Single Father is an emotionally powerful yet funny four-part drama, about a man struggling to raise his four children after the death of his wife. Many viewers missed this drama last year when it was on BBC because,  like Spooks 10 this year,  it was on simultaneously to the unmissable Downton Abbey.  I missed it too but  I  was reminded of its existence by a kind commenter (on facebook) when I posted about "He Knew He was Right" and also discussed David Tennant's role in that period drama based on Trollope's novel. She warmly invited me to watch talented Tennant in this modern drama too.
Written by Mick Ford, and set in Glasgow, Single Father tells the story of Dave, a photographer facing the seemingly impossible job of bringing up his four kids alone.

Things get even more complicated when he begins to fall in love with Sarah, played by Suranne Jones, his wife's best friend.
Is Dave betraying Rita by falling in love again so quickly, or will he be walking away from happiness if he ignores his feelings? With his children at the centre of his world, Dave worries what will happen when they find out ... (official synopsis)
Who knows me well is already giggling and shaking their heads: "she's been crying her eyes out". But you are wrong, I didn't. 
What this drama was not is ..." a corny thing" (apart from the very last scene) . It is very sensitive, true, intelligent drama with so many funny moments. The writing is very good; not perfect, but very good.
As David Tennant himself said in one of his interviews, " because of the subject matter it is an extremely emotional piece but it is rather brutally unsentimental most of the time". What I most appreciate is the fact that the script doesn't insist on the characters weeping and wailing soon after the tragic event that shocks their lives, but it catches them up 10 weeks later when they try to cope with that shock and to go back to "normal".
David Tennant's most touching moments are those speechless ones delivered with significant facial expressions and  stares. He does a very good job as the loony, a bit airy-fairy,  but really devoted father of 4 (well , 5  actually and the grandad of 1!)

I also like Sarah's character, played by Suranne Jones. She  has always been around as Rita's best friend, the kids love her and Dave trusts her more than the rest of their family connections. But the sudden realization of a new different  bond between her and her friend Dave,  now a "single father", will make everything truly complicated. It won't be easy for  her, nor for all the others to accept such a sudden change. Sarah is  torn between loyalty to the memory of her friend Rita, to her boyfriend Matt, to her dream of a family of her own and her irresistible  attraction to Dave. To have an affair with him after only 10 weeks from Rita's death is ... indecently too soon! A dilemma she solves following her heart and defying everybody's opinion. 

Last but not least , I'm fond of the kids in this series - the actors playing Dave's children. They are also very good, incredibly good, in fact. 

Also Rupert Graves stars in this drama . He is Stuart, a man from Rita's past, a rich successful lawyer.  Dave will have to contend with him for Lisa's love. Lisa, 15,  is Rita's daughter and Dave helped her to bring her up as if it were his own.

Tennant and Fraser in Single Father (2010)
Tennant and Fraser in Casanova (2005)
 Do you remember? David Tennant and Laura Fraser (playing Rita in this series) had already worked together in Casanova and He Knew He Was Right .

If you like me have missed the chance to watch this drama on TV,
 it is  now available on DVD  (suitable for 15 years and over)


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Anonymous said...

Maria Grazia,
I've only watched David Tennant in Doctor Who, and liked very much his charming, expressive, self-confident persona. Now I'll try Single Father - surely I will enjoy it too. Thanks for the review!

Laura said...

I watched this as it was aired and God! it's one of my favourites of David's. Love the way they pictured the relationship with their kids and above all that conversation with his teenage daughter. A very moving and funny drama with a lot of old acquaintances of ours... Apart from Fraser, you also find righteous Thomas from Lark Rise to Candleford playing Robin who also happened to fall in love of a dog LOL
It was so funny to see Suranne playing the human Tardis in this last series of DW that it became my favourtie episode.

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