CHRISTOPHER STEVENS: Half an hour is not enough for such a good family drama

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There she goes

Evaluation:

Talking heads

Evaluation:

There is a moment in every father’s life when he realizes that his child is growing up is now faster than he is, and always will be.

For the character of David Tennant, Simon, in There She Goes (BBC2), he came on a sports day to school as his 11-year-old daughter, Rosie, walked across the field, heading to the horizon. She goes there indeed.

Rosie (played with convincing energy by Miley Locke) has a severe learning disability. She can’t speak – but she can’t run halfway.

There she will capture the exaggerated feeling of chaos mixed with secret pride that is familiar to many parents of extremely difficult children. We have learned to admire their ability to ignore all social conventions

There she will capture the exaggerated feeling of chaos mixed with secret pride that is familiar to many parents of extremely difficult children. We have learned to admire their ability to ignore all social conventions

Simon watched his wife Emily (Jessica Hynes) follow, and ran in their wake, knowing he had been beaten before he started.

The day I discovered that my own son David (also a non-speaker and a sprinter) could overtake me, he climbed the garden gate and ran down the lane to the main road at the back of our House. By the time I reached the corner, it was 50 yards ahead of me and zigzagging through traffic.

All thanks to the gods of autism, it was trash day that morning, and David slowed down to push each trash can on wheels. I caught up with him after the eighth.

There she will capture the exaggerated feeling of chaos mixed with secret pride that is familiar to many parents of extremely difficult children. We have learned to admire their ability to ignore all social conventions.

Emily watched her daughter sweep shelves of books across the library floor, then snatch the dummy from a baby’s mouth to chew it himself.

Writers Shaun Pye and Sarah Crawford, basing the story on their own experiences, show Simon's track record in particular - fending off reality with bad jokes, cigarettes and red wine

Writers Shaun Pye and Sarah Crawford, basing the story on their own experiences, show Simon’s track record in particular – fending off reality with bad jokes, cigarettes and red wine

“Rosie loves it here,” she told a dismayed librarian.

On the eve of sport before the races, Rosie was sitting in the classroom with her coat over her head to avoid any chatter. Think of any meetings or conferences where you might have liked to do this, but never dared.

The rewards don’t always outweigh the exhaustion and desperation of being the parent of a child like Rosie.

Writers Shaun Pye and Sarah Crawford, basing the story on their own experiences, show Simon’s track record in particular – fending off reality with bad jokes, cigarettes and red wine.

This is the second series, and it’s a shame they stayed in half hour format.

Peter Bowker’s dramatic feature, The A Word on BBC1, shows what can be done with similar material, exploring the record of the whole family. I’d love to know more about how Emily supports variety and the effect on Rosie’s big brother Ben (Edan Hayhurst).

Next time, each episode should last an hour.

Half an hour, however, is perfect for Talking Heads (BBC1) by Alan Bennett, which ended with a new monologue called The Shrine. Monica Dolan played Lorna, whose middle-aged husband Clifford was killed on his motorbike during a bird watching expedition.

Half an hour, however, is perfect for Talking Heads (BBC1) by Alan Bennett, which ended with a new monologue called The Shrine. Monica Dolan played Lorna, whose middle-aged husband Clifford was killed on his motorcycle during a bird watching expedition

Half an hour, however, is perfect for Talking Heads (BBC1) by Alan Bennett, which ended with a new monologue called The Shrine. Monica Dolan played Lorna, whose middle-aged husband Clifford was killed on his motorcycle during a bird watching expedition

At least Lorna tells herself that he was watching the birds. As always in these playlets, formulated in the most bland colloquial language, it is what we hear between the lines that says the most.

Dolan delivered a tightly controlled performance, his emotions less suppressed than stifled to death.

She never said that her marriage to Clifford was devoid of physical affection, but we gradually understood how alone she had been for years before her death.

Continuing to visit the place where he crashed, she said, “I thought I should make an appearance,” as if it were a WI meeting.

A moment of graphic sexual detail struck a jarring note. It’s one of Bennett’s trademarks, but I wish he didn’t.

“Really not really necessary,” could say one of his characters.

Night medicine: Jean, 83, was dying after firing her. She could barely speak in an ambulance (BBC1).

But after an analgesic injection, she laughed and flirted with paramedic Eric.

“You are a very handsome young man,” she sighed.

This blow was clearly strong.

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