Describing 'The Baby'
Describing 'The Baby'
This was an incredible series to AD. It’s every audio describer’s dream to have the opportunity to script a programme where you can use really creative vocabulary and adjectives, and with this series I was extremely lucky that every episode gave me the opportunity to do so.
Creators, Lucy Gaymer and Sian Robins-Grace, describe the eight-episode series as a ‘comedy-horror’, and it is ingeniously funny and incredibly scary.
The following is the opening description, taken from my script written for episode One, “The Arrival”. The scene has a lot of action and little dialogue from the actors, so I must ‘create a picture’ with my words.
“Night. By the light of a full moon, a young woman in yellow, waterproof Jacket and loose trousers, frantically runs through a forest clutching something to her.
She glances fearfully over her shoulder, and is being chased by two police officers, their torches lighting their way through the uneven, root twisted terrain.
Her desperate passage is heightened by the spooky nature of the forest she’s fleeing through; filled with dark, gnarled trunks and grasping branches.
She bursts out the other side and onto a grassy area and stops when she reaches a cliff edge – the sea filling the horizon – almost toppling over at her abrupt cessation of propulsion.
Wind tears at her loose trousers. The bottom of the cliff is dizzyingly far below, and waves crash ominously onto the pitiful expanse of beach.
The tortured breath of the harried and traumatised woman slows as she stares mesmerised by the sheer drop.
The policemen stop some way from her. their torches raised. Len, the younger officer, also, has a megaphone”
A short while after this, the traumatised woman, Lydia McNaish Wilcoxes, (Sophie Reid) throws herself off the cliff and the baby crawls after her.
In the following scene, we meet the protagonist, Natasha (Michelle de Swarte). She is a 38-year-old woman who is having an incredibly hard time coping with her two friends; one has a baby, the other expecting. To Natasha’s immense annoyance, Mags (Shvorne Marks), has brought her young daughter to their “sacred” poker night, and is clearly more concerned with tending her little girl than interacting with Natasha. This, coupled with the fact her other friend Rita (Isy Suttie) is three months pregnant, causes friction and they fall out.
Consequently, Natasha decides she needs to get away to clear her head.
Natasha arrives at: (another of my first episode descriptions)
“a remote, wooden shack of a cabin, tiny at the foot of a sheer cliff face, the beach a slither of disappointment.
She parks near potted plants that struggle to survive the elements, and a solitary garden gnome, belligerently glaring seaward as he sits on a roundel of cut wood”
Natasha is met by mysterious Mrs Eaves, an old woman who will aid Natasha throughout the series.
At this point, the story cleverly ties in with the opening ‘cliff jump’ from the beginning of the episode. ‘The Baby’ (having crawled off the edge of the cliff) falls into Natasha’s arms. She has been ‘chosen’, and from then on, the baby takes control of her life to the extent that the malevolent infant causes death and destruction to anyone she tries to hand him over to.
As the series progresses, it becomes evident that The Baby has been putting a plethora of women through his diabolical and malicious deeds for a very long time, sapping their free will before engineering their grisly demise.
We eventually meet his parents and gain some cognizance into what might have started this chain of horrific events.
I found the series kept me guessing throughout. Is it a comedy horror, or is it a darker, more twisted tale on how motherhood changes everything?
Every episode made me question my thoughts. I wavered throughout in my conclusions! The final scene leaves us with a chilling finale, that I will not disclose for fear of spoiling it!
I found the acting, script and production superb throughout, and the twins playing ‘The Baby’ (Albie and Arthur Hills) were astoundingly brilliant.
Created, written and executively produced by an almost entirely female team, this incredible series left me reeling, horrified, electrified! I really hope there is a second series.
Audio described by Tacye Lynette