DVD Review: Taking Over The Asylum

The following is an article from Hafal’s Big Lottery-funded Young People’s Information Hub. To access the Hub please visit: http://www.hafal.org/hafal/yp_index.php

He’s famous for playing parts as diverse as Dr Who, Hamlet and Casanova but Scottish actor David Tennant’s big acting break came in a role which will appeal to anyone interested in the work of Hafal’s Young People’s Information Hub.

Back in the mid 90s David starred in a TV drama series called “Taking Over the Asylum”. David played the part of a young man with bipolar disorder who befriends the hospital DJ, McCann (played by Ken Stott). The pair set up a radio station, engage the patients in their work and dream of making it big on the commercial radio scene.

Hafal’s Young People’s Information Officer, John Gilheaney, said: “I was told about the series by Hafal’s Time to Change Senior Trainer, Gail Silver, who works in North Wales; Gail is a big fan of it. I ordered a DVD of the series from Amazon (it only cost £4) and I enjoyed and learnt a lot from viewing it.

“The series covers loads of mental health issues like employment, medication, self harm and discrimination in an insightful, moving and entertaining way.

“Ken Stott and David Tennant are fantastic. Stott’s character is a very kind man who drinks too much and is unfairly treated by his boss, a zealous double glazing manager (a very amusing fellow). Tennant’s character, Campbell, is a young man searching for a role in life, a very engaging guy who is terribly misunderstood by his unsympathetic dad. I would urge anyone with even a small interest in mental health issues to watch this series, you’ll get a lot from it.”

Hub visitors may also be interested in watching the BBC school drama “Waterloo Road” which is currently running a storyline surrounding a character diagnosed with schizophrenia. The storyline was developed by the Time to Change anti discrimination campaign in England.

To view David Tennant’s audition for ‘Taking Over the Asylum” please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jiSd6qiOjQ (note; YouTube contains a range of scenes from the series which are well worth a look).

For information on the portrayal of schizophrenia on Waterloo Road please visit: http://tiny.cc/1hdacw

For information on the Time to Change Wales campaign please visit: http://www.timetochangewales.org.uk/