25 January 2016

Kroagnon Awards 2016: Day One - Television

Welcome to the Kroagnon Awards 2016! All this week, we'll be announcing all our favourite things of 2015, ranging from the broad to the niche. As well as being voted on by editors Dave, Matt and Tom, several categories have been decided by you, our readers, and industry experts.

Our favourite TV series of 2015 was without a shadow of a doubt Cucumber, from the mind of Russell T Davies and produced by Red Production Company and Adjacent Productions for Channel 4. Starring Vincent Franklin as Henry, this touching drama featured some truly memorable and traumatic moments, and indeed episodes that easily make it a worthy winner of this award. Also nominated was BBC Two's The Last Kingdom.

It might come as no surprise after the previous award, but Vincent Franklin receives our award for the Best Lead Actor of last year. As well as a remarkable turn as Henry in Cucumber (and Banana) Franklin also appeared prominently in high-profile series such as Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Our runner-up was Viola Davis for her role as Annalise in How To Get Away With Murder.

Our award for the Best Single Episode of 2015 goes to the finale of The Last Kingdom. Airing last Autumn, this series told the story of territory troubles in ninth century Britain. The final episode was the pinnacle of this standout series, giving Alexander Dreymon excellent material. Also nominated in this category was the phenomenal 12 Days of Christine episode of Inside No. 9. But more on that next...

Yes, for her turn as the eponymous Christine, Sheridan Smith is our favourite guest actor of last year. In the touching 12 Days of Christine, the strongest episode of Inside No 9 yet, Smith played a woman reliving her life in her final few moments. Smith is always sensational, often making our soulless staff well up, and fully deserves this award. This decision was unanimous; there was no runner-up.

For his work on AKA Sin Bin, the ninth episode of Netflix and Marvel's Jessica Jones, John Dahl is our Best Director of 2015. Although he only directed one episode of that show, he certainly made an impression. Dahl has also received critical acclaim for his direction on popular shows such as Ray Donovan and Hannibal. Also up for this award were Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith for their handling of the Cold Comfort episode of Inside No 9.

A predictable outcome, perhaps, but for his work penning every episode of Cucumber and all the best ones of Banana, Rusty is our Best TV Writer of 2015. He ran those two shows with extreme skill and the quality of commentary (both subtle and overt) was unparalleled. Davies has adapted A Midsummer Night's Dream for television to screen in 2016, which we await eagerly. Peter Nowalk was also nominated for his work as creator, showrunner and writer of How To Get Away With Murder.

Stephan Pehrsson is our favourite TV cinematographer of last year, thanks to his sterling work most prominently on Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, but he also worked on the fantastic The C Word, You, Me and the Apocalypse and The 12 Days of Christine amongst others. This is a well-deserved award in a category that's becoming increasingly competitive.

Murray Gold is one of the best known composers television has to offer, thanks for the most part to his work on Doctor Who since 2005. It's actually for Cucumber that he wins this award though, with his extremely memorable and catchy score, featuring everything from choirs to zips. It's one of our very favourite soundtracks, and it's a real shame it doesn't look like it will ever be released now.

Our most underrated series of 2015 was the outstanding Top Coppers. This was easily one of the funniest shows last year had to offer, but received criminally low ratings (geddit). We here at Kroagnon certainly hope Mahogany and Rust - along with the Chief of course - make a return in the near future. Also nominated in this category was The Last Kingdom.

Scott Handcock writes: "Hannibal is, quite simply, one of the most sublime television series I have ever had the pleasure of watching. Exceptionally well-plotted, beautifully played and realised in every aspect, this isn’t a typical case of style over substance. This is a series where style and substance combine to produce something genuinely affecting and electrifying. The first two seasons had me hooked - I even had nightmares based on Hannibal Lecter, I binged on them so quickly - and the third season didn’t let up either. Its final episode, The Wrath of the Lamb, delivers a deft climax that not only wraps up the active storylines, but honours everything that came before, showcasing the brilliant talents of Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy as the programme’s main protagonists. They absolutely ended on a high: an incredible ending to a truly perfect series."

Scott Handcock is probably best known to readers of this site as a writer, director and producer of audio drama inspired by Doctor Who and Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray for Big Finish Productions. He has also recently script-edited Harry Price: Ghost Hunter for ITV. Many thanks to Scott for taking the time to write for us.

2015 was another busy year for Coronation Street and you - our readers - clearly revelled in it, voting it your favourite soap of the year. The ITV production, set and filmed in Manchester, just edged out EastEnders and Emmerdale, which came joint second. No other soap received any votes. It must be Neighbours' turn soon.

For whatever reasons, you seemed to get a lot of satisfaction from Clara Oswald's death in Sarah Dollard's episode of Doctor Who last autumn, and it's consequently been voted our readers' favourite TV moment of 2015. Clara, played by Jenna Coleman (seen here about to sneeze), bowed out in the tenth episode of series nine but returned in both of the final two and is now flying the cosmos in her own TARDIS.

Finally for today, we come to our Most Promising Series for 2016. Although the entire third series of Endeavour has now aired, this nomination was made before it had even begun and it looks to have been a worthy one. Writer Russell Lewis and stars Shaun Evans and Roger Allam have all been on sterling form already this year, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Endeavour picking up a few gongs in our awards season next January. Also one to watch this year is the upcoming second run of Jessica Jones.

That's it for today, but join us tomorrow when we'll be announcing our awards for
2015 in Film!

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