In this universe where we know that we won’t be alive tomorrow, I wanted to write an episode that was entirely a conversation between two people.
Going in, I knew very little – but what I did know was that Victor would be elderly. I knew he’d be living alone and not have any family around him. But I needed someone else there to talk to him. When I realised that a service existed whereby an operative from the agency could be sent to you on your last day to provide company, solace or just someone to listen, that’s when the story took off for me; not only adding a new layer to this mysterious agency, but giving Victor the ability to ask some difficult questions of someone who may hold some of the answers.
Writing the first four parts came naturally. In those first parts I wanted to get across that he wasn’t really living; he was just existing. It’s a sad but common thing in our society, for older people to be left alone in their homes, their partners having already passed away, and there’s this sort of morbid waiting; a dark cloud hanging over them as they get their affairs in order and finish those jobs that need doing; ready.
Knowing all of this, I had a rather horrific writer moment where I asked myself – well, how is this at all exciting? How is this tiny story about two people talking relevant? Is this episode worth writing at all? The answer, in the end, was… of course it is! In writing Victor’s last day, I learnt a lot. Not only in terms of new nuggets of information regarding the LDA and the fictional universe these characters live in (which if you remember, I haven’t given a great deal of thought to – this story is being discovered by me as I write it, and discovered by you as it is finished!) but also I realised that every last day is worth writing about. Every last day poses new, different and difficult questions.
It’s a more intimate story than John’s (if that’s even possible) I think because it takes place in one house, with only two people. It’s a bubble. And inside this bubble everything seems magnified. There are some very intense moments, some very sweet moments, and ultimately some very sad moments – all of which I am quite proud of.