Richard Armitage is among the most brilliant actors I've ever seen. He creates and plays a diverse range of characters, each totally real, nuanced and layered. Armitage never plays the same type of role twice. I first saw him in North and South, as John Thornton - an 1850s cotton mill owner. A hard, ruthless business man with ethics and a deeply-hidden heart, Thornton revealed himself only through time and hardship. As John Standring in Sparkhouse, Armitage played a shy, almost inarticulate farm worker, who seemed to disappear into himself, As the piece goes on, though, he shows himself to be generous, courageous and willing to risk everything for those he loves.
I would watch anything Richard Armitage chose to act in. He is someone who always gives more than you expect.