At 5AM ET, the Doctor and Martha meet up with the Daleks and Tallulah, with 3 Ls and an H, in 'Daleks in Manhattan'.
Later in the day, the Doctor and all his friends battle the Daleks and their creator, Davros, in the uncut broadcast of the series 4 finale, 'Journey's End', at 8:30PM ET and 11PM ET.
Wow! Daleks seem to be the Doctor Who theme of the day. Will they ever be totally exterminated? Somehow, I don't think the Doctor will ever be totally rid of them.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
At 5AM ET, the Doctor and Martha meet up with the Daleks and Tallulah, with 3 Ls and an H, in 'Daleks in Manhattan'.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Shakespeare and Me
RSC actors David Tennant and Patrick Stewart join RSC Chief Associate Director Gregory Doran in conversation.
11.45am The Courtyard Theatre £10*
*Limited availability. £5 tickets for 16-25s still available - call RSC Box Office 0844 800 1114. Some day seats will be available to purchase from the Box Office on the day.
The following is a post by Sue Holt at FlickFilosopher.com. MaryAnn Johanson has a great site! I highly recommend it!
After a tense opening scene where Stewart appeared as the Ghost, Tennant made his big entrance. He strode away from the party goers to the front of the stage. Dressed in a modern suit which hung loosely on his spare frame, he stood, glass in hand, looking desperately unhappy. Just as the players were watching his every move, nervous about his reaction to Gertrude's wedding, so were we the audience waiting for his first words. He spoke in an upper class English accent which softened as the play progressed. Hamlet is being very priggish at this stage, so Tennant's accent was more Reverend Gibson from He Knew He Was Right than The Doctor. By standing and behaving a little awkwardly, he managed to seem very young. That feeling is emphasised when, left alone he crouches to the floor and snivels unhappily.
We were in more familiar territory in the ghost scene, where we saw many of the hallmarks of Tennant's acting. His wide-eyed fear, his rapid speech, the speed at which he raced about the stage and the ease with which he switches between sanity, madness and humour. It was mesmerising. Poor Peter de Jersey's Horatio doesn't stand a chance. All eyes are fixed on Hamlet.
The next time he appears, he is wearing jeans, turned up at the ankle, no shoes and a red t shirt which has a black image of a muscular chest. Again, by reducing his height in relation to the other actors and by having him dressed so informally, his boyishness is emphasised. He changed into a tux for the play within a play scene - but again goes barefoot. This added to the feeling of intimacy in the bedroom scene. He also uses his hair to good effect. From the formal combed back style of his opening scene, he constantly ruffles it to emphasise rage and despair and at one point manages to make it stand up on end completely to feign madness. Hamlet's soliloquy's are delivered centre stage, to the whole audience and with real emotion. Every word is clear and sure. Even in these preview shows, Tennant rarely stumbles on a line. The well known speeches do not seem trite. They are just dealt with in a very real way without over-emphasis. Sometimes we see flashes of The Doctor, as when he draws up to the King's face and roars back at him, using Stewart's accent and tone. There was a ripple of appreciation from the audience. Always there is his brilliant comic timing. There was an hilarious sequence where he is tied to a chair for questioning over the whereabouts of Polonius's corpse. Barely able to move, his head darts about, still dominating the scene before willing the chair towards the exit and 'For England'. His facial muscles are constantly exercised - at one point he crosses his eyes to great comic effect. All of Hamlet's characteristics are beautifully portrayed. His loneliness and sense of loss, his feelings of betrayal, his defensiveness when he thinks Ophelia has rejected him, his insight into the machinations of the court. To the brilliantly contrived sword fight and death scene, it really was hard to take your eyes off this remarkable actor.
So what of the others? Oliver Ford Davies's Polonius was a real treasure. By delivering his lines as a loveable, forgetful, if rather wordy, old man, he was not only very funny, but created a character whom the audience could genuinely grieve for. Patrick Stewart was a little restrained. Perhaps this was in contrast to Tennant, but he really needs to warm up a bit. Mariah Gale was lovely as Ophelia - all frail and vulnerable and Pennie Downie played a cool Gertrude. I'm sorry to dismiss them all so easily - but it really was all about Tennant.
My daughter commented that she felt privileged to have been there as she was sure we were witnessing one of the great Hamlets. I just hope the critcs don't decide to maul it simply because it is popular. The audience rose to a man in standing ovation on the first night - and they weren't just Dr Who fans. They were mostly regular RSC members taking advantage of cheap seats and priority booking. For me the test of a great Shakespearean performance is one that brings the play alive without any previous study or knowledge of the plot. This certainly does that. Fantastic!
In another post Sue writes:
At the performance I sat behind a group of young women who were clearly very excited about getting so close to Mr Tennant. Indeed at one point, he sat right next to us. Even then they managed to contain themselves and they got completely absorbed by the play. At the end of the play there was plenty of cheering - and rightly so - those actors had worke their socks off (literally in Tennant's case) and they were really out of breath. Mr Tennant seemed delighted by this reaction and gave the girls a special grin before rushing off into the arms of his security people.
I'm vicariously enjoying Hamlet through Sue's wonderful posts. OMG! I WISH I COULD SEE IT FOR REAL!!!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
From comments I've read at David Tennant/The Forum I found out the following:
Throughout Hamlet David wears a suit, jeans and T shirt, tux, a school anorak with woolly hat, and a tight fencing top at the end. He's barefoot......I don't know if that's the entire time or just during part of it.
One person wrote he had "lovely ruffled hair------------he was ruffling it all night."
At one point he was tied to a chair and gagged!!!! OMG What visions that brings to my head!
He uses an English accent.
According to one viewer, "David put a lot of emotion into his performance and the play wasn't as dark as it can be. It was quite light hearted in places but did play to the tragedy."
More reactions later!
David Tennant: from Doctor Who to Hamlet
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 23/07/2008
As David Tennant swaps time-travelling on TV for the most famous role in Shakespeare, the play's director Gregory Doran talks to Dominic Cavendish about protecting his star from the hordes of Doctor Who fans
The fish and chip shop just along the way from the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon hasn't missed a trick: one of its windows is home to a giant poster of a Dalek - emblazoned with the words: "Exterminate Your Hunger."
Gregory Doran nods in recognition when I mention this, his expression wavering on the edge of a grimace before settling into a tense grin as he says: "I went in and asked them, 'Why have you got that up?' They said, 'Don't you know? Doctor Who is in town!'"
In the normal scheme of things, asking him about his first production of Hamlet would involve all kinds of niceties surrounding the textual decisions he has taken, the ideas informing his modern-dress approach, and so on.
Doran, 49, is now chief associate director at the RSC, with a formidable array of hit productions behind him. And, as a self-professed "Shakespeare nut", he can discourse for hours on, say, the differences between the Folio and the "bad" Quarto editions of the play, or the various flowers Ophelia gathers up for her mad scene.
Thanks, though, to his casting of David Tennant as the Prince, rarefied contemplation must perforce give way to excited tittle tattle.
Eight years ago, when Tennant was just another rising company star, playing a youthfully frenetic Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors, he would have been able to walk the sleepy streets of Stratford unmolested. Now he can't set foot outside the rehearsal room without avid autograph-hunters and infatuated fans moving in on him.
"We were going to meet in a local cafe to have a chat," Doran says. "But David said, 'I can't go there now. Iit just turns into a sci-fi convention.'"
Not a day goes by, apparently, without another needy or deserving devotee begging for their prayers to be answered with a touch of Tennant's Time Lordly magic. "People I haven't spoken to for years phone me up, saying, 'My daughter would really like it if…'" says Doran, trailing off with a sigh.
"There's a lot of that. Fans turn up at stage door with bags of Doctor Who merchandise for him to sign. It's fantastic that there's so much excitement about this production, but he needs protecting from that level of intrusion."
Doran is more used than most directors to this kind of hoopla. He helped Patrick Stewart achieve a blazing re-entry into the world of classical acting after years on board the Starship Enterprise.
The early days of his recent revival of Antony and Cleopatra were dogged, he reveals, with Star Trek enthusiasts, but that species of attention swiftly declined. He's hoping, once again, that whatever motives may have driven punters to snap up all available tickets for Hamlet, "within moments of the play starting, they'll forget he's the Doctor".
If Doran underestimated the scale of the home-grown hysteria that has attached itself to Tennant, that's because, he confesses, he hasn't been following the new Who.
"I watched it as a child and remember hiding behind the sofa when the Daleks came on. And I watched the episode about Shakespeare's lost play, which was fantastic. But I stopped watching it when I was about 10, really, which is probably healthy. I don't think David would be surprised to hear that I'm not a great sci-fi fan."
So, rather like the Tardis, has the rehearsal room, which also contains Stewart - who's doubling as the Ghost and Claudius - become a sort of safe haven from sci-fi natter and sci-fi nutters?
Doran laughs. "Yes. Outside, there's this constant sense of having to deal with David's celebrity. Once the door closes, the play's the thing."
That said, what with his production deploying mirrors to emphasise the atmosphere of continual surveillance at Elsinore, the evening will evidently be charged with thoughts about our own Big Brother society.
Habitually mistrustful of grand directorial concepts, Doran nods in wary assent: "I think we can't help but view Hamlet in the context of 2008. Shakespeare attracts the iron filings of whatever is going on in the world like a magnet."
A long-time admirer of Tennant's acting abilities, it was catching him on the BBC family history series Who Do You Think You Are? that prompted Doran to make the first move in the casting game.
"He happened to go to a church in Northern Ireland during an excavation, and there among the planks on the floor was a skull. David picked it up, and I thought, 'That's like an audition for Hamlet.' In fact, I texted him that night and said, 'I saw your audition for Hamlet', and later we chatted."
It was the star's additional unbidden enthusiasm for playing the cynical wag Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost - which Doran was also contemplating reviving - that clinched the deal.
Doran makes no secret of looking forward to the light relief of Shakespeare's witty early comedy, rehearsals for which start within days of Hamlet opening. Before them, though, lies the daunting challenge of the most famous part in the canon. What qualities, finally, does he think will enable Tennant to scale this Everest of a role?
"I knew he would be funny and charming," says Doran, "and I knew he would get the speed of the language - those elements are crucial. But he also has this remarkable facility to articulate his feelings without wallowing in them.
"There are points when he makes you realise that all the wit is a front - an attempt to prevent Hamlet from seeing the abyss into which he's staring. At those moments, I think he has the potential to be truly great."
Doran pauses, half-grins, half-grimaces again: "Even saying that, though, is to wonder whether his Hamlet is going to find its place in the pantheon, and that's an overwhelming pressure."
Time - ordinary, linear and unstoppable - will tell.
Can you imagine not being able to go to a local cafe because it turns into a sci-fi convention? Fame is a two edged sword.....great for the money and being able to do the kind of work you want to do, but awful for the mass attention from everyone in creation.
I found this picture at david-tennant.com.
Mark Charlesworth, an author in the UK, went to see Hamlet and made some comments on his blog. He wrote the following:
The play itself began eerily, and managed to keep up a high level of suspense throughout, thanks to the high energy and fantastic performances of the acting company. As an avid fan of both Shakespeare and ‘Doctor Who’, I was interested to see how David Tennant would come across on stage, and the night only served to confirm my feelings about what a brilliant actor he is. Supported well by such a strong cast, Tennant brought an unpredictable spontaneity to the play which added a whole new dimension. Furthermore, the use of lighting and props lent a vividly realistic tone to the whole production.
Afterwards, hundreds of people lurked by the stage door to try and get the actors’ signatures. When David Tennant appeared, the wonderful Patrick Stewart by his side, he was completely swamped by people. Although I was unsuccessful in getting any actors to sign my programme, I did manage to slip Tennant a copy of my book. In the ‘Cox’s Yard’ bar afterwards, I was thinking about how weird it must be to have people hounding you everywhere you go. Although the attention would be flattering, it must be hard not to be able to go shopping or drink in a pub with any anonymity. I also noticed that whilst the Prime Minster had attracted relatively little attention earlier on, Tennant had a huge audience. I was glad to see that, in their privileging of The Doctor over the Prime Minister, the country have their priorities right!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
The rerun of series 2 is coming near the end this weekend. 'Fear Her is being shown at 6PM ET on Saturday, but not being run again on Sunday since 'Dragons Den' is on in its place. 'Army of Ghosts' is being shown both days this weekend - 7PM ET on Saturday and 2PM ET on Sunday.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
There's a series 3 rerun with Martha Jones traveling with the Doctor in 'Gridlock' at 5AM ET. Then, 'The Stolen Earth', part 1 of the series 4 finale premieres on Sci-Fi at 9PM ET with a second showing at 11PM.
There are rehearsal pictures from What's On Stage. The actors are in their street clothes rehearsing in an undecorated space. If you click on Slideshow, you get nice big pictures.
David Tennant: The Man Who Would be Hamlet
On television, David Tennant plays an immortal time lord from the planet Gallifrey who saves humanity and the universe countless times. Starting this week at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, the 37-year-old actor will take on the role of Hamlet, the Danish prince who can’t quite work up the conviction to avenge his father’s murder. For good measure, the production will also feature Patrick Stewart, formerly Captain Picard of the Starship Enterprise on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” in the dual roles of Polonius and the ghost of Hamlet’s father. The combination of sci fi royalty and one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies has generated sold out shows and plenty of media attention.
While some critics scoff at placing television actors on the legitimate stage, others point out that both Tennant and Stewart were accomplished Shakespearean actors long before becoming intergalactic heroes. The question of what Tennant will bring to the role of Hamlet was a hot topic in the British media this weekend. Here’s a round-up of what the critics said.
Roger Foss of What’s On Stage starts by going directly to the director of “Hamlet.” He writes, “When the same question was put to Royal Shakespeare Company associate director Gregory Doran about David Tennant being the latest actor to take on Hamlet, the longest role in Shakespeare, he answered: “David has great intelligence to tackle this role. It feels that there is no such thing as a definitive Hamlet – there are only an infinitive number of Hamlets. What he will get is the excitement of the role, the drive – Hamlet’s experience of grief, his experience of what it is to grow up. All those things he will approach with a freshness, a kind of ‘new’.” Foss offers his own opinion saying, “As anyone who has seen Tennant playing a gallery of non-sci-fi characters in the theatre will confirm, to be or not to be one of our finest stage actors was never in doubt. He’s a natural. As Tennant once said himself, stage work is his “default way of being.” (Read the complete article)
Matthew Sweet of The Independent finds a serious parallel between playing the Doctor and undertaking the role of Hamlet. He explains, “It’s hard to be unaware that you are watching only the latest of a long line of interpreters. New Doctors must overwhelm or accommodate the shades of William Hartnell and Tom Baker just as new Hamlets must compete with the ghosts of Olivier, Gielgud and David Warner. Tennant has already performed one successful act of exorcism. He seems destined to complete a second.” (Read the entire Independent article)
Finally, Diane Parks of the Birmingham Mail gives us a glimpse into how actors at the Royal Shakespeare Company feel about working Tennant now that he is one of the biggest television stars in the UK. She quotes Tennant as saying, “It’s an incredibly friendly company which is a great relief. Most of the company have already done A Midsummer Night’s Dream so they would have been perfectly within their rights to be a little bit sniffy about a new boy coming in to do the next show but they’ve been very welcoming and enthusiastic.” (Read the full Birmingham Mail article)
In addition to playing Hamlet, Tennant will also play the role of Berowne this summer in the RSC’s production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost.”
For many of Tennant’s fans there’s a bigger question than how he’ll fare as Hamlet: to return or not to return for another season of Dr. Who? It appears Tennant will indeed return for more of the Doctor’s outrageous fortunes. The Daily Mail reports, “David Tennant is close to signing a £1.5million deal to remain as Doctor Who…BBC bosses are set to offer Tennant, a massive deal to encourage him to stay on when the sci-fi show returns for a full series in 2010.” (Read the complete Mail report)
Love’s Labour’s Lost plays in repertoire at The Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon from 2 October - 15 November 2008.
David Tennant in Hamlet at the RSC
by PHILIP HOLYMAN - Monday, July 21, 2008
The news that David Tennant would be putting his Tardis into the long-stay car park in order to play Hamlet for the RSC was last year's worst-kept secret in showbusiness.
The production's four-month Stratford run sold out in short order, and its recently announced Christmas residency in London is already doing brisk business among RSC members before the inevitable stampede when public booking opens on September 12.
'I don't know why, but I've always been very wary of Hamlet,' confides director Gregory Doran, the former RSC actor who has risen through the ranks to become the company's chief associate director. 'I've never done the play, never been in it or been part of it. I've seen it many times, of course, but I've never somehow been able to think of doing it myself. I started looking at it and I realised that this play is so revered and so familiar, yet that there was no such thing as a definitive Hamlet.'
Tennant's astronomic profile has at least meant that Doran has been freed from the pressure of having to promote his show too strenuously. Nevertheless, the actor's very presence drew unexpected fire recently from director Jonathan Miller, whose well-received but distinctly unstarry Hamlet at Bristol's Tobacco Factory failed to secure that elusive West End transfer.
'If David Tennant couldn't hack it as Hamlet, there would be no point in casting him as Hamlet,' says a defiant Doran.
'I was sorry [Miller] said all that, because David made his career at the RSC and he's a genuinely terrific classical actor who also happens to have enjoyed success and celebrity in another medium.'
It is, in fact, another of Tennant's TV appearances that helped get Hamlet up and running. 'I'd worked with David some years before,' Doran says, 'and I saw him on [the BBC's] Who Do You Think You Are? and there he was in a church, holding a skull, in this graveyard, so I texted him and said: "I saw your Hamlet audition."
'We got back in touch and I said: "Have you ever thought of coming back to Stratford or are you locked in Doctor Who-land for ever?" He said he would really like to come back to Stratford, and the play he wanted to do was Hamlet.'
Has Doran tailored his production to allow for the fact that a large proportion of the audience is likely to consist of young Whovians and their press-ganged parents?
'This isn't going to be a four-and-a-half-hour Hamlet,' Doran says. 'I want it to be accessible for the audience. I direct it for the first-time viewer who is fresh to the play. I don't think the way to allow people to get to know the extraordinary language and the extraordinary experience of these plays is by dumbing them down. If there are people coming to Shakespeare for the first time because of David, well, great. As a Shakespeare company, that's our business I think.'
Thu to Nov 15, The Courtyard Theatre, Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon, this week: Thu to Sat 7.15pm, £5 to £38, concs available, sold out, returns only. Tel: 0844 800 1110. www.rsc.org.uk
I remember thinking about how great it would be if David would play Hamlet when I watched him holding the skull in 'Who Do You Think You Are?'.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Prom 13: Doctor Who Prom
- Date Sunday 27 July 2008
- Time 11.00am - c1.00pm
- Venue Royal Albert Hall
- Tickets £5 & £10 price band G or Prom for £5
- Broadcast To be recorded for BBC One and Live on BBC Radio 3. Available as audio on demand for the following week.
A family concert featuring music from the BBC's Doctor Who series, and including a specially filmed scene, written by Russell T Davies and starring David Tennant.
There's also a selection of classical favourites with a strong flavour of time and space. Join Freema Agyeman (aka Martha Jones), and others from the Doctor Who cast, for an intergalactic musical adventure - with a little help from Daleks, Cybermen and other aliens from the series!
Programme to include:
- Murray Gold Concert Prologue* (3 mins)
- Copland Fanfare for the Common Man (3 mins)
- Murray Gold All The Strange Strange Creatures* (4 mins)
- Mark-Anthony Turnage The Torino Scale (UK premiere) (4 mins)
- Holst The Planets - Jupiter (8 mins)
- Murray Gold The Doctor Forever* (4.30 mins)
- Murray Gold Rose* (1.30 mins)
- Murray Gold Martha v The Master* (4.30 mins)
- Murray Gold Music of the Spheres (including theme original)* (7.30 mins)
- Wagner Die Walküre - The Ride of the Valkyries (5 mins)
- Murray Gold The Daleks & Davros* (8 mins)
- Murray Gold Donna, Girl in Fireplace, Astrid* (4 mins)
- Prokofiev 'Montagues and Capulets' from Romeo and Juliet (5 mins)
- Murray Gold This is Gallifrey* (3.30 mins)
- Murray Gold Doctor's Theme / Song for Freedom * (5.30 mins)
- Murray Gold Doomsday* (5 mins)
- Murray Gold Song for Ten* (4 mins)
- Murray Gold Doctor Who Theme* (1.30 mins)
There will be one interval
Freema Agyeman presenter
with Daleks and Cybermen
London Philharmonic Choir
Ben Foster* conductor
Stephen Bell conductor
Detailed notes about the music will be available one hour before the concert.About the music
No doubt someone at YouTube will post the filmed scene with David after it's shown on BBC One. I'll be watching for it.
BBC Radio 3 has the playlists for part 1 and part 2 on their website. David's scene will be at the end of part 1.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Tennant offered £1.5 million 'Who' deal?
Friday, July 18 2008, 17:42 BST
By Simon Reynolds, Entertainment Reporter
David Tennant has been offered a £1.5 million deal to stay on as Doctor Who, according to The Sun.
The BBC had feared he could depart the role after filming four special episodes. The broadcaster has reportedly tabled a "massive bid" to persuade the actor to continue as the Time Lord for the fifth series, scheduled to air in 2010.
A source revealed that Tennant will decide on his future after he meets with new executive producer Steven Moffatt.
"It will be a new team and David has to meet everyone to make a final decision," the insider said. "But we're gearing up to offer him a massive deal. He's interested. Everyone thought he was going, but it’s not as open and shut as that."
Tennant, who recently completed filming on the Christmas special, will shortly star in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet.
£1.5 million amounts to about $3 million! I sure hope he stays.
Rose and the Doctor continue their travels during series 2 with:
- Love & Monsters - Saturday at 6PM ET and Sunday at 1PM ET
- Fear Her - Saturday at 7PM ET and Sunday at 2PM ET
Thursday, July 17, 2008
The 5AM ET showing is a rerun from series 3. The Doctor and Martha meet the Bard himself and battle witches in 'The Shakespeare Code'.
'Turn Left' is on at 9PM ET and 11PM ET. This story features Donna and shows how different the world would be if she had done one thing differently. Wow! Catherine Tate is brilliant in this episode!
This brilliant mash up of 'Doctor Who' and David's appearance on 'Top Gear' was the idea of two BBC staff members. It's really well done! I love it!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Q and A with David Tennant, who plays the title role in Hamlet and Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost both directed by RSC Chief Associate Director, Gregory Doran at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Courtyard Theatre.
How do you feel about coming back to the RSC to play the title role in Hamlet and Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost?
It feels very familiar. Theatre is what I've done more of than anything else. Admittedly I've been on sabbatical to 'television-land' for the past few years which I've probably ended up better known for. But this feels like the day job. It's what I do. So it's great to be back and working with Greg. It's an incredibly friendly company which is a great relief. Most of the company have already done A Midsummer Night's Dream so they would have been perfectly within their rights to be a little bit sniffy about a new boy coming in to do the next show, but they've been very welcoming and enthusiastic. There's a great feeling about the company and a real sense of something new and exciting about the RSC at the moment.
Does the Company feel very different now then?
It's different but the same. The principle that we're out to achieve hasn't changed but there's a new sense of ensemble which is very exciting to be part of. There's an enthusiasm from everyone and a willingness to muck in, and the different disciplines and departments seem to be more integrated than I remember last time I was here. There's definitely a sense of a company that's got an idea of what it is and what it's for, and how it can best achieve that, and it's very exciting to be part of that.
Are these two roles you particularly wanted to play?
Yes – they are two of the greatest roles around. Hamlet is often regarded as the acme of acting to test yourself against, which isn't a particularly helpful thought to be honest. Of course it is very flattering to be asked to do that role because of everything that is attached to it. But once you get into rehearsal you have to relinquish thoughts like that and just try and tell the story. It's still just a play and you can't start approaching it in a different way than you would approach any other role.
Although it's very early in the rehearsal process, is there anything you can share about your approach to your role in Hamlet?
We've just got going really and are only now on our feet. We've done a lot of text work, which has been invaluable, and we are now finally trying to put the play together in a more traditional sense.
How have you found working with the drector, Gregory Doran?
It's been terrific. I worked with him once before, years ago. It was a really fun job – a double bill of one act comedies. That was fantastic, and a big success but I was aware that Shakespeare was his real passion and seeing him talking about the play and investigating the play – he's clearly born to do it. It's a real pleasure to be in his rehearsal room.
What does Shakespeare mean to you, particularly performing his work here in Stratford-upon-Avon?
Of course you're aware that if you do these plays here in Stratford you're instantly joining a line that goes through some extraordinary individuals, actors and directors, and it's very exciting and humbling and terrifying and thrilling to be part of that line. Obviously there's something about Stratford – because it's Shakespeare's home town and because of everything that's been invested here in terms of theatrical history that makes it a very special place to work in.
Do you have any significant memories of your previous time working with the RSC?
This is the third season I've done and I've always had fantastic experiences here. I've got some fond memories of the six plays I've done before and I made some great friends. Being part of the Royal Shakespeare Company is something I've always been proud to associate myself with and to be publicly aligned to.
Are you looking forward to working on The Courtyard stage for the first time?
Yes. I've seen the current productions there. It's immediately very reminiscent of the Swan in which I've always enjoyed working. Considering how many people it seats, it feels nice and intimate – particularly for something like Hamlet which has those long soliloquies. I'm looking forward to using the space, and using that connection with the audience. I imagine that's how those speeches were written to work. On a thrust stage, you can't help but have a connection with the audience. It will be fascinating to see how that will influence the playing of those scenes.
What do you think is the basic difference between acting on film and on stage?
They are two completely different jobs. They are, of course, both about pretending to be other people. But rehearsing a play is about finding an emotional journey so that you can repeat it, whereas television is about getting that moment once when all the technical elements are in alignment and it's locked down for evermore. From an actors' point of view you have more control of the event in theatre. When it's in film it's created in post production essentially from a bunch of cuts, whereas here that moment happens in the auditorium and whether it works or not can be unique to each individual performance. It's just a very different experience both from the acting point of view and the audience point of view.
Can you tell us anything more about the cast you are working with?
The fact that they are such a welcoming, enthusiastic and motivated bunch of people is great because that motivates you. You want to be part of that. There's a real sense of company and ensemble which is oft talked about in theatre and very rarely achieved. The very set up of the Royal Shakespeare Company at its best can really exploit that. I certainly feel like I'm part of an ensemble here which is great.
Can you tell me something about how you were cast for these roles?
There was a slight meeting of the moons. I was talking to Tara Hull, one of the producers here, about the possibility of doing something for the company. And I think that Greg had a similar idea around the same time and there was a sort of conflagration of events and suddenly we're here. It's one of those conversations you have, and eighteen months later – here you are.
I'm so excited that David is doing this. Even though I can't go, I'll be looking for all the reviews and posting them.
I encourage anyone going to see either play to tell everything about the experience either on my blog or on the Totally Tennant Network I've set up at Ning. It's free to join and open to anyone who loves David. You can upload pictures and videos besides join in discussions at the forum.
David won an award for Best Male Performance in a 2007 Science Fiction Television Episode for 'Human Nature/The Family of Blood' while 'Doctor Who' won for Best Science Fiction Television Series of 2007. The award for Best Female Performance in a 2007 Science Fiction Television Episode went to Carey Mulligan for playing Sally Sparrow in 'Blink'.
These awards are fan awards for excellence in science fiction on television and in films. There's a breakdown of how the voting went between all the top 6 or 7 nominees for each category at The Constellation Awards.
Monday, July 14, 2008
BBC Two unveils its Autumn 2008 highlights
Einstein and Eddington
David Tennant and Andy Serkis star in this drama set amid the chaos and uncertainty of the First World War. Einstein And Eddington chronicles the interlinked stories of two extraordinary men striving for a greater truth while refusing to be constrained by national boundaries.
Albert Einstein (Serkis) spent years working on his General Theory of Relativity, which threatened to overturn two centuries of Newtonian certainty and the foundations of British science. Arthur Eddington (Tennant) was a prominent British astrophysicist who, as a Quaker, believed that "truth knows no boundaries" and bravely championed Einstein’s theories while Britain rejected anything German.
In 1919, Eddington undertook an expedition to Africa to photograph light bending round the sun during an eclipse. These photographs not only proved the theory to be correct, but turned Einstein into a worldwide superstar.
Directed by Philip Martin (Prime Suspect – The Final Act) and written by Peter Moffat (Hawking), Einstein And Eddington co-stars Jim Broadbent, Lucy Cohu, Jodhi May and Rebecca Hall.
View a preview provided by Blogter Who
I've read that this will be shown on HBO in America since it's an HBO Films and BBC joint project, but I haven't seen anything about when HBO will broadcast it.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
The Doctor's plans to travel forward in time
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 11/07/2008
Doctor Who's next full series won’t be here until 2010. Andrew Pettie asks how fans will cope
Tomorrow night at around seven o’clock, 10million Britons will find themselves at a loss. For the last 13 weeks they have been eager bit-part players in a national obsession: watching Doctor Who. Now they must wait five months for their next glimpse of the Doctor in this year’s Christmas special. After that, however, Doctor Who won’t be returning for a full series until 2010.
Understandably, many of the Doctor’s fans are miffed. Serial dramas with ratings as stellar as Doctor Who’s (9.8million tuned in last Saturday) aren’t usually allowed to take sabbaticals. You might think that Julie Gardner, Head of Drama for BBC Wales, which makes the show, would be aghast at 2009’s Who hiatus. In fact she sounds elated.
“Isn’t it a marvellous thing?” Gardner says. “Our main motivation for giving Doctor Who a break is that we want the audience to remember how much they love it. Come 2010, we want people to be cheering its return.”
Thankfully, hardcore Whovians won’t have to spend the whole of 2009 immersed in DVD box-sets. Doctor Who will be back, but only sporadically.
“Aside from Series Five, which will have a full 13 episodes and transmit in 2010, we are making four one-hour specials. The first, which we’ve already filmed, will go out this Christmas. The next will go out the following Easter. The other specials have yet to be scheduled, although one will definitely be on at Christmas 2009.”
Russell T Davies, Doctor Who’s executive producer and the show’s driving creative force, will be at the helm for all four specials. Davies will write two of them himself, and co-write the others. Gardner believes that the reduction in output won’t only whet the audience’s appetite; it will reinvigorate the franchise. Not least because the exhausted writers and production team have a chance to recharge their batteries.
“It’s been a very intense four years,” she says. “Making 13 episodes of Doctor Who is a year-long job. We film from July to March. In between March and July we’re in post-production. For Journey’s End, the final episode of Series Four, we delivered the finished programme to the BBC the Wednesday before transmission. That’s how close to the wire it is.”
Such a demanding schedule risks squeezing the zest and ingenuity out of the show, and the BBC wants to keep it alive long into the next decade. “When Russell T Davies brought Doctor Who back there was huge audience expectation,” says Gardner. “The reduced schedule for 2009 acknowledges the fact that the show should continue not just for another one or two years, but for another five or 10. It needs to be nurtured, loved and looked after.”
The plots of the forthcoming specials are still under the tightest of wraps. This year’s Christmas episode, reportedly entitled The Return of the Cybermen, will see David Tennant’s Doctor materialising in Victorian England. According to paparazzi photos taken during filming, the episode’s guest stars include David Morrissey and Dervla Kirwan. Beyond that, says Gardner, the “possibilities are endless”. Characters and storylines brought to the fore at the end of the recent series won’t necessarily be picked up again next year. “Our main concern is to find the most rewarding story [for each special]. You have to think about where you want to push the Doctor next: that’s the most important thing.”
What of the Doctor himself? Rumours abound that David Tennant, the Doctor for the previous three series, is to step down. David Morrissey (13/8), John Simm (5/1) and Robert Carlyle (6/1) are the bookies’ favourites to replace him. Further down the odds come James Nesbitt (12/1), Stephen Fry (18/1) and, erm, Ricky Gervais (80/1).
Although it has been reported that Tennant has already made his decision and informed the BBC, Gardner says she doesn’t know whether he will still be the Doctor when the fifth series airs in 2010. However, his stint as a Time Lord is far from over. “I can confirm that David Tennant will be coming back after his run playing Hamlet [for the RSC] to film the four specials. Beyond that I don’t know. What I do know is that David still loves Doctor Who, does great work on the show and is very happy doing it.” One person who definitely will be standing down after the specials is Russell T Davies. Steven Moffat, who has written outstanding Who episodes including 2007’s Blink, will succeed Davies as lead writer and executive producer for Series Five. He will be joined by fellow executive producer Piers Wenger. Next year, Wenger will also take over from Gardner as the Head of Drama at BBC Wales.
A series of Doctor Who without the ebullient involvement of Davies seems almost unthinkable. Will he still be at work behind the scenes, offering advice and expertise? “Absolutely not,” says Gardner. “Russell won’t want to hang around. Piers and Steven deserve the freedom that Russell and I had when we came to Doctor Who. Steven has written some extraordinary episodes over the past four years, and he’ll be allowed to bring his own sensibility to the show.”
Doctor Who sounds in safe hands. But what are his fans to do with their Saturday evenings in the meantime? An exhausted Gardner says that she, for one, will “probably be sleeping”. Come the autumn, however, she may have another prime-time ace up her sleeve.
“At the moment I’m working on a big new BBC1 drama serial. While the Doctor’s away, I’m waiting for Merlin to take over my Saturday nights.”
OMG the next year and a half is going to seem like a loooooong time. There's 'Einstein and Eddington' to look forward to besides the 2009 Doctor Who specials, but that's not enough. I'm going to go through David Tennant withdrawal.....not a good thing. :-(
I'm crossing my fingers and hoping David is still the Doctor in 2010. It would be great if he'd play the Doctor as long as Tom Baker did.....7 years. I don't want to be too greedy though. I'm just hoping for one more year.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
FAME 60 Seconds
Vicki-Marie Cossar - Tuesday, July 23, 2002
ACTOR DAVID TENNANT has an impressive CV of theatre appearances including Romeo in Romeo And Juliet for the RSC. Originally from West Lothian, he now claims to be a fully paid-up Londoner thanks to his Tube knowledge, and describes himself as a geeky Doctor Who fan. He currently stars as Jeff, a goofy, wisecracking security guard in the West End play Lobby Hero.
How much are you and Jeff alike?
I'd like to think wisecracking, but I've no idea. It's difficult to describe your own personality. I'd say tall, skinny and Scottish. That's the basic design of me and pretty accurate actually. I'm not painting a pretty picture am I? Shall I lie? I'm devastatingly handsome - honest.
A policeman in the play is having an affair. Have you ever had to cover for a mate or been covered for?
I couldn't possibly comment on that - I'd be arrested. I don't think I've ever covered for anyone, not even at school. Not consciously anyway. No-one ever asked me to; I don't think they trusted me. I was a right square at school. I was the boy with my NHS specs and my bowl cut. Honestly, I'm deadly serious and I wish I wasn't.
Kenneth Lonergan wrote Lobby Hero and also co-wrote Gangs of New York. Why didn't you play the lead in that, too? What's Leo Di Caprio got over you?
He hadn't met me yet. That was the only thing that stood in his way, unfortunately. I mean I spoke to him about this and he bitterly regrets it. It's just such a shame, it should have been me on that big screen.
Reviews for your Shakespearian roles are usually pretty good...
I think that's 'cos I'm just brilliant [laughs]. No, that's a crap answer. Actually, I don't read the reviews so I can't really comment on them. I stopped reading them years ago. I used to be a junkie for them, and after the first night I would buy every single newspaper and pore over them, but you only need to get kicked in the face a couple of times to know better and that it doesn't really help you.
If you could be anyone, who would you be?
Doctor Who, without a shadow of a doubt. That was always my obsession when I was growing up. I had all the figures, the Daleks and even a little Tom Baker doll.
Did you also have the Tardet thingy?
The Tardis! I can't believe you got that wrong. Yeah, that too. I was devoted to it.
Have you ever had a journalist delve into your personal life?
No. I think you need to be a lot more famous than me to experience that. Obviously, you want everyone to like you and think what you are doing is good, so it's a bit miserable to pick up a paper and see comments that you've been miscast or that you've got it all wrong or you're ugly. The good stuff always flatters your ego, but I don't think it helps you to be any better.
Do you get sent any freebies?
No, but I wish I did. Listen, if anyone wants to send me anything free I would happily wear it anywhere they want me to wear it.
Where do you go out socially and, most importantly, do you get guest-listed?
[Laughs] I think the last time I went out was to do a theatre review, which isn't very funky. It's more that I have famous friends who get me into things now and again. I'm a member of Soho House so I go there a lot. And I'm a good friend of Arabella Weir, whose boyfriend refuses to go to anything remotely showbizzy, so I tend to be her standard escort.
Who's the most famous person you've met?
It depends what you call famous. I've met the Royal Family, but I don't think they really count. They're a bit naff. Celebrity-wise I went to Gwyneth Paltrow's press night the other week and she was very sweet. I've also been to Johnny Depp's LA club, the Viper Room. I'd just been doing a film with him so that was pretty cool. It's been a downhill slope since then, though.
What's the most expensive item in your fridge?
A bottle of Bollinger I got for my first night. I might ask Tom Baker round to drink it with me and thank him for being a genius. Or perhaps I could entertain a lady. I might ask Winona Ryder over after her court case. I could help her bury her sorrows a bit.
You're meant to be good at making people laugh. Tell us a joke.
I can't tell you a joke. I can only tell you other people's jokes from the script. I'm not a comic. I literally don't know any jokes. You can't do this to me [laughs] - I'm not funny at all.
Useless, we're telling everyone you're rubbish at gags.
OK. I give you my full permission.
You are always described as 'lanky'. How tall are you?
Ahh, how flattering. I'm 6ft 1in so that's not too bad. I'm just the right height for most girls.
Did you always want to be an actor when you were younger?
I liked the idea of being someone else and telling the stories that were on television.
You don't sound very Scottish. Do you find it easy to portray a London accent?
I have been told that when I go back up to visit my family my Scottish accent gets stronger, but I don't really notice it. I was up there last week for my mum and dad's 40th wedding anniversary so we had a big get-together and I would have thought it would be quite strong at the moment.
The interviewer obviously was never a Doctor Who fan. Tardet thingy??? LOL
Thanks for giving me the link to this Carole. :-D
BBC America is only showing 'Doctor Who' on Saturday since they are doing a documentary marathon on Sunday. 'The Satin Pit' is on at 6PM ET and 'Love and Monsters' is at 7PM ET.
Don't forget that 'Top Gear' with David is on at 4PM ET Saturday and 11AM ET Sunday.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Sorry for the late post for today's episodes, but my blasted computer has been giving me fits. 'Smith and Jones' was on this morning at 5AM ET, but too late for that now.
'Midnight' is being first run on Sci-Fi tonight at 9PM ET and again at 11PM ET. It's a Donna light episode. She's only in the very beginning and the end. With as much as I like Donna, I miss her being by the Doctor's side. Still a good episode though.
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.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The final question asks what the high points of David and Catherine's working together were and if there is a moment they would rather not have done.
I think David and Catherine have been absolutely brilliant together. From all outward appearances, it seems like they have had a wonderful time working together. Great chemistry between them.
Donna has taken Rose's spot as my favorite companion. In my opinion, Catherine should get a BAFTA for her role as Donna.
Monday, July 7, 2008
There is a rerun of Graham Norton's show with David and Jo Brand at 3AM ET Tuesday on BBC America.
I watched this behind-the-scenes look at 'Journey's End' right after seeing the finale. I was still so emotional I was crying throughout this. OMG what an emotional time I've had!!! Doctor Who is just wonderful, isn't it!
Brivinex has part 1 here with 4 more parts to follow. Please give Brivinex a message thanking her for sharing series 4 with everyone.
I don't want to give anything away about the ending so the only thing I want to say about this episode is, get out a box of kleenex before you watch this. I guarantee you'll be crying your eyes out by the end. I sure did!
Kudos to Brivinex. She made it through the whole of series 4 without being taken down by YouTube! She has part 1 of 7 here. That's right, it's 7 parts! Blimey, that's long!
For the next two weeks, BBC America is showing reruns of Top Gear with David as the guest. The dates and times it's being shown are:
- Monday (7-7-08) - 8PM ET & 11PM ET
- Saturday (7-12-08) - 4PM ET
- Sunday (7-13-08) - 11AM ET
- Monday (7-14-08) - 9PM ET
- Tuesday (7-15-08) - 12 Midnight ET
- Saturday (7-19-08) - 5PM ET
- Sunday (7-20-08) - 12 Noon ET
Saturday, July 5, 2008
- Saturday, 6PM ET - Rise of the Cybermen
- Saturday, 7PM ET - The Age of Steel
- Sunday, 1PM ET - Rise of the Cybermen
- Sunday, 2pm ET - The Age of Steel
Thursday, July 3, 2008
I love the song New Shoes by Paolo Nutini and really like this video done by DoctorWhoDave. Here's what Dave wrote about his video:
Tribute to the 10th Doctor
The best Doctor ever
Funny, wacky, crazy
What a Doctor
So this started off as a tribute to series three because of The Doctor's new blue suit and shoes but then I needed to use The Christmas Invasion for the wardrobe and from then on, I had to use more and more of series two so now it is a 10th Doctor Tribute
Hope you enjoy
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Doctor Who's Journey Won't End With A Whimper For Americans
Good news! The massive 65-minute season finale of time-travel drama Doctor Who, "Journey's End," will not be edited when it appears on the Sci Fi Channel in August. Sci Fi Channel reps tell io9 that the episode will appear as a 90-minute special instead, which means that whatever happens to make you bawl like a baby (according to writer Russell T. Davies) will have its full impact. Yay for Sci Fi!
It's about time Sci-Fi showed an uncut episode!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
This week's question shows us how little Catherine knows about the whole past story of 'Doctor Who'.....which makes David laugh. Of course, David knows the whole story having been a fan all his life.
After being emotionally wrung out from watching 'The Stolen Earth', I calmed down a bit watching what happened behind-the-scenes. I learned some of the story of Davros......something I never knew about because I had never watched any pre Christopher Eccleston Doctor Who's.......I really must find all the old shows and watch them.
'Friends and Foe' begins here with four more parts to follow.