Best Interests – The DVDfever Review – BBC drama – Michael Sheen, Sharon Horgan

Best Interests Best Interests centres around the daughter of Andrew (Michael SheenVardy V Rooney: A Courtroom Drama) and Nicci (Sharon HorganTogether), who’s very ill, given that the doctors have assessed her as having muscular dystrophy, although they’re not sure what kind.

As such, it’s driven the couple apart over time, but the hospital feels that continued treatment is a hinderance rather than a help. So, what is in the girl’s best interests?

As it begins, they’re about to go to court, but then we go back to seven months earlier, when life wasn’t exactly a lot better for them, but they had a welcome break away from looking after young Marnie, played brilliantly by Niamh Moriarty.

In the middle of one night, she’s rushed to hospital, severely ill. However, with the sirens blaring on the ambulance, I don’t think they actually do that in the middle of the night, and I once dated a nurse who stated that generally they wouldn’t. They’re certainly not expecting the streets to be busy, and the noise would be upsetting to the patient, so that’s clearly something amiss with the writing. Then again, this is a drama.

I could understand the use if there was a particular emergency on the street, but seeing the roads onscreen, they’re all completely clear.

The hospital staff spell out that her condition will only worsen, especially when she goes back on and off the ventilator, and the medical stress that puts on her body and mental health. Hence, they feel she should be moved to ‘supporting care’ only, so she just has palliative care, essentially.

Would experimental treatments help? After her latest stay in hospital, will she even be allowed to go home? Naturally, no spoilers here.

Best Interests is certainly a very heart-wrenching drama, but it’s separated into segments – such as one each for parents Andrew and Nicci – as well as one of the daughters, Katie, but since they all still feature everyone, and don’t feel like they’re particularly segregated, this MacGuffin feels completely pointless.

Although I’ve not had this condition, I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals, especially as a child, and with my heart condition, I could’ve died at just 12 days old, so while there are times when I’m wondering if it would be better to let her pass on, there are certainly times when I think they should stay and fight.

So far, I’ve only seen the opening episode. I will watch more, but the preview site doesn’t have subtitles, and I expect the whole series will be on iPlayer from day one.

Two asides: At one point, Andrew and Nicci lie back on the bed with Marnie, acting as if they’re in a space capsule, talking to Houston, rather like The Last Of Us Part II’s Planetarium chapter.

The other aside: It also features The Actor Kevin Eldon (Doctor Who: It Takes You Away) as Dr Sendak, who delivers news of Marnie’s condition to the parents.

UPDATE Episode 2:
Well, I won’t give any plot details or spoilers, but after watching this live, it’s clear that Best Interests is the sort of drama that should be striped across four nights of the week, like Channel 5 normally do, but it’s not on iPlayer & some dumbo has decided it shouldn’t continue until 6 days from now, so it’s back next Monday and Tuesday for the last two episodes.

Best Interests begins tomorrow on BBC1 at 9pm, and I expect after that, the whole series will be on the BBC iPlayer.

It’s not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.

Best Interests – Official Trailer – BBC1

Director: Michael Keillor
Producer: Jenny Frayn
Writer: Jack Thorne
Music: Stephen Rennicks

Andrew: Michael Sheen
Nicci: Sharon Horgan
Katie: Alison Oliver
Marnie: Niamh Moriarty
Samantha: Noma Dumezweni
Gladys: Buffy Davis
Mercy: Chizzy Okudolu
Dr Sendak: The Actor Kevin Eldon
Dr Nescott: Jonathan Rhodes
Hannah: Mica Ricketts
Young Katie: Billie Gadsdon
Young Marnie: Daisy Lemon, Poppy Lemon
Frank: Gary Beadle
Eddie: Des McAleer
Alice: Melissa Collier