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David Tennant's Inside Man character makes “catastrophically bad decisions”

Steven Moffat's intriguing upcoming drama weaves together three storylines that have nothing in common at first glance.

David Tennant in Inside Man
BBC/Hartswood/Paul Stephenson
Published: Wednesday, 21st September 2022 at 11:16 am
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David Tennant is set to return to our screens later this month with Inside Man, Steven Moffat's upcoming four-part series.

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The intriguing drama weaves together three characters' storylines – a vicar in a quaint English town (Tennant), a prisoner on death row in the US (Stanley Tucci), and a maths teacher trapped in a cellar (Dolly Wells).

It's unclear at this stage how their paths cross, but it's safe to believe they do so in an unexpected way. Speaking of his character, Vicar Harry Watling, and how his story fits in with the others', Tennant said: "[It's] very hard to sum up, because there are two separate worlds going side by side.

"Part of the joy of watching the show is wondering if these worlds are ever going to collide. But from my character’s point of view, it’s a story about a man who, in pursuit of doing the right thing, makes a series of catastrophically bad decisions."

They must be catastrophic indeed, to put him in the path of Tucci's prisoner Jefferson Grieff, who is serving time for murdering his wife. He also happens to be a criminologist who solves crimes from the inside.

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Stanley Tucci in Inside Man
Stanley Tucci in Inside Man BBC/Hartswood/Kevin Baker

Speaking of the script, Tennant said: "I just read the script and wanted to be part of it, it’s very particular to Steven Moffat’s brain. When you read that first episode it’s hugely intriguing.

"These two very distinct storylines are both entirely plausible, textured and fascinating in themselves and they are running side by side. It’s very difficult I think to immediately imagine how they will ever come together on different sides of the world, for these characters living entirely separate existence, they couldn’t seem to be more different.

"Yet as an audience we assume there must be some link but really we’re quite far into the story before those links start to appear. It’s part of the set-up of the sort of puzzle of that along with the almost breath-taking awfulness of what occurs, the incremental steps to doom that Harry takes, the unravelling of normality. Steven described it as a sitcom that goes terribly wrong."

The Inside Man cast is rounded out by Lydia West and Atkins Estimond.

Inside Man is coming to BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Monday 26th September. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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