you could see
potential for a depth and chameleon ability
rationalise a character..."
So it's not Sean Pertwee. It's not Eddie, nor
Robert Lindsay and it's not David Collings, and Helen Mirren was probably never
in the frame. Don't even mention Richard E. Grant. We can now focus on a new
David Tennant, welcome aboard.
It was predictable, really, since his ascension
into the Russell T Davies' 'repertory
company' of actors following his role in CASANOVA. Predictable
and welcome but doesn't it spark the imagination in the way that Christopher
Eccleston's announcement caused in 2004, does it? I cannot help but ask; "What
can Tennant do to match, let alone exceed, the depth and diversity that Eccleston
brought to the role?" He's
got an unimaginable mammoth task and the fact that he is willing to take on the
challenge indicates that he is strong individual and confident actor.
In a way he is in the same seemingly unenviable
position that Troughton faced in 1966. William Hartnell has garnered a level
of 'love' and appreciation from
viewers and a change in personnel would always cause some viewer concern, or
even backlash. Unfortunately, the backlash has started, predominantly in the
American website, OutpostGallifrey, with correspondents criticising
Tennant, his ability to act and his unsuitability for the role.
Derogatory comments even before one frame of the second series has even been
filmed. DOCTOR WHO fan need to relax and chill out.
David Tennant has had a meteoric rise to this zenith (surely the role of DOCTOR
WHO is one of television's pinnacle roles?), with a number of connections to
the CLASSIC SERIES.
A self-confessed DOCTOR
WHO fan (good on
you!), Tennant has taken minor roles for BIG FINISH and immediately you could
see (read: 'hear') a potential for a
depth and chameleon ability to rationalise a character. Two keynote roles being 'Daft
Jamie' (opposite Colin Baker in MEDICINAL PURPOSES) and ' Galanar' (in Nick Briggs'
DALEK EMPIRE 3 series. Both roles, if in the hands of a lesser or naïve
actor, could have been overtly 'comic' but Tennant deftly produces characters
with which you can emphasis.
His recent television work has been varied but
measured, calculated to develop his art. Naturally, CASANOVA has
been his breaktheough, mainstream role (with four million viewers tuning in)
but more interestingly so are is roles in THE
QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT (shown live on BBC3), the gritty contemporary
drama, BLACKPOOL and a BBC period drama, HE KNEW HE
WAS RIGHT (as Reverend Gibson, with Bill Nighy).
Add to that time with the Royal Shakespeare Company (Romeo and Juliet, The
Rivals and The Comedy of Errors), and the BBC2 comedy, PEOPLE
LIKE US and you
can judge that he has an unnerving hunger for trial-and-error in his career.
In fact, DOCTOR WHO will give him an opportunity, within just 13 episodes, everything
that his career has given so far to date. Gritty; contemporary; period; humour;
love and passion. A rollercoaster role.
The series has been a critical success with viewers and critics alike, the
executive team remaining the same (as does a co-star that has to been critically
welcomed) and a commitment by BBC1 to its new, biggest hit so Tennant's safety
net is stretched taut and a fall from grace seems unlikely. Thankfully.
We're all nervous about a new Doctor but that's part of the fun.
We get our first chance to see David Tennant
in Christmas Eve's hour-long special, THE CHRISTMAS INVASION. The only thing
we have worry about is Jackie Tyler; what is she going to say? Add to that (new)
Cybermen, Queen Victoria, a race of evil Cat Women, the alien Sycorax, and an
appearance of an 'old' Doctor.
Break a leg, David - don't worry about the
fans, and enjoy the part.