“For a documentary about the right to die, this is an unflinching account of the urge to live”

Better Off Dead?

“You would expect a documentary about assisted dying, made by the actress and activist Liz Carr, to be hard-hitting, packed with detail and strong views. And so it was. What I wasn’t expecting was for it to be quite so funny.”
Ben Dowell, The Times

“Carr put her case clearly and with dark humour. If anything, she was too polite when interviewing people from the other side of the argument, letting them say their piece without making forceful interjections. Her feelings on the euthanasia doctor were impossible to hide though.”
Anita Singh, The Telegraph

“For a documentary about the right to die, this is an unflinching account of the urge to live. Whether the film changes the minds of assisted dying advocates – or whether it even should – will remain to be seen. But Carr has powerfully made her case: a disabled life is no less valuable or rich than any other.”
Frances Ryan, The Guardian

“Better Off Dead? had no pretensions to being nuanced, balanced or open-minded. Silent Witness actress Liz Carr was steaming with anger from the start at proposals for what she described as ‘medically assisted suicide’. She knew exactly what she thought, she said, and had zero intention of changing her mind. Such a forthright absence of hypocrisy is refreshing.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“Her film is unlikely to turn the tide against legalised access to assisted dying, but her vital intervention fully deserved a BBC soapbox. It should at least give anyone framing future laws in the UK pause for thought.”
Gerard Gilbert, The i

“While it’s a compelling and informative documentary, and the case studies provide real insight into disabled people’s different views and experiences around this complex issue, we don’t hear from a Black disabled person or person of colour about the effects of racism in healthcare, and how this too could affect applications for assisted dying. We also don’t hear from anybody with a terminal illness, which the BBC has argued is because the programme is a ‘personal view documentary’. These both feel like missed opportunities.”
Cathy Reay, The Independent

The Gathering, Channel 4

“The Gathering is that rarest of things: a good drama on Channel 4. How often do you see one of those? It is about teenage girls doing all the things that you hope your own daughter isn’t doing: bunking off school, taking drugs, sending sexy selfies from the school toilets. The mostly local cast give naturalistic performances in authentic Scouse accents, led by Eva Morgan, who graduated from drama school only a year ago but is a real find.”
Anita Singh, The Telegraph

“There was a lot of plot, and The Gathering could have easily ended up over-stuffed and confusing. But writer Helen Walsh kept the narrative plates spinning with ease and pulled off the difficult task of making us care about the characters as much as we did about the central crime.”
Ed Power, The i

“While this is a nicely executed drama in places, on the evidence of the opening skirmishes it seems slightly low wattage, a little too much like a dressed-up Hollyoaks or Skins story arc but made for grown-ups.”
Ben Dowell, The Times

“It all works well enough, while remaining slightly underbaked. You feel as though a decision should have been taken earlier on to decide which, among the many things it almost is, it should have properly been. A murder mystery? An interrogation of class and its barriers? A drama for and about teenage lives and concerns? A portrait of the toll elite sports take on their participants? It gestures towards all of these but doesn’t deliver satisfactorily on any count.”
Lucy Mangan, The Guardian