TV & Radio

Wednesday 20 August 2014

'Amber' producers defend controversial ending

Kirsty Blake Knox

Published 24/01/2014 | 02:30

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Paul Duane: accurate reflection. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Paul Duane: accurate reflection. Photo: Frank Mc Grath

THE producers of hard-hitting drama 'Amber' have defended the series' controversial finale despite receiving a high level of complaints from viewers.

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RTE received 71 complaints in relation to the final episode. The last shot in the series showed Amber, played by 15-year-old Lauryn Canny, walking down a road until she disappeared from view.

The final in the four-part mini-series pulled in impressive ratings of 779,000 and sparked debate on social media. Some viewers found the inconclusive ending hugely disappointing.

But producer Paul Duane, inset, believes the ending is an accurate reflection of missing person cases.

"The first thing we said is, it's a missing girl and each episode should take it from the point of a different person affected by the disappearance. It's not going to be a conventional search and police chase and who-done-it," he told the Irish Independent.

"Immediately we started talking about it, we said 'we can't just tie this up neatly at the end'. It's not fair. It's not true (to life)."

Both Mr Duane and co-producer Rob Cawley come from a factual films background and television documentaries. Mr Cawley's brother-in-law, Kevin, was reported missing in 2009 and his body has not been found.

"People just disappear off the map," Mr Duane said. "We wanted to reflect the anguish and frustration of the family.

"Now not everybody is going to like that. If you watch the series closely enough, there are clues in there as to her fate, and it's there, it's just that it's not going to be a neatly wrapped up resolution. That's just not the way we ever wanted to do it," he added.

"I am extremely proud of it," he said. "We never went out of our way to make a controversial programme. We just made it truthfully in keeping with our experience."

Mr Duane said he just returned from Los Angeles where he encountered a lot of interest in the show. "They find the approach we took very exciting and refreshing, and new," he added.

Irish Independent

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