In the last twenty years, television has clawed its way out from beneath the detritus of hokey soap operas, and become a worthy opponent to its evil twin - film. There was a time when the term box set was bandied around at Christmas as a cheap alternative to real presents. Not an image that immediately conjured to mind sweat pants, a take away and a few sickies. It stands to reason that with such a glut of supreme television offerings, after all the medium has given us The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, The Wire, Game Of Thrones, that another export from the big screen has made the transition as well. While great villains used to be a bastion of movie land, where Darth Vader swung his lightsaber and Hannibal Lecter formerly sucked his teeth, the transition to higher quality productions and greater, more expensive writing has seen the rise of great TV villains, no longer thought to be "wasted" on the small screen. They are the yin to the good guy yang; the heros motivation to venture forth and become great. The jab in the backside for plots that wont kickstart. Theyre an essential component for creating that all-important dramatic tension, and they are thus arguably the most important element in selling great, compelling TV shows. 2014 has been good to us in terms of badness, and so far, the following demons and villains have made the small screen their own over the first half of the year.
Gem is a freelance writer, musician and librarian.
Her hobbies include: recreating movie death scenes from LEGO, concocting new types of bird suet cakes, walking on fresh snow and playing the glockenspiel - all at the same time.