David Tennant both impressed and creeped out fans through his incredible performance as serial killer Dennis Nilsen in the first episode of the new ITV drama Des.
Previously released images proved that Tennant bore an uncanny resemblance to Nilsen once he was in character, but his on-screen performance only made the transformation more convincing.
The new miniseries began on ITV last night, September 14, and detailed the moment Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay discovered rotting human flesh and bones stuck in the drains of Nilsen’s London home.
Nilsen was willing to cooperate with police as he revealed the remains weren’t the only ones he had lying around, but his easy admission only made him all the more creepy.
Fans were quick to compliment Tennant’s performance, with many praising the way he managed to play the serial killer so convincingly.
One viewer compared Tennant’s role in Des to his time spent in Doctor Who, writing:
Few actors can project pure good and pure evil on-screen quite as effectively as David Tennant.
Another described Tennant’s performance as ‘chilling’, writing:
I’m blown away by David Tennant’s performance in Des.
He truly is one of Britain’s greatest actors.
A third Twitter user described Des as ‘incredible’, adding that Tennant put on a ‘masterclass’ through his acting and saying he deserves a ‘BAFTA nomination (and likely win)’, while another commended his ‘chillingly’ convincing portrayal of the serial killer, adding: ‘Just give him all the awards now.’
Only one episode of the three-part series has aired so far, but Twitter users might see their demands met as Tennant’s role has actually already earned him a nomination for Best Actor in this year’s TV Times Awards.
The Scottish actor is up against the likes of Tom Brittney, Martin Compston, Ralf Little, Patrick Robinson and Michael Sheen, but with another two episodes of Des still to go he has plenty of chance to win over fans for a few extra votes.
Des tells the true story of Nilsen, a necrophile who is believed to have brutally murdered at least 12 young men and boys between 1978 and 1983. He lured victims back to his homes in Melrose Avenue and Cranley Gardens in Muswell Hill, North London, before killing them and sexually violating their corpses.
Tennant stars in the series alongside Daniel Mays (Peter Jay) and Jason Watkins, who plays biographer Brian Masters. In the series, Masters tries to understand Nilsen’s need to kill while failing to recognise that his interest may ruin his life.
Des continues on ITV tonight from 9pm.
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