Channel 4 gleefully describes its latest drama series, Love in the 21st Century, as "six modern morality tales which
take a look at relationships from a female perspective". "We wanted to explode the myth that women are now like men," says
Nicola Shindler, executive producer of the series. "I don't believe in the whole 'ladette' business."
Made by the
team behind Queer as Folk, Love has attracted a strong cast including Daniela Nardini, Catherine McCormack, Jason Flemying,
Natasha Little, and Ioan Gruffudd.
Shindler, who says the series is "bold, provocative, and unapologetic", commissioned
three scripts from Catherine Johnson and one each from Paul Abbot, Matt Jones, and Paul Cornell.
"I don't believe
that only women can write women and men can write men," she says. "Some men, unbelievably, are able to understand women."
Paul Abbot, who has previously written episodes of Cracker, Touching Evil, and Reckless, has written Reproduction,
the first in the series. Fay, played with a lovely comic touch by Catherine McCormack, wakes up one morning to find her biological
clock ringing. She wants to have a baby and she wants it now.
"I guess that the clock in every woman's womb is constantly
ticking," says McCormack who, at the age of 27, is childless. "I'm far too selfish to have a baby to look after but a lot
of friends of mine say that when you reach 30 life takes on a new urgency."
Just turned 30, Fay is not in a relationship
and she decides she doesn't want to hang around waiting for a Mr Right who might never arrive. A visit to her local Lesbian
Resource Centre furnishes her with sperm sample jars, turkey basters, rubber gloves, and a supply of non-spermicidal condoms.
John, a tall, dark, handsome doctor, played by David Tennant, seems to satisfy all of Fay's criteria and she sets
about stealing his sperm and making her dream come true.
"It is very much Fay's story so I am just the tottie, really,"
says Tennant, who says the thought of someone taking and using his sperm without his knowledge does alarm him somewhat. "It
would terrify me," he says. "I don't want to become a father really and with the Child Support Agency and all that you could,
unwittingly, find yourself in all sorts of trouble. I think it would be a very unfair thing to do to somebody."
Source: The Herald