ITV’s newest TV providing – Des – debuted on Monday to an viewers of 5.four million viewers, rapidly turning into the broadcaster’s largest drama launch of the yr to date.
Whereas the three-part collection, which tells the story of prolific serial killer Dennis Nilsen seemingly proved well-liked with viewers for a wide range of causes – from its stellar forged to the true-to-life plot – arguably its largest draw is David Tennant’s chilling efficiency as the titular felony.
Nilsen’s quietly sinister nature is portrayed effortlessly by Tennant from the minute we meet the killer, who instantly confesses to the horrific murders he’s dedicated. Nevertheless it’s not till later in the first episode – throughout Nilsen’s interview with police detective Peter Jay (performed magnificently by Daniel Mays) – that we see the actor’s efficiency in its full, blood-curdling glory.
Tennant’s nonchalant, dead-eyed supply of Nilsen’s crimes to the gobsmacked law enforcement officials listening in shock makes for one in every of the most intense scenes in tv this yr, and for these watching his portrayal, it’s simple to neglect that that is the similar actor who charmed the nation and gained the hearts of a technology of teenage women (myself included) as The Doctor.
Whereas Tennant’s unimaginable range shouldn’t come as a shock to viewers at this level in his profession, Des is the newest demonstration of his chameleon-like capacity to remodel right into a broadly contrasting forged of characters – from benevolent aliens and mischievous demons, to chilling serial killers and sophisticated modern-day males.
Like many, I used to be first launched to David Tennant when he was forged as the Tenth Doctor, following Christopher Eccleston’s departure from the BBC’s Doctor Who reboot in 2005. Whereas he was left with massive footwear to fill, Tennant slipped effortlessly into the converse trainers that turned a staple of his Time Lord’s outfit, with his infectiously exuberant supply, elastic facial expressions, cheeky grin and sophisticated but compelling speeches.
His multi-layered efficiency as the Doctor may instil each worry and laughter inside the present’s wide-ranging viewers, whereas few may maintain again tears throughout a few of the Time Lord’s most heartbreaking moments (I’m nonetheless not over his farewell to Rose on Unhealthy Wolf Bay). Not to point out Tennant’s vastly convincing English accent, which teenage me was shocked to uncover was faux after listening to the actor’s pure Scottish tones throughout an interview.
If his capacity to soar from emotional extremes at the drop of a hat wasn’t apparent throughout his 5 yr tenure as the Doctor, his subsequent profession laboured the level extra so. Having already made a short, but scene-stealing look as the unhinged dying eater Barty Crouch Jr in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Hearth, he later starred as haunted detective DI Alec Hardy in ITV’s Broadchurch, highlighting his charismatic on-screen dynamic with the award-winning Olivia Coleman which attracted essential popularity of each actors.
Tennant continued to department out into sci-fi and the supernatural, taking up the roles of maleficent mind-controlling villain Kilgrave in Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Earth-dwelling demon Crowley in Good Omens, while flexing his comedic muscle mass in lockdown sitcom Staged (by which he performed an exaggerated model of himself), W1A and comedy-drama There She Goes.
The 49-year-old actor has taken on characters from each ends of the ethical spectrum and has performed killers earlier than, with his flip as Dr Edgar Fallon in Netflix’s intense drama Legal and secretly-menacing husband Tom in Deadwater Fell earlier this yr – however his efficiency in Des is on a complete new degree.
Not solely does the award-winning actor look eerily comparable to the killer in the ITV drama, Tennant’s portrayal of the manipulative but seemingly unassuming monster, with his calm and picked up clarification of the murders he dedicated and his personal rationalised ideas as to why he might have carried out what he did, is actually terrifying.
Whereas the miniseries, which comes to a conclusion tonight, has been a gripping and enlightening watch, highlighting the irreversible injury attributable to a assassin who managed to keep undetected for years, it has additionally created a job of a lifetime for Tennant, who has as soon as once more confirmed his expertise for taking part in the epitomes of each pure goodness and unadulterated evil.