Been chatting a lot with various people of late about characters and characterisation. Although the chats have been mainly in terms of literature, it got me thinking of my favourites in TV series I watch and why.
And so here is a list of characters from shows I am watching, or have recently watched, to give you an idea of who I like and why. I may well come back to this with the best characters ever at some point but for now here’s a few for you. I’ve put where I am in the series too, as that can have a bearing on favourites…
Spartacus: Blood & Sand (series one, episode five) – Batiatus (played by John Hannah)
There are actually quite a few characters I really like on this show but Batiatus comes out on top of the bunch for me. He’s quite a complex character, very loving and at times honourable but a real nasty piece of work too. I think one of the things nudging him to the top of the pile for me is that he is played by John Hannah, a cracking actor.
LOST (series six, episode four) – Juliet Burke (played by Elizabeth Mitchell)
John Locke was my favourite for so, so long and I was actually quite surprised when Juliet came on the scene and almost immediately became my favourite. Juliet has a real charisma in the show, backed by a really tragic reason for ending up on the island. She has a drive and a fire and she can be mean as hell when she wants. She’s also extremely caring and devoted – a sure fire winner for me!
Dollhouse (ended) – Dr. Claire Saunders (played by Amy Acker)
A very meh series this one, with lots of unlikeable characters. I warmed to Claire early on, as she seemed to have an interesting background, and so it proved to be, with her ending up being one of the most complex characters Whedon has ever done, much more so than the bland/insipid Echo.
Six Feet Under (series one, episode six) – Brenda Chenowith (played by Rachel Griffiths)
I know, I know, I’m five series behind buy hey, you can’t keep up with all of them can you? I’m enjoying the early episodes here and like a couple of the characters, Brenda being the pick of the bunch. I like her negativity but I also like how complex (and real) she is. Another classic film actor too, which shows that TV is getting a lot more solid.
Dexter (series four, episode twelve) – Dexter Morgan (played by Michael C. Hall)
I suppose this one is very obvious, although Deb Morgan is a very strong character too. One of the main reasons I watch this program, though, is the development of Dexter, and I’ll continue to watch as long as he is as compelling as he has been throughout.
Supernatural (series five, episode fourteen) – Castiel (played by Misha Collins)
I was all ready to write Dean down for this until I thought about it more and came to the conclusion that Castiel is actually my favourite. Even though it seems that he is actually more in the series for comic relief than as a really heavyweight character, there is still something interesting and engaging about him and I’m really curious to see what is to become of the lost angel.
Damages (series three, episode four) – Detective Victor Huntley (played by Tom Noonan)
I realised that I don’t actually like any of the main characters in this program, even though I really like the show, but another great actor, Tom Noonan (remember Manhunter?), stands out. He seems very mild-mannered when in the interview room but you get a real sense of who he is when he is chatting with his colleagues. One of the best bit parts in a TV series ever!
Fringe (series one, episode four) – Olivia Dunham (played by Anna Torv)
I do like my strong women (see Juliet) and Olivia is really standing out as a strong and likeable character in this show. I think the other members of the team are pretty cool too but Olivia stands out. Looking forward to seeing how this show develops.
Lie to Me (series one, episode thirteen) – Dr. Cal Lightman (played by Tim Roth)
Am a huge fan of Ria Torres (another hit for the strong women) but due to my adoration of Tim Roth and of the way he plays his character, another full of complexities, and flaws aplenty, I have to go for Cal. I thoroughly enjoyed the first series and realised that I was less concerned about the stories every week and very intrigued by Lightman and his relationship with young Torres.