Television

Interview: David Tennant on series 2 of ‘There She Goes’

There She Goes is a comedy-drama based on the real life experiences of writers Shaun Pye and Sarah Crawford, whose daughter was born with an extremely rare and, to date, undiagnosed chromosomal disorder.

The series follows the day-to-day life of Rosie Yates (Miley Locke), a severely learning disabled girl and her family; dad Simon (David Tennant), mum Emily (Bafta Award-winning Jessica Hynes) and older brother Ben (Edan Hayhurst), as they cope with everyday situations like encouraging her to talk and persuading her that not every day is Christmas.

Series one, which debuted on BBC Four in 2018, chronicled the dual timeline of Rosie as a newborn and aged nine. This new series will be set around 18 months on and will focus on Rosie at the ages of three and 11.

David Tennant plays Simon.

The new series picks up 18 months after the first series, can you tell us what’s in store for the family?
We are back with the family as they continue to try to cope with everything life, fate and Rosie throws at them.

Viewers saw some pretty tense moments in Simon and Emily’s relationship in the earlier timeline in series one, what was it like to film those scenes?
I think Jess and I were always very aware that we were telling Shaun and Sarah’s story. It’s pretty much autobiographical, and knowing that you are retelling often quite painful moments in the life of someone who is sitting round the corner watching on a monitor feels like a big responsibility. But that very truthfulness is what made the scripts so powerful and drew me to the story in the first place.

How was it being back on set with all the cast again?
Great. It felt like we’d never been away. I feel like we summon up the feeling of a genuine family quite readily.

We meet Simon’s father (played by Gregor Fisher), what was it like working with him?
I first worked with Gregor on Rab C Nesbitt about 400 years ago. I’ve always thought he is an exceptional actor and he has been a bit of a hero of mine. I was so pleased he agreed to play my dad. He was as delightful and brilliant as I’d hoped and creates a distinctive and memorable character.

What reaction did you get to the first series?
I think people were surprised, moved, shocked and charmed. Families with similar challenges were often particularly delighted to see an honest depiction of the unique difficulties and particular mixture of experiences they face.

Where you surprised at the reaction you got?
Not at all, when I first read the script I knew it was something special and not really like anything I’d seen before. I just hoped we could make the show as it was written and preserve that unique voice.

There She Goes has a perfect balance of making the viewers laugh one minute and crying the next. Do you think it’s important to show the humour as well as the drama?
I think it’s important that the story is told truthfully and honestly. There is very little in the show that hasn’t happened to Shaun and Sarah’s family, so it’s not about manufacturing comic moments or emotional scenes, it’s just about honestly reflecting what happened.

What is it about Shaun and Sarah’s writing that makes this show so appealing to you?
I think the reason this works is all down to Shaun and Sarah’s honesty. Their willingness to be completely candid about their own shortcomings and difficulties, and indeed their achievements and victories, is what makes this story so identifiable.

What do you hope viewers will take away from the series?
For those who didn’t see series one, I hope they’ll take the chance to meet the Yates family. For those who know the show already I hope they’ll be as keen to return to them as I was. I’m very proud to be part of There She Goes and want as many people as possible to see it.

There She Goes begins on Thursday 9 July, 9.30pm on BBC Two.