One of the things that has struck me – both writing and reading for this project – is how quickly we all jump to grand, sweeping gestures which may or may not be out of character – obviously we never get to see this for ourselves – but so many of the characters are looking for some form of last stand, like a last-ditch attempt to deny the inevitability of their demise.
‘H2O’ by Dee Chilton
H2O doesn’t do that, instead opting to focus on what in reality most of us would be doing – spending our last moments with our loved ones, just being together without any grandstanding, just ordinary people working on accepting a horrible and inescapable fate. For all of the efforts made to do something meaningful with the last two minutes on Earth, this for me was far more poignant.
‘Jerry & Ben Forever’ by Tom J Hingley
This was one of the first scripts I read, and it still sits with me in a way that some others didn’t, mainly because the characters are incredibly relatable and the big finale comes out of love, rather than desperation, and speaks to the people that most of us would hope to be in such an awful situation.
‘Inside the Piano Shop’ by Lisa Parry
This piece is beautifully written, and translates well to the screen (although I did read it before watching, otherwise where’s the fun, right?). It’s one of the few scripts that had me questioning what has brought Jackie to this point. Sergei is clear – he’s spending his remaining time in his shop, which is clearly his life and he has nowhere else to be, but I kept wondering why, in the Earth’s final throes, Jackie is drawn to a shop to play us out – does she have a family? Is she alone or just determined to spend the end doing something she loves? It’s an act for her, no-one else, and I think it perfectly encapsulates the absurdity and futility in trying to do absolutely anything in the end, and this act of frivolity in the face of some of the more “serious” pieces speaks to a sense of serenity, rather than pursuing a fool’s errand in trying to do anything remotely grand when there’s really nothing to be done.