Casanova (2005 TV serial)

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Casanova
Format Comedy drama
Created by Russell T Davies
Directed by Sheree Folkson
Starring David Tennant
Peter O'Toole
Composer(s) Murray Gold
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 3
Production
Producer(s) Red Production Company
Granada Television
BBC Wales
Running time 174 mins (3 parts)
Broadcast
Original channel BBC Three
Original run 13 March – 27 March 2005

Casanova is a 2005 British television comedy drama serial, written by television scriptwriter Russell T Davies and directed by Sheree Folkson. Produced by Red Production Company for BBC Wales in association with Granada Television, the 3-episode series was first screened on digital television station BBC Three from 13 March, with a repeat on mainstream analogue network BBC One commencing 4 April.

Synopsis[edit]

Telling the story of the life of 18th century Italian adventurer Giacomo Casanova, based on his own twelve-volume memoirs, the one-hour episodes star Peter O'Toole as the older Casanova looking back on his life, and David Tennant as the younger version. Rose Byrne, Rupert Penry-Jones, Matt Lucas, Shaun Parkes, Nina Sosanya and Laura Fraser are also featured.

Episodes[edit]

# Title Original airdate
01 "Episode 1" 13 March 2005 (2005-03-13)
Castle Dux, Bohemia, 1798. Casanova, now a penniless librarian in his seventies, begins to tell his life story to Edith, a young kitchen maid in the castle he works in. We return to Casanova's childhood and humble beginnings as the son of an actor in Venice. As a young man he studies for the priesthood, but is expelled from his seminary, then meets and falls in love with Henriette... but the Duke of Grimani wants Henriette for himself. While living on his wits and as a mystic, does a good deed for Bragadin and comes into a fortune. Bragadin offers to adopt him and Henriette agrees to marry him. Grimani, enraged, has Casanova arrested and charged with witchcraft, but he escapes from prison.
02 "Episode 2" 20 March 2005 (2005-03-20)
Casanova flees Venice - taking with him Giac (pronounced 'Jack'), his young illegitimate son by a previous liaison, and Rocco, his servant. Casanova heads for Paris, as he knows that Venetian ambassadors abroad are able to grant pardons.
03 "Episode 3" 27 March 2005 (2005-03-27)
We follow the young Casanova's adventures in London - where he glimpses Henriette and tricks his way into court circles - and in Naples, where he meets an old friend. Still living on his wits, Casanova makes and loses fortunes and also enjoys other conquests. Back in the present, Edith realises that Casanova himself is now very sick and getting near his end. Edith tells Casanova that Henriette, who had died six months previously, is coming to visit as Casanova himself slowly dies smiling. The episode closes with a scene of Henriette and Casanova dancing and together at last.

Cast[edit]

There are also cameo appearances from comedians Matt Lucas, Mark Heap, Simon Day and Matthew Holness.

Production[edit]

The series was originally commissioned from Davies by Executive Producer Julie Gardner when she was working at Granada-owned London Weekend Television. However, after Gardner moved on to become Head of Drama at BBC Wales in 2003, she commissioned Davies to write the drama for the BBC instead, as part of the deal that also saw him installed as the chief writer and Executive Producer of Doctor Who (in which Tennant later played the Doctor's tenth incarnation), also being overseen by Gardner and made at BBC Wales. It was Tennant's role as the younger Giacomo that led to Davies casting him in Doctor Who as the Tenth Doctor.

It was aired in the United States in two parts, 8 and 15 October 2006, with the full unedited British version released on DVD the following week, 17 October 2006. The programme also aired in Australia on the ABC, again edited into two parts.

DVD release[edit]

The serial was released on DVD in the UK in June 2005, and in the United States in October 2006.

External links[edit]