With the shortlist for the National Television Awardsannounced and the online voting now open, ahead of the awards’ evening at theO2 Arena in London on 21st January, 2015, there has been a majorshock already in one of the categories, with the news that Peter Capaldi’s portrayalof Doctor Who has not been deemed good enough for the top drama performance. DoctorWho does however merit inclusion in the “Drama” category. It is the first timeDoctor Who’s main character has not been part of the shortlist since the BBCrevived the popular science fiction show.

Capaldi had some boots to fill inthat respect though, given that Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and MattSmith, the most recent ‘Doctor’s, have all won at the awards’ ceremony in thepast.

The four names that did make it on to the shortlist forthe award represent a fine array of acting talent in their own right though,with the multi-award winning and globally acknowledged, Dame Maggie Smith forher role in Downton Abbey being a stand-out nominee. However, given that shefaces competition from no less than Sarah Lancashire (“Happy Valley”), SheridanSmith (“Cilla”) and Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock”), then the category is atough one to call.

There had been some concern when Capaldi was announced asthe new Doctor Who and appeared for the first time during the summer in therole, as to how the devout followers of the show, especially the younger fans,would take to an older version of the character. It seemed at first to be anawkward pairing with the much younger Jenna Coleman as his assistant (althoughthe term barely fits the role), Clara, after her association and chemistry withMatt Smith. Before that, Tennant dovetailed almost perfectly with Rose Tyler asplayed by Billie Piper.

Capaldi was almost a step back some thought to theDoctors of the distant past such as Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton or evenWilliam Hartnell, an older and one might say wiser (re-)incarnation. As the newseries has progressed though and the audience have begun to recognise Capaldi’sundoubted talents as an actor of depth, there has perhaps been a gradualwarming to him in the part, but clearly not enough for the panel to include himin the shortlist this time. Having said that, younger viewers may still hankerafter the return of Tennant, who seemed to make the part his own during hisspell as the aging Time Lord.

With fifteencategories to vote for and awards to be presented on the night, it promises tobe a star studded (if lengthy) homage to those stars and shows who haveentertained the viewers during the past year. 
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