|DON’T take this the wrong way, but I've been thinking rather a lot lately about David Tennant. That's because I've decided he may well be my favourite actor |THE BEST: Mike Ward is asking: is there anyone better than Mr Tennant? [GETTY]
Obviously this is quite weird of me, considering I'm a grown man.
Having “favourite” people of any kind (as opposed to, say, a favourite pie, which is fine) is something you really should grow the hell out of when you're about 12, like skateboarding or wearing a replica football shirt with an actual footballer's name on it.
But the thing is, I've been given a sneak preview of Tennant's fine new BBC1 drama The Escape Artist (I say “sneak preview”, I've actually seen all but the final episode) and it's got me thinking: is there anything this guy has been less than brilliant in?
Obviously there's bound to have been, at some point or other in his acting career – possibly in a school play, when he landed the part of Princess Anne or a bus stop – but what I mean is the relatively recent stuff.
Tennant found fame as Dr Who [PA]
Doctor Who, The Politician’s Husband, Broadchurch, this new show of his: it’s only just dawned on me, David Tennant is consistently superb.
Now, I’m not normally one to bang on about actors and their performing techniques etc., on the basis that (a) I don't consider myself even remotely qualified to do so, and (b) it’s pretty bloody boring.
But I do think there’s something about David Tennant that’s worth pointing out, namely the fact that he's never less than 100 per cent convincing, whether he’s playing a cop, a time traveller, an ex-cabinet minister or, as in the case of this new show, a barrister.
That, plus whatever part he takes on, he hooks you in so effortlessly – almost hypnotically – that you instantly erase all memories of his previous roles. He’s like acting’s answer to Paul McKenna.
ANSWER: Is Tennant actings answer to Paul McKenna? [GETTY]
You never think, ooh, why's Doctor Who solving a seaside murder, or why is Casanova rather weirdly taking on the Cybermen? It just never occurs to you. Or at least, it doesn't to me.
In The Escape Artist, which kicks off shortly on BBC1, Tennant plays Will Burton, a talented junior barrister with a knack for getting his clients off the hook – a skill in high demand, as you can imagine, but one which is about to backfire on him in the most horrific fashion.
I can't go into too much detail or else I’ll give away vital bits of plot and significant twists, and a representative from the BBC Drama department will have to come round to my house and kill me, which I always find really annoying.
But trust me when I tell you it’s an excellent, gripping and often shocking story which will have you both horrified and hooked.
And trust me, too, when, I tell you that at no point will Tennant's characters from Broadchurch, Doctor Who etc., spring to mind.
USUAL: Tennant was at his usual brilliant best in Broadchurch earlier this year [ITV]
|“Doctor Who, The Politician’s Husband, Broadchurch, this new show of his: it’s only just dawned on me, David Tennant is consistently superb” |
As I say, he’s got that supreme knack of engaging you entirely in the here and now.
What's especially remarkable about this is that he doesn't rely on obvious things such as wigs, make-up, costumes, daft accents and such like.
Other then sometimes switching from his native Scottish accent to an English one, the way he most notably did in Doctor Who, or wearing his hair slightly floppier, or occasionally sporting a couple of millimetres of stubble, the Tennant we see in every role is nigh on identical, visually speaking.
Which means that he’s hooking us in with sheer acting talent alone.
Like I say, sheer genius.
NEW ROLE: The talented actor in his new role in legal thriller The Escape Artist [BBC]
Also, the bloke is a master at switching from the matter-of-fact to the utterly barmy and terrifying.
Before things get seriously scary in The Escape Artist (and that's something of an understatement, by the way), his character is seen very much as a happy family man.
There's a scene at the start where his biggest frustration is getting the dishwasher to start – or more to the point, failing to – and while I'd personally have been happy for this to be the basis of the entire series (for me, there aren't nearly enough TV dramas about domestic appliance breakdowns), what it actually does is demonstrate how Tennant can so effortlessly move from one extreme to the other, performance-wise.
It was actually one of the best aspects of his time as Doctor Who, although I failed to truly appreciate this at the time because I’m an idiot.
So anyway, that's pretty much all I wanted to report, really.
A slightly random post of mine, I grant you, especially as The Escape Artist hasn't even started yet, but sometimes these things need to be said.
And besides, I consider it my professional duty as a TV critic to alert you to really good stuff that's coming up, rather than just to go, ooh, that programme was crap, and so was that one, and so was that one, and aren't I a clever old smartarse for pointing it out.
The Escape Artist starts at 9pm on BBC1 on Tuesday night, runs for a nicely manageable three weeks and, yep, features David Tennant in typically blistering form.
He’s my favourite actor, did I tell you that?
And my favourite pie, since you ask, is steak and kidney.