Silver: Return to Treasure Island by Andrew Motion (Crown, 2012); audiobook read by David Tennant (W. F. Howes, 2012) Andrew Motion envisages a second adventure to Treasure Island set forty years after Stevenson’s original. This reprise is poetically written (as is Motion’s wont) and more memorable for its depictions than for its action. David Tennant’s narration brings the audiobook to…
Doctor Who…at the BBC: a Legend Reborn presented by Elisabeth Sladen (BBC, 2010) A somewhat artificial look back at the successful revival of Doctor Who under Russell T Davies, featuring previously aired interviews and radio appearances (many with an exuberant David Tennant). Elisabeth Sladen’s contribution is sadly limited to reading linking material from a script.
Jessica Jones, Season 1 created by Melissa Rosenberg (2015) Krysten Ritter nails the essence of depressed-yet-determined ex-superhero Jessica Jones, whose life as a down-and-out PI is put on hold when she is targeted by a supervillain with powers of mind control (played with casual monstrosity—yet also vulnerability—by David Tennant).
How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury by Cressida Cowell (Hachette, 2015); audiobook read by David Tennant This epic conclusion to Hiccup’s twelve-book quest brings the Viking-Dragon war to a resounding, heroic, emotional end. Cowell’s ability to linger long in a moment without losing her audience is exceptional. Tennant’s ebullient, multi-voiced narration will cement the series in childhood memory.
How to Betray a Dragon’s Hero by Cressida Cowell (Hachette, 2013); audiobook read by David Tennant High above a publishing landscape devastated by gormless, plotless, half-illustrated fluff, Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon series soars majestically. How to Betray a Dragon’s Hero is thoughtful, exhilarating, vivid and fabulously fun, with David Tennant putting in a full-on acting performance.
Doctor Who: The Edge of Destruction by David Whitaker, dir. Richard Martin (BBC, 1964) Jacqueline Hill out-acts her fellow regulars in this, the third ever Doctor Who serial, a remarkable two-parter set entirely within the TARDIS. The tense, eerie and unsettling, claustrophobic drama of disorientation and distrust prefigures by forty-four years the David Tennant story Midnight.
Broadchurch, Series 1 by Chris Chibnall (ITV, 2013) Broadchurch gave David Tennant a chance to brood and smoulder post- Doctor Who; yet for all the fine acting and murderous intrigue, tension was maintained only by means of an incredible coincidence of events, such audience manipulation ultimately undermining the entire scenario.
Doctor Who, Series 3 (BBC, 2007) David Tennant hits the ground running post- Rose Tyler, in a season characterised by overt explorations of racism (experienced by companion Martha Jones), the return of the Master (revitalised by John Simm), and the brilliant, almost Doctor-less episode ‘Blink’ (starring Carey Mulligan).
Doctor Who: The Last Voyage by Dan Abnett (BBC Audio, 2010) The Last Voyage – a somewhat middling spaceship under siege story – would have been a flat read on page, but has some life breathed into it by David Tennant’s engaging narration and redolent-of-Doctor acting. Even so, both premise and prose seem awkwardly belaboured.
Doctor Who: Pest Control by Peter Anghelides (BBC Audio, 2008) Although read by David Tennant and featuring the Tenth Doctor and Donna, Pest Control harks back thematically to the Jon Pertwee era (and not just by namechecking ‘chitinous’). As such, the parasitic hatch-outs seem overly sanitised and the Doctor’s moralism somewhat underplayed.