The Killing Times Awards 2020 – Best Actor

And now for the big ones.

Those who were lucky enough to land leading roles in crime drama series really excelled.

From serial killers to conflicted coppers, the sheer diversity was astounding. And, as leading men, they all brought with them intense charisma.

Let’s get to it!

David Tennant
Des, ITV

How could we not have David Tennant in this list? Playing notorious serial killer Dennis Nilsen, Tennant ably captured his understated magneticism and manipulative charisma. In fact, whenever Tennant was on the screen as Nilsen, you couldn’t keep your eyes off him.

Lennie James
Save Me Too, Sky Atlantic

Back for a second series of the dark-as-night noir, Save Me, Nelly Rowe was back at his lyrical and conflicted best. Whereas series one portrayed a failed father given a Herculean task to save his kidnapped daughter, series two took us into unexpected, clever territory. Nelly was now an obsessed man, whose purpose had now been warped and perverted. At the centre of it all was James, still a loveable rogue but with a darker edge.

Waleed Zuaiter
Baghdad Central, Channel 4

Channel 4’s Baghdad Central provided an intriguing twist on the good old procedural. It told the story of Inspector Muhsin Kadr al-Khafaji, who was plunged into a nightmare when his eldest daughter was kidnapped and at large in war-torn Iraq. Zauiter was magnificent as al-Khafaji – at once wily and determined, as well as kind and paternal.

Ville Virtanen
Bordertown, Netflix

Over three series, Virtanen has made Kari Sorjonen his own. A fidgety, Asperger’s-afflicted policeman who has the deductive powers of a modern-day, Finnish version of Sherlock Holmes, the third and final series saw Virtanen add emotional depth to a character that has always struggled when it comes to showing his emotions.

Matthew Rhys
Perry Mason, HBO/Sky Atlantic

To take on the classic character Perry Mason was one thing, but to turn him into a beaten, disheveled private eye in Depression-era America was entirely another. But, of course, Matthew Rhys pulled it off with ease. This new Mason was boozy, masochistic and downtrodden, but his journey to redemption was quite something.

And the winner is…

READ MORE: THE KILLING TIMES BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR 2020

READ MORE: THE KILLING TIMES BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS 2020

READ MORE: OUR BEST CRIME DRAMAS OF THE YEAR

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