Beyond The Hub:
Moving On: Passengers
By DJ Forrest
Writer Nick Leather
Director Paul McGann
Passengers, is the second episode of the seventh series of Moving On. Moving On is a series of episodes about different people in different situations, who have reached a turning point in their lives and are, moving on. There are many familiar faces from the world of Who and Torchwood but it’s this story that really caught my interest. Check out iPlayer, for this BBC1 programme, while it’s still available.
Paul Copley plays Ronnie, a retired driving instructor who lives on his own. His wife having passed on about 4 years previous. He lives next door to Helen, played by Eve Myles, her son, Connor played by Sam Bottomley and her partner, Tony played by Chris Reilly. The story kicks off after Ronnie pulls out of his driveway and collides with Helen’s son, knocking him off his bicycle.
I have to admit, throughout the first half of the drama story that I kept waiting for Paul Copley to develop a nervous twitch, a strong sense of smell and a desire to repeatedly say: Isn’t it? Isn’t it? But of course, that never came.
Eve and Paul work seamlessly together. As if the old friendship of alien avoider and alien chaser weren’t too far away. Although to be fair, the only alien in this story was the creeping signs of dementia.
Another little Whoniverse snippet is the director of the story – Paul McGann, with his brother Joe playing the doctor. *Wry smile*
Eve’s character Helen is far from the broad Welsh accent we’re so used to hearing; instead, it was more of a Yorkshire accent, and took a bit of getting used to.
Helen and Ronnie grow close. Ronnie has early signs of dementia, and has a ton of post it notes all around his house, to remind him about everything mundane, from putting the out of date fruit in the bin to only setting out 1 set of cutlery on the table. For her help and kindness, Helen is given driving lessons as a way of saying thank you, and a friendship develops. Plus, being the neighbourly neighbour, Ronnie’s really concerned after he spots a large bruise on her upper arm. And as thoughts race through your head of domestic abuse, when the sounds of screaming and crying are heard next door, it doesn’t take much to put two and two together and make FIVE!
As with many dramas about domestic abuse, the situation was handled well and all the characters were able to move on with their lives. It’s a very moving story and puts Eve Myles in a different role to ones we’ve seen her in in the past.
Torchwood may have lost Gwen Cooper, but there’s no denying it, Eve Myles can play any role that’s given to her, and play it well. Although it has to be said, that it’s going to take a long time to get used to the fact that we’ll never hear those beautiful Welsh vowels from the passionate and often fiery Gwen Cooper.