TV Worth Watching is a new series highlighting my favorite television viewing. I am a big fan of UK television, so you are sure to see many UK shows and movies featured here. — Douglas
TV Worth Watching: Hamlet with David Tennant
When done right, Shakespeare can be an amazing experience. Given the source of Shakespeare and his plays, the British can perform his plays better than most, especially when given the money and this television movie production of Hamlet shines in every way. Former Doctor Who actor, David Tennant grabs the role and wrestles all the depth and psychological drama that this play has to offer. Hamlet is often considered the defining moment for any actor and Tennant does great service to the role and himself.
Performed onstage originally with the Royal Shakespeare Company, this adaptation doesn’t just film the stage, but rather creates a full movie production that makes us a voyeur of the scenes that play out. In fact, some scenes are shot using faux security cam footage, since the time of the play is brought forward into the present and not set in some ancient past. Patrick Stewart puts in a star turn as both King Claudius and his ill-fated ghostly brother
Overall, the setting, the production and the actors help to make this a very accessible version of Hamlet. If you have been scared off from Shakespeare tragedies before, this could be your way into a deeper understanding of what Shakespeare has to offer.
Hamlet aired as part of Great Performances on PBS here in the US but it also now available from several online video on demand services as well as on DVD. Do yourself a favor and five into this deep, deep, presentation of Hamlet. I think you will find something in this performance that you haven’t seen before.
You can watch the entire performance (with advertising) in the small video below, although watching it on a larger screen would be a better experience.
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