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article imageDoctor Who and Sherlock Holmes in BAFTA head-to-head

By Mathew Wace Peck     May 22, 2011 in Entertainment
Matt Smith and Benedict Cumberbatch have both been nominated for "Best Actor" at tonight’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards ceremony.
Benedict Cumberbatch, 34, is up for the award for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock, the BBC’s modern-day take on the Arthur Conan Doyle legend. Meanwhile, Matt Smith, 28, is up for the same award for his part of the Doctor in the BBC’s Doctor Who. Although this is the first time that the person playing the part of the Time Lord has been nominated for a BAFTA, the series itself won the Best Drama award in 2006.
Currently, both show’s are written and produced for the BBC by Steven Moffat (Coupling) and Mark Gatiss, (The League of Gentlemen), a fact not lost on Anglophenia:
“Sherlock vs. the Doctor makes for great fodder. Both are iconic heroes re-invigorated by the punctilious pen of Steven Moffat. Both have passionate cult followings on both sides of the pond. And, yes, both have cheekbones that could slice potatoes.”
Meanwhile, speaking to Digital Spy, Gatiss said of the two: “I’m definitely rooting for Benedict and Matt, so I’ve got half of [the nominees] sewn up! It’s a very strong field [and] it’s fantastic that Matt’s been nominated – the first Doctor to be nominated for a BAFTA. There should have been many others nominated for a BAFTA, but there we go!”
And this isn’t the first occasion that Sherlock and Doctor Who have found themselves pitted against each other. In January, both shows and both lead actors were up for the same awards at ITV’s National Television Awards (NTAs). On that occasion, however, the votes were split and both lost out to other nominees.
Doctor Who has won awards at the previous five NTAs – in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010. Despite losing out to another BBC drama series, Waterloo Road, in 2011, the event still provided a first for the long-running science-fiction television drama series – the first time ever that a new Doctor Who episode was broadcast on the BBC’s rival commercial channel, ITV.
The mini-episode, NTA Cutaway, was written by Doctor Who’s showrunner, Steven Moffat. As well as starring Matt Smith as the Doctor and Dermott O’Leary as himself, it also featured appearances by June Brown (EastEnders), Bruce Forsyth (Strictly Come Dancing) and Graham Norton (Eurovision Song Contest).
Jim Broadbent – for Channel 4’s Any Human Heart – and Daniel Rigby – for his part as Eric Morecambe in the BBC’s Eric and Ernie – have also been nominated in the Best Actor category.
In the Best Drama category, Sherlock and Doctor Who are also up against E4’s Misfits – which won the award last year – BBC 4’s The Road To Coronation Street and Channel 4’s Any Human Heart.
The Philips British Academy Television Awards 2011 will be broadcast live on BBC 1 this evening, Sunday 21 May, at 8 p.m. BST (British Summer Time).
More about Doctor Who, Sherlock, BBC, BAFTA, Steven moffat
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