TVP Interview David Tennant On Spies Of Warsaw

Polish broadcasters TVP now have a Spies Of Warsaw minisite containing pictures, videos (viewable in Poland only), character features and interviews.

Read their interview with David Tennant below. (Apologies to David and interviewer Christopher Lubczyński - with the translation going from English to Polish then back to English, it may not be verbatim):


My character appears a bit like James Bond. He’s not much of a superhero, and he is courageous and likes the women - says David Tennant, the popular British actor who played the lead role in the Polish-British series "Spies of Warsaw"

Who is the main character in the series, Colonel Mercier? 

- The French military attaché posted to Warsaw before the outbreak of World War II. Officially he is engaged in diplomacy, but in fact he leads a second life of a secret agent. We meet him at a time of international turmoil. Mercier is in the middle of the turmoil. His task is to monitor what is going on in Germany in terms of the possible impact on the lives of people in England and the rest of Europe. He is a spy who remembers the First World War. His actions are guided by the ideals of those times. Really he wants to do the right thing. 

Your character is a well-equipped spy ...

-     A little. He has a few gadgets - the camera ... the camera, which at that time was a rare, sophisticate device. He also has weapons. But he is not a superhero in any way, as James Bond. He has more flaws  than him and is not nearly so versatile. For example, he doesn’t have skis. And he only gets a few girls.  

What was the biggest challenge in the production of "Spies"?

-     It's a huge ambitious production. Every day there are thousands of things to deal with. Most series focus on one or two sets. The pub, and then home. We shot in many places, and these are not the usual type of scenes. There are tanks, horses, pyrotechnics. We had the big ambitions of a large scale cinematic production with at the same time the limited budget typical of television. So the goal was to reach an end result that looked like we planned. 

In the UK, you are very popular as the lead of "Doctor Who" from the show which in Poland is not as popular ... 

-     I was surprised – that very many people are familiar with the series. 

How hard is it to get rid of your associations with the character of Doctor Who?

-    I probably never will. I have no problem with that. The fact is that "Doctor Who" has opened many doors for me. 

What do you think about your Polish co-stars acting on "Spies"? 

-    You have great actors. I'm not talking just about punctuality and professionalism, but great talent. Martin Dorociński has a lot of admirers who came to the set to see him. It's really interesting. It was clear that here he is a real star. Many Poles played parts, speaking in a foreign language. Sometimes they did it even better than we did, for whom English is our mother tongue. I was really impressed.

Did Warsaw ‘play’ Paris well? I believe that filming was all in Polish cities

-     It played very it well. As for the Polish cities, Warsaw's Old Town is very beautiful. Krakow is so beautiful that I would love to go back there again. I also liked Chabówka a lot. 

Thank you for your time. 
Interviewed by Christopher Lubczyński.

Spies Of Warsaw begins on BBC Four at 9pm on Wednesday 9th January and on TVP1 in Poland on Friday 11th January at 8.30pm. It will come to BBC America in February and France (Arte) and Australia (UKTV) later this year.

Translation by Jill -