Sunday, 10 October 2010


[13.43 - French Time] Single Father, David Tennant's post-Doctor Who new drama, premieres tonight on BBC One. And the competition is tough: Downton Abbey on ITV1 and Thorne, Sky1's new crime drama starring David Morrissey.

In Single Father, written by Mick Ford, Dave (David Tennant) is a photographer facing the seemingly impossible task of bringing up four kids alone after the sudden death of his wife, Rita (Laura Fraser). And things get even more complicated when Dave falls in love with his wife's best friend, Sarah (Suranne Jones). The four-part relationship drama is directed by Sam Miller and produced by Red Production Company (Casanova) for BBC One through BBC Scotland.

Single Father marks the return of ex-Doctor Who star David Tennant in a TV series after Rex is Not your Lawyer, the legal drama pilot he shot in the US, failed to be picked up by NBC. The Beeb must really be confident in Tennant's rating magnet magic as poor Dave (the character, we mean) will not only face the death of his wife but also ITV1's new jewel in the crown Downton Abbey.

Episode 2 of the commercial broadcaster's sublime return in the period drama territory (thanks to producer Carnival Films) was watched last week by an average of 8.782 million viewers and attracted a 33.2% audience share across ITV1 and ITV1 HD from 9pm. And Downton Abbey is preceded by ITV's juggernaut The X Factor.

As if it was not enough this sunday night premieres Thorne, Sky 1’s new big-budget crime drama adapted from Mark Billingham’s novels. Actor and director David Morrissey stars as DCI Tom Thorne and produces this adaptation with the affirmed ambition to emulate the best US dramas. He's supported by Sky, which wants to be a major player on the British drama front with shows like Chris Ryan's Strike Back or commissions like Mad Dogs, The Runaway, or Sinbad - a multimillion-pound modern take on Sinbad the Sailor from Impossible Pictures (Primeval).

But Thorne comes one week after the second part of DCI Banks: Aftermath, another adaptation of a literary detective. Based on the novels by Peter Robinson, DCI Banks stars Stephen Tompkinson (Wild at Heart) in the title role and attracted 5.8 million viewers for ITV1. BBC One's Single Father shares one essential quality with Downton Abbey: it's not one more gloomy crime drama.

Update - See also:

No comments: