Who would you like to see win the Radio Times Audience Award at this year’s television Baftas? Each of the RadioTimes.com team has their favourite. Here, Huw Fullerton explains why Game of Thrones deserves the throne more than The Missing, Cilla, Sherlock, Strictly Come Dancing, The Great British Bake Off and EastEnders…
Game of Thrones had always been a sprawling success, with intense acting and almost Shakespearean monologues sitting comfortably alongside pulse-pounding action sequences and high fantasy – but for me, series four was probably the best outing yet.
In series four, Thrones had the courage to move further away from the George RR Martin books it’s based on, to create new plots and versions of events. It was a genuinely pleasant surprise, and I’m calling it: Game of Thrones series four is better than the equivalent books (which yes, I have read).
There were so many highlights that it’s hard to pull individual moments out, but scenes that have particularly stuck with me include the Hound and Brienne’s climactic battle for Arya Stark, and Peter Dinklage’s tour-de-force performance at the trial of his character Tyrion, where you can really feel the venom with which he spits out words while condemning onlookers.
Let’s not forget Oberyn – poor, sexy Oberyn Martell, played by Pedro Pascal as a kind of Inigo Montoya from the Princess Bride meets Shrek’s Puss in Boots – who was instantly a hit with viewers and hugely mourned when he inevitably died a shocking, grisly death. But then that’s the point of Game of Thrones: the good characters rarely get a happy ending because it resists the traditional narratives and conventions we’ve come to expect from drama.
It’s a show about the great evils men and women will commit for power. It’s a show that acknowledges the shades of dark and light in both the “good” and “bad” characters to the point where you can find yourself rooting for murderers and tyrants. It operates on a massive scale with an enormous cast but still remains accessible, with some of the darkest events imaginable but also some of the funniest one-liners.
Fundamentally, it’s a show that’s just terrific from top to bottom, and that’s why you should vote for it in the Radio Times Audience Award. And then get straight back to watching series five…
Vote for Game of Thrones to win the Bafta Radio Times Award here