The Children Act (2017) Script

Are you coming to bed? Hmm.


It's tomorrow, the...

My conjoined twins. Judgement.

I've got the bloody Archbishop of Westminster breathing down my neck.

Oh, yeah.


Oh, do you wanna play doubles on Saturday morning with the Wards?



"Michael's heart is normal and sustains them both."

"Luke's brain..."

Judiciary guilty!

Let God decide!

Hey, hey.

Court rise. You're cutting it fine.

If the twins remain joined, both babies will die.

If the hospital is granted permission to separate them, Luke will die instantly, while Michael is likely to develop into a normal healthy child.

The logic of the lesser evil is clear, one child flourishing better than two dead.

But if the doctors invade Luke's body and sever his aorta, with the inevitable consequence of his death, why is that not murder?

The loving parents of these twins refuse to sanction such an act of premeditated killing.

God has given life, they have argued in this court, and only God can take it away.

It has been difficult, under such pressure of time and intense public interest, to arrive at settled legal principle, but the obvious is worth stating.

This court is a court of law, not of morals.

Do you think the verdict was right?

Can you tell us how you're feeling?

Just this way, please.

"Today the court has granted the hospital a licence to murder one of our children."

"Mrs Justice Maye has taken a scalpel to the heart of reason and justice."

Royal courts of injustice!

My Lady, I think you'll be fine going out the usual way.

I will leave you with Flaubert's celebrated observation regarding Lucretius.

"With the gods gone and Christ not yet come, there was a unique moment, from Cicero to Marcus Aurelius, when man stood alone."

So, there you have it.

Before Christianity began to close the Western mind, what was briefly possible then was 'the fixity of a pensive gaze'.

Hi. Hey.

How'd it go?

I gave instructions to slaughter a baby.

That's what it said in the...

Oh, yeah. Right, I saw that.

Sorry. Ridiculous.

Well, I'll tell you, I'll make reservations for dinner, 'cause I've had a shit-awful day myself.

And we'll go drink some wine and...

And I can get some opera tickets for Saturday night.

No, I'm duty judge all weekend.

You can't switch it? Mm-mm.

Two judgements for Monday. Mmm.

What? No, nothing.

It's just... like last weekend and the 50 weekends before that.

Well, that's how it is.

Yes. Yes.

Um... look...

I don't know how to say this, um, but here it is.

I think...

I think I wanna have an affair.


Yeah, I'm going to, um...

I mean, you shouldn't be surprised by this.

Oh, really? Yeah.

Fi... when was the last time that we made love?

No idea. No, you wouldn't.

You once told me that couples in long marriages often ended up like siblings.

Well, here we are.

I love you, but...

You're serious about this? Mm-hm.

You're being...

Do you remember how we were?

Do you remember how we...?

Don't you miss that?



Jack. It's already started, hasn't it?

Tell me the truth. What's her name?

I can tell you honestly that it hasn't started yet.

What's her name? Melanie.

Not the mathematician? She's a statistician.

The one who came round for dinner and talked us into a stupor and wrecked our floor with her stilettos?

That's absurd. She's half your age.

Look, you wanna live like this?

Fine. I don't. I'm going to have this affair.

And a divorce and the child I've failed to give you?

No. No divorce, no deception, no lies.

I love you and we're meant to be together, but... look, I could have gone behind your back.

How very kind. I can't believe how cool we are. Open marriage.

The time to suggest that, Jack, was before the wedding, not 20 years afterwards.

Such a cliché.

You do this, it's the end.

Simple as that. Threat?


11 months. What?

You said you had no idea, so I'll tell you.

What? 11 months.

It's been 11 months.

Almost to the day.

I marked it in my diary. Special event.

Oh, God. Jack, this is...

This is so unfair. I have had the conjoined twins case...

Yes, I know, and before them the Orthodox Jewish schoolgirls, and before them the bad father from Bahrain, and before him the baby in the phone box...

Are you already having this affair?

If you are, I'd like you to pack a bag now and leave.

I told you that I'm not.

Well, you've had your answer, so now what?

Don't you miss it, Fi?

Or is just 'cause you don't want it, I can't have it?

Is that the deal?

You have to understand that it's not just about the sex.


We don't even kiss any more.

Barely a peck on the cheek. It...

Or is it just me you don't want?

Yeah. Sorry to disturb you.

Go ahead.

A call from the out-of-hours Urgent Business Associate on behalf of counsel representing a hospital in Wandsworth.

They urgently need to give blood to a cancer patient.

It's a boy of 17.

Now, he and his parents are refusing.

Why are they refusing?

They're Jehovah's Witnesses. Go on.

The hospital is seeking an order to proceed against their wishes.

How long have we got? Perhaps four days.

List it for hearing at short notice the day after tomorrow.

Give notice to the respondents.

Direct the hospital to inform the parents.

They'll have liberty to apply for legal aid.

The boy will need legal representation.

I want the hospital to serve evidence by four tomorrow with a witness statement from the treating oncologist.

I'll need to know why transfusion is necessary.

And the parents should use their best endeavours to file evidence by noon on Thursday.

OK, thanks. Bye.

Why is blood so important to God?

Why is God so insistent?

Yes, Sarah?

Because that's where the soul is, right in the blood, and therefore it belongs to him.

Very good indeed.

The soul, the life, it's in the blood, and it's not ours, it's God's.

Now let us pray for our dear friend, Adam Henry, and a prayer of faith will make the sick one well and Jehovah will raise him up.


Good morning, My Lady. I trust you had a good evening.

Absolutely marvellous. Quiet.

And you? Very pleasant, thank you.

I went fishing with Dominic on the River Lea.

Catch anything? Don't tell me. What have we got?

You have the child abducted to Morocco, Hague Convention, listed for ten, some routine maintenance pending suits, an ex-parte application to exclude a husband from the matrimonial home, and this Jehovah's Witness boy listed for tomorrow as requested.

The parents are making an emergency application for legal aid.

The certificate should go through this afternoon.

A lot of press interest already.

Oh, and your singing friend, Mr Berner, will be acting for the hospital.

The boy has a form of leukaemia...

The boy, the boy. Let's at least give him a name.

Of course, My Lady. Adam. Adam Henry.

An only child. Very devout. Awfully precocious, they say.

His parents are Kevin and Naomi, also very devout.

Mr Henry runs his own small company, groundwork, land drainage.

Apparently he's quite a virtuoso with a mechanical digger.

Whereas Mrs Henry... That's enough.

Sorry. Damn.

I'll get my own coffee.

Um, no, could you please send the new keys to my clerk?

Yes, I'll let the porter know to expect you.

Right, good.


Oh, Fiona. Fiona, Fiona.

Oh, Sherwood.

Bloody hell. My coffee. Got a gem for you.

I haven't got time. It won't take a second.

I had it from Sedley. Look at this sleeve.

Listen. Cross-examiner asks a pathologist if he can be absolutely sure that a certain patient was dead before he began the autopsy.

"Absolutely sure," says the pathologist.

"Oh. How can you be so sure?"

"Because," says the pathologist, "his brain was sitting in a jar on my desk."

"Ah," says counsel.

"But couldn't the patient be alive nevertheless?"

"Well," says the pathologist, "it's possible he could have been alive and practising law somewhere."

Practising law.

Let me take that. Yes, thank you.

Practising law.

Court rise.

May it please you, My Lady. Yes, Mr Soames.

My Lady, may I refer you to my client's undertaking...

Your client, Mr Soames, is in direct breach of his undertaking to this court.

He's removed his daughter from the jurisdiction.

Now, I hear, he's in Rabat, with no intention of returning her.

I was rather expecting to find you blushing on his behalf.

Your client claims that the £7 million he has been ordered to pay his former wife belongs to the company and is not his to give.

I find this is not the case.

I am satisfied that the company is nothing more than a fig leaf for a beneficial tax arrangement.

I shall make the charging order forthwith.

Yes, Mr Blackwell. My Lady.

This is an ex-parte application to exclude an unreasonable husband from the matrimonial home...

Why in heaven's name are you doing this without notice?

I see nothing in the papers that would make that necessary.

What communication have you had with the other side? None.

If the husband's willing to give an undertaking to your client, then you really shouldn't be bothering me with this.

If he isn't, then serve notice and I'll hear both sides.

All rise.

I've got another beginning on Thursday.

It's just too soon.

My Lady, that Mr Berner, who'll be before you tomorrow.

Yes? His clerk called.

To remind you that you have a rehearsal tonight.

No. 7:30 at your flat.

As arranged.

Thank you.

Get them out.

Thank you, gentlemen. Ten minutes.

Young man, I really need to talk to you.

Bloody thing.

Well, why don't you put that down, for a start?

Thank you. Thanks. Oops.

Where's Jack, anyway? Oh, conference. Birmingham.

Poor sod. Right, there.

You alright? You look a bit... No, I'm fine. Um...

They've given us 15 minutes, which includes an encore.

Did I tell you I'm giving up the law?

Not again. Shall we do the carol first?

Hmm? I just had this case.

So there's a pavement brawl outside a pub in Kentish Town.

My poor fool, he's just standing on the edge watching his mates.

The whole thing's on CCTV.

Someone gets a broken jaw, so it's GBH, and they're all sent down, including my kid.

Two and a half years for a crime he wasn't even charged with.

So-called joint enterprise. Nothing I could do.

Category three? Yep.

In front of Charles Mackay.

He went six months below the guidelines.

Count yourself lucky.

A fight between consenting adults.

Victim didn't even need treatment.

Four working-class kids, clean records, two with babies, all in work.

They're taxpayers.

Mark, let's get started.

Where are the words?

It's bloody class warfare, Fiona.

Pointless. I hereby give up.

No, you don't. You're in front of me tomorrow and...

♪ Lully, lullay

♪ Thou little tiny child...

This is the BBC World Service. The news at 0400 GMT.

Rescue operations continue today across southern Europe in the wake of Storm Ada.

Rail and road connections to Montpelier...

There's a bit of a media scrum.

Say nothing.

Naomi! Naomi! Kevin, this way! Let us through.

Let us through. Look over here, love. Naomi.

Please, let us through. Naomi, nice one, sweetheart.

That's it. Naomi, darling.

Kevin. Kevin. Talk to me, please.

They have absolutely nothing to say at this stage.

Now, please... Just something about the boy.

Anything... Excuse us. Excuse us.

OK, the judge is ready for you.

No. There's nothing to say, OK?

Yeah, they're ready now. Oh, thank you.

My Lady, they're ready for you.

Court rise.

In the matter of A, a child.

We are here on a matter of extreme urgency, of life and death.

Time is of the essence. Please bear this in mind.

Speak briefly and to the point. Mr Berner.

I... I shall indeed be brief, My Lady.

The applicant in the matter is the Edith Frances Hospital, Wandsworth, which is seeking the leave of this court to treat a teenager, Adam.

He's 17 years and nine months.

He first experienced stomach pains at school.

I've read the papers, Mr Berner.

My Lady, I believe all parties accept that Adam has leukaemia.

The hospital wishes to treat him with four drugs, a universally recognised therapy, as I can show.

No need. Thank you, My Lady.

Two of these drugs have the side effect of attacking the bone marrow, compromising the body's immune system, therefore it's standard to transfuse during treatment.

However, the boy and his parents are Jehovah's Witnesses and it's contrary to their faith to accept blood products into their system.

This apart, Adam and his parents agree to any treatment the hospital can offer.

At this point I'd like to call the consultant haematologist.


Professor Carter, bring us up to date on Adam's condition.

It's not good, he's weak, and, as I would expect, he's beginning to show the first signs of breathlessness.

His haemoglobin counts are dropping steadily.

The norm is 12.5. This morning it was 4.5.

And the white cell count?

Well, they should be somewhere between 5 and 9.

He was showing 1.7.

As for the platelets... Remind me of their function.

They're necessary for clotting, My Lady.

The norm is 250. Adam's count this morning was 34.

A healthy adolescent produces

500 billion blood cells every day.

Adam is producing no blood at all.

And if you could transfuse this patient...?

Then he would stand a decent chance.

Have you discussed with Adam what will happen to him if he's not transfused?

Well, I've spared him the details. He knows he could die.

What knowledge does he have of the manner of his death?

Nothing at all.

Then perhaps you could tell us?

It'll be very distressing for everyone, including the medical team.

They simply can't understand why they should risk losing this patient.

He'll fight to breathe and he's bound to lose.

It'll be frightening, like drowning.

Before that, there will be internal bleeding perhaps, perhaps renal failure.

Some patients lose their sight.

He may have a stroke. Patients vary.

The one sure thing is that it will be a horrible death.

Do you agree, Professor, that the freedom of choice in medical treatment is a fundamental human right?

In adults, yes, I agree.

Adam is very close to being an adult.

If his 18th birthday were tomorrow morning, he wouldn't legally be an adult this afternoon.

I think we can agree that Adam is very nearly an adult, and isn't it the case that he's expressed his views to you intelligently?

His views are his parents' views.

His objections to blood transfusion are the doctrines of a religious cult for which he's likely to become a pointless martyr.

You took the oath.

I assume you're a Christian? I am an Anglican.

Is the Church of England a cult?

Are you aware that the World Health Organization estimates that up to 20% of new AIDS cases are caused by blood transfusions?

And transfusion brings other dangers.

Hepatitis, Lyme disease, malaria, syphilis, Chagas' disease, graft-versus-host disease, transfusion-related lung disease, variant CJD.

Very rarely happens and never under me.

So if we added up all the dangers, wouldn't you say there was enough to give a rational person pause?

The blood products we use are tested to the highest standard.

But it wouldn't be unreasonable, surely, given all the potential for infection and error, for a patient to insist his consent be sought.

You're playing with words.

If I'm not allowed to transfuse this boy, we may lose him.

Jehovah's Witnesses patients are often treated now by what's called bloodless surgery.

Look, we're not dealing with surgery here.

This boy needs blood because his treatment prevents him making any of his own.

It's as simple as that. Thank you, Professor.

Thank you for your time, Professor Carter.

We'll take a break. 20 minutes.

Court rise.

Jack? Oh, hi.

I thought you were gonna be in court.

I was just gonna leave you a message. Um...

Where are you? What's going... You know what? I have to go.

Sorry. Oh, for God's sake!

From that point on, we never looked back.

I stopped drinking, got my training, and me... me and Naomi became good with each other, and looking after Adam properly.

And he was calmer, and he started doing well at school.

And we had a lot of support from our Kingdom Hall and good friends there.

You know, the sort of people who never let you down.

We were happy. We've lived in the truth.

And now, Mr Henry, your son has leukaemia and you and Naomi are facing the ultimate test of faith.

Is that how you'd put it? That's exactly what it is.

Can you tell the court why you and your wife and Adam are refusing a blood transfusion?

What you have to understand is that blood, it's the essence of what it means to be human.

It's the gift of life that we should all be grateful for.

Just as life is sacred, so's blood.

So why would Adam refuse such a gift from the doctors?

Mixing your own blood with the blood of an animal or another person is pollution, it's contamination.

It's a rejection of God's gift.

That's why he specifically forbids it in Genesis and Leviticus and Acts.

And our son, Adam, he knows that God's word has to be obeyed.

Do you and your wife love your son, Mr Henry?

Yes, we love him.

And if refusing a blood transfusion... should cause his death?

Then he'd take his place in the kingdom of heaven on earth that's to come.

And how will you and Naomi feel?

You'll be grief-stricken, won't you, Mr Henry?

So this refusal is Adam's decision, not coming from you?

He's a...

He's a very... He's a very special person.

He's profound.

We couldn't change his mind even if we wanted to.

I mean, no one could.

Mr Henry, these books of the Bible you mentioned.

At the time of these Iron Age texts, transfusion didn't exist.

How on earth could it be forbidden?

It existed in the mind of God.

Many Jehovah's Witnesses accept blood products without compromising their faith.

Isn't it the case that there are other options open to young Adam and you could, if you wanted, play your part in persuading him to take them and save his life?

I don't know anyone who departs from the teachings of the Governing Body.

The elders give us good guidance.

The same strict elders who've been visiting your son every day to make sure he doesn't change his mind?

These are kind and decent men.

The other churches have priests in the hospital too.

It's true, isn't it, that if Adam agreed to a transfusion, he'd be what you call dis-fellowshipped, cast out of the community?

Disassociated, actually, but it's not gonna happen because he isn't gonna change his mind.

He's in your care and it's your mind I want to change.

He's scared of being shunned. Isn't that the term you use?

The only world he knows would turn its back on him for preferring life to a terrible death.

Does that sound like a free choice?

My Lady, if you spent just five minutes with him, then you'd understand that this is a very, very special person who knows his own mind.

Mr Henry, have you told Adam that if he saved his own life and agreed to a transfusion, you'd still love him?

We've told him we love him.

Is that all? It's enough.

When were the Jehovah's Witnesses commanded to refuse blood transfusions?

It's in Genesis. It dates from the creation.

It dates from 1945, doesn't it?

A committee in Brooklyn has decided your son's fate.

There are deep truths that weren't previously understood.

The same is just as true in science.

Not much room for dissent in your church, is there?

You've probably no idea what it means to submit to a higher authority.

We do so of our own free will.

When you were Adam's age, you wouldn't have known your own mind.

He's lived in the truth. I didn't have that privilege.

You say life is precious. Other people's lives or just your own?

All life is a gift of the Lord and his to take away.

Easy to say, Mr Henry, when it's not your life.

Harder to say when it's your own son.

Is masturbation a sin? Yes.

And abortion? Homosexuality? Yes.

Is this what Adam's been taught to believe?

That is what he knows to be true.

Thank you, Mr Henry.

He said, "I'm my own man."

"I'm separate from my parents."

"Whatever their ideas are, I'm deciding for myself."

"I'm prepared to die."

Thank you, Mrs Greene.

There's a crucial difference between the right to assent to treatment and the right to refuse life-saving treatment.

My Lady, the law is clear.

He has no autonomy in the matter until he's 18.

Slice it as my learned friend may, he is not 18.

In so important a matter, there can be no sheltering behind the couple of months that separate him from his 18th birthday.

It's clear that Adam has a full grasp of the religious principles on which his refusal of treatment rests.

It is a patient's basic right, protected by common law, to refuse treatment.

I submit My Lady should not be tempted onto the dangerous ground of undermining so fundamental a human right and the precious dignity it confers.

Given the unique circumstances of this case, I have decided I would like to hear from Adam himself.

I need to know if he understands his situation and what he confronts should I rule against the hospital.

I'll go now to Adam's bedside in the company of his guardian.

I'll give judgement in open court when I return, probably after 7pm.

Court rise.

Unconventional. Very eccentric.

But there's nothing we can do. Will it help...

She's not working to our deadline.

Yeah, unbelievable.

I've never known a judge to do this.

I know. She's completely off the wall.

Who knows what will happen?

It's just down here.

Hi. Hi, Marina.

Donna. Hi. Hi.

Hi, Emy. Marina.

Hi, Marina. Good to see you. You OK? Nice to see you.

This is Mrs Justice Maye. Very high up. Here to see young Adam.

Hello. Pleased to meet you.


I'll let him know you're coming, My Lady.

He's made up his mind, like living for his principles.

Dying, you mean.

Brilliant. I was right.

The judge has come to see me. I knew it.

What do they call you?

Your Highness? Your Excellency? Your Honourable something?

In court it's "My Lady".

My Lady. Oh, that's fantastic.

Am I allowed to call you that? My name's Fiona Maye.

No, but I wanna call you...

I wanna call you My Lady, please.

Do you want to catch your breath?

My Lady.

You know, I told Marina, and Donna, the sister, and Jake, the dinner guy, and all the doctors that you'd come.

And they all said, 'No, no, judges don't do that sort of thing.'

But I knew. Well, there you go.

Underneath their clothes, people are sheep.

So you've come to change my mind.

Straighten me out.

No, Adam. I need to know what's best for you.

Please, miss, set me on the path of righteousness.

I have to be sure you know what you're doing.

Leukaemia's a very serious illness.

Refusing a blood transfusion when it could save your life, some people think you've been unduly influenced by your parents and the elders, and others think that you're awfully clever and we should just let you get on with it.

Should we? Let you do yourself in?

Somehow I've got to decide.

I think it's my choice.

I'm afraid the law doesn't agree.

The law is an ass.

So they say.

But let's just consider the practicalities.

With a transfusion, the consultant could add two drugs to your treatment and you'd stand a good chance of a pretty quick recovery.

Without a transfusion, you could die.

You understand that? Yeah.

But how about this, Adam? Partial recovery.

You could lose your sight, suffer brain damage.

Your kidneys could go.

Is that going to please God?

If you don't believe in God, you've no right talking about what does or doesn't please him.

I haven't said I don't believe.

I need to know you've thought this through.

Blind or mentally disabled, or both.

For the rest of your life. Ready for that?

I'd hate it.

I'd hate it.

But I'd accept it.


Excuse me.

Now, you listen closely to this lady.

Hey, Adam. Roast chicken, man.


Go away.

Do you have children, My Lady?

No, sadly. I wish...

Always too busy.

The law can take over your life.

Perhaps you will.

I don't think so. Sorry. I didn't mean...

Tell me this, Adam.

I want to hear it in your own words.

Why won't you have a blood transfusion?

'Cause it's wrong.

Go on.

God has told us that it's wrong.

Why is it wrong?

Why is anything wrong, My Lady?

We just know it.

Murder, torture, lying, being unfaithful in your marriage.

How do we just know it?

It's in our hearts. God has put it there.

And so... like, even if we get useful information by torturing a terrorist, we know, we just know it's wrong.

Is transfusion like torture?

They're both wrong.

I wish I could make you see this.

Blood isn't just a biological thing and it isn't just a symbol.

It's life itself.

It's what we are.

We've chosen to live in God's truth and he's told us not to mix our blood with other people's.

It's a simple rule we wanna live by.

We're not inflicting it on anyone else.

We just wanna live our lives in the truth as we see it.

As we know it.

Thank you, Adam.

And if I decided the hospital can legally transfuse you, what would you think?

I'd think My Lady was an interfering busybody.

No, don't go yet, please.

Adam, I have to be in court.

Just wait till Donna brings my supper.

Alright, before I go, will you tell me about your guitar?

It's beautiful.

It belonged to my grandad.

It looks really lived-in. Lovely.

You know something? What?

I've been playing four weeks and I can already play ten tunes.

And this is the hardest so far.

No, it's a C. There.

Oh, yeah. Mmm.

That's it.

♪ And on my leaning shoulder

♪ She laid her snow-white hand

♪ She bid me take life easy

♪ As the grass grows on the weirs

♪ But I was young and foolish

♪ And now am full of tears ♪ Pretty good, only four weeks.

I never even knew it had words.

It's Yeats, a very famous poet and a lovely poem.

I love "and on my leaning shoulder".

Let's do the whole thing.

It's dinnertime for you and I have to be in court.

My Lady, please... stay a bit longer.

"She bid me take life easy."

Well, then, can I have your email?

Goodbye, Adam.

Are you coming back?

I am bound by the Children Act and the clear injunction of its opening lines:

"The child's welfare shall be the court's paramount consideration."

Assuming a good recovery, this young man's welfare is better served by his love of reading and his newly found passion for the guitar, by the exercise of his lively intelligence and by the expression of a playful, affectionate nature and by all of life and love that lie ahead of him.

I find that A himself, his parents and the elders of his church have made a decision which is hostile to A's welfare.

He must be protected from his religion and from himself.

In my judgement, his life is more precious than his dignity.

My direction and declaration are as follows.

It will be lawful for the applicant hospital to pursue such medical treatments of A as they deem necessary, including blood transfusion.

End of the affair?


Look, the only important thing is that I love you.

You fucked her. Yes.

But if it was a stupid mistake, then so is this, because...

If you're staying, then sleep in the spare room.

Hey, come on, we can't avoid this any longer.

Our only option is to talk.

Excuse me. Long day.

Uncle Jack! Hi, guys!

I'll collect them tomorrow around ten.

Yes, perfect. Thanks for this.

Bye, girls. Be good. Bye!

Sally, Maisie, you ready for some fun?


Let's go.

I love...

I love how she just clings to you all the time.

Look. She does. Got you!

Suppose... Suppose she had to get you.

Would you still go after her? Yeah, you would?

Alright, try to get me.


Hello, Michael. Fiona Maye. Fiona?

You got my message?

No, I meant it.

I need a solicitor. Yeah.

"The following morning, ten-year-old Peter Fortune woke from troubled dreams to find himself transformed into a giant person, an adult."

"He tried to move his arms..." Uncle Jack.

Why are you sleeping in the sitting room?

Well... 'Cause he snores.

Auntie Fi throws him out.

Our daddy snores. Course he does.

They're brothers, stupid.

Yeah, I'm a bad snorer.

"He had eaten too much as well, because his stomach felt tight, and he had been talking too much because his throat was sore."

OK, we're gonna stop there and I'm gonna turn out this light, but I'll leave the night light on, alright, girls?

No jumping on the bed, OK, and maybe you'll both wake up to be giants, just like Peter Fortune.


Night-night, Uncle Jack.

Shall we talk? No.

You've reached Fiona Maye's phone.

Please leave a message after the beep.

Hi. This is Adam Henry.

My Lady, I got your number. It wasn't difficult.

I'm out of hospital at last, and it's so great to hear your calm voice.

I loved it when you came and sat with me and we did the Salley Gardens.

I look at that poem every day.

I suppose I like being 'young and foolish'.

But if it wasn't for you, I'd be neither. I'd be dead.

My Lady, it's me again, Adam Henry.

I'm having these wonderful, impossible daydreams, really stupid, like... we go round the world in an oil tanker and we have cabins next door to each other, walk up and down the decks talking all day.

Oh, and guess what? I'm reading Yeats.

His doctorate's in good shape and he'll defend it well.

The problem is Tony. He'll be at the meeting, yeah.

I might be ten minutes late, so start without me.

My Lady, it's me again, Adam Henry.

I'm having these wonderful, impossible daydreams.

Poor kid. He's lost Jehovah and he's found you.

Drop him a note, for God's sake.

I can't go encouraging...

It's simply not professional.

No, no, no, of course not.

Alright, I'm...

I'm frightened.

Of... Of myself.

Assuming they want it, what about an encore?

A few Christmases ago, we did My Funny Valentine and I forgot the words.


♪ My funny valentine

♪ Sweet comic valentine...

Well, well. A stalker.

It's nothing sinister, honestly. I... I don't mean to harass you.

I'm... I'm just... I thought you wouldn't recognise me.

How did you get my number? It's not difficult.

I feel the top of my head has sort of exploded and all sorts of things are coming out, and so I just wanted to give you these.

Adam, look, I can't. Please, My Lady, please.

It's just poems I've been writing and letters I never posted and... thoughts about...

about things.

You look a lot stronger. How's it been?

Lots of rows with my parents.

School's OK, I suppose.

Sometimes the idea of having a stranger's blood inside me makes me feel sick, like... drinking someone else's saliva.

Come on. You're alive.

Yeah, but I wanted... Look, I've so many questions.

Couldn't we go somewhere and talk?

Adam, there's something I want you to get very clear in your mind.

For me, your case is over.

I've got lots of new cases, babies and children, all kinds of sadness, and for you, you've got your life back.

Everything's ahead of you now.

You're talented. You're going to do very well, I'm sure of that.

But there's one thing I want you to do for me.

Don't phone me again or write to me or follow me.

Do you understand? Your future's out there waiting for you.

And you're going to have fun. No, but, My Lady...

No, that's it. I'm gonna watch you walk away.

You were seen coming out of Mike Morrow's office.

Divorce? Are you serious? Without even telling me?

I hope he pointed out that you might just be overreacting.

Perhaps it's time I started overreacting.

God. You're the big authority on family problems, and yet when it comes to your own, you're like a sulking child.

You were ready to buy your pleasures with my unhappiness.

That was a discovery. Oh, Jesus. Jesus.

This is beyond self-pity.

What is the point of your silence, Fiona?

What is the point?

Come on, wake up.

I don't trust you any more.

Listen, I left this marriage for two days. Two days.

You left it years ago.

You might just think about that while you're away.

Right, this is the last of it and now I'm off.

Tickets are in the blue folder and I'll see you in Newcastle, the first stop on our old northern circuit.

Your favourite city, I seem to remember.

Yeah, beautiful. I had cousins there.

It's the only place I was ever wild and free.

Have you ever been wild and free, Nigel?

No, never. Thank God.

I'd be hopeless at it.

My Lady, I've got so many questions for you.

Why is Yeats such a great poet?

We just know, but how?

What is beauty in a poem?

It's more than just lovely sounds, and it has to be saying something that's true.

Why has our wonderful song got two sharps?

I don't understand about sharps and flats.

My Lady, you never told me what you believed in.

I bet it isn't God.

But what?

And me?

I just don't know any more.

Sometimes, in strange moods, I think, well, I'm an adult now.

This thing will come back. I just know it will.

And then...

We will soon be arriving at Newcastle.

Customers should ensure that they take all of their personal belongings with them.

Thank you for your custom.

We look forward to seeing you again in the future.

Thank you. Hello.

So I've listed a care case for two days. Mother inadequate.

Two children in separate foster placements hoping for adoption.

Right. My dear Fiona.

Welcome to Newcastle. Thank you.

Meet the High Sheriff, John Baker.

We'll be joining you for dinner tonight at the lodgings.

I'm afraid you'll find they've gone downhill a bit. Cuts.

John would like to join you tomorrow if you have anything interesting.

Well, do join me.

I'm afraid all I can promise you is two neglected children.

Thank you.

No, no. I'll take them.

Fiona. Caradoc.

You didn't invite anyone for tonight?

No. Clean forgot.

Jolly good.

Well, let me introduce you to my lot.

John Baker, you've met. Yes.

Paul Rotman has a fibre optics business here.

James MacLeish. What do we call you, Jim? A mandarin?

Up here for coastline conservation.

Mrs Justice Fiona Maye.

How do you do? Pleasure.

I'll have the same as everyone. Cheers.

To your very good health. Slainte.

Rather than spending millions on coastal defences, we could let the sea flood the fields, let them revert to salt marshes, compensate the farmers.

But the channel through which or the conduit through which they can come to some agreement...


Excuse me, gentlemen. Something seems to have come up.


I'm frozen. Could we please get some heating into that room?

Of course, My Lady. Thank you.

My Lady, I think you'd better come and see.

It's just this way.

This is the Jehovah's Witness boy.

You remember, from the transfusion case.

Oh, yes.

It seems that he followed you here.

They wanted to turn him away, but I...

Thank you. I'll deal with it now.

We'd better have that heater in here.

Yes, My Lady.

I'm really, really sorry.

So here we are again.

How did you find me here? Internet mostly.

Followed you to King's Cross and got...

Look, I'm so sorry, My Lady.

Do your parents know where you are?

I'm 18 now. I can be... I don't care how old you are.

They'll be worried about you.

Uh, right, now, I know there's a socket somewhere.

I can hardly see a thing. Sit down.

Ah, right. Uh...

Right. Thank you.

Um, I'll be... I'll be right outside.


I had another row with my dad last night.

Biggest so far.

And then I walked out, just left.

But I texted my mum last night saying I was alright and...

Do it again now. Write to her.

Tell her you're safe in Newcastle and you'll write again tomorrow.

And then we'll talk.

But it's completely...

Do it. Come on.

Should I be frightened? Are you really stalking me?

No, it's nothing like that. I read your judgement.

You said you wanted to save me from my religion, from myself.

Well, you did. I'm saved.

What do you want?

I'm not the person I was.

When you came to see me, I really was ready to die.

Amazing that someone like you could waste your time on me.

I was such an idiot.

You seemed very sincere. Well, a sincere idiot.

I felt so noble telling the doctors to leave me alone.

No one could understand how profound I was.

I was so pumped up.

At night I used to think about this video I was gonna make on my phone, like suicide bombers do.

It was gonna be on the TV news.

I could make myself cry just thinking about my funeral, everyone loving me, everyone weeping.

What a sacrifice he made.

What an idiot.

Where was God?

He was there, behind everything.

I was obeying his word, living in the truth.

But it wasn't only about him.

It was my delicious adventure, my beautiful death...

More of an adolescent thing.

But if I hadn't been a Witness, I would never have been in that mess.

So now you've lost your faith? No, no. Perhaps.

It scares me to say it out loud, but the thing is, once you take a step back from the Witnesses, you might as well go all the way.

Why replace one tooth fairy with another?

Top of your head has exploded.

I can play a piece by Bach.

I've read all of Yeats.

I'm in a play.

"All of life and love that lie ahead of me."

That's what you wrote. Yes, Adam.

I'm asking you again, what do you want?

To thank you.

There are easier ways.

When you visited me at the hospital, that was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

It's this way you have of... of listening, of thinking.

I watched you thinking.

Why are you here?

When you hear it, you'll think it's so stupid.

But, please, say you'll think about it.


I want to come and live with you.

I could do odd jobs, housework, anything.

You could give me reading lists, everything you think I should know about.

And I wouldn't get in the way, with you and your husband, I mean.

I could be like a lodger.

I'd get a job, pay you some rent.

Wait here.

Your taxi will be here in five minutes.

No, no, you can't.

When I had the blood, my parents were there.

I saw them hugging each other and crying, really sobbing.

They'd lost the case and they'd tried so hard.

But then I realised, no, no, they were crying for joy, 'cause they'd always wanted me to live and they'd never told me.

It wasn't about God at all.

I felt cheated, like I'd been really stupid.

The whole thing was a fraud.

And I've looked it up.

The courts always let the hospital transfuse a minor.

You knew that.

You always knew what you were gonna do.

They'd never let a kid die for their parents' religion.

So what were you doing at my bedside, coming bothering me and singing with me, getting under my skin, trying to get close to me, asking me questions?

I didn't ask you into my life.

A rubber stamp, that's all you needed.

You can't just send me away.

I don't care if you think you're too grand to explain yourself, 'cause I've a right to know.

What did you want from me?

And my parents, if they loved me...

It's here.

Thank you.

My clerk will take you to the station and buy your ticket and put you on the train to London.

To the station.

If you loved your son, your only son, why would you let him die?

I'm sorry.

Let's be off, then.

Goodbye, Adam.

I, Christine Samantha Delancy, do swear by Almighty God that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth II and I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.

Son, I found your Bible in the hall and all these pamphlets.

Mum, I don't want any of it in my room.

You're not dressed yet, darling. Your father's waiting.

Come on. We're gonna be late. Let's go.

You go ahead. I'm staying here.

He doesn't wanna keep his Bible in his room.

What's up, Adam? Nothing's up.

So, get your suit and tie on. Let's go.

I've just told you, I'm staying here.

Are you alright? I'm fine.

What's the matter? Problems with your breathing?

I'm fine.

So what's the problem? It's simple.

You're going to Kingdom Hall. I'm never going again.

You wanted me to die. Well, a part of me has.

Sorry. It's alright.

You look lovely. Thank you.

I'm not giving up.

Thank you.

Evening, Jim. Evening, My Lady.

Hello, Fiona. Break a leg. Thank you.

Jack Maye, just the man. We need a Latin motto for a free school.

I'll get us some drinks. "Every child a genius."

Can you do that? Complete lie, of course.

Good luck. Thank you very much.

You've just got to listen to this.

The Mountjoy charge sheet.

Procuring cocaine, dangerous driving, whores...

You mean sex workers. Cross-dressing.

What more could you want? Blasphemy?

Fiona, I'd like you to meet Toby Marlowe.

Yes, oh, hello. Brilliant barrister.

Absolutely brilliant. Right.

My nephew, actually. Super. What's your field?

Crim... Criminal law?

Yes, I'm... Good.

Excellent. Good luck. My Lady, we need you.

Yes. We need justice.

The men are getting all the work.

We're starving to death, actually.

And men are useless. It's a scientific fact.

I heard that. Keep it under your hat.

Um, Fiona.


Masters of Bench and guests, the Christmas Miscellany is about to begin.

My Lady, I just had word the Jehovah's Witness boy, Adam Henry, is very ill again.

He's in St David's Hospice, refusing treatment, refusing to see his parents.

They think he might not survive the night.

You OK? Where's your music?

Look, take this. Oh, God.

This is my spare one. Take this.

Let's get going.

Are you alright?

Mark Berner! Maestro!

Thank you. Thank you.

♪ Lully, lullay

♪ Thou little tiny child

♪ Bye bye, lully, lullay...

♪ Lullay ♪

Thank you so much, ladies and gentlemen.

We do actually have a couple of encores up our sleeve.

Very arrogant of us, I know.

But as it's not February and not the 14th, we thought we'd do My Funny Valentine.

Fiona. Fiona, that's the wrong one. I haven't got the words.

Fiona. Fiona?

♪ Down by the Salley Gardens

♪ My love and I did meet

♪ She passed the Salley Gardens

♪ With little snow-white feet

♪ She bid me take love easy

♪ As the leaves grow on the tree

♪ But I being young and foolish

♪ With her did not agree

♪ In a field by the river

♪ My love and I did stand

♪ And on my leaning shoulder...

My Lady, that was so beautifully done.

Thanks. Beautiful.

Thank you, Jim.


Camberwell. St David's Hospice, please.

Adam Henry?


Adam, it's Fiona Maye.


Remember, all of life and love.

And poetry.

We could be on that ship sailing round the world.

Talking about why some...

...songs are so...

Adam. Adam.


My choice.

My Lady.

"My Lady, you never told me what you believed in."

"I bet it isn't God. But what?"

"And me? I just don't know any more."

"Sometimes, in strange moods, I think, well, I'm an adult now."

"This thing will come back. I just know it will. And then...

I could be free."





You're soaking.


What happened?

Fi, what is it?

Come on.

Even Mrs Justice Maye owes an explanation sometimes.

Come on, darling, talk to me.

I heard about this young man.


From the, um... Jehovah's Witness case.

The what? In all the papers.

I'm sorry. I don't remember.

He was in hospital and I left the court and went to his bedside.

Uh-huh. Isn't that unusual? Yes, it was, very unusual.

And then?

A very strange and beautiful young man, very, very ill.

We, um... sang a song together.

He followed me up to Newcastle. He...

He walked through a storm to find me.

He wanted to go round the world in a ship with me.

He wanted to come and live with us.

With us?

I mean, he...

He thought I could... change his life... answer all his questions.

He was just a dreamer, but I...

I thought I was being kind, you see.

I should have... I should have...

He couldn't understand why his parents...

Their only son.

What happened? What's his name? Where is he now?

Adam. His name is Adam. He...

I heard tonight his cancer came back, his thing, and they need to transfuse him.

And he's refused.

He's 18. There's nothing the hospital can do.

He's refused and his lungs are filling with blood and he's dying.

He's dying for his faith.

Were you in love with him, Fiona?

Oh, Jack.

He was just a child.

A boy.

A lovely boy.

A lovely boy.

It's OK.


I've been watching you sleep.

Thank you.

Jack, he...

Such a waste.


I was cruel to him.

No. But you don't know.

Then tell me. Everything.

Will you still love me?