About The End
Frances O’Connor plays Dr Kate Brennan, an Australian-based specialist in palliative care. Euthanasia is a hot-button topic in Kate’s field of work, and she is passionate in her opposition. On the other side of the world, Kate’s mother Edie Henley (Dame Harriet Walter) feels just as strongly about her right to die. After she attempts to take her own life, Kate has little choice but to ship her out from England and deposit her in a nearby retirement village in the Gold Coast - Edie’s worst nightmare.
While Kate struggles with her own problems, her children are trying to work out who they are, and who they want to be. What follows is a story about parents and children, ethics and emotion, and mostly how it’s never too late to start again.
The Times - ★★★★★
TV & Satellite Week - "Poignant and fantastically funny"
TV Choice - ★★★★★
Go behind the scenes of The End
Dame Harriet Walter
Following the rules has kept Edie warm at night. She’s played her part as the perfect daughter, perfect Christian, perfect wife, perfect mother. Unfortunately, now she’s reaching the end of her life, Edie is furious to realise it was all for nothing.
Her “happy marriage” turned out to be a farce, God is nothing more than an empty fairy-tale and she has virtually no relationship with her children, let alone her grandchildren, who she can’t begin to understand. Edie’s spent her time on this planet trying to be good, now all she wants is for it to be over. But dying is actually far more difficult than she’s expecting and learning how to live proves even harder.
Dr Kate Brennan
Dr Kate Brennan is a senior registrar at Gold Coast Public Hospital, specialising in Palliative Care medicine. Kate has developed a reputation for being the type of doctor who goes to the ends of the earth to look after her patients, treating them physically, emotionally and psychosocially.
Despite all these balls to juggle, Kate has little choice but to ship her mother out from England and deposit her in a nearby retirement village. The “Renaissance Retirement Village” is much more country-club than grim nursing home but it is Edie’s worst nightmare.
Born “Titania”, Oberon changed his name the year he turned thirteen. The same year he was finally able to tell his parents he was a boy. The same year he fought tooth and nail to leave his private girls’ school and go to a co-ed high school. Thirteen was a tricky year but nowhere near as bad as fourteen when Oberon attempted suicide. Partly it was his parents fighting so much that he couldn’t think straight. Partly it was because the decision to transition didn’t solve everything.
Now fifteen turning sixteen, and well enmeshed in his trans journey, Oberon is much happier. At school he’s bright and articulate.
Persephone sees the world in black and white. She knows exactly what she wants every minute of every day and is determined to go out and get it. Persephone is driven and strategic, a natural political animal. She can bully adults four times her age and also play the sweet kid role when needed.
Persephone is often underestimated as “heartless”, but she actually cares deeply about the happiness of the people she loves. If Persephone decides you are in her family, she will do anything she can to keep you safe. She lives bravely and with conviction.
Josh grew up on Tamborine Mountain, in the Gold Coast Hinterland. His parents divorced when he was 12 – his sister went to live with their Mum and Josh stayed to look after his Dad who had MS and other health issues which meant he was wheelchair bound, on dialysis and a proper alcoholic. The day Josh got back from Schoolies Week he found his father dead in the bathtub.
Josh met Beth in his last year at university when he was doing a double degree in music and environmental science, Beth was studying journalism. When Beth was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disorder at age 28, Josh’s first instinct was to run away. His second instinct was to stay. He loved Beth more than he ever loved his father and perhaps the point of all of that was to prepare him now to help Beth.