, all of which were widely praised. His unique and stylish direction was certainly notable and we're all hoping to see more of his work this year - on Who or otherwise. Wilmshurst's closest competitors were Ben Wheatley and Douglas MacKinnon.

Mummy on the Orient Express continues its streak of wins with the terrifying Foretold. Played by Jamie Hill, the titular monster managed to scare off any competition, despite the Sheriff and the Boneless' best efforts.

As if there was ever any doubt, Peter Capaldi is named our Best Actor in Doctor Who after winning the Best Lead category yesterday. So strong were his efforts that he managed to garner over double the number of points of his closest rival, Samuel Anderson. Tom Riley is awarded bronze for his guest turn as Robin Hood.

Another pretty unsurprising victory, but in all the best ways. Jenna Coleman's performance as Clara Oswald throughout 2014 impressed us all, and like Capaldi, she was top of all our lists. Second and third in this surprisingly small category were Michelle Gomez and Hermione Norris, another contributor to Kill the Moon.

General consensus is that there was a massive upswing in quality between Series 7 and Series 8 and joining completely coincidentally at exactly the same time was new executive producer Brian Minchin. Despite having been involved in the Doctor Who franchise for many years, this was Brian's most significant role yet, and for his excellent work in it he wins our Special Contribution award. Also nominated were Lee Binding, Stuart Manning and Peter Capaldi.

Out of every piece of Doctor Who merchandise released last year, from lunchboxes to notebooks, and action figures to DVDs, the best in our opinion was the Fifth Doctor Box Set from Big Finish. Highlighting once more the talents of two of the company's strongest writers (John Dorney and Jonny Morris) and reuniting the Season 19 team for the first time evah it really was something special.

I can assure you that this was not a biased decision. Indeed, despite previous evidence of my allegiances towards him (see here), Jonny Morris has been chosen for the 'honour' of Best Contributor to Doctor Who Merchandise 2014 by Matt Michael, and he knows what he's on about. Jonny (pictured here on the precipice of E-Space researching his next story The Entropy Plague) was - once again - one of the most prolific contributors to Big Finish's productions last year, but managed to exceed any exceptions listeners may have had. Many thanks from all the team. But be warned - you will be hearing Mr Morris' name again tomorrow.

Join us tomorrow for Day 3: Big Finish!

My thanks to Matt Michael (Twitter | Season to Taste Podcast) and Tom Newsom (Twitter | Flickr | Blog). And I'm on Twitter too.

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