Playhouse Presents... The Minor Character
David Tennant showed us his darker side in the Sky Arts 1 drama, The Minor Character. Based on a story by acid-tongued author Will Self, it featured the ex-Time Lord as an outwardly successful middle class man dissecting the lives of his inner circle of Champagne-swilling friends and rivals. Classic, high-brow stuff.
Like many aspiring stars before him, one of David's earliest breaks came in The Bill. Back in 1995, David played a pretty creepy chap called Steve Clemens who was accused of making prank calls and abducting a young girl. Perhaps even more cringe worthy though, was his hairdo. Still, it was the 90s... We were all guilty of a crazy barnet!
David clearly developed a taste for law enforcement. In 1998 he was one of the regulars of ITV show Duck Patrol. Sadly it wasn't a programme focused on containing the criminal activities of our web-footed friends, but rather a comedy-drama about a river police unit on the Thames starring Richard "I don't believe it" Wilson. Nor do we, Richard, nor do we.
Things took a massive leap forward for David in 2005 when he bagged the lead in BBC drama Casanova. Not only was the show about the bed-hopping Italian legend (starring Peter O'Toole as the older Casanova) a hit, it was also written by a certain Russell T Davies. Yes, that Russell T Davies who was about to turn Doctor Who into a national obsession all over again...
David fulfilled his childhood dream when he took over the TARDIS in 2005. With his mix of good-natured humour, madcap tomfoolery and righteous fury, Tennant made the role his own and seduced even the most old-school Whovians. Not to mention hordes of newly-converted female fans. Sci-fi conventions would never be the same again...
For most actors, the full-on experience of playing the Doctor would be quite enough to be getting on with. But David is way better than most actors, and managed to fit in plenty of other demanding roles during his time as the bane of Daleks. One of the most talked-about parts was a stint as Hamlet on stage for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2008, alongside regular Bard buff Patrick Stewart.
Proving his versatility, David took the lead in TV drama Secret Smile, playing a manipulative and stalkerish weirdo. Other TV roles during his stint as the Doctor included appearances in The Romantics and The Chatterley Affair, as well as popping up as a version of himself (and the Doctor) for the Christmas special of Ricky Gervais' sitcom Extras.
Much Ado About Nothing
David Tennant and Catherine Tate have built up quite a working relationship, with Catherine playing the outspoken Doctor's assistant Donna, and David making an appearance in Catherine's own comedy show. The pair were reunited on stage in 2011, starring together in Much Ado About Nothing as bickering Shakespearean lovers Beatrice and Benedict.
Think David is only fit for TV and stage? Think again! David has also had a long-running career on the big screen. In 2011 he starred in the horror remake Fright Night, playing a wonderfully flamboyant vampire hunter battling Colin Farrell's cocky bloodsucker. Some of David's other film appearances include parts in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, St Trinian's 2, and an early role opposite fellow ex-Doc Christopher Eccleston in Jude.
More TV Tennant
David's not abandoned the small screen for Hollywood, despite recently lending his voice to Charles Darwin in the latest Aardman animated movie, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! Back on telly, he starred in BBC drama, True Love. As full-fledged Whovians, we were overjoyed to see a certain Billie Piper featuring alongside him in his new role.
Recommended for you