Takin' Over The Asylum
was first broadcast on BBC1 as a six-part series in September 1994. Written by Donna Franceschild, directed by David Blair (Anna Karenina, The Lakes
) and starring Ken Stott (Messiah, Rebus
) and David Tennant (Doctor Who
) in award winning debut performances plus a cameo from Spike Milligan, the acclaimed black comedy Takin' Over The Asylum
is available for the first time ever on DVD from 2nd June, priced £19.99.
Stott stars as Eddie McKenna, a double-glazing salesman who moonlights as a DJ for hospital radio in a Scottish mental asylum. He nurtures close friendships with the patients there including Francine (Katy Murphy, Our Mutual Friend, Honest) a self-harmer and Campbell (David Tennant, Doctor Who) a manic depressive, with whom he shares a dream to make it onto the commercial radio scene.
Campbell's inspired antics promise to bring the pair closer to their aim, but the pressures of life outside of the hospital begin to tell on Eddie. A vindictive colleague leads his small-minded boss to ban his activities and his eccentric grandmother returns suddenly to Lithuania leaving him penniless and alone.
Eddie finds himself drawn to the troubled Francine, but when the radio is threatened with closure he turns to Campbell for comfort. As Campbell regains control over his life and courts success, Eddies goes into decline and he is finally forced to face his own illness - alcoholism.
Takin Over The Asylum provided breakthrough acting roles for both Stott and Tennant. The black comedy went on to win several awards, including a BAFTA for best drama serial in 1995, as well as praise from mental-health groups.
"Everything about this series is perfect
rich in character, it treads a delicate path between tragedy and comedy". Daily Mirror
DVD Special Features
Audio Commentary with David Tennant
Never seen before footage: David Tennant's original audition tape for the role of Campbell.
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2.4 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), SPECIAL FEATURES: 2-DVD Set, Alternative Footage, Commentary, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: First screened in 1994, this engrossing six part drama took on the issues surrounding mental health with sensitivity and black humour. The series helped launch the careers of Ken Stott (Messiah and Rebus) and David Tennant (Doctor Who), and went on to win a BAFTA for Best Serial and an RTS Award for Best Writer.
Eddie McKenna is a double-glazing salesman who moonlights as a DJ for hospital radio in a Scottish mental asylum - St Judes. He nurtures close friendships with the patients there including Francine, a self-harmer, schizophrenic Fergus, OCD sufferer Rosaline and Campbell, a manic depressive, with whom he shares a dream to make it onto the commercial radio scene.
As Campbell's inspired antics seem to bring the pair closer to their goal, the pressures of work, relationships and family begin to get to Eddie. With his life threatening to spin out of control, it is Eddie's turn to look for help... SCREENED/AWARDED AT: BAFTA Awards, ...Takin' Over the Asylum 2-DVD Set