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The Many Faces of David Tennant

Masterpiece fans may recognize Scottish actor David Tennant as their host for several Contemporary episodes--or even as the lilting and amusing voice of the very popular nature documentary Earthflight. As blogger Amie Simon reports, he's entertained audiences in many different roles -- with many faces.

Doctor Who fans loved Tennant in the series as the light-hearted Tenth Doctor on the popular sci-fi series from 2005-2010, which seemed the perfect match for his cheeky acting style. The talented and witty actor is about to grab our attention again on June 19 as Will Burton, a talented junior barrister, in the new miniseries The Escape Artist. [Watch the preview.]

Tennant’s ability to adapt to so many different roles has kept him on screens big and small since the ‘90s; and the man has been involved in so many TV series it would require a monster blog post for us to cover them all. But most recently, Broadchurch (2013) fans will recognize him as scruffy redhead DI Alec Hardy: a smart detective whose acerbic wit provides fodder for many a hilarious gif or Tumblr.

Tennant’s finest moment of disguise is when he first appears as Vegas magician Peter Vincent in the 2011 reboot of Fright Night. The almost unrecognizable actor sports long, flowing locks, several tattoos, a pointy beard and thick, black eyeliner. His character eventually strips most of that off, revealing it as a costume for his act -- but he still struts around in a pair of tight leather pants for the rest of the film, maintaining his slick rock-and-roll image. Also, he’s got some serious vampire-fighting skills!

Stepping into the role of a villain, Tennant slipped on an all-black costume and wielded a wand as one of Harry Potter’s nemeses: Death Eater Bartemius ‘Barty’ Crouch Junior, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. At the Quidditch World Cup, Barty terrorized fans by using a spell to summon the “Dark Mark.” Way to make us hate you, Tennant! Sheesh.

This multi-talented actor has also joined The Royal Shakespeare Company as Hamlet in 2009 and as Richard II in 2013 for televised modern-day updates of their famed stage productions, voiced one-armed Viking Spitelout in the animated How to Train Your Dragon (2010), and even played famous lothario Casanova in a 2005 miniseries opposite Rose Byrne.

This versatile actor is an expert at range, and we can’t wait to see what he does next. Don’t miss him 6/19 in The Escape Artist!


David Tennant as The Doctor in Doctor Who. 52 episodes; 2005-2013. UK | Canada: BBC.

David Tennant as Peter Vincent in Fright Night. Angelic, Ray; Bratman, Josh; De Luca, Michael; Gaeta, Michael J. (Producers) & Gillespie, Craig (Director). 2011. USA: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

David Tennant as Alec Hardy in Broadchurch. Chibnall, Chris; Lewis Defis, Catrin; Featherstone, Jane; Stokes, Richard; Strong, James. (Producers) & Strong, James; Lyn, Euros (Director). 2013. USA: BBC America


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What about his Emmy Award-winning turn as the voice Huyang on Star Wars' animated series The Clone Wars the other year?

I'd say that is quite notable... ;)

He may be the only actor with the British 'hat trick' of appearances in the Star Wars franchise, Harry Potter franchise and Doctor Who.

Ooh, good catch! He's got such an impressive resume, but I didn't put that trifecta of awesome together when reviewing it. :)

Now...if he could only be in a James Bond movie...Unless we count his audiobook reading of 'On Your Majesty's Secret Service'...

Tennant also starred as Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, war hero and deGaulle contemporary, in BBC's adaptation of Alan Furst's historical espionage novel The Spies of Warsaw. His character played a military attache at the Warsaw French embassy, 1937-1938, a role with danger, romance and intrigue, all of which were wonderful fuel for Tennant's talent. It aired in the US on BBCA in 2013, and is available on DVD.

Richard Klein, Controller of BBC Four, says: “Spies Of Warsaw is Alan Furst at his best - a tense, passionate and sexy love story set against the increasingly strident clang of coming war".

For me, the series isn't as good as reading the novels, but if you're a Tennant fan...he reportedly liked the role, too.

And now he is to be Alec the detective in Broadchurch again in the american series called Gracepoint. All filmed in and around Victoria B.C.