The RadioTimes.com Awards are underway to recognise the very finest television from the past 12 months.
While 2020 was not a brilliant year for most people, we were at least able to enjoy some escapism with a stellar line-up of sci-fi and fantasy shows introducing unforgettable characters or even transporting us to a galaxy far, far away.
Whether you were enraptured by Lyra’s adventures around Citágazze, the exciting return of the Daleks, or simply by Grogu’s adorable little face, there’s no shortage of contenders for this year’s Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show.
But of course, there can only be one winner – and you get to decide.
Read on for the nominees, and be sure to vote in the poll below – be quick as the vote is open between 2nd February 2021 (9am) and 14th February (5pm) so make sure you have your say.
The results of the RadioTimes.com Awards will be announced on 7th March 2021.
What are you waiting for? Cast your vote now…
After impressing critics with the one-two punch of Ex Machina and Annihilation, writer-director Alex Garland moved into the television space for another moody and thoughtful sci-fi thriller. Devs follows software engineer Lily Chan (Sonoya Mizuno) as she investigates the untimely demise of her boyfriend, who died on the first day of his new job on a secretive computing team. While it might be a tad slow paced, Devs rewarded those who stuck with it and was lauded by critics for exploring weighty themes and packing a slick visual style.
It was a massive year for Doctor Who with Chris Chibnall taking some major strides forward across the 12th revived series. Classic villain The Master returned in a brand new form, portrayed brilliantly by Sacha Dhawan, while the show hit another milestone by casting Jo Martin as the so-called Fugitive Doctor, in a twist that sent fans reeling. Of course, there was also the surprise return of John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness and a strong festive special that served as a touching send-off for two beloved companions.
His Dark Materials
BBC and HBO’s ambitious collaboration returned for its second series, adapting the second novel in Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. Despite one episode having to be dropped due to the coronavirus pandemic, the show was still able to tell an all-ages fantasy story that was epic in scope and brimming with heart. Up and coming young performers Dafne Keen and Amir Wilson impressed in the lead roles, but Ruth Wilson once again proved to be a scene stealer with her superb interpretation of Mrs Coulter. Roll on series three!
Netflix’s fantasy drama returned for the first half of its fifth season over the summer, which was quickly devoured by its passionate fanbase. Lucifer continues to be a unique voice in the genre, pairing classic CSI-style murder mysteries with lofty elements taken from Neil Gaiman’s vast Sandman universe. Tom Ellis is unrecognisable from his days on Miranda, fully embodying the title role by gleefully throwing himself into the show’s outlandish scenarios and nailing its cheeky sense of humour.
Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys proved that its first season was no fluke, delivering a follow-up that was just as visceral, shocking and addictive, if not more so. While the story might well be debauched and blood-spattered, the show avoids feeling gratuity by keeping its satirical undertones razor sharp. The second season was able to tell an exhilarating superhero story, while also exploring topical issues in society today including xenophobia and political extremism. The proceedings are led by a sensational cast including Karl Urban, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty and Aya Cash.
The Haunting of Bly Manor
Writer-director Mike Flanagan brought us another chilling ghost story with The Haunting of Bly Manor, a spiritual successor to his 2018 smash-hit set at the eerie Hill House. The limited series acts as fresh and inventive adaptation of Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, following events at countryside estate where a young woman arrives to work as an au pair for two young children. While packing some memorably creepy moments, many fans were also genuinely moved by the twists and turns, which leaned into the underused genre of gothic romance.
While the jury is out on Disney’s most recent trilogy of films, Star Wars fans are all but united in their adoration of streaming series The Mandalorian. This ambitious show brought blockbuster action to our television screens every Friday, as Pedro Pascal’s eponymous bounty hunter explored the galaxy in search of a stable home for his infant companion. Season two told a very satisfying story in its own right, culminating in a tear-jerker finale, while also re-introducing elements from earlier Star Wars stories – most notably, Clone Wars character Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) and the legendary Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison).
The Umbrella Academy
The Umbrella Academy travelled back to the 1960s for its second season, as the dysfunctional team tried once again to set aside their differences and avert the apocalypse. Many critics deemed it a stronger effort than the first, benefiting from a lighter tone and a more defined set of characters, whilst also delivering some truly edge-of-your-seat action sequences. Academy Award nominee Elliot Page (Inception), Robert Sheehan (Misfits) and relative newcomer Aidan Gallagher are among the finest in the show’s large ensemble cast.
Vote in all categories, including Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy below:
Find out more about the other RadioTimes.com Awards categories here:
- Best Drama
- Best Comedy
- Best Film
- Best Entertainment
- Best Factual
- Best Soap
- Sporting Moment of the Year
- TV Moment of the Year
If you’re looking for something to watch, check out our TV Guide.