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Above-average drama; nice little curiosity for Doctor Who viewers
on 16 July 2010
This is a good, solid, above-average drama which veers - rather like Bev's driving - between drama and comedy. For Doctor Who aficionados it is something of a cast reunion, Shaun Dingwall and Jessica Hynes both having appeared with Tennant in that show; and while Dingwall performs the down-on-his-luck wheeler-dealer in both, Hynes and Tennant get to play very different characters from those in their sci-fi outings.
All of the cast give it their all, although Tennant - despite his image being used to promote the programme - is actually not in it very much. This is very much about Hynes's Bev, and Tennant's Chris gets very little character development. It is worth watching the short scenes of Tennant as Chris more than once to see how the actor puts in little gestures and movements that provide more depth to the character's emotions than the script alone; and, as in ITV's 2005 drama 'Secret Smile', his character is a world away from the Time Lord. Hynes too shows off her range as an actor; watch this, then see her performances in Doctor Who as an Edwardian nurse and a little cameo as that character's descendant in Tennant's Who swan-song. Also worth appreciating are the actors playing the other driving school clients, who all have their own idiosyncrasies.
Otherwise, the story suffers from not being very funny; it would have been better-sold as a light drama. Worth watching if you admire the cast and in particular if you have ever been a learner driver.