Timing with this upcoming programme has also been echoed somewhat in soapland with the assisted 'suicide' storyline (and I use that word rather than death because of the dramatised approach to it on the side of the people helping it happen) on Emmerdale that finally concluded very messily last night...
Did anyone else see it?
I thought the actual storyline was aproached honestly if patchily in performance by the actors in that the 'journey' has taken around 6 months to unfold from the accident that rendered good gay Jackson a fit young self-employed builder tetraplegic and unable to move or feel from the neck down reasonably gritty and surprisingly sensitive in places (am so
glad Eastenders didn't do this
) to the scenes last night where we didn't exactly see him 'die' but did see his boyfriend Aaron fumblingly get the liquid drugs into Jackson after his mum Hazel (a magnificently snotty snivelling Pauline Quirke) fell at the last fence and bottled out of giving her son his life-ending drink. Next thing after seeing Jackson chugging the drink down from Aaron's shaky hands, we see Aaron belting out of the house in horror and heading for the fields to throw up and then a cut back to the house for the final shot of Jackson's face looking like he's asleep and looking really quite well and calm, apparently asleep next to his mum now composed if tear-stained face on the pillows together.
Like I said - quite ham-fisted in execution, but strangely touching with Jackson thanking them for helping him 'do it' and then in a bare whisper begging his mother to give him the drink and a for once gentle Aaron taking it away from her and helping Jackson to drink from the glass after he'd managed to choke on the straw he'd been using for his drinks since the accident. All high drama, but with a very human, believable touch made all the more sad because they were having to do this all on their own without the support that will be given by Dignitas in Terry's documentary. Very
interested to see what the Mirror's reviews of this soap-drama scene will be in comparison to the silly account linked to this thread yesterday. Hats off and doffed very sincerely to the actors involved in that storyline, especially to Pauline Quirke who's visiblly 'shrunk' and aged on screen in these few weeks as the enormity of what her screen son was asking of her and his lover and how her character has had to accept that her son was deadly serious in wanting to die and come to terms with her own complicity in loving him enough to do as he wished (and asked of her) and spare him a hell on earth that he could not accept. The storyline hasn't outraged me in the slightest and has covered all the bases of moral objections and vindications, except that I wanted to write to the show to ask why they weren't trying to show the Dignitas route - but of course that would mean they would of course forego the staged legal fallout and consequent coroner's investigation that's in store from the family going it alone - that's soap life after all.
Will be interesting to see that legal side all gone into in the next episodes and how Aaron and Hazel will be dealt with by the police and court service - Jackson prepared videos on his laptop exonerating them of 'killing' him and making it clear it was all his idea and that they only helped him out of love and responsibility