Takin' Over The Asylum Sequel May Be In The Pipeline: David Tennant & Ken Stott Are Interested Says Writer
Nothing is concrete yet, but there is a possibility that David Tennant could make a return to one of his earliest and best loved TV roles. Donna Franceschild, the creator of the BBC Scotland TV series Takin' Over The Asylum, says that she has been approached to write a sequel to the show. The BAFTA-award winning series first aired in 1994 and bravely tackled the difficult subject of mental illness. The series follows hospital radio DJ Eddie, played by Ken Stott, who is sent to revive the broadcasting service at a run down Glasgow mental institution where he attracts a willing team of volunteers from among the patients, each with their own story to tell. Among them is Campbell, a young bipolar man, played by the then unknown David Tennant, who was 23 at the time.
Talking to Edi Stark on the BBC Radio Scotland show Stark Talk last week, Donna Franceschild explained that she was invited out to lunch by the series director David Blair who asked her if she would be interested in making a sequel. She learned that both David Tennant and Ken Stott had expressed interest in returning to their roles. Although this is no guarantee of a new series, which would require the actors' schedules to come together and a production company and broadcaster to come on board, she explained that, should it all come together, the new storyline would catch up with Campbell and Eddie 25 years later and would be a journey of redemption and the saving of a soul.
Donna also explained how David came to be cast in Takin' Over The Asylum. "David Blair had worked with David Tennant in some tiny little part [in Strathblair] where David had eight lines or something," she said. "When we were trying to cast it, the casting director said you can’t hire someone who’s never done serious telly before, you can’t take someone like that and put him in a main role. But David [Blair]’s a very canny and clever person so they got on a plane and they went up to Glasgow and they saw David Tennant, and the casting director went, ‘David, you’re absolutely right’. And what a complete blessing he was."
You can listen to the full interview with Donna Franceschild on BBC iPlayer.