‘DOCTORS’, ‘TUNING OUT’
BBC1 31st March 2008
On Monday March 31st 2008 Series Ten of BBC1s ‘DOCTORS’ begins. The first episode (‘TUNING OUT’) is about a young man in the early stages of schizophrenia and is written by Darren Rapier, who has worked in an adolescent psychiatric unit for the past ten years. In this episode Darren wanted to capture the reality of a much misunderstood disease and has used Voice Over to take us right inside the patient’s head.
As Doctors is essentially a writer-led show, with each episode having a ‘story of the day’ it is one of the few continuing drama series on the television where writers can still make individual choices on style and content.
‘I didn’t want to portray him as an axe wielding maniac, I wanted to show the reality of what can be a very confusing and worrying state of mind’.
Darren has done this by allowing us access into the mind of an adolescent sufferer - Tate. The audience dip in and out of Tate’s head, to give us an idea of what it’s really like coping with his own different voices and echoes on a daily basis.
‘As far as I know using Voice Over in this way hasn’t been done on Doctors before. I wanted the voices not to be ‘Hammer Horror’, but real and even funny, as they are in many cases of psychotic episodes like this’.
Darren has worked at Guy’s Hospital for the past ten years running drama workshops at the hospital school and the adolescent psychiatric unit. This has given him first hand experience of working with young people with schizophrenia and other mental health problems. As research for this episode he also interviewed one of the consultants on the unit, to try and make sure Tate’s story was as true to life as possible.
Darren started writing on Doctors in 2004, after initially coming to their attention via the BBC Talent Drama Writing scheme.