Review of Casanova

Written by Russell T. Davies, Directed by Sheree Folkson

Television Miniseries (3 Episodes), originally broadcast 13, 20, 27 March 2005, BBC Three


by Monika Lewis                                        Reviewed 9 June 2008

This production of Casanova will seem familiar to fans of the new series of Doctor Who, since it is also a BBC Wales production and features many of the people involved in the science fiction revival series.   These include producer Julie Gardner, writer Russell T. Davies, music composer Murray Gold, David Tennant (The Doctor in Doctor Who) as the young Giacomo Casanova and Shaun Parkes (leader of a space expedition, Zachary Cross Flane in the Who episodes "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit") as Casanova's valet Rocco.   The series was produced before Doctor Who and led to David Tennant getting the role of the Tenth Doctor. 

The adventures of Casanova are encompassed by a framing device of his older self played by Peter O'Toole telling a young maid, Edith, about his past.  This series is very entertaining and witty, though unlike Doctor Who it might not be appropriate for younger audiences.  There is some great drama as well as comedy as Casanova travels around Europe, romancing women and getting into trouble with the authorities.  He must also deal with the consequences of his actions and think about the example he is setting to others.  The writing by Russell T. Davies and music by Murray Gold is excellent, as well as the costume and set design that conveys a fanciful version of the 18th century setting.