David Tennant is one of the finest actors on British shores – that much is plain. He brings a raw passion to his performances, consistently churning out excellent work in varied roles. I’d liken him to Daniel Day-Lewis’s TV equivalent. No, not in turns of gut-busting lunacy and supremely crazy method acting – I don’t think anyone else could do such a thing. It’s more in terms of quality – if you see Tennant’s name attached to a project, it’s pretty much a guarantee of that show’s excellence.
I’m aware the above can sound like a world’s tallest midget-esque description, in terms of damning with faint praise – after all, if Tennant was the acting colossus I’ve made him out to be, he’d surely have a more prolific film career beyond his excellent cameo as Barty Crouch Jr. in Harry Potter, a fun turn as a vampire-slaying showman in Fright Night and some voiceover work? Well really, I’d agree with you – he totally should, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why he doesn’t. He’s obviously a talented man, and anyone who can light up the TV screen and stage in equal measure surely deserves the nod from Hollywood.
Yet while it’s a sad fact of life that Vinnie Jones has a more comprehensive film CV than Tennant, let’s look on the bright side. Film’s loss is TV’s gain, and it only improves the reputation of British TV to have a man of Tennant’s calibre on their various payrolls. He consistently provides strong work, and if the fawning critics are anything to go by, he’s pulled it off once more in legal thriller The Escape Artist, which premiered yesterday on BBC One.
So in honour of his apparently flawless turn as sleazy lawyer Will Burton, I’ve decided to catalogue Tennant’s finest TV performances. If you want to see some quality television, I suggest you dig out any of these – you won’t be disappointed.
This article was first posted on October 30, 2013