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Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Auditon footage of Doctor Who star David Tennant's big break revealed

Jul 9 2008 By Chris Musson

DOCTOR WHO star David Tennant was left wishing he really was a Time Lord when forgotten footage of an early audition surfaced.

The 15-year-old film showcases the talent which has made the Scottish actor a major star.

But all he could think of when he saw it was his bizarre fashion sense as a 21-year-old.

And if he had really been able to travel through time, it's certain his baggy purple sweater would be thrown in the dustbin of history - along with his swept-back hair.

David, from Bathgate, West Lothian, was auditioning for the role which gave him his big TV break in BBC comedy-drama Takin' Over The Asylum.

It is now out on DVD, which led to the footage being unearthed.

Series writer Donna Franceschild, still a good pal of David, said: "I spoke to him recently as we wanted to know if we could include the audition as an extra on the new DVD.

"I sent it to him and he called me back and said, 'My God, what was I wearing?

And that hair - what was I thinking?'"

But he showed his sporting side by agreeing the footage could be included.

During the 10-minute clip, despite being fresh out of drama school, he looks supremely confident, rattling off two three-minute pieces without a script. Donna said: "He's such a fantastic actor that it probably is like falling out of bed for him."

In 1993, he waltzed into the role of teenager Campbell, a patient in a Glasgow mental institution who wants to be a Radio 1 DJ.

He had previously been cast in a bit part in a TV drama called Strathblair.

Takin' Over The Asylum's casting director was unsure about using him for the pivotal role of Campbell.

But the production team were "blown away" by the audition, Donna said.

The audition was filmed in early 1993 and the six-part series - also starring Rebus actor Ken Stott - was shot at Glasgow's now-closed Gartloch mental hospital in spring that year.

On Saturday, viewers saw David defeat the Daleks in a thrilling Doctor Who series finale.

The BBC are now fighting to keep him on for another series.

Watch the audition footage on the video player below

Anyone watching this can see how good David was at the age of 21. He was perfect for the role of Campbell Bain.


Anonymous said...

I sure hope Takin'Over the Asylum and this audition for it are released on DVD here in North America soon. It is a brilliant little drama and David especially shines in his role as Campbell Bain.

Carole said...

You can see the talent flowing from this young gent!Brilliant!Makes me wish i had taken up drama at school!

crimeficreader said...

Thank you so much for that post. I've been wanting to see that series for years. I caught the end of one episode when it was on the TV, then failed to find it on video. I've just ordered a copy of the DVD. Had it not been for your post, I doubt I'd have discovered it existed! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

But all he could think of when he saw it was his bizarre fashion sense as a 21-year-old.

Sometimes he still exhibits bizarre fashion sense...bless him, he's an original.

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