For many, Christopher Eccleston is one of those actors who people tend to forget about until he turns up in a movie with the unbridled intention of showing them what real acting actually looks like. That he hasn't quite established himself as a constant presence or force in Hollywood goes without saying - he's better-defined by the variable and unpredictable nature of his work. One minute Eccleston might turn up as the villain in a huge blockbuster, and then all of sudden he's treading the boards somewhere, or helming a brand new mini-series for American television.
What remains consistent, though, is Eccleston's stature as an actor of undeniable talent, confidence and respectability. A true thespian in every sense of the word, there have been very few instances of this deftly underrated actor phoning it in for a quick buck, though there are certainly performances that one could argue fall into such a category. Truth is, though, as with so many unconventional actors trying to find their place (or is it unconventional-looking actors?), there's a sense that Hollywood doesn't know exactly where to put somebody like Eccleston.
It's not unfair to suggest that Christopher Eccleston remains best-known for his brief turn as Doctor Who and less for his motion picture roles, then, many of which have gone relatively unnoticed. But it's impossible to ignore Eccleston's filmography entirely - small as it is, over the course of his career, he has gifted movie-goers with performances that might best be described as "masterful" (even if some of them only amount to extended cameos).
To celebrate his villainous role in Marvel's newest offering, Thor: The Dark World, released this week, join us as we take a look at 5 awesome and 5 not so awesome Eccleston performances....