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Revolution Is In The Air For Tennant


HE'S flying the flag for Scotland on a national, and inter-galactic, stage as the new Doctor Who.

But here's a chance to see Scots heart-throb David Tennant doing something a little less mainstream - yet still travelling through time.

After shooting to fame in Russell T Davies' adaptation of loose-loined Casanova last year, Tennant plays French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau - a man whose musings are attributable to the explosion of romantic poetry in the 18th century from literary luminaries such as Keats, Wordsworth and Byron.

Sliding through time from Paris in the 1700s to contemporary France, Tennant's philosopher sees the impact his musings had both in his day and in ours.

Scotland's small screen golden boy stars alongside Shameless' David Threlfall (Frank Gallagher in the Channel 4 comedy drama) and Dudley Sutton (Song For a Raggy Boy).

Episode one charts the development of the French Revolution and the birth of the individual in modern society. The 18th century was a time of wealth and privilege. Europe was dominated by the twin authority of Church and King, but this absolute rule was soon to be overturned.

The French philosopher Denis Diderot, played by Jason Watkins, insisted that men must reason for themselves. His friend, Rousseau, said that civilisation had corrupted mankind.

Rousseau's writings gave birth to a fresh hope for a new world of liberty, equality and fraternity. These ideas would fuel the greatest social upheaval in history - the French Revolution. In Britain, these romantic ideals would burst into the public arena in art and in poetry.

This was the greatest period of sustained creativity in English literature - a time of revolutionary changes in which poets had the power to remake the world in their own image.

Source: The Scotsman 21st January 2006