I <3 David Tennant. He is my favorite Doctor (even though I consider his span of episodes to be the weakest of nu-Who).
For the longest time, I’ve wondered why he’s not been a bigger breakout star. In my opinion, he’s a great actor with a lot of onscreen charisma. He can be sweet and quite. Flip him over, and (despite his skinny frame) he can become angry and imposing. Sure he does a heck of a lot of TV work in the UK. And, sure, he had that brief glorious moment as Barty Crouch Jr. in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Sure, he did voice work in the superb How to Train Your Dragon. But all that does not add up to ‘breakout star’ material.
When I heard he was starring in an American production of Broadchurch, I thought Yes, finally! A chance for the world to see this wonderful man perform! He’ll be like Clooney in ER. Folks will see the shining star that he is and he will become a big screen idol!
Alas, the American production of Broadchurch–named Gracepoint–probably will not be the springboard into the upper echelon of actors for David Tennant.
Gracepoint is a one-shot 10 episode mystery-thriller starring Tennant in the role of an ostracized big city detective searching for the murderer of one of the town’s children. The show co-stars some talented thespians, namely Anna Gunn and Nick Nolte. Sadly, the poorly written show does all three actors a grave injustice. In particular, Tennant’s Detective Carver. In the premiere episode, all Tennant is given to do is act smug, growl at people, yell a couple of times, and stare at things. Stare at a lot of things.
To complicate matters, Tennant struggles with his American accent. Perhaps he should take some pointers from Hugh Laurie.
To further complicate matters, no matter how much scraggle he grows on his face, no matter how weirdly he combs his hair, that’s David Tennant, and he’s My Doctor. If the show was better, this wouldn’t be an issue, as I’d become invested in the dramatic narrative and be less conscious of who is acting what.
I’ll stick it out until the bitter end, though. Because Tennant. And sometimes shows like these become much better after the premiere ‘setup’ episode.
Let’s hope tonight’s episode shows much needed improvement.