Top 10 David Tennant Performances

Credits: Ashley Bowman
Written by Sean Harris He plays heroes, anti-heroes, victims and villains. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 David Tennant Performances! For this list, we’ve gathered the best roles played by Scotland’s own, David Tennant. From critically acclaimed parts to fan favourite characters, his career is crammed with highlights. Special thanks to our users atoutzaid, JZG, Louiehs, MissAwesomeCraft, Tyson Turner, Jeff and Jedimperial96 for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 David Tennant Performances


He plays heroes, anti-heroes, victims and villains. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 David Tennant Performances!
For this list, we’ve gathered the best roles played by Scotland’s own, David Tennant. From critically acclaimed parts to fan favourite characters, his career is crammed with highlights.

#10: Giacomo Casanova
“Casanova” (2005)

David takes the title role for this three-part drama series, as the legendary 18th century Italian adventurer, gambler and Lothario. But his character is determined to find true love, despite life’s many, many temptations. A period piece packed with elegant costumes, endless travel, lots of running and questionable relationships, it was penned by Russell T Davies, the driving force behind the “Doctor Who” reboot. Tennant’s rapscallion performance as this loveable rogue is said to be a major reason for Davies casting him as the Tenth Time Lord.

#9: Dave Tyler
“Single Father” (2010)

Making the most of his trademark twang with a typically pained expression, David plays unhappy families in “Single Father”, which sees him try and raise his kids in the aftermath of his wife’s death. Only, the grieving process is made considerably more complicated when Tennant finds reason to doubt his dead wife’s faithfulness. What were once accepted relationships are then thrown into question, and Tennant’s father figure is pushed to breaking point. Once Again, David puts us through the ringer with a stand-out performance.

#8: Peter Vincent
“Fright Night” (2011)

A film which goes back to bloodthirsty basics with the vampire trend, Tennant’s role in the “Fright Night” remake sees him fight scores of fanged phenoms, all turned by the fabulously gory Colin Farrell. David’s Peter Vincent is Las Vegas meets Van Helsing; a vamp-hunting magician with more backchat than a back-street chiropractor. A good guy, but an egotistical character with an arrogant streak and an arsenal of weapons, he’s not someone you’d want to cross. McLovin’ lost an arm just by being in his house.

#7: Doug McLeod
“What We Did on Our Holiday” (2014)

David’s Doug McLeod is the lynchpin for this unlikely comedy about life, death, love, loss and family. Still reeling from a recent break-up with his wife, he and her travel to Scotland to celebrate Doug’s grandfather’s 75th birthday. The grandfather, played by Billy Connolly, is terminally ill and mostly unaware of his son’s relationship status. Suffice to say, it’s a complicated arrangement, made even more difficult when Grandad Gordie dies. But Tennant faultlessly flits through a full spectrum of emotions to show the stress, strain and sadness of his situation.

#6: Barty Crouch Jr.
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2005)

A small role, but a crucial one to the fourth Harry Potter story and the entire saga. Tennant plays one of Voldermort’s most trusted Death Eaters in “The Goblet of Fire”, casting the Dark Mark at the Quidditch World Cup, and using a Polyjuice Potion to manipulate Harry’s win in the Triwizard Tournament. During the limited screen-time which David does enjoy, he cuts a conniving, slithery so and so who’d step on his own family to see the Dark Lord rise again. The Dementors are just what he deserves.

#5: Alan Hamilton
“Recovery” (2007)

To one of Tennant’s most difficult to watch roles, and a TV film which won widespread praise. Playing a devoted dad, loving husband and proud breadwinner, David’s Alan Hamilton has his world changed forever when he suffers lasting brain damage after being hit by a truck. Tennant taps into Alan’s unique mind-set with sincerity and skill for one of his most moving performances. Everything about his character’s life has changed, and David stretches to all corners of his acting abilities to show us the trauma.

#4: Prince Hamlet
“Hamlet” (2009)

Tennant’s Shakespearian talents took centre stage in 2008 for his turn as Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Starring alongside Patrick Stewart’s Claudius in a production which was televised the following year, ‘To be or not to be’ may have been the question but few queried David’s success with the part. His jeans and t-shirt Prince of Denmark was the toast of critics everywhere. Other RSC ventures include the title role in “Richard II” in 2013, which was also live streamed to selected cinemas for one night only.

#3: Alec Hardy
“Broadchurch” (2013-17)

Another outing which makes for very heavy viewing, David stars as DI Hardy in ITV’s hugely successful West Country crime drama, “Broadchurch”. With Olivia Colman’s DS Miller, Hardy investigates a child murder in a tight-knit, seaside community. An outsider along the Jurassic Coast himself, a series subplot also explores Hardy’s various demons, and his attempts to ignore or overcome them. A moody cop with a point to prove, his no-nonsense approach rarely waivers throughout the show’s three seasons. No matter how often Miller tries to get him to open up.

#2: Kilgrave
“Jessica Jones” (2015-)

The clue’s in the name with this one. Kilgrave is probably Tennant’s biggest bad guy role, serving as the principal villain in Marvel’s “Jessica Jones”. Equipped with mind control abilities, this guy can get anyone to do anything he wants. And what he wants is never usually good, painless or pretty. But there is a flaw in his ruthless façade; an ongoing attraction to New York’s most unorthodox PI. Still, that didn’t stop him from getting his mum to kill herself, did it. What a bastard.

#1: The Tenth Doctor
“Doctor Who” (2005-13)

David Tennant’s time in the TARDIS is etched into British TV history. Not only is The Doctor one of the most iconic roles on television, but David managed to make it his own and is regularly voted as the show’s best incarnation. With Converse All-Stars and sticky-up hair, Tennant strolled through time and space fighting monsters, saving the world, bending the rules and breaking hearts. He memorably ‘didn’t want to leave’ during his final moments, and we didn’t want him to either. Gallifrey’s finest takes victory today.
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