most compelling TV character ever

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WildBill
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by WildBill » Mon May 07, 2018 11:24 pm

Howdy

Bugs Bunny, of course. Only Colombo and House come close.

Separately:
Bullwinkle
Boris Badunov
Natasha

I thought Rocky was sort of lame, but overall The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show was years ahead of its time.

Happy watching

W B
"Through chances various, through all vicissitudes, we make our way." Virgil, The Aeneid

scrabbler1
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by scrabbler1 » Tue May 08, 2018 7:17 am

Great thread!

Mine are:

Archie Bunker
Spock and Kirk
Picard
Oscar Madison
George Costanza
Ralph Kramden

And a few not mentioned by others......

Jack Tripper (Three's Company)
Detective Lennie Briscoe (Law & Order)
Detectives Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson (SVU)
Victor Sifuentes (L.A. Law)
Rollin Hand (Mission: Impossible)

spectec
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by spectec » Tue May 08, 2018 7:45 am

Since this is a trip down memory lane I don't feel too badly about going off track for a personal story. As a youngster, one of my favorite westerns was "Have Gun, Will Travel." (Saw an episode of it within the past few days on over-the-air tv).

For years, I was puzzled by the main character's name. I understood the connection between the chess piece and the name he went by, but I thought his first name was "Wire". In a kid's mind, that made sense. In the opening scenes, the camera zooms in on his business card, and right there at the bottom it clearly says "Wire Paladin - San Francisco".
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cheese_breath
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by cheese_breath » Tue May 08, 2018 9:16 am

spectec wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 7:45 am
Since this is a trip down memory lane I don't feel too badly about going off track for a personal story. As a youngster, one of my favorite westerns was "Have Gun, Will Travel." (Saw an episode of it within the past few days on over-the-air tv).

For years, I was puzzled by the main character's name. I understood the connection between the chess piece and the name he went by, but I thought his first name was "Wire". In a kid's mind, that made sense. In the opening scenes, the camera zooms in on his business card, and right there at the bottom it clearly says "Wire Paladin - San Francisco".
Kid's minds do strange things. Whenever the characters in the old westerns said adios I thought they were saying howdy oats.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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epicahab
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by epicahab » Tue May 08, 2018 9:34 am

For most of my childhood, I thought Jimi Hendrix was saying, "Excuse me while I kiss this guy."

CoAndy
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by CoAndy » Tue May 08, 2018 9:55 am

Al Bundy

straws46
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by straws46 » Tue May 08, 2018 10:18 am

spectec wrote: Since this is a trip down memory lane I don't feel too badly about going off track for a personal story. As a youngster, one of my favorite westerns was "Have Gun, Will Travel." (Saw an episode of it within the past few days on over-the-air tv).

For years, I was puzzled by the main character's name. I understood the connection between the chess piece and the name he went by, but I thought his first name was "Wire". In a kid's mind, that made sense. In the opening scenes, the camera zooms in on his business card, and right there at the bottom it clearly says "Wire Paladin - San Francisco".


I always wondered how Davy Crockett could have been "killed in a bar when he was only two."
I also wonder how to attach quotes to these posts.

CrossOverGuy
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by CrossOverGuy » Tue May 08, 2018 10:22 am

Livia, probably the greatest tv villainess ever, on "I, Claudius" as played by Sian Phillips. Claudius, as played by Derek Jacobi, was a wonderful character as well.

I loved Sarah, who really found her niche as a more theatrical kind of person, and who was neither upstairs nor downstairs on "Upstairs, Downstairs", played by Pauline Collins.

Hyacinth Bucket, pronounced "Bouquet" and don't you ever forget it, as played unforgettably by Patricia Routledge on "Keeping Up Appearances". Routledge is a such a great singer that she's able to sing off-key so hilariously as Hyacinth.

"Six Feet Under" had some wonderful characters: Brenda, David and Claire especially. That series had probably the greatest and most satisfying final episode ever.
Last edited by CrossOverGuy on Tue May 08, 2018 10:29 am, edited 4 times in total.

JBTX
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by JBTX » Tue May 08, 2018 10:24 am

1. Peter Dinklage (Tyrion game of thrones)
2. Hugh Laurie (House)
3. Omar - the wire
4. Tony Soprano
5. Archie Bunker
6 Alan Alda MASH
7 Charles Dance (Tywin Game of Thrones)
8 Don Draper Madmen
9 Walter white breaking bad
10. Roger Sterling Madmen
11 Gus Fring breaking bad (chicken guy )
12 Saul breaking bad
13 mike ermantraut breaking bad

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue May 08, 2018 10:59 am

JBTX wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 10:24 am
1. Peter Dinklage (Tyrion game of thrones)
2. Hugh Laurie (House)
3. Omar - the wire
4. Tony Soprano
5. Archie Bunker
6 Alan Alda MASH
7 Charles Dance (Tywin Game of Thrones)
8 Don Draper Madmen
9 Walter white breaking bad
10. Roger Sterling Madmen
11 Gus Fring breaking bad (chicken guy )
12 Saul breaking bad
13 mike ermantraut breaking bad
Mike was the best character in Breaking Bad imo. I have been sorely disappointed that "Better Call Saul" has not developed his character more.

JBTX
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by JBTX » Tue May 08, 2018 11:30 am

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 10:59 am
JBTX wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 10:24 am
1. Peter Dinklage (Tyrion game of thrones)
2. Hugh Laurie (House)
3. Omar - the wire
4. Tony Soprano
5. Archie Bunker
6 Alan Alda MASH
7 Charles Dance (Tywin Game of Thrones)
8 Don Draper Madmen
9 Walter white breaking bad
10. Roger Sterling Madmen
11 Gus Fring breaking bad (chicken guy )
12 Saul breaking bad
13 mike ermantraut breaking bad
Mike was the best character in Breaking Bad imo. I have been sorely disappointed that "Better Call Saul" has not developed his character more.
I’d probably have to agree with you. If I were to go back and re-rank I’d make some tweaks.

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bertilak
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by bertilak » Tue May 08, 2018 11:49 am

Off the top of my head...

Christopher Foyle in Foyle's War (Michael Kitchen)
Al Swearengen in Deadwood (Ian McShane, also in Lovejoy)
Walter White in Breaking Bad (Bryon Cranston)
Tony Soprano in The Sopranos (James Gandolfini)

Pairs:
Jim Rockford and Angel Martin in The Rockford Files (James Garner, Stuart Margolin)
Thomas Magnum and Jonathan Higgins in Magnum P.I. (Tom Selleck, John Hillerman also in Blazing Saddles)
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

bpp
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by bpp » Tue May 08, 2018 5:18 pm

Marvin the Paranoid Android.

LadyIJ
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by LadyIJ » Tue May 08, 2018 5:58 pm

1. Billy Bob Thornton as Billy McBride in Amazon's "Goliath"
2. Robin Weigert as Calamity Jane in "Deadwood"
3. Walt Goggins as Boyd Crowder in "Justified"

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goingup
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by goingup » Tue May 08, 2018 6:05 pm

James Spader as Alan Shore in Boston Legal (2004-2008) was pretty amazing. The dialogue he recited at trial required a lot of memorization, at the very least. Some TV characters are compelling without much speaking, but to be articulate and compelling takes some skill.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue May 08, 2018 7:20 pm

LadyIJ wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 5:58 pm
1. Billy Bob Thornton as Billy McBride in Amazon's "Goliath"
2. Robin Weigert as Calamity Jane in "Deadwood"
3. Walt Goggins as Boyd Crowder in "Justified"
I did not see Billy Bob Thornton, but the other two nominations are excellent!

ralph124cf
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by ralph124cf » Tue May 08, 2018 7:24 pm

Matt Dillon.

OK, I'm showing my age.

Ralph

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Nicolas
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by Nicolas » Tue May 08, 2018 7:31 pm

Deleted
Last edited by Nicolas on Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:23 am, edited 4 times in total.
De gustibus non est disputandum.

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bertilak
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by bertilak » Tue May 08, 2018 7:34 pm

ralph124cf wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 7:24 pm
Matt Dillon.

OK, I'm showing my age.

Ralph
Re Matt Dillon: Miss Kitty Russell (Amanda Blake) also had a commanding presence. Perhaps I was impressed by a woman who ran a brothel -- right on TV! Although that was not made explicit, I could tell even at my tender age.
Last edited by bertilak on Tue May 08, 2018 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nicolas
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by Nicolas » Tue May 08, 2018 7:36 pm

CrossOverGuy wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 10:22 am
Hyacinth Bucket, pronounced "Bouquet" and don't you ever forget it, as played unforgettably by Patricia Routledge on "Keeping Up Appearances". Routledge is a such a great singer that she's able to sing off-key so hilariously as Hyacinth.
Great show, I prefer Onslow over Hyacinth. I identify with him more, my kinda guy. Sadly the actor died in 2012.

It seems a lot of British television deals with the class system over there, either poking fun at it such as in this show and others, or dealing with it dramatically such as in Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey.
De gustibus non est disputandum.

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cheese_breath
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by cheese_breath » Tue May 08, 2018 9:33 pm

Ross Poldark (Poldark)

Lone Ranger (The Lone Ranger)
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MandyT
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by MandyT » Wed May 09, 2018 4:44 pm

All hail Hypnotoad!

Dottie57
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by Dottie57 » Wed May 09, 2018 7:22 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 5:57 pm
John Spencer as The West Wing’s Leo McGarry
Would say West Wing was my most compelling TV show.
All characters nominated

Doroghazi
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by Doroghazi » Fri May 11, 2018 8:19 am

Captain Jean Luc Picard of the starship Enterprise.

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samsoes
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by samsoes » Fri May 11, 2018 9:42 am

Mark Lenard as Ambassador Sarek (Spock's father).

I quoted him recently in a conversation about a very argumentative person:

"Tellrites do not argue for reason. They simply argue."
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cheese_breath
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by cheese_breath » Fri May 11, 2018 11:04 am

Vena Ray (Rocky Jones, Space Ranger)

Most of you have never heard of Vena Ray, but she sure was compelling to a certain teenage boy in full puberty in the 1950s.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

bearcub
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by bearcub » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:59 am

Thing From the Adam"s Family. Quiet + happy most of the tome. Lived a minimalist lifestyle in a box. Mrs.Howell (Lovie) from Gilligan"s Island. She was marvolous even while stuck on an island. Otis from Andy Griffeth Show. Only character married on the show. No job,get loaded when he wanted, and escape wife whenever he wanted to by locking himself in jail. lol. Some people just know how to live. Wonder if the Howells invested their millions in index funds? Hmm...

FIBoston
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by FIBoston » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:16 am

Dwight Schrute is the single greatest TV character ever created.

mouses
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by mouses » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:28 am

Susan Oliver as the Orion slave girl. Also a fascinating life, see if you can find one of the rare copies of her autobiography Odyssey: A Daring Transatlantic Journey.

Majel Barrett, in any of her Star Trek roles.

bondsr4me
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by bondsr4me » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:45 am

ralph124cf wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 7:24 pm
Matt Dillon.

OK, I'm showing my age.

Ralph
+1

we still watch Gunsmoke every evening. we record all the programs throughout the day.

I will still watch The Lone Ranger when my wife ain't around.

Of course, who could ever forget Popeye, Mighty Mouse, Superman, Porky Pig, Mickey Mouse...and on and on.

I also like watching the FBI with Robert Stack...and Red Skelton and Jackie Gleason.

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rosylenm
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by rosylenm » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:04 am

Mr. Rogers

Mr. Snuffleupagus

Omar Little

Quinn King

Walter White

xenochrony
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by xenochrony » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:39 am

Al Bundy as most compelling

Jerry & Cosmo tied for second (Seinfeld)

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JamalJones
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by JamalJones » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:25 pm

In no particular order:

1. Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld)
2. Wayne and Garth (Saturday Night Live)
3. Cosmo Cramer (Seinfeld)
4. Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones)
5. Debbie Downer (Saturday Night Live)
6. Arya Stark (Game of Thrones)
7. C. Montgomery Burns (The Simpsons)
8. Michael Scott (The Office)
9. Al Bundy (Married with Children)
10. Lord Varys (Game of Thrones)
11. Gus Fring (Breaking Bad)
12. Dom Draper (Madmen)
13. Rick Sanchez (Rick and Morty)
14. Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones)
15. Dr. Gregory House (House)
16. June Osborne (The Handmaid's Tale)\
17. Dr. Cliff Huxtable (The Cosby Show)
18. Matt Foley (Saturday Night Live)
19. Roger Smith (American Dad)
20. Tony Soprano (The Sapranos)
21. Mr. Tarkanian (Saturday Night Live)
22. Homer Simpson (The Simpsons)
23. Thomas Shelby (Peaky Blinders)
24. Violet Crawley (Downton Abbey)

** I only watched one season of the Wire (the one where they concentrated on the news paper reporters)
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friar1610
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by friar1610 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:00 pm

While I agree with many of these, especially Omar (The Wire) and Jane Tennyson (Prime Suspect), I can't believe nobody has mentioned Rev Jim "Iggy" Ignatowski from Taxi, played by Christopher Lloyd.
Friar1610

bloom2708
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:26 pm

xenochrony wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:39 am
Al Bundy as most compelling

Jerry & Cosmo tied for second (Seinfeld)
I have an honorable mention:

Bo from the TV show Superstore. Played by Johnny Pemberton.

Not in the same category but quite the character.
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scrabbler1
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by scrabbler1 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:15 pm

xenochrony wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:39 am
Al Bundy as most compelling

Jerry & Cosmo tied for second (Seinfeld)
Favorite Al Bundy lines:

"Four weddings and a funeral? That's 5 of the same thing!" (gotta think about that one...…)

After Peggy told him (as punishment) he could forget about ever having sex with her again: "I already have!"

five2one
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by five2one » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:19 pm

Just one? Not possible as lots offer unique traits good for a variety of situations.

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tennisplyr
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by tennisplyr » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:46 am

Ray Romano (Everyone Loves Raymond)
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Scrapr
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by Scrapr » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:46 pm

tennisplyr wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:46 am
Ray Romano (Everyone Loves Raymond)
and Men of a Certain Age

jrmillions
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by jrmillions » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:09 pm

Arnold Horshack

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tcassette
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by tcassette » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:15 pm

The best character from the best series: Basil Fawlty.

ScubaHogg
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by ScubaHogg » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:52 pm

Walter White hands down (Breaking Bad). Went from being a hero to an antihero thru a series of semi (at the time) reasonable decisions.

InvisibleAerobar
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Re: Re:

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:01 pm

finite_difference wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 8:00 pm
1. Poirot
2. Spock
3. Jean-Luc Picard
4. Snoop (The Wire)
5. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly)
6. Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones)
7. Saul Goodman (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul)
8. Piper Chapman (Orange Is the New Black)
9. Starbuck (Battlestar Gallactica)
10. David Tennant (Dr. Who)

Many of those shows have many stand-out characters.
For #4, I really liked Howard Colvin (the police commander who started "Hamsterdam") and Namond Brice. In a Zafkaesque world, they seemed to be two of the few with their heads stuck on right. Prez also gets a honorable mention. Something about redemption stories in a sea of misery make them stand out. In that vein Bubbles, too.

For #7, I'd also add Saul's brother Charles McGill, played by the supremely capable Michael McKean. While I didn't like Skylar's character in breaking bad, I absolutely loathe Chuck McGill. A self-righteous back-stabbing hypocrite of the first order, all the while going senile. Would give both Iago and King Lear a run for their money. And the thing is, McKean played the character so well that none of it appears outlandish. That's some talented acting. Dude deserves an Emmy.

For #10, I'd favor Capaldi over Tennant, purely for gravitas. Tennant's doctor is like the cool kid in high school, somehow manages to piss off all the bullies only the show them up and exits stage left while moon-walking. That haughtiness and arrogance got unbearable at times, and it felt like they didn't tap Tennant's full potential. I like Tennant in other roles, but I'd put him as my least favorite new-Who doctor. Which is too bad, as Tennant has serious acting chops.

As for Capaldi, there's just so much humanity despite the weariness. Series 8 was okay, but way too grumpy; Series 9 was great for all except one episode; and Series 10 was average, but ended on a cracker of a two-part series. So many stand-out performances, including: Heaven Sent (talk about a one-man monologue for 45 minutes); World Enough and Time; The Doctor Falls; Zygon Inversion; and Last Christmas. I started by watching the Matt Smith episodes, followed by the Tennant and Eccleston episodes. I really liked the dynamic of Smith's Doctor, Amy, and Rory, but for pure acting chops given the proper screenplay, Capaldi's character stands out over the rest.

bowtie
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by bowtie » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:20 pm

As long as we are listing Jean Luc Picard, I'll add "Q" and Data.

Freefun
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by Freefun » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:36 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 6:56 pm
Monk, Lou Grant, Emma Peel
Emma Peel +1 (loved that Avengers show)
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

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knpstr
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by knpstr » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:55 pm

FIBoston wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:16 am
Dwight Schrute is the single greatest TV character ever created.
+100
:beer
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Green Street
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by Green Street » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:08 pm

Rick Sanchez (Rick and Morty)
Francis Underwood (House of Cards)
The Man In Black (Westworld)
Walter White (Breaking Bad)
Michael Scofield (Prison Break)
Rustin Cohle (True Detective)
Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones)
Arya Stark (Game of Thrones)
Harvey Specter (Suits)
Searching Through The FiRE

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cheese_breath
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by cheese_breath » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:10 pm

Mork (Mork and Mindy)
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

DonDraper
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by DonDraper » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:31 pm

Fonzie(Happy Days)
Chris(Get A Life)

bowtie
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Re: most compelling TV character ever

Post by bowtie » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:06 pm

:happy just learned Patrick Stewart's reprising his role as Picard for a new TV series ....a surprise appearance and announcement by him at the star trek Vegas convention this weekend appeared in the news ......

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