Amber is dead, co-producer of the RTÉ television drama, Paul Duane, admitted yesterday.
The four-part series about a fictional missing Dublin teenager, Amber Bailey, received a mixed reaction when it ended on Wednesday night with an open-ended conclusion.
However, Mr Duane admitted that the teenager was dead during a radio interview with Ryan Tubridy on RTÉ 2fm.
Tubridy had put some pressure on Mr Duane to tell his listeners what happened to the girl.
Mr Duane said RTÉ had wanted the producers to know in their own minds what happened to Amber and there were many clues as to her ultimate fate.
But a clearly irritated Tubridy said he did watch the series and he still did not know what happened to her.
“Paul, Paul, hang on a second. I am not a stupid man. I watched four episodes of it so don’t answer in riddles. If you do know the answer to what happened to Amber, tell me.”
Mr Duane replied: “Well, Amber’s dead.”
He said no character was responsible for the girl’s death. It was not a whodunit. “She’s gone and that’s all there is to it.”
Mr Duane said the story was full of references to water imagery, implying that Amber was somewhere in the water.
Tubridy asked him if he knew in his creative mind who killed Amber. Mr Duane said she had been murdered. “She is gone. As happens to many people, they are taken away randomly.”
He said the series had been carefully made but there was to be no closure, no answer.
“If people feel dissatisfied, that is up to them. We designed it exactly as it is and after 25 years of making films on television, episode four of Amber is the proudest thing I have done in my career.”
Tubridy thought that a lot of viewers had been astonished because they were used to a story that had a beginning, a middle, and an end. He admitted he had told the television to “F-off” at the end of the series.
Mr Duane said the production team had toyed with the idea that Amber might be found but felt it would be a lie.
He added: “99% of the time people live out their lives in despair and misery thinking about a loved one that they will never see again.”
Tubridy agreed that the families of missing people would see it that way — such stories do not always have a neat ending.
Mr Duane said he was glad to see that some people who watched the series had thought about their reaction and now understood why it had to end the way it did.
“Amber is dead; she is in the water. We don’t know who did it, or why, or where they are, do we?” Tubridy asked.
“No,” said Mr Duane, who is just back from the US where there are several competing companies wanting to produce the show for American television.
Reaction from Amber viewers, taken from RTÉ Player Facebook page.
* I think I’ll do an RTE with my comment and just not fi... — Eoin Brennan
*Best line in it... Declan: “I don’t have a degree in bolloxology”. The writers had Phds in it. Load of crap! — Roddy Wyer
* When u advertised the show with the tag line “where is Amber?” I didn’t realise u actually expected me to tell you as u couldn’t be arsed to finish the story yourselves!!! — Yvonne Tuohy
* if i see Amber im taking her myself for wasting my time !!!! — Suzanne Lawrence
* If this is what you pay for your tv licence folks, I am glad I don’t pay it — Sasha Musgrave Travers
* RTE what were you thinking ending it like that? ... By the way, what stop is that on the LUAS, I’m never getting off there!!!! — John Michael Murphy
* Has anyone thought to giving Liam Neeson a call? — Emma Mc Loughlin
* So that’s why RTE were pushing for viewers ideas and theories on “who dun it” they wanted all of us to write the 2nd series! — Audrey O’Shea
* Thank god RTE never made the ‘where’s wally’ books, a whole generation would have been traumatised! — Bruce O’Donnell
* What a waste of time viewing this for four nights! It’s like coming to the end of a novel and finding that the last page is missing!! — Máire Byrne
* Well I liked it. No closure for anyone. — Caoimhe Clery
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