Listen To David Tennant's Interview On NPR Weekend Edition

David Tennant was interviewed by Celeste Headlee earlier this week and the interview was broadcast this morning on NPR in the USA. David was there to talk about Broadchurch, the eight part crime drama in which he stars alongside Olivia Colman, Arthur Darvill and David Bradley, which had its US premiere on BBC America on Wednesday night.

On Broadchurch being a familiar form of crime drama with bickering, mismatched cops and the protagonists, and plenty of red herrings, false leads and secretive characters, he said, "These are the motifs of crime drama. They're all very recognizable to us, they're all quite well-worn. But I think what Chris Chibnall, who wrote Broadchurch, so exceptionally manages to do, is five minutes into the show, you're not thinking that anymore, you're just in this beautifully-crafted world ... it all feels fresh-minted."

Broadchurch follows the unraveling of a single crime, the murder of a schoolboy in a tiny seaside town, over the course of eight episodes. David said of the sedate structure:
"It allows you to invest in character. It is the story of who killed Danny, and the uncovering of that mystery, but it's also the story of all the people around that, and it's the story of this community, and it's as much about the emotional impact of that as it is on solving the crime. The story can tease you in certain different directions — and of course it means that the ultimate impact of that final episode is so much more powerful than if the whole thing was wrapped up in 45 minutes.
 "I think that's the way television is sort of headed — I mean, the rise of the box set is something that's changed the way we expect television to be, I think, in that audiences now have an appetite for longer forms ... I'm sure that's to do with the fact that you watch television, we can consume television in so many different ways. If we miss an episode because we weren't in on a Wednesday night at 10 o'clock, it's not the end of the world."

Celeste Headlee pointed out that there were a number of other actors in the drama with whom he had worked before or had worked in different eras of the same TV shows. David agreed that there were certain advantages to working with familiar faces and fortunately those actors who were less pleasant to work with were few and far between. He added:
"I think actors often have a reputation for being ludicrous divas, and for being very self-important. You know, if you break it down, it's quite a silly thing to do. You stand in a field with some camera pointing at you, pretending to be someone else and recite words that somebody wrote in their room several months before. if you look at it objectively, it can feel a bit daft, and it only works if you're all buying into the fiction equally, and you're all suspending your disbelief together. So I think actors, because we sort of take this ludicrous leap of faith together, we tend to be quite a trusting bunch."

Broadchurch has already been viewed in the UK and also has been seen by audiences worldwide. What of the temptation to skip ahead and look up the ending? David said that he hoped that audiences would be able to resist peeking at the ending and will enjoy the road to discovery in the same way that UK audiences did. "When this first broadcast in Britain, of course, nobody knew, and it did generate quite a storm, actually, it took us all a bit by surprise." he said. "It was broken down in all the newspapers, it was talked about on the radio, it became a bit of a national moment. But the fact is, of course, that 100 people who worked on the show did know — the truth was out there, and people, I don't think, wanted to find out. I think people didn't want to have their Christmas present spoiled, if you like.
"Of course, it has broadcast somewhere in the world, and these days that means the facts are out there. And if somebody really wants to go find out whodunnit before they get to episode 8, that's their lookout. But I suspect the audience won't. I think people will want to go on the journey. And even if you do know whodunnit, I don't think that's the whole story ... there's an emotional story as well, which really, you're only going to experience by watching the show."

Broadchurch continues on BBC America on Wednesday nights at 10pm/9c. It is also currently screening on Showcase in Canada on Sundays and Mondays, GNT in Brazil on Mondays and ABC1 in Australia on Friday nights.

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