After teasing his new three-part series earlier this month, Louis Theroux has revealed what his new documentaries will be exploring.
After last year’s Dark States, Louis will be returning with Altered States – a series ‘exploring the unusual ways modern America deals with birth, love and death’, according to a press release.
Set entirely in America again, the series will explore the social attitudes and ‘radical new laws’ which have transformed how people can experience some of life’s most intimate moments – from raising children, to marriage, love and death.
I have always been interested in how people conduct the most intimate aspects of their lives. For this series we looked at the new ways Americans are approaching some of humanity’s oldest dilemmas: pregnant mums who feel unequipped to keep their babies and so pick new parents for them; the world of polyamory aka ‘ethical non-monogamy’; and people with debilitating conditions who opt to hasten their own deaths.
All of these stories have something a touch utopian about them, involving a kind of idealism and forward thinking that brings new opportunities but also new risks. I have been given extraordinary levels of access to courageous people and families across the United States, many of them enduring unbelievable levels of stress and anguish, and it was a privilege to be allowed into their lives in this most personal way.
It’s been two whole years since we last had some fresh Theroux, and we’ve really felt it every single day. He first appeared on our screen 20 years ago, with his hit series Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends.
Patrick Holland, Channel Controller at BBC Two, said:
Louis is a unique talent on BBC Two and it is always a very special moment when a new series lands. Altered States is a hugely challenging, disturbing and illuminating trilogy, taking us into some extremes of experience, all guided by Louis’ exceptional empathy and humanity.
While Clare Sillery, head of commissioning documentaries at the BBC, said:
Louis’ documentaries are some of the most fascinating, contemplative and honest on television. It is always a pleasure to have him on our screens tackling the subjects that many documentary makers would shy away from.
Altered States will be aired in November this year, but if you can’t wait til then for your Theroux fix, we’ve got you covered.
70 of his brilliant documentaries are now available on the iPlayer. Titles such as Miami Mega Jail, Law and Disorder, and America’s Most Hated Family are sure to tide you over while we wait for the new series in November.
Or if crime ain’t your bag, there’s his Louis Meets series, with one episode featuring a certain 70s TV personality which has taken on a whole new light since it was originally made.
Though his subjects can range from light to extremely dark, Louis’ documentaries are an eye-opening watch, skilfully presented and always well delivered.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.