Chris Chibnall on David Tennant: I Feel Lucky To Be A Writer When He’s An Actor

Writer Chris Chibnall took time off from work on his new BBC project The Great Train Robbery this week to have a lengthy chat with Luke from Custard TV about his highly acclaimed drama Broadchurch. The conversation also covered working with David Tennant and about the current state of UK TV Drama.

Chris wouldn’t be drawn on the identity of the killer (or killers, as he teased), and stressed that they had taken a lot of precautions to ensure the secret would not be revealed. However, he explained that Broadchurch is more than just a murder mystery:
“Even if it’s leaked tomorrow there is more to the piece than that,” He said, “It’s not about an identity, the story is about the effects of the event on the community and the last episodes are more than just the reveal.”

Chris revealed that he had originally planned Broadchurch to be a ten part drama, but ITV only agreed eight, but this in itself said a lot about their confidence in the project. Also it was never designed to be a returning franchise but as a one-off story.

He also had great things to say about David Tennant:

“James Strong and I keep coming back to him. David is the best actor he can do anything, he’s really, really versatile. And the thing about David that is probably a bit underappreciated is that he really works incredibly hard at the very small details of the character. The things he’s done with Hardy, that took me a few weeks to notice on the rushes, he’s slightly changed his metabolism, and the way he walks and the way he blinks … It’s a really different character and he was really up for doing something different. He has worked so hard at the detail of that character and it looks effortless, and I’m absolutely certain that he’s put in such immense thought and detail and preparation into that character to make it look like that.
“He likes to be challenged and he doesn’t want to repeat himself …it’s a very different character to the Tenth Doctor. He can bring such truth and humanity. You feel like you know the character when David portrays it, he brings such depth. I truly feel he’s such a special actor and I feel lucky to be a writer when he’s an actor. He makes us all look good.”

Chris, the cast and crew have been overwhelmed by the ratings for the first episodes of Broadchurch. Nobody expected it to be the hit that it is, but it said a lot about the current state of British television, “It’s in such an exciting state: a brilliant time. There’s nowhere more exciting to make TV than Britain.”

Broadchurch has much to offer in future episodes They will burrow down deeper into the community and deal with concerns above and beyond the whodunit element. There will be many more revelations, cliffhangers and great acting from the incredible cast.

Listen to the full interview below. Chris Chibnall discusses scenes between Detectives Hardy and Miller (David Tennant and Olivia Colman) from 13 minutes, and talks more about David Tennant from 15 minutes 30 seconds

Broadchurch continues on ITV at 9pm on Monday 25th March

Find out more about the series here

Visit The Custard TV here