“You do something to me”

Friday, February 9, 2007 by

“You take them home, and all you see is the death of everything.”

Recovery, Tony Marchant’s latest effort, goes out on BBC1 on February 25. Following his pretty dismal Family Man, I reckon this is a real return to form. David Tennant plays a – er – family man struggling to come to terms with brain damage following a road accident.

The story, in the main, is told from the point-of-view of his wife (former squeeze Sarah Parish), who now becomes his carer. “I keep looking at people and thinking, ‘Why didn’t it happen to them?’” she says at one point. And it’s heartbreaking stuff, as the couple seek to redefine their relationship, at one stage positing a continued existence as a kind of brother and sister, rather than man and wife. Both leads excel in their roles, Tennant very withdrawn and unresponsive through much of the drama, while Parish is great – she doesn’t just mine every line for sympathy, and finds other cadences to play.

It’s not all perfect, though. That typical Marchant surly teen crops up here, declaring at moments of high emotion, “By the way, my A levels start tomorrow”. Plus, with a tale like this, progression is difficult. To have the brain damage suddenly go away would be stupid… so a hell of a lot of it is more-of-the-same.

Oh, and Who fans note, we get to see Tennant in the nude, having sex and pooing into a bucket. Peter Davison never did that on telly to the best of my knowledge.


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