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Published on August 18th, 2010 | by Christian Cawley

Rex Is Not Your Dialect Coach

Ever wondered what David Tennant’s failed US pilot Rex Is Not Your Lawyer might have been like?

His first TV project following Tennant’s departure from Doctor Who, this US TV show was conceived and developed for recording and broadcast in 2010 – however no network picked up Rex.

The concept – in which Tennant plays a lawyer with stage fright, meaning he is unable to represent clients and coaches them to represent themselves in course – seemed to have plenty of milage.

So was it low on laughs, or was there something amiss with one of the performances…? Well wonder no more – we’ve got a clip below!

Somehow this clip has surfaced online, and it is fair to say Rex probably needed a bit of work – not least from David Tennant’s accent!

Now I’ve never been to America, but I’ve seen quite a few of its inhabitants on the telly.

They rarely sound like that…

(Via SFX)


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

13 Responses to Rex Is Not Your Dialect Coach

  1. I’ve always wondered what David’s American accent would sound like… A bit of Scottish does bleed through, but otherwise, it’s a little weird how it sounds like he has a completely different voice!

  2. avatar Carn says:

    That’s very eerily like how my aunt’s ex-husband sounds like. If I close my eyes and just listening to that it sounds more like him than Tennant.

    The ‘Americans’ on most british shows never really sound quite american even when they are. I don’t know why that is. Maybe the same way in that even real english people don’t sound quite right on american TV even using their own supposed english accents.

  3. avatar Bow Ties Are Cool says:

    You guys had me ready to cringe for 1 minute and 23 seconds. And admittedly the voice-over at the beginning is a bit crap, but after that…

    Fine. Better than fine actually. A perfectly convincing American accent by a scottish bloke. He’s up there on my list of best american accents by people not from america, along with half the cast of the Wire (seriously, was ANYONE on that show actually american?).

    In my book, a good accent impersonation is one were you eventually forget they’re impersonating. It was weird at first seeing old 10th without his mockney voice, but after the first few seconds I started listening to what the characters were saying, and now I’m sorry this didn’t get picked up because I’m intrigued.

    Put it this way, it’s better than Hugh Laurie’s in House, were I’m always very aware that he’s putting a voice on.

  4. avatar 23skidoo says:

    Yeah, David’s accent doesn’t work. They’d have been better off letting him use the RP he used as the Doctor or stick with his Scottish accent – why all American characters have to have an American accent is beyond me. I know lots of Americans who have English accents.

  5. avatar delennca says:

    I agree with Bow Ties.

    The voice over is strange and not right at the first part It is a bit like the Sugar character from Doctor Who Lost Voyage. However after Tennant jumps over the furniture the accent is fine. The accent changes through the clip but it does change for the better.

  6. avatar nyssa7 says:

    I had heard David do a american accent briefly from audio clip from I believe a Doctor Who story he was reading. As most of you may know when does those he does a bunch different voices for all the different characters. 99% of time he’s really good at it. That clip that heard wasn’t one of time and neither was the clip from Rex. Actually, the audio clip from the DW story was a little better(I mean a little better). Being a American all my life and having lived in four different states(Ohio, Oklahoma, Nevada, Mass)I can tell you that nobody sounds like that. Even when I’ve gone to other states for vacation(California, Arizona,Florida and even Chicago-where this suppose to take place) nobody talks like that. Hugh Lauire does a much better accent. David sounds like someone who has a cold or to put another someone who’es scottish doing a american accent with a cold. I clearly hear some of his scottish accent coming through just like I did in the DW audio clip I heard. I have british actors doing some half way decent american accents. I can’t recall any scottish ones. Did Ewan Mcgregor do a american accent in a movie? I think he might of and that was okay. Michael Crawford did a good american accent in Hello, Dolly and in Barnum and Condorman, War Lover. I’ve heard Peter Davison do one and it’s pretty good. Maybe, we should hear Sylvester McCoy do one to see who is the scottish doctor that can do american? I hear that Rex was put on the shelf for almost four yrs and that’s not a good sign. As much as would love DT to succeed here I think it was doomed from the start.

  7. avatar Leosw4 says:

    Nothing will ever compare to a production of Arthur Miller’s View From a Bridge I once saw in a pretty reputable theatre-the American accent’s where cringeworthy. Ewan McGregor tried to do a young Alec Guiness once, but that’s not American although the American behind it will never be forgiven for three very ufortunate prequels.
    Anyway not a bad effort from David, but a timely reminder for me of why I like Matt so much…..

  8. avatar Rick714 says:

    The Brits are always quick to jump on the accent! It wasn’t that bad but true, it needed a bit of work. The most noticable thing was he sounds very whiney when doing that accent. Also, if the show is supposed to be a comedy, that wasn’t funny.

  9. avatar longtones says:

    I think it’s close, but the vowels are a little off…I’m Canadian mind you. The clip didn’t look too great, but I haven’t seen a lot of pilots that do the actual series justice.

  10. avatar DarrylGillikin says:

    I’m an American, and I’m going to jump on that accent. :) Wow. It may have taken 24 years, but there’s finally a male answer for Nicola Bryant. He’s clearly trying, but… no. No one over here would be as fooled as they were by Hugh Laurie. :)

  11. avatar amber says:

    The accent sounds fairly OK to me but then I’m not American- I know most actors’ attempts at a London accent make me cringe so this might well have the same effect on those who know better!

    Personally I was glad this didn’t get picked up- it seemed to be one of these formula shows where a doctor/policeman/lawyer has this/that/the other personality quirk which really don’t interest me at all. I’m sure he’ll end up doing something more interesting instead.

  12. avatar Patooty says:

    Re: accent. A lot worse than Hugh Laurie – a million times better than Philip Glenister.

    Re: pilot. Doesn’t make a good first impression at all. Yeah, it’s only a minute and a half, and I DO have an attention span longer than a gnat’s, but still – I didn’t smile, didn’t laugh, wasn’t intrigued, wasn’t turned on, wasn’t engaged in any way. DT can do better.

  13. Pingback: What Has David Tennant Done Since Leaving Doctor Who? | Kasterborous Doctor Who News

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