His career has seen him take on a wide variety of roles on stage and screen – with particularly noteworthy performances on film and in television making him a household name in the UK with a global fanbase always eager to see what he’s up to next.
Although Tennant has a significant filmography on the big screen, including the likes of Harry Potter, How to Train Your Dragon and Nativity amongst his significant credits, today we’re going to concentrate on Tennant’s small screen work as we count down the top ten David Tennant TV shows of his career.
Now for many, Tennant is best known to them for one role – one that is so iconic in British television that everyone who plays it is cemented in sci-fi legend, yes of course we are referring to the role of the Doctor in the BBC’s long-running Doctor Who. And although Tennant’s fanbase was bolstered and significantly grown by his time in the TARDIS as the Tenth Doctor (and many of his episodes are considered among the best Doctor Who episodes of all time) , as we will find out on this journey through his career, David Tennant has a huge amount of range to his acting, and Doctor Who is just the start of it.
If you like Doctor Who, you might want to check out the best Matt Smith performances across TV and film too.
So let us begin our countdown of the best David Tennant TV shows. If you like watching videos, we advise you scroll down and watch our top 10 countdown, but if you prefer to read your lists, we’ve laid that on too. Yes, it truly is all available here at Screen OD!
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The Top 10 David Tennant TV Shows
Written by Russell T Davies, who would go on to become the showrunner of Doctor Who with Tennant joining the show as the Tenth, this is a fabulously humorous retelling of a very famous character’s story from history. Tennant really makes the role his own and won critical and popular praise for his performance in the show.
How can I watch? UK: Rent / buy US: Rent / buy
9. Around the World in 80 Days
Tennant steps into the shoes of Phileas Fogg as he embarks on a globetrotting adventure in this latest adaptation of Jules Verne’s literary classic. After making a wager at the Reform Club in London that he can make it around the globe in just 80 days, Fogg sets off on an incredible adventure with friends and foes. Tennant brings his own sense of wit and charisma to a well-loved character.
How can I watch? UK: BBC iPlayer US: PBS Masterpiece
8. Deadwater Fell
Tragedy besets the Kendrick home when a fire in the family house kills the mother and three children, with only the father and husband, village Doctor Tom, played by David Tennant, saved from the fire. But once the investigation begins, it turns out all is not necessarily what it first seemed in this family, and suspicions are raised. A dark and intriguing performance in a twisting tale.
How can I watch? UK: All4 / Disney+/ Britbox US: Acorn TV
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7.The Escape Artist
David Tennant plays barrister Will Burton, a lawyer known for his incredible skill of getting almost any criminal out of difficult situations, who is on the verge of becoming a QC. However, after agreeing to mount the defence for Liam Foyle, played by Toby Kebell, things start to go rapidly wrong in Burton’s life when he incurs the wrath of the man he was defending.
How can I watch it? UK: Rent / buy US: Rent / buy
6. Jessica Jones
David Tennant plays Kilgrave in this Marvel series opposite Kristen Ritter in the lead role. Kilgrave can control minds, and David Tennant puts in a fantastic performance as a character described as “a terrible man who doesn’t see himself as terrible” and really shows off his range as an actor.
How can I watch it? UK: Netflix US: Netflix
While much of the entertainment industry was shut down during the pandemic, Staged is a show that was inspired by it – seeing David Tennant and Michael Sheen play versions of themselves practicing for a play via video link. Funny, inventive and brilliantly entertaining, this is a show that will continued to be enjoyed long after the days of lockdown have gone.
How can I watch it? UK: Netflix US: Netflix
This performance quite rightfully won David Tennant the International Actor Emmy at the 2020 awards for his leading performance in this powerful crime drama based on the arrest of serial killer Dennis Nilsen. A truly spectacular turn from Tennant, this is a show and a story that stays with you long after the final credits have rolled.
How can I watch it? UK: Britbox / ITV Player US: Buy/ rent
3. Good Omens
Tennant teams up again with Michael Sheen in this Neil Gaiman Prime Video adaptation of his and Terry Pratchett’s 1990 novel of the same name. Tennant plays Crowley, a Queen fan and demon who has lived on earth since the beginning of time. He has to work out a plan with Michael Sheen’s angel Aziraphale to prevent everything coming to an end too soon.
UK: Amazon Prime Video US: Amazon Prime Video
2. Doctor Who
For many, David Tennant is the best Doctor of the rebooted era, winning an army of fans across the globe for his portrayal as the Tenth incarnation of the famous Timelord between 2005 and 2010. Bringing a unique wit, warmth and depth to the role, it is no wonder that rumours of his return to the series have never gone away in more than a decade since he left. Maybe one day?
How can I watch it? UK: Britbox US: HBO Max
A crime drama that had a nation guessing week after week, Broadchurch is written by Chris Chibnall who would go on to be the showrunner of Doctor Who. The series stars Tennant as DI Hardy who is charged with investigating the murder of a young boy, Danny Latimer, in an English seaside town. But there are many secrets in Broadchurch, and as the story unfolds it turns out almost everyone could be a suspect for the troubled Hardy to consider as part of his investigation. A stunning performance in a brilliant show.
UK: Britbox US: Britbox
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