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Mark's Best of 2016

Seasons greetings, faithful readers, and welcome to my look back at the best that the idiot box had to offer us in 2016.

Best Thing About An Otherwise Disappointing Show – Miss Quill (Class)

Along with Peter Capaldi's cameo in the first episode, Katherine Kelly's delightfully acidic Miss Quill is the only reason to bother with this boring Doctor Who spin-off.

Best Nature Porn - Planet Earth II 

Series like this are why I am proud to pay my licence fee.

Best Number – Eleven (Stranger Things)

Step aside Matt Smith, we have a new favourite Eleven.

Best Denouement - Person of Interest

Thanks in no part to CBS insisting the show retain its already worn out procedural structure, Person of Interest's final season was not without its fair share of ups and down. But when it came to its final moments, the show more than delivered.

Most Loveable Monarch - George VI (The Crown)

Jared Harris was such an instantly likeable presence as the doomed Bertie that you really wish Peter Morgan would've ignored history altogether just so he could've stuck around longer.

Best Superhero Team Up - Flash and Supergirl (Supergirl)

Barry and Kara's first multidimensional collaboration proved that, when it comes to superhero crossovers, less really is more.

Best Surprise Comeback - Darth Maul (Star Wars Rebels)

When Ahsoka, Ezra, and Kanan journeyed to Malachor in search of a way to defeat the Sith, the last thing anyone expected was for them to run into Maul, or that he would quickly become one of the most fascinating villains in the entire Star Wars saga.

Best Fourth Wall Breaker - Richard III (The Hollow Crown: War of the Roses)

This follow up to the 2012 series doesn't let Benedict Cumberbatch start delivering those famous asides until the very end of its two-part adaptation of Henry VI. But when he finally does turn to the camera and start telling us his dreams of sovereignty it sends chills down your spine.

Best Cameo - Joshua Jackson (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's amazing second season had no shortage of amazing celeb cameos, but the best of the bunch was unquestionably Jackson's appearance as Purvis, convenience store clerk and Dawson's Creek expert.

Best Conjurer - Julia Wicker (The Magicians)

The smartest decision the writers of The Magicians ever made was bringing forward the story of Julia Wicker from the second book. If they'd stuck to the first book, and kept the focus solely on Quentin "puppy killer" Coldwater, I would've dropped this series after just one episode.

Best Promotion - Sara Lance (Legends of Tomorrow)

Legends' second season has managed to fix a lot of what was wrong with its first, starting with putting Sara in the captain's chair where she belongs.

Most Overdue Reunion - Cosima and Delphine (Orphan Black

2016 has been such a bad year for ladies in love with other ladies that I honestly expected this reunion to end with one of them dying in the other's arms. Mercifully, this was not the case.

Good Cop - Julien Baptiste (The Missing)

In my Best of 2014 I said "If the BBC have any sense, they'll bring Tchéky Karyo's stoic detective back for season 2". Well, they did, and he was even better than the first time around, although I still don't know how to say "Tchéky Karyo" correctly.

Bad Cop - Matthew 'Dot' Cotten (Line of Duty

The rotten apple at the heart of AC-12 finally got his comeuppance this year, outfoxed by the mighty Kate Fleming, who would’ve earned the title of Great Cop were it not for our next entry.

Great Cop - Catherine Cawood (Happy Valley)

The long wait for season three is going to be agony.

Best Anachronistic Soundtrack - Westworld

There are so many (violent) delights in HBO’s remix of Michael Crichton's original 1973 film, but my personal favourite has to be the local saloon’s player piano knocking out the likes of Soundgarden, The Cure, and Radiohead. A lot of Radiohead.

Most Incomprehensible Accent – Alfie Solomon (Peaky Blinders)

Two seasons on from his first appearance, we are still struggling to understand a single word (assuming they are words) that comes out of Tom Hardy’s mouth.

Best Chiller - Trapped

Nothing is likely to make you appreciate the invention of central heating more than this gripping Icelandic murder mystery.

Best Dog’s Dinner – Ramsey Bolton (Game of Thrones)

No scene was more satisfying to watch this year than the bastard of Bolton being fed to his own dogs by Sansa 'Queen of the North' Stark.

Best Diamond in the Rough - 'Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster' (The X-Files)

The X-Files revival was, well, not good, but it was all worth it just so we could enjoy another trip through the weird imagination of Darin Morgan. All together now: DAAAGGOOOO!!!!

The John Munch Award for Being Exceptional Across Multiple Shows – Claire Temple (Daredevil/Luke Cage)

Look, I love Jon Bernthal's Frank Castle as much as the next person, but if any character on Netflix's Marvel series deserves their own show it is Claire freakin' Temple!


  1. I thought maybe it was a fill-in-the-blank sort of exercise. :)

    I really liked Jared Harris as King Bertie, too. And the Flash/Supergirl teamup. And Eleven. Great choices.

  2. If Darin Morgan had written all the X-Files eps for the revival, then maybe the season would have been watchable. I've never read the source material for The Magicians, but still mostly enjoyed the first season. I was confused at why they never seemed to actually attend class, though. Wasn't being at a magic school the whole point?

  3. I can't believe you could dethrone Matt Smith so easily. Stranger Things was fun, but my heart belongs to only one Eleven.

    Can't watch Planet Earth because of the possibility of cute animal death (anyone else?)

    Much love for Happy Valley and Line of Duty (both new to me, both uncoincidentally recommended to me by Mark and possibly Paul)

    I literally turn on the subtitles whenever I see Tom Hardy when watching Peaky Blinders. I don't even try anymore. He's just plain un-understandable.

    Yay for The Crown. I'd forgotten Person of Interest only ended this year. It seems like a forever ago.

  4. Mark:
    As ever, your list is full of uniqueness and wit. Loved your shout out to Darin Morgan, of course. I laughed out loud at the Tom Hardy comment.
    sunbunny, Planet Earth does at times induce death by cuteness.

  5. Great list which I scrolled through carefully to see if there was anything I haven't seen yet before reading it all. :)

  6. What a delightful, eclectic, creative list! Thank you!

  7. Lots of exciting stuff for me to check out here. Thanks Mark!


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