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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

a little bit of David Tennant

I know, I know, FlickFilosopher.com is threatening to turn into the David Tennant/Doctor Who blog. I’m sorry. I can’t help it. I haven’t felt like such — at the risk of sounding like my mother — a screaming teeny-bopper since I was a screaming teeny-bopper.

So skip this if you’re not a fan of Tennant. If you are, here’s a treat: it’s his audition for the 1994 British TV miniseries Takin’ Over the Asylum — which is just out on Region 2 DVD, and which I’ll review very soon (have I mentioned how much I love my region-free player?). It was Tennant’s big break, and it’s clear watching the actual production, 15 years later, that he was destined for great things. A highlight of the two-disc set is this audition tape, which of course would never have been included if he weren’t, you know, David Tennant(TM) today, but is so worth watching because it’s clear even from this that he was going to be a force to be reckoned with:

You can get a bit of background at DailyRecord.co.uk, a Scottish paper that is very excited about local boy Tennant making good.

[part of my “summer of David Tennant and ‘Hamlet’” series]

(Thanks to reader Deanne for pointing out the YouTube availability of this to me.)

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  • joy

    No worries, I love your DT attachment. I would blog more on him, but I’m afraid that my posts would actually be, OMG, he’s so cute, OMG, he’s totally not my type so why do I think he’s so cute, and OMG, he’s brilliant, OMG did you see what he just did?

    You, at least, sound intelligent when you write about him. :-)

    I watched all of Takin’ Over the Asylum on YT, and it was very well-done. He’s just amazing in it.

    Oh! I probably don’t even need to ask, but you’ll reviewing Hamlet, yes? (I’m seeing in it London in January, but would love to hear what you think. And then you may be able to settle a discussion I have going on who is the better actor – David Tennant or Clive Owen.)

  • angel

    I just got this myself and started watching. It’s amazing that he has so much charisma at such a young age.

    The audition is a goldmine – he just dominates everything I see him in.

    Are you still processing ‘Jouney’s End’? I can’t wrap my mind around the ending(s)yet; the fact that I’m so unsettled really says something about the writing and performances.

    PS. I couldn’t afford to go to England and its killing me!

  • Watch the video while you can — I watched a different YouTube copy but it got pulled down since.

    Or save yourself a copy. :)

  • Mo

    My word, he’s exactly the same. He’s freakishly talented now, it’s even more unsettling at 19. Once he gets going it doesn’t even seem like an audition.

    Heh… I was never even a screaming teenybopper when I was that age. Leave it to DT to turn me into one for the first time in my 20s.

    On a completely different note, has there been much coverage of the new Canadian copyright bill in the States? Apparently, if it passes, even region-free DVD players or any method of watching out of region DVDs will soon be illegal here. It’s scary.

  • MaryAnn

    Tennant wasn’t 19, he was 23 in *Asylum* (though playing a 19-year-old convincingly).

    I’ll definitely be writing about his Hamlet, though whether it’ll be an actual *review,* I don’t know.

    Mo, we don’t even get coverage in the States of the news that’s happening in the States. I haven’t heard anything about that Canadian copyright bill, but it sounds like more of the same fascist bullshit we’re dealing with here, where it’s government by corporations, for corporations, and the people be damned.

  • Mimi

    I love David Tennant, and I say this with respect for his great talent as an actor, his apparent niceness and decency as a human being, and his raging fiery hotness: that video made me think of Eddie Munster.

    Regardless, and I’ll phrase this in teeny-bopper solidarity: OMG, OMG, I [heart*] u MaryAnn, thanx 4 the link, squeeeeeee.

    On another note: I am coming to terms with the growing realization that there is no way I’m going to remain spoiler free for the end of DW4… (There was something in that Daily Record link, wasn’t there? I got a whiff and clicked away frantically.) Damn you, Internet, and my need to keep reading you.

    [*I replaced the emoticon for a heart because it was being interpreted as an html command, and screwing up the display of the text–maj]

  • Mimi

    Hmm, an effective teeny-bopper-ese filter! You could market that.

  • MaryAnn

    that video made me think of Eddie Munster.

    Hee.

    Actually, lately I’ve been seeing a resemblance between Tennant and Daniel Radcliffe. I’d love to see them together onscreen, perhaps as father and son.

  • Mimi

    Definitely a Radcliffe/Tennant resemblance. I started noticing it too and have seen it mentioned elsewhere. There’s just something – the smile? I keep thinking, wouldn’t it be great for Tennant to play grown-up Harry Potter at the very end of the last HP movie?

  • Poly in London

    “I keep thinking, wouldn’t it be great for Tennant to play grown-up Harry Potter at the very end of the last HP movie?”

    Looking something like that:
    http://blogtorwho.blogspot.com/2008/07/david-tennant-einstein-eddington.html

    (The BBC has impeccable timing providing photographic inspiration).

  • Weimlady

    Thanks for the link, Poly! Great photo. Still in a pin-striped brown suit, I see!

    Gollum will be playing Einstein? This I would have to see even if David weren’t in it! Talk about range!

  • MaryAnn

    Tennant as HP grown up? Yes please!

    Thanks for the link about *Einstein* — gonna highlight all this with a post of its own.

  • Joy

    Just want to say thanks for writing so much about David Tennant. I feel the same way so it’s great to hear all of you gush. Every time my computer wakes up from sleep mode a new photo of him pops up. And I got tickets to go to London and see Hamlet in Dec. Can’t wait. Never even been to Europe but I’m going for this and maybe throw in a visit to some recently found relatives. Can’t wait!

  • Weimlady

    Since this is becoming the pathetically besotted fangirl blog, I’ll confess here that, because of David’s love of The Proclaimers, I bought a copy of their “Best of…” CD and am listening to it now for the first time. It’s great! Good to know I like his taste in music.

    I like their original numbers, but I have to confess that the track that had me sitting here with a huge grin on my face was their cover of “King of the Road.” Yeah, the Roger Miller song. Imagine it being sung in a strong Scottish accent. Grinning again here.

    Why does a Scottish accent bring me such aural joy? Hmm, can’t imagine. :-) Just have to say that, when I replay scenes from Doctor Who in my head (or play new ones I create), I can’t seem to get the Doctor to speak in Estuary English anymore. He’s got a Scottish accent.

  • We’ve been watching Dr. Who Confidential, and I do prefer his wonderful native Scottish accent.

    Just saw “Midnight.” What a great, twisted version of “Twilight Zone” meets “Lifeboat!”

    Someone else I know slightly is going to see the Tennent Hamlet, with Patrick Stewart at Claudius! I continue to be quite jealous.

  • MaryAnn

    How insane is it that Patrick Stewart as Claudius seems like an afterthought?

  • Alison

    Completely insane.

    Remember back when ST:TNG premiered and it was supposed to be all about Riker? Not for this girl, smitten right from day one.

    Have you gotten to Kenneth Brannagh’s version yet? Love to hear how you feel Mr. Stewart’s treatment compares to the “Master” Sir Derek Jacobi.

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