November 30, 2012

In March of 2011 a six year old boy called Jack Henderson became an internet sensation when people and the press heard about his campaing to raise money for the Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.  His charity called Jack Draws Anything raised £31,000 in eight months by taking requests for drawings and sending them in the mail.  He drew an astonishing 536 pictures with the help of his brothers.  His two year old brother Noah gets treated at the hospital for his breathing problems.  He used a total of 314 pens, 162 crayons and 96 pencils on 2,144 sheets of paper. 

Several celebrities requested drawings including David - this is what Jack drew for him and the autograph David sent back:




This is Jack's explanation of the drawing from his website Jackdrawsanything.com:

Thank you to Sara and the guys at Hodder Childrens Books they managed to speak to David as he did a voiceover session for an upcoming book. He had not heard of Jack draws anything but once he found out more, he was more than happy to get involved. David has kindly requested a picture of a Scottish Dragon.
As you can see Jack made it blue & white like the Scotland Flag with traditional Scottish ginger hair. Finally the dragon's eye is red and yellow, like the other Scotland flag - the Lion Rampant

A huge thank you to David for his support and for making a little boy (and Mum), SUPER MEGA happy!.

November 29, 2012

On October 14, 2005 the Doctor Who crew hosted a Galactic Dinner and auction of Doctor Who memorabilia  in aid of Children in Need. David, Billie Piper,Camille Coduri, Noel Clarke, Russel T Davies, Phil Collinson and Julie Gardner were there and even a Dalek and the TARDIS. The evening was held at the MacDonald Holland House Hotel in Cardiff, a black tie affair included a pre-dinner drink reception and a three course meal for guests. The evening started at 7:30 and in addition to the auction there was a Q & A session for the fans and a raffle, tickets cost £100 a head.  Everyone also got a goodie bag filled with Doctor Who items and they were able to fill out a request to get a signed Christmas card from David and Billie.

David and Billie arrived together to the event and guests had to sign in before being allowed to enter.  All of the tables were assigned, like a wedding, and named after characters in the show.  Also, just like a wedding, all of the cast were lined up to greet the guests as the entered and each table had free bottles of wine.

The menu items all had a Doctor Who name - First course was a veg­etable pâté called Veg­etable Ter­rine Cas­san­dra in a Bal­samic Mois­turiser. The main course was rump steak named  The Mighty Rump of Jagrafess in Mas­car­pone, with the Veg­eta­bles of Cheem.  And for veg­e­tar­i­ans, Pump­kin Autons and for the dessert, Par­fait Mar­garet in a Slith­een Sauce and cof­fee with the Mints of Balhoon.

The  Mas­ter of Cer­e­monies the evening, BBCWales’ Jason Mohammed, announced how far all of the fans had come for the evening, some from as far as Jersey and Canada. Radio Wales even ran a contest for a lucky fan to win a pair of tickets and an overnight stay.

The event raised £20,000 pounds for the charity, which included one bid of £4,000 raised by the auction with Davies acting as the auctioneer.

"We always knew it was going to be a fantastic event, but it exceeded all our expectations," said David. "Everyone had an amazing night. Thank you so much to all the generous people who were there raising so much money," said Billie.

Menna Richards, controller of BBC Wales, said: "The Doctor Who team made a fantastic contribution towards raising a huge sum of money for Children in Need.

"But they couldn't have done it without the amazing support of all those Doctor Who fans who bid for prizes and gave so much money to the event." 


November 28, 2012

We all know the story of how David wheedled his way onto the cast of Scream of teh Shalka in 2003 he has a cameo as Caretaker 2, but did you know that DWM writer Benjamin Cook was there on the day, interviewing Richard E Grant!  Here is an excerpt from his article that appeared in DWM 336:

This was the second day of a five day recording session at Soundhouse Recording Studios, West London.

3:00pm Here's a familiar face - David Tennant spots me in the car park and says an enthusiastic hello. We met a few weeks earlier at the recording of Big Finish's Sympathy for the Devil. Apparently, he's recording a Radio 4 adaptation of Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents; when David found out that Doctor Who was being recorded in the studio next door, he sweet-talked Wilson Milam into giving him a cameo role. "I play Caretaker Two," he says proudly. "It's very hard not to get excited. I would kill to do more of these." David is a fully-fledged, card-carrying Doctor Who fan. "My granny even knitted me a long Tom Baker scarf. And a cricket jumper! I used to jump around the back garden making up my own stories! As I got older, I'd make up my own seasons!" In the back garden? "Yeah - casting myself in all the parts. Oh God, how embarrassing."

November 27, 2012

As soon as David became the new Doctor reporters were asking him how long he was going to stay in the role and the press was constantly speculating when his time would be up.

In 2007 this article ran in The Scotsman:

"Tennant is currently starring as the Time Lord in the third series of the new Doctor Who and the show will be back for series four - but Tennant has refused to reveal whether he will return in the lead role.

But undoubtedly there will soon come a time when fear of stagnation will lead Tennant to shuffle off his mortal coil in Dr Who's umpteenth regeneration. He will be a hard act to follow but somebody will have to do it - and the bookies are already taking bets on his successor.

Irish bookies Paddy Power make another Scot, Robert Carlyle, their 5-2 favourite for the role, with Liverpudlian actor David Morrisey of Viva Blackpool second best at 4-1. Jason Statham of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is also at 4-1, but his ambitions lie in Hollywood.

Richard E Grant is quoted at 6-1 and the Withnail and I star would be an eccentric Doctor in the Tom Baker mould. So, too, would be Stephen Fry, a 10-1 shot.


Hard-man former footballer Vinnie Jones is 20-1 while Ricky Gervais is the outsider at 66s, though his stint in Night at the Museum showed he could handle any role.

But for an inspired piece of time-travel casting, why not try 10-1 shot John Simm, soon to finish his stint as Sam Tyler in the brilliant Life on Mars. He's handled going back 30 years just fine, so Simm could well be the man to take the Doctor character back and forth through the centuries." - April 8, 2007


Sound of Drums wouldn't air for another couple of months so John certainly got his time on Doctor Who just not as the Doctor.  Richard E Grant has already been the Doctor in Scream of the Shalka and in the Red Nose Day sketch Curse of the Fatal Death.  Also to be fair David Morrisey was the Doctor - for a least half an episode and Ricky Gervais got to be a Doctor Who villain in his series Extras.

November 26, 2012

On August 17, 2005 after appearing on the BBC children's show Blue Peter David continued taking questions off the air in an online chat on CBBC Star Chat:

What do you do between takes?
 

OOH, it depends on the scene...sometimes you have a cup of tea with others you are rehearsing with. I eat a lot. They have table with food that you graze on.

What sort of books and TV programmes did you like when you were little? Did you like Doctor Who?
 

I did watch it. I used to get the annual and everything I remember I read the Famous Five for a while. I liked Blake Seven also, but you wont remember that.

What is your favourite Doctor Who monster?
 

My favourite is the Sickorax

Christopher Eccleston played the doctor with a northern accent, why did you decide against using your accent for the doctor?
 

You’ll find out at Christmas, listen carefully.

Is your outfit you wear for Doctor Who anything like your normal clothes?
 

My shoes are my own shoes because we wanted some old and battered, but we really wanted to get a pair of genuine battered shoes, so they are my own. I do have a pinstriped suit too.

Why do you think you were chosen to play the doctor?
 

You will have to ask them why! The producers that is!

What other actor who played Doctor Who did you take inspiration from to play your own Doctor?
 

All of them and none of them. I don’t think you can set out to copy people, you have to do it your own way I have seen what they do, and I admire them all...I’m scared by the monsters..

If you could keep a companion from the original series to join the TARDIS crew, who would it be?
 

The one I most fondly remember was Elizabeth Sladen...she was the Rose of her day!

What would you do if you weren’t acting?
 

If I wasn’t doing acting, I wouldn’t be doing anything else.

Did you always really want to play the doctor?
 

How can I not do this it is a great part...it is surreal.
We are only just into filming...it is all really surreal at the moment, I don’t want to tell you.

If you had a time machine where would you go?
 

I’d go back to the actual opening night of a Will Shakespeare play, I’d get him to sign an original copy of his scripts then come back and sell them on eBay. I’d make a fortune.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened on set?
I have fallen over a fair bit...you forget your lines. Nothing too appauling. We have nine months of filming...watch this space.

Would you like to do a story with Sylvester so both Scottish doctors can appear in the same story?
That would be strange to have two generations facing each other.

What was your first day on set like?
My first day was great...a bit scary. Everything evolves as you go. You are making decisions and it develops as you go. Once you get on the floor, lots happens.

Who is you best friend in the cast or crew?
I am saying nothing. I don’t know. They are all lovely.

When did you start acting?
Not really till I went to drama school. NO! That’s not true! When I was 16 I did an episode of Dramarama on Scottish TV.

Did you have any actor heros?
Lots. Tom Baker, I grew up loving his performance. Lots of fantastic actors.

What has been the highlight so far, watching Doctor Who?
What a great job, you get to say the best lines. All of it.

Which doctor’s fashion sense do you like the best?
Mine! No, they have all been good. Mine is the best.

Thanks for coming along! I loved speaking to you all!

Many thanks to Lydia for typing up the transcript for us.


If you missed the live chat, David answered lots of your questions during rehearsals too, read what he had to say:

Could you give me some tips on getting started as an actor?
(From: Mimi, age 11)
 

I think lots of actors get into it the business in different ways. For me, I went to normal school and then I went to drama school, so there is no big rule about how to become an actor.

What do you like best about starring in 'Doctor Who'?
(From: Imogen, age 10, Liskeard)
 

I've only just started really, so it's early days but it's all been great fun. I'm the new boy now so I'm just getting to know everybody. They've all been very welcoming so far.

Who is the character that you are enjoying working with the most?
(From: Charlotte, Port Talbot)
 

Well as I said it's early days but I'm having a great time with Billie Piper, she's the best assistant a doctor could ask for!

Can you tell us about some of the new villains that will be in the new series?
(From: Ben, age 10)
 

Well, there are the Cybermen coming up later on who older viewers might remember from the series way back. In the Christmas special we've got a new race of villains to deal with too but that's all I'm saying...

If you were really the Doctor, would you be scared if you came face-to-face with the Daleks?
(From: Claire, age 11)
 

The Doctor is always scared but the bravest thing is not to show it.

Are all of the monsters and aliens scary up close?
(From: Joshua, Belfast)
 

Terrifying, yeah! Amazing! The special effects team and the prosthetics team do some amazing jobs.

What was your favourite scene to act in so far?
(From: Bob, age 7)
 

I don't want to give anything away about the plot, so you'll have to tune in to find out.

How long does it take to make an episode?
(From: Patrick, age 11)
 

It takes between 3-4 weeks to film and then months of adding in special effects and sounds, so it's a long drawn out process but worth it.

Have you enjoyed being on Blue Peter?
(From: Alex, age 8)
 

Yes, I've had a fantastic time. It's been a great day

November 25, 2012

I know that this post will make you all fume - it did me - buy everyone is entitled to an opinion even if it is soooooo very wrong! 

David has mentioned that he had seen that comment about looking like a weasel - that's what stopped him from looking at what fans thought.  Time and David's performance have proved both that fan and George so very wrong - perhaps it should have been pointed out to Mr. Kerevan that David was a respected theatre actor and had been for years and was certainly better know for his theatre work and for Blackpool and Casanova that DODG, which had only started to be broadcast in June of '05! Also as a newspaperman he should know that no one ever calls themselves a heart throb - the press does that!

Oh and one more thing - not only were the Daleks impressed so was the rest of the UK and many,.many fans in the US, Canada, Australia and the rest of the world. David is the most beloved Doctor since Tom Baker. Just ask anyone - oh except George Kerevan!

Taken from an article in The Scotman - Saturday, August 6, 2005
Author: GEORGE KEREVAN


Hate: The new Doctor: David Who? It's an alien insurrection

"So it is with the cruel announcement that Scottish actor David Tennant - misguidedly referred to as a "heart throb" - is replacing that genuine alien, Christopher Eccleston, as the Doctor.

But the return of the Doctor proved a super nova (including Piper's acting). The plots were up to their historic best, the Daleks more frightening than ever. And Eccleston emerged as a candidate for the best-ever Doctor if only he could hang on a couple of seasons to own the part.

Then disaster struck just as if the Master had interfered yet again with time itself. Eccleston had quit because he did not want to be typecast - too late, Christopher - and BBC Cardiff had found a replacement.

And who did we get to play the greatest alien in the universe? The being we need to save Earth? The son of a former Moderator of the Church of Scotland better known for playing Andy Crawford, the wimpish sidekick of Dixon of Dock Green in the radio revival of the cosy 1950s police series. Yawn.

OK, I know lots of interesting folk come from Paisley and I did see bits of Tennant when he starred in the television version of Casanova. He's a passable actor and clearly more in love with playing the Doctor than was Eccleston. But as another disgruntled fan put it: "Somebody who looks like a weasel could never play the Doctor. It's over!"

Just to prove the nightmare is official, the BBC has announced what it calls a "striking" new outfit for Tennant 's Doctor. This turns out to be a striped suit and trainers. Golly gosh! How spiffingly trendy. The Daleks will be impressed."

* George Kerevan is associate editor of The Scotsman.


 PS - George is actually a big Who fan - this was taken from an article he wrote on March 19, 2005:

"When Doctor Who popped out of his TARDIS - I saw the first episode back in 1963 - we knew a proper hero had returned to us from Gallifrey. He was not the military wing of some vast Galactic empire but a lone individual lost in time and space, armed only with his own code of honour and justice. He was not an artificial Superman, leaping tall buildings, but someone we knew we could be if only we tried hard enough - after all, he liked jelly babies and wore a long scarf.

Like the ancient Greek heroes, Doctor Who was always at the mercy of the Gods and a wayward navigation device in the TARDIS. That's the whole point of heroes - they show you how to deal with an indifferent, even perverse, universe with wit, courage and a stiff upper lip.

There was indeed a definite alien quality about the Doctor: he was still archetypally British in an era when being British was an embarrassment. Pretending to be from Gallifrey and having two hearts was an elegant ruse. Audiences could indulge in following a great British hero without feeling the cringe factor.

The fascinating thing about British heroes is that they are quintessentially anti-establishment, like Doctor Who . They draw their courage from their own individuality. Nelson gleefully put the telescope to his blind eye. In similar circumstances Captain Kirk might defy Star Fleet Command, but he'd have a moral fit doing so."

November 24, 2012

David not only has recorded some great audiobooks but he also has recorded some wonderful children's stories. This summer The Rhyming Rabbit by Julia Donaldson was released by Macmillian Audio. What what you might not know about this particular story is that David sings a wonderful lullaby in it! 

Enjoy: Sleeprabbit

November 23, 2012

Happy 49th Birthday to The Doctor - this year the Guinness Book stated that David has made more than 340 appearances on Dr. Who in audiobooks, TV shows, DVDs and novels.

I'm not to sure why the TV shows and the DVD's count twice since they are the same thing, so I have counted each appearance only once and also I assume that they are counting all appearances in Doctor Who  so here goes:

TV - 48 episodes of Doctor Who

Then there is his appearance on Extra's as The Doctor, The Music of the Spheres,Attack of the Graske, The Pudsey Cutaway, and Time Crash makes 53

The BBC Christmas Idents, he is in 2 of them, the one where he is seen riding the TARDIS with Santa's reindeer the one where he is shoveling snow and the 2 Christmas messages from 2009  makes 57.

Two episodes of SJA plus Dreamland and Infinite Quest make 61.

 Books - BBC New Adventures Books - 30
Decide Your Destiny - 12

The Darksmith Legacy - 10

Quick Reads - 5  that makes 57 for books and 61 from above is 118

Audiobooks -Counting only ones with his voice - The Stone Rose, The Resurrection Casket, The Feast of the Drowned, Pest Control,  The Day of the Troll,  The Last Voyage, Dead Air, and the Big Finish productions, Colditz, Sympathy for the Devil, Exile, Dalek Empire III which is 6 separate chapters, Medicinal Purposes and The Wasting - so that makes 18

The Scream of the Shalka

Narration of Doctor Who: A New Dimension

That makes these 20 plus 118 - total so far 138

The entry states novels - and does not mention the annuals, storybooks or the comics - which do have unique 10th Doctor stories so adding these we get:

The Storybooks have 28 original short stories and the annuals have 3 - so 31 

There are also short stories from other sources like The Times, The Telegraph and the BBC website -  6

I count 173 differnt comic stories from DWM, DWA, IDW, Battles in Time, Storybooks, Annuals and other sources bringing the total to348!

WOO HOO!



November 22, 2012

Tom Treadwell & Bill Shepherd produced The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare a 98 CD set of unabridged Shakespeare's 38 plays, with a total playing time of 102 hours. (The plays were originally released in the late 1990's in groups of 4 or 5 on cassettes.) The productions were recorded with over 400 actors, many of whom have worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and each each play contains original music, composed by Dominique Le Gendre, and radio-like sound effects. The performances were recorded in London at The Sound House.

This was the first ever audio set of Shakespeare's complete plays.

In the UK the cassettes were released by Penguin Audiobooks and in the US the set was originally released by Audio Partners Publishing, which was acquired in 2007 by BBC Audiobooks of America.

Winner of the Audie Award for Best Drama and Finalist for Audiobook of the Year.

Clive Brill spent seven years producing drama for BBC radio and in 1990 he became head of Development for BBC TV Series. He took on this "Shakespearean" task in 1996. He has directed David in the radio drama's The Island, Murder in Samarkand, The Purple Land. and a staged reading of Edward III at The Globe.
T
he Book of the Week readings of Robert Louis Stevenson's biography,the week long Night With A Vampire series from 2010 and the play A Quick Change ,which all feature David, were all Pacificus Productions with Clive as the producer.
Tom Treadwell, who formed Arkangel Productions, was a university professor whose speciality was Elizabethan drama.  He approached Clive in 1996 with the idea of the recordings. In 2000 they formed Pacificus Productions, which produces films, plays and radio.  

"A rhapsody of words, assembled for the ear. This venture marries scholarship and accessibility on an unmatched scale. The real strength lies in the astonishing intimacy offered by a sound recording."  - New York Times.

The CD's come with a synopsis of the story and a cast list and the tracks are split by act/scene, with a few exceptions. 

The Complete Pelican Shakespeare was the published texts that were used for the recordings. It took five years and $3 million to complete the recordings and included the acting talents of Eileen Atkins, Joseph Fiennes, Sir John Gielgud, Ciaran Hinds, Alan Howard, Jane Lapotaire, Amanda Root, Sophie Thompson, Samuel West, and Timothy West.

David performs on many titles including:

Comedy of Errors -Antipholus of Syracuse

Henry VI Part 1, 2, & 3 - Henry VI
King Lear - Edgar/Poor Tom
The Merchant of Venice - Launcelot Gobbo
Romeo & Juliet - Mercutio
Macbeth - Porter
Richard III - The Archbishop/Ghost of Henry VI



"Some of the performances are truly outstanding. . . Hugh Ross and Harriet Walker are chillingly urgent, driven Macbeths, with a brilliant comic, favor-currying Porter monologue by David Tennant (also a dynamic Mercutio and an affecting Edgar in "Lear")." - The San Francisco Chronicle - August 17, 2003 - Robert Hurwitt

I agree - I love him as The Porter!

Listen - Porter

 
 

November 21, 2012

Nigel Lindsay so-starred with David in the 2003 world premiere of the play The Pillowman, David played the storyteller Katurian and Nigel played one of the policemen who interrogates him called Ariel.  This is a picture of them from the production. (photo by Ivan Kyncl)

In 2011 Nigel was cast in the lead of Shrek The Musical as we all know Shrek has a Scottish accent, to help him prepare he asked his friend David to help:

“It is a hell of a part. [The producer] Caro Newling said to me, 'It’s like the King Lear of musicals.’ They told me that, for this, they saw a lot of actors who can sing, rather than musical actors, because the make-up and padding are so thick, you need to see a bit of humanity come through.” Vocally, they may also hear a touch of Time Lord. “I phoned David Tennant, who is a mate, and said, 'I want to do a hybrid of you and Kenny Dalglish. He said, 'If you do Kenny no one will understand it.’ I said, 'Yeah but you’re too fey.’ He said, 'I’ll butch up for you.’ I went round to his place and he read a bit of the script for me.”  - The Telegraph - May 4, 2011 - Jasper Rees


Here's Nigel as Shrek - 

November 20. 2012







ashmountschoolislington.jpg

The series of pictures with David wearing his white Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirt with the moose on it are widely posted but did you know they came from an appearance he made at the Ashmount School summer fair in 2006?

This article published in TES Newspaper on December 8, 2006 written By: Hannah Frank interviews Arabella Weir and talks about the school and David's appearance:

It pays to have A-list parents

How Arabella Weir, The Fast Show star, helped turn failure into success for her children's school. Hannah Frankel reports

Arabella Weir does not really mind whether her bum looks big perched on a child's chair. She'd rather her local primary school continued to thrive.

And if that means using her famous catchphrase to draw attention to the school's achievements, then so be it. Author and star of The Fast Show, Arabella (pictured, left) has been co-chair of the Parent Teacher Association at Ashmount Primary School in Highgate, north London, for six years.

But it was not until the school went into serious weaknesses in March 2003 that her support was truly needed - and tested. "The minute we went into serious weaknesses, parents started taking their children out of the school," says Arabella, who has two youngsters at the primary.

"In my daughter's class of 25, 11 upped and went almost immediately. It was a classic example of middle-class hysteria."

"There's this awful middle-class fantasy that poor children will somehow drag your brilliant kids down," she adds. "They complain endlessly about how hopeless their local school is, without realising that they need to invest in it themselves if it is to improve. It enrages me that they don't do anything and still complain that it's not good enough."

While some state schools struggle to get a handful of ordinary people on to the PTA, others have access to some extraordinarily well-connected parents.

Plenty of the rich and famous choose state schools for their children, and their support is incalculable. But most of them decide to keep their heads below the parapet, so you never know what they contribute. In Arabella's case, her public profile has given a struggling school the help it needed to aid its recovery.

Ashmount is positioned between wealthy Highgate, a coveted conservation area, and a deprived housing estate. As such, it is a diverse school where 32 different languages are spoken. Other schools in the area are often labelled as either "worthy" or "undesirable" by well-heeled parents - something which all too often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In Ashmount's case, the school came out of serious weaknesses after just a year and a half, thanks in part to Pana McGee, its dynamic new head. She has made parental commitment a priority to the recovery plan, and mums and dads are encouraged to come into the school to either help with the pupils'

reading programme or share their professional or personal experiences. But she also understands how useful celebrity endorsements can be.

"Arabella is newsworthy. She's the currency and she can use her status and contacts to access a wider audience," says Pana. "But it's up to us to ensure that we deliver on our promises."

Thanks to Arabella's connections, Doctor Who star David Tennant attended a school fair this summer, helping to raise £7,000 in signed photographs and autographs. The school has also had Trevor Phillips, head of the Commission for Racial Equality, and Jon Snow, the Channel 4 newsreader, in to help raise pupil aspirations.

Ashmount is not the only school in north-west London - infamous heartland of the chattering classes - to harness the power of celebrity. Canonbury Primary in Islington has the dubious honour of not one but two education ministers as school parents: Andrew Adonis, the Schools Minister, and Boris Johnson, the Shadow Minister for Higher Education. At the school's Auction of Promises this year, prizes included a guided tour round the House of Lords with Lord Adonis, which Mr Johnson won for £5,000. A private home concert from Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay, went for the same amount - the band's business manager, Paul Makin, is also a parent at Canonbury. In all, the school raised £43,000 from a single evening.

"We do have a lot of parents with connections here in Islington," says Canonbury's head, Jay Henderson. "We have some parents living in £5 million houses and others in cramped, two-bedroom council flats - it makes for a great mixed environment.

"We encourage all our parents to air their views and opinions as part of our Parent Link initiative and our PTA."

Even schools without access to such influential celebrities can raise large sums of money. Last year, £73 million was raised nationwide by PTAs - an increase of 10 per cent on the previous year.

Arabella says: "I'm well aware that I have the time and contacts which can be helpful to a school, but anyone can make a difference. You don't have to change the world, but you do have to do tiny gestures, like make a cake once a year and try to sell it"


November 19, 2012

Everyone has seen Sweetnight Goodheart - but did you know it was part of a group of short films shown on the BBC in 2003 under the title Ways to Leave Your Lover.  The Independent called it a smartly worked comedy. This is the press release from the BBC, March 6, 2003:

Ways To Leave Your Lover

How many of us have thought about it, lost sleep over it, chickened out of it, sweated over it, practically bitten our nails to the bone over it and made ourselves sick over it? The answer is, at one time or another, most of us will experience the agony of trying to find a way to leave a lover.

BBC TWO tells us how it's done in a series of five films starring Douglas Henshall, Emma Fielding, and Kate Ashfield amongst others.

Themes of love, infidelity and the end of an affair are explored in Ways To Leave Your Lover, five films written and directed by some of the UK's most talented artists.

Sweetnightgoodheart, Unscrew, Stag, Dog and Dumping Elaine each take an uncompromising look at what happens to people at the moment they leave each other and the ramifications of individual actions as relationships fall apart.

Taken as a whole the films are a harsh and viciously funny exploration of the human condition and the nature of love and loss.

Each writer/ director has proven his or her worth in a variety of different fields, and each 10 minute short film serves to reinforce the fierce talent and versatility of Dan Zeff (Linda Green, At Home With The Braithwaites), Clara Glynn (Ichmein), Ian Iqbal Rashid (This Life), Andrea Arnold and Peter Lydon (Hearts and Bones, Teachers).

From Sundance to Venice, each film has trodden the path of the festival circuit and each comes home in the wake of considerable critical acclaim.

Jeremy Howe, Executive Producer, said: "Mention the title Ways To Leave Your Lover and I would guess that a fleeting moment of recollection and then probably guilt will pass across the face of whoever you are with.

"We've all done it badly - and here are five short films that catch that awful, funny, painful ridiculous moment. The five writers / directors have all responded to the title in different ways - farcically, bizarrely, unexpectedly, disturbingly and optimistically. We have all been there."

Hilary Salmon, Executive Producer said: "The directors' imaginations were stimulated by the sheer drama innate in the series title. The result is five dramatic gems in miniature."

David Thompson, Head of BBC Films and Executive Producer said: "Ways To Leave Your Lover is a real testament to the wealth of talent at work in this country today, with each short demonstraing the diversity and individuality of the writers and directors involved in this project."

Ways To Leave Your Lover. BBC TWO, Tuesday 25 March 2003, 11.20pm-12.10am

November 18, 2012

When the BBC announced it was bringing Dixon of Dock Green back to Radio Four in May of 2005 all of the papers made mention of the fact that the BBC seemed to be bringing back things from their back catalogue siting the resurrection of Doctor Who and the new Doctor David Tennant being in both.

Tennant, in fact, would have been signed to do the shows long before he had been asked to be The Doctor, he did however get replaced in the second series of DODG by Hamish Clark.  Since, by then, he was far too busy with his own police box.

Charlie Brooks from Eastenders played PC Crawford's love interest Mary Dixon's daughter on the series.  This was her first job after having her daughter Kiki and she brought her to the tapings "much to everyone's delight" according to The Daily Mirror. The baby was born in December of 2004 so the tapings must have been sometime between January and April of 2005.

"Dixon of Dock Green , to be revived by Radio Four starring David Tennant who is also, of course, the next Doctor Who. Young Tennant does seem to have an odd taste for things that had their heyday before he was born. Maybe that's what coming from Paisley does for you." - The Express - May 5, 2012 - Keith Aitken

The Independent had the best headline announcing David's role in the show - which came a month after the Doctor Who announcement -

Time travel in a police box. No, not that police box

"David Tennant -voice perfect in the role that Jack Warner made his own" - The Times - June 15, 2005 - Chris Campling

November 17, 2012

Theatre can be dangerous:

David broke his finger on stage during a performance of Shinda the Magic Ape a a panto in Edinburgh in 1991.

"During a performance the mechanical arm of the huge beast landed on his hand, breaking his finger halfway through a performance. But David soldiered on, despite having to climb trees and generally monkey around on stage. He was back the next day with a splint on his hand to do it all again." - excerpt from article written by Donna White

He also suffered an injury in Stratford during theRSC production of As You Like It:

The production seem cursed, as during the run the slippery metal floor caused Victoria Hamilton (Phebe) to break her foot, Joseph Fiennes (Silvius) dislocated his shoulder and David (Touchstone) crippled his ankle.

November 16, 2012

What roles would you most like to play still? - asked in 2003
 

Hundreds. How long have you got? Starting with Shakespeare, there are a load: Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, (TICK) Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost (TICK), Angelo in Measure for Measure, Richard II. I tried to persuade Michael Boyd to let me do Hamlet (TICK), but he'd already gone and signed up Toby Stephens! Other parts? Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger(TICK), Jack in The Importance of Being Earnest, either of the men in Closer. Early on in my career, at Dundee Rep, I played Tom in The Glass Menagerie and Edmund in Long Day's Journey into Night and I'd love to do both of those again, although I might be getting too old now, which is a worrying thought. The Crucible would be fantastic. I don't know if I could do John Proctor because they usually like someone beefier, but Reverend Hale would be good. In fact, I'd love to do any Arthur Miller - A View from the Bridge, All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, the lot. I could go on. There are just so many good plays. 


What Shakespearean role would you like to play? - asked in 2007
 

There are so many! I haven’t done Hamlet – it would be nice to do that while I’m still young enough! Iago, Benedict, Richard II, I could go on – they’re all great parts.

 Well here's hoping he gets to tick another box at the RSC next year with Richard II.

November 15, 2012

This video was part of The Greatest Scot poll run in 2009 by STV, viewers and online users around the world voted from a list of 35 nominees in 6 categories.

David was nominated in the People's Choice category along side Alex Harvey, Sir William Alexander Smith Annie Lennox and Sir Sean Connery.

All 35 nominees were featured in The Greatest Scot programmes broadcast from November 9 and 13, David's nomination featured his sister Karen.

The winner, Robert Burns, was announced on ST. Andrew's Day. The final top ten were:

1.Robert Burns 2. William Wallace 3. Sir Alexander Fleming 4.Jock Stein 5.David Tennant 6.Robert The Bruce 7.Andrew Carnegie 8.Sir William Alexander Smith 9.Billy Connolly 10.Alex Harvey.

lan Clements, director of content at STV, said: "The search for our all-time favourite Scot has been a fantastic event and I'm sure the shortlist of nominees has caused much debate and discussion in Scotland and beyond."

November 14, 2012

Agent Provocateur is the retroactive name applied to Doctor Who (2008), issues 1-6, after the publication of its collected edition. It was published between January and June of 2008 in the US.

The first original Doctor Who comic published in the US and was originally a single story ongoing monthly publication, but it ended up being a six part mini-series. 

The original cover for issue #6 was this but there was also an exclusive photo cover, which is rare and harder to find.



Released Exclusively as a 1-In-10 Retailer Incentive Variant by IDW Publishing in June 2008, this Limited-Edition, 36-page copy of 'Doctor Who #6-Retailer Incentive Photo Cover RI-A Variant' features Doctor Who in a great full-length Original Story written by Gary Russell and illustrated by Stefano Martino.

November 13, 2012

On April 2, 2005 at 8:20pm the BBC did something it hadn't done in 22 years - it transmitted a live drama.

The Quatermass Experiment was broadcast as part of BBC Four's TV on Trial season, a week-long season exploring the past 50 years of British programming.

The BBC had alloted two hours for the transmission but the ran short finishing in only 97 minutes!  Also the news of the Pope's death broke during transmission, luckily BBC Four chose to insert a news crawl across the bottom urging viewers to tune to News 24 for “a major announcement”, rather than break the live feed of the show. 

David as Dr. Gordon Briscoe
"As harried cameramen, technical staff and actors criss-crossed the vast set on a disused Ministry of Defence base in Chobham, Surrey, with just one day of rehearsals left, the executive producer, Richard Fell, defined the mood as one of nervous excitement. The last live drama on the BBC was an edition of the afternoon play from Pebble Mill in 1983, but it has been more than 30 years since it was common practice.

Visitors to the set are greeted by the sight of the rocket from which astronaut Victor Carroon will emerge having crash landed back on Earth. Around the back of the MoD hanger is an area which will double as the exterior of the Tate Modern for the climactic showdown.


Fell admits he has been obsessively checking the weather forecast. "But if it rains, we get wet," he shrugs.


There are 17 locations, with indoor sets including a lab oratory, a newspaper editor's office and a ministerial den. Ten minutes of pre-recorded footage apart, much will depend on getting cameras, actors and sound people from one set to another on cue. Even the music will be played live by an onset composer. "It's bringing back that sense of event, of place and time," Fell said. "Once the story gets going, you're hoping that the live element will add to it rather than distract the viewer." 


"We're hoping that the ability to run the scenes in real time and the fact that they're playing it live to an audience will give you the kind of intensity you get in the best theatre. It's like a first night, specifically performed for you in the comfort of your own home."

The team, from cameramen to producers to actors, has had to learn from scratch the process of making a live drama. Only fragments of the originals remained after the tapes were recorded over by BBC archivists. For the cast, including Mark Gatiss, Jason Flemyng and David Tennant, it has been invigorating yet nerve-racking experience." - The Guardian - April 2, 2005 - Owen Gibson


The DVD had interviews from the cast that were filmed after the event the BBC Cult website also had a few clips of the cast talking about the event while they were in rehearsal - here are David's:

video
 The 10th season of the BFI at Southbank featured a month of film and discussion about live TV drama in February 2009 - the Quatermass Experiment was featured on February 10th, after the screening there was a Q&A with director Sam Miller, executive producer Richard Fell and producer Alison Willett. The poster for the season featured David.

November 12, 2012

Having failed to remember the 5th of November last Monday - here are three great quotes about David and fireworks -

"Lynne Parker's production explodes like a barrel of fireworks... David Tennant gives a riveting, distraught performance as Antipholus of Syracuse, her husband's twin brother, with the immensely long legs, angular, loping gait and goofy charm that used to characterise the finest products of English public schools." - The Sunday Times - April 30, 2000 - John Peter talking about Comedy of Errors

This was a case of Russell T Davies quoting David in an interview in The Times with Andrew Billen, note the date, November 23, 2004, long before David's Doctor Who announcement:

"Who was his favourite Dr Who? "Tom Baker. David Tennant said in an interview that was really a case of a man and a part just meeting and the fireworks taking off."

Paul Whitelaw talking about David and Doctor Who in The Scotsman June 30, 2007:

:. . . it also stars an actor who has made the lead role entirely his own. The magnificent David Tennant explodes and simmers like a streaking firework across the screen, possessing exactly the amount of innate eccentricity and charisma the part requires."

November 11, 2012

In honor of Veteran's Day here is a post about The Last September.  David plays Captain Gerald Colthurst in the 1999 film based on the book by Elizabeth Bowen. In the book the character is called Gerald Lesworth.

The story takes place in County Cork during the Irish War for Independence. The heroine 18 year old Lois Farquahr (Keeley Hawes) struggles primarily with her romantic attraction to two men, one a British Captain (David Tennant) garrisoned in county Cork near her family's estate, Danielstown, and the other an Irish rebel (Gary Lydon) who lives with a tenant farmer family of Danielstown.

The book was re-issued with 2 film tie in covers one with the movie poster and the other with the opening scene dancing with David.

The movie was directed by Deborah Warner, this film marked her cross over from director with the RSC to film.

Starring in the film are Maggie Smith who plays Lady Myra Naylor, Michael Gambon who plays Sir Richard Naylor and Fiona Shaw who plays Marda Norton. The movie was filmed in Slane, County Meath.

David was quoted in a What's On Stage interview: "I also get a real kick out of working with legends. I did a film called The Last September with Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon; that was a blast." - November 17, 2003

He talked about the film in an interview in the Birmingham Post:

"'It's based on a novel by Elizabeth Bowen and set in Ireland in 1920. It's shades of Merchant-Ivory but I think a bit grittier than that.

'I play a British army officer who's there helping to protect a big house owned by an Anglo-Irish family; I fall in love with the daughter of the house, Keeley Hawes, and she sort of falls in love with me, but can't make up her mind between me and the IRA man hiding in the woods.

'So you have the political side of it, which is fascinating - I knew very little about it.'"

In his interview in Academy Magazine (RSAMD) he said this about Maggie Smith - who he got to work with again, briefly, in Harry Potter, along with Michael Gambon:

"Some people’s craft is so intricate – Maggie Smith, for example, the way she can turn a line. I’m continually surprised and inspired by the people I work with." 

The film's world premiere was at the April 1999 Dublin Film Festival where it was rushed strait from the labs and had not yet been graded so it was subject to a press embargo.  The film was also shown at Canne in May to a warm reception.

During the filing the cast stayed in an 18th century country house and had dinner together sharing stories giving them the real feel of all staying together in a grand house like in the film.

November 10, 2012

Doctor Who and the Guinness Book:

The BBC released this press release on September 28, 2006 and included this picture of David holding that certificate:

"Doctor Who has been named TV's longest-running sci-fi show, after 43 years and 723 episodes, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

"This achievement is all thanks to the remarkable production team who first created Doctor Who," said Russell T Davies, who penned the TV revival.

He also thanked the audience "who have kept it alive for all these years".

The series began on 23 November, 1963, and was revived in 2005 after 16 years off the screen.

William Hartnell played the original Doctor Who, with Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and Peter Davison among those following in his footsteps. Christopher Eccleston took up the mantle of the ninth Timelord last year - following the show's relaunch. He was replaced after just one series by David Tennant after Eccleston dropped out.

Guinness World Records editor, Craig Glenday, added: "This is a proud day for Doctor fans everywhere."

US series Stargate SG-1, now in its 10th series, holds the world record for "longest-running science fiction show (consecutive)".

It launched in 1997 and has run for 203 episodes without a break. Hit US series The X Files previously held the record, notching up 202 episodes." This record appeared in the 2007 edition of the book.


This article appeared in The Western Mail (Cardiff):
t is a battle that has raged across time and space, waged between sci-fi fans eager to prove that their favourite show had the most longevity. The fans, known affectionately as anoraks, have been quarrelling over whether Doctor Who or Stargate SG-1 deserved the title of longest running science fiction series.

In theory, Stargate SG-1 is the longest running consecutive show, having been on air since 1994.

Doctor Who has been going for more than four decades but has been on and off the air over the years until its current incarnation as a BBC Wales production written by Russell T Davies.

The subject was a topic for heated debate at sci-fi conventions the length and breadth of the nation.

It was a clash that made the battle against the Daleks pale into insignificance, but in the end it was solved by an all-powerful source of knowledge - Guinness World Records .

And while Stargate SG-1 remains the Longest Running Science Fiction Show (Consecutive), Doctor Who has entered the prestigious annual book with a new record.

After 10 doctors, 732 episodes and 44 years on air, the BBC show has been officially honoured with an all-new record for Longest Running Science Fiction TV Series.

For any confused sci-fi fans still embroiled in the debate, Craig Glenday, editor of Guinness World Records , said, 'Doctor Who is without question the longest running science fiction show in terms of years.

'Stargate SG-1 has run without a break since it first hit our screen in 1997 however, so it is the longest show with consecutive back-to-back episodes.'

The 10th and latest incarnation of the Doctor, David Tennant , wasn't even born when the first episode of the show went on air, but he's always been a fan.

He said, 'I've been a Doctor Who fan for a very long time. My gran knitted me a cricket jumper when Peter Davison was the Doctor. She'd already knitted me a Tom Baker scarf when I was nine.

'In fact, Tom Baker was responsible for my becoming an actor. I took one look at his Doctor Who and decided it was the job for me. I was convinced that when I was old enough I was going to play the part of the Doctor on TV.'

Russell T Davies, writer and executive producer of the current series, said, 'This achievement is all thanks to the remarkable production team who first created Doctor Who is 1963, and the audience, who have kept it alive for all these years.' - September 29, 2006 -
RIN SIMPSON 

Doctor Who also hold the record for the most books writtenn about a single character.  This appeared in an article about the Oxford literary festival:

"The first Doctor Who novels came out in the 1960s. There were just a couple at first, although if the Doctor was the time traveller he'd have us all believe, he could surely have predicted their great success. Now there are more than 250 original stories and 150 books based on the TV scripts. According to Guinness World Records , this is the largest number of books about a single character." - The Sunday Times - March 16, 2008 - Roland White
This record first appeared in the book in 2001.

At the 2009 Comic Con Guinness presented Russell T Davies with the certificate for the show having become the most successful Sci-Fi Television Show. The award was bestowed based on the show’s run (1963-1989, 2005-current) and international sales data.
This is a clip of Russell accepting (the first 2 minutes 40 seconds in this clip:
  
  Most recently www.davidtennantontwitter.com reported that David will appear in the 2013 edition of the book 
as the most prolific Doctor (with 340 appearances including audiobooks, TV shows, novels and DVDs).  The photo is the one from 2006 holding that certificate.

November 9, 2012

This is an excerpt from Sarah Brown's book Behind the Black Door, about her time as the PM's wife:

Thursday 13th March (2008)

"Gordon has had little time to prepare a speech for this evening and asks me what he should focus on.  I just urge him to speak from the heart.  He has the popular and super-talented actor, David Tennant, to introduce him, which he does very warmly.  They both share that 'son of the Manse' upbringing, as well as a passionate sense of social justice that comes with the territory.  David is at the height of his success with the Doctor Who series and the two of them are mobbed by the gala dinner guests."

 There was also some mention of the even in the press:

"The Prime Minister unveiled David Tennant , the current Dr Who, as his new celebrity backer at Labour's gala dinner last Thursday night. The actor introduced Mr Brown and said he had known his father when he was a child in Scotland." - The Daily Telegraph - March 22, 2008 - Robert Winnett 

"In his never-ending fight against David Cameron's Cybercons, Gordon Brown has enlisted a powerful ally: Doctor Who, aka David Tennant .  The Time Lord's a good man to have on your side, so Tennant 's lavish praise at a Labour fundraiser must be worth a few seats.

The Doctor shuddered at the memory of the reign of the Maggie monster in the 80s then confessed he was "thrilled, delighted and frankly overwhelmed" to be with Brown.

As endorsements go, that's as good as it gets. A flushed female union leader called him a sex god. Tennant , not Brown." - The Daily Mirror - March 19, 2008 - Kevin Maguire


"At a Labour gala dinner at London's Park Lane Hotel this week, the PM was presented to the audience by Doctor Who star David Tennant . Hence his opening quip: "When I was told I was going to be introduced by a man who spent a lot of time on another planet who came from another century, I thought it was Boris Johnson."  - The Express - March 19, 2008 - Hickey

November 8, 2012


Doctor Who: The Inside Story by Gary Russell was released by BBC books on December 7, 2006 - this was the description:


"Doctor Who viewers might believe they've seen every photograph, read every interview, know every fact about the latest incarnation of BBC TV's science fantasy series, but this book will set out to show them just how much they've missed. With pre-production drawings and paintings, countless behind-the-scenes candid shots, comments and opinions from everyone involved, The Inside Story sets out to be exactly that. The insider's scoop on the how, why, who and where of all things Doctor Who."

David wrote the foreward and Russell T. Davies wrote the afterward.  Here is an excerpt from the foreward:

 "I've been acting for quite a few years now, but nothing is like this. At yesterday's read through at the Christmas episode, the Runaway Bride, the whole team was assembled, milling round, drinking coffee, nibbling on pastries, (it is a law of television that script readthroughs must always be accompanied by coffee and pastries) and greeting each other like long lost siblings.  It is only eleven weeks since we finished work on the last series, but everyone seems relieved to be back.  Working on this show grips you with a fevered and slightly worrying all-consuming obsession and it's much easier to spend time in the company of fellow sufferers."