Emma Healey’s award-winning debut novel Elizabeth is Missing airs on BBC1 Sunday 8th December.
The new adaptation stars Glenda Jackson as a woman whose friend goes missing, prompting her to solve the mystery while dealing with her own dementia. Maud (Jackson) discovers disquieting parallels between her friend’s disappearance and that of her sister, Sukey, half a century previously.
Emma Healey, the author of the original book, was inspired by her own grandmother Nancy, who lived with dementia.
“To be honest, I wasn’t really thinking of other readers at that moment, it was a selfish beginning. I just wanted better ways to guess what my grandmother and other members of my family were going through, how they might feel, what they might be thinking.”
Glenda Jackson as Maud and Maggie Steed as Elizabeth. Picture: STV Productions/Mark Mainz
British national treasure Glenda Jackson returns to television for the first time in decades for what she believes is an important piece of television.
In an interview with the BBC she says:
“Elizabeth Is Missing is about a subject that is of enormous importance. We, the human race, live longer and longer and there are always new illnesses coming to the fore. This story deals with a woman and her family who are going through the realisation of what Alzheimer’s really is and how terrible it is. It was interesting to explore a life lost and how society has tried to maintain those people whose health is also severely damaged.
“When I first read the book and then the script, it sparked memories of when I was still a member of parliament and had to visit various day centres and old people’s homes. I wouldn’t say I am an expert in either Alzheimer’s or dementia but I have seen people and families who suffer from it.”