"Written by Mick Ford (Ashes To Ashes, William And Mary), Single Father is a touching yet humorous drama which tells the story of Dave (David Tennant), a photographer facing the seemingly impossible job of bringing up four kids alone after the sudden death of his wife, Rita (Laura Fraser). Things get even more complicated when he begins to fall in love with his wife's best friend, Sarah (played by Suranne Jones). Single Father asks how soon is too soon to fall in love again?"I went to the BAFTA screening of the first episode of Single Father tonight and it was utterly amazing. And on a completely surperficial note: David on the BIG screen. Holy crap! I've done my best to try and remember what happened during the episode and decipher my notes as to what was said during the Q/A for those interested :)
Non spoilery info
• We got shown episode 1 (out of 4) which lasted one hour, as well as separate previews for the other episodes.
• There is no official air date yet, but it's on the BBC Autumn schedule.
• The episodes will air weekly (when someone asked when episode 2 will air the answer was "one week after episode 1").
• David uses his lovely Scottish accent in the series.
• Murray Gold has composed the music.
• I can warn you that it (episode one at least) is an absolute tearjerker.
• Rupert fucking Graves! Uh... yeah. I had no idea he would be in it, so I got excited when I found out XD He wasn't in the first episode but from the previews I gather he has a reasonably large part in the rest of the series.
• Laura Fraser plays Rita, which provides for a little Casanova reunion.
Q/A (no spoilers)
(not much though because I can't decipher most of my scribblings...)
• The Q/A was with Suranne Jones (Sarah), Sam Miller (director), Mick Ford (writer) and Nicola Shindler (Executive Producer)
• For the casting of the children the production team scouted local schools in Glasgow and drama workshops.
• The children cast for Evie, Paul and Ewan are a lot like the characters they portray.
• Often the cameras were still rolling without the cast being aware of it. This, to get a more natural look and slightly documentary style; to pull the audience in.
• Mick Ford wrote the original draft for Single Father 5 years ago, but it went through many changes since. Amongst others it went from 6 episodes to 4.
• Suranne had been talking about David with other people before shooting started and apparently David Morrissey calls David Tennant "The nicest man in the world" (yes, this is relevant to my interests).
• She also said "Not to praise David anymore, but.." and then continued to tell how amazing he was in amongst others the scene where Dave finds out about Rita's death.
• Suranne talked about a "family bonding" they did with the kids, which was that they all went bowling together. They had to make teams and all the kids wanted to be in David's team.
• The director mentioned how he'd occasionally tell David to play a scene another way (Ie angrier) but at the end of the day he'd always end up using the first cut, the one where David used his own interpretation of the scene.
• There are a lot of times where in the script the last part of an actor's line would be in brackets followed by upside down exclamation marks, indicating that the actor had the choice of using that part of the sentence or leaving it out.
Write up of the episode (=SPOILERS)
• Dave and Rita have three children together: Paul, Ewan and Evie.
• Both Dave and Rita have children from previous relationships. Lucy, Rita's teenage daughter, lives with them and Dave's oldest daughter lives with his ex-wife (who he's still friends with).
• Dave plays soccer and is the goal keeper of his team. He also rides a motor bike.
• Before the opening sequence we get shown moments before Rita's death and the accident itself (she's riding her bike and gets hit by a police car). During the moment she's tumbling through the air she mouths "I love you" and Dave (who's in his studio at that time so nowhere near her) says "I love you too".
• After the opening sequence it's one day before Rita's dead and we get to see Dave and Rita interact with their children on a normal day.
• The scene after that is a brief cut of what we saw before the opening followed by Dave and the children finding out (= heartbreaking). Sarah (Rita's best friend) helps out at the house in the first moments. At night, when the children are asleep, Dave takes a trip on his motor bike and gets pulled over by the cops because he's speeding. When they realise he's the husband of the woman that got killed by a police car earlier on the day they let him go.
• Rita keeps a diary and after her death Dave writes on the next blank page: "Today my love died at two past two".
• We don't get to see the funeral, instead we skip 10 weeks into the future to see how the family copes with it all (not well).
• Especially Lucy is having a hard time because she feels left out of the family (as Dave isn't her real father). There is one scene in particular where she confesses to Dave how she's been feeling which is absolutely heartbreaking. She starts skipping school and eventually runs away.
• Dave runs after Lucy but she manages to get on a bus before he catches her and he calls Sarah to look after the children while he tries to keep up with the bus. Eventually he has to give up and goes back home, where Sarah and Paul are calling Lucy's friends to see where she is. Dave retreats to the bathroom and absolutely breaks down (this scene is so well played, I can not mention enough how brilliant David is in it. He's without a doubt one of the most amazing emotional actors out there). Sarah finds him and tries to comfort him, and eventually they start to kiss...
• When Dave shows the children a photo of Rita to remember her the photo slowly turns into a flashback scene, which was really neatly done.
• It's not all drama, there are funny moments too. Such as when Dave is trying to photograph two toddlers dressed up as baby chicks in giant eggs and he holds a stuffed toy over the camera trying to get them to stop crying.
• He also tries to set up a tent in the garden for the children and utterly fails doing so (his excuse is that there are no instructions, when they are in fact printed on the inside of the tent roflmao).
• After the screening of the first episode there were brief previews for the episodes to come revealing some absolutely shocking twists, such as the possibility of Lucy's father (Rupert Graves) being the father to Evie, Paul and Ewan as well. And Evie walking in on Dave and Sarah having an intimate moment.
This was written down really rushed so sorry for any spelling errors... Let me know if you have any questions :D