Media release: TAM – a contemporary homage to Robert Burns’ epic tale, ‘Tam O’Shanter’, to be re-imagined on BBC ONE Scotland

T1 -Martin Docherty as Tam O’Shanter

TAM – a contemporary homage to Robert Burns’ epic tale, ‘Tam O’Shanter’, is to be  re-imagined on BBC ONE Scotland in a gritty metropolitan adaptation.

TAM broadcasts on Friday 25 January, BBC One Scotland, 11.25pm. Running time: 15 mins.

Starring Martin Docherty (Cloud Atlas, Outlander, River City) as the party-loving Tam, and Gavin Mitchell Still Game, Outlaw King) as his bosom buddy Johnny Soutar, TAM follows the hallucinogenic journey of a modern Tam O’Shanter as he descends into a visceral underworld of wild parties, violence and illicit highs, where he encounters demons, the ‘devil’ himself, and the bewitching Cutty Sark (played by Ley Les Rouge, an international pole-dancing champion).

Narrated by Scottish actor, Anne-Marie Timoney, and with 90s-inspired dark electronic tracks created by NovaSound, a Scottish songwriting and production house built around the writing partnership of Audrey Tait (from award-winning Hector Bizerk), and Lauren Gilmour (Bella and the Bear).

TAM’s gripping sound track was designed and created by Paul Wilson and the students from MDes Sound for the Moving Image, at the Glasgow School of Art’s School of Simulation and Visualisation.

Director/writer Victoria Brown said: “Working with NovaSound, Paul Wilson, and the students at GSA was a brilliant experience – they really got into the heart of Burns’ story and understood the youthful energy within it. Robert Burns had a tremendous gift for storytelling, and Tam O’Shanter is every bit as relevant today as when it was written in 1790. We hope this identifiable update on Burns’ classic inspires a new generation to re-read the original poem, and that Burns gets a whole new generation of fans.”

Producer Jason Brown added: “The talent, support and enthusiasm of everyone involved in TAM was inspirational – it was clearly a project that everyone enjoyed and we are delighted their commitment has paid-off.”

Martin Docherty, who plays Tam, said: “Tam O’ Shanter is probably the most famous of all of Burns’ poems and Vicki’s impressive script remained true to the metre of the original poem. It was a joy to read and really jumped out the page for me. Playing the role of ‘Tam’ in a present-day situation was incredibly exciting – the filming locations were always beautiful and never felt like work, which is down to the great team and the great working atmosphere they created. Cycling through the necropolis is still the highlight of my career so far. Seeing everyone’s talent coming together in the final film was amazing to experience but most importantly it was still Burns’ story at heart and that is very special.”

For more information, please call Victoria Brown, 07725 032598 /, or via Facebook @tamshortfilm 


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