Staged is a new series produced during the lockdown period, and which came about because both David Tennant and Michael Sheen – who both starred in 2019’s Good Omens – were meant to be appearing together in a West End production of Six Characters in Search of an Author. Over the course of a video call in attempts to rehearse, they discuss what’s going on in the world.
At first, it does make you wonder why they’re having a chat online when they have not too much to say, but then it’s not about the reason, it’s the intracies of life that they get into, making it feel a little like Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in The Trip, because they’re all playing versions of themselves, rather than precisely themselves.
Part of it involves rehearsing the play, part of it involves TALKING about rehearsing the play, but overall, I get the impression that it’s partly improvised, if not wholly improvised but based off a series of loose plot points.
Doctor Who‘s Tennant is married to Georgia Tennant (formerly known as Georgia Moffett), the daughter of an earlier former Doctor Who star, Peter Davison, and she appeared in a one-off episode, The Doctor’s Daughter, so, technically, he married both Davison’s daughter as well as his own.
At one point they’re talking about various authors who they consider fascists, so it’s rather like they’re ahead of the curve because, at the moment, almost everyone in the entertainment industry is getting cancelled for silly reasons.
Elsewhere, they have an argument about whose name comes first, with Sheen saying his surname comes before Tennant, but… Tennant’s real surname is McDonald. He took the name Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant, given that there was already an actor in Equity called David McDonald, having to legally change his name into the bargain. After I remembered I knew that, it does come up at one point.
Staged continues next Wednesday on BBC1 at 10.45pm, and it isn’t available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but you can watch all six episodes now on BBC iPlayer.
Episodes 1 and 2 Score: 7/10
Director: Simon Evans
Producers: Phin Glynn, Victor Glynn, Georgia Tennant
Writer: Simon Evans
Music: Alex Baranowski
David: David Tennant
Michael: Michael Sheen
Simon: Simon Evans
Georgia: Georgia Tennant
Anna: Anna Lundberg
Lucy: Lucy Eaton
Jo: Nina Sosanya
Janine: Rebecca Gage
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.