Tuesday 20 February 2018

Amber producer: We couldn’t do a conventional, neat ending

‘If you watch the series close enough there are enough clues as to her fate”

A scene from the new RTE drama 'Amber'. Photo: Patrick Redmond
A scene from the new RTE drama 'Amber'. Photo: Patrick Redmond
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

THE controversial finale of the hard-hitting drama Amber has been defended by one of the show’s creators.

After four nights, many viewers who had been desperately waiting to see what happened when 14-year-old Amber Bailey disappeared were left stunned when the finale provided no clear answers.

The last shot of Amber, played by Lauryn Canny, showed her walking down the road until she eventually disappeared from view.

It’s been a huge ratings hit for RTE, with episode three on Tuesday night alone attracting 732,000 viewers. The programme has focused on what happened when Amber failed to return home as arranged.

Co-producer on the show, Paul Duane said that himself and Rob Cawley, his co-producer came up with idea and the characters together.

“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.

“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),” he told the Irish Independent.

He said they both come from a background of factual film-making and television documentaries, and know well that in many cases of missing people the person is not found, nor is it explained. “People just disappear off the map.”

We wanted to reflect the anguish and the frustration of the family. Now not everybody is going to like that,” Mr Duane admitted.

He said: “If you watch the series closely enough, there are enough 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 said that the director Thaddeus O’Sullivan understood completely what the ending was supposed to be. “I am extremely proud of it,” he said.

Mr Duane said: “We never went out our way to make a controversial programme. We just made it truthfully in keeping with our experience, with our beliefs.”

He has just returned from Los Angeles where there is a lot of interest in the show. “Nothing is done and dusted about an American version but we are certainly talking to a lot of people about it, and they find the approach we took very exciting and refreshing and new,” he added.

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