Some are labelling Louis Theroux’s new BBC series his best yet, and the good news is Australians will be able to watch it in December.
BBC Knowledge, which is available in Australia through Foxtel and Fetch TV subscription services, will premiere the first episode of Altered States in Australia on December 6 at 8:30 PM AEDT.
The documentary series focuses on unconventional approaches to love, death and birth that occur in modern America.
In the first episode, “Love Without Limits”, Theroux travels to Portland, Oregon, to meet the members of a movement that rewrites conventional notions of love and marriage.
Theroux shares time with a group of families who embrace polyamory and non-monogamy as their lifestyle, uncovering how the practice brings both joy and broken hearts to the individuals involved.
In episode two, “Choosing Death”, Theroux heads to the west coast of America to talk to terminally ill patients who are taking advantage of the California End of Life Option Act that allows residents to resort to medical aid to terminate their life under special circumstances.
Choosing Death was described by Theroux as particularly difficult, as him and his team were documenting a group of people that had already made the decision to end their lives.
The filmmaker explores the personal issues surrounding both the individuals taking their lives and the families left behind. He also delves into a case that doesn’t meet the law’s requirements and asks, what happens then?
The third and final episode, “Take My Baby”, sees Theroux follow women who have decided to have their newborn children taken away in open adoption.
In California, 85% of newborn adoptions are carried out privately with no intervention of the state. With adoptive parents willing to pay up to A$65,000, the practice has become a lucrative business for the lawyers, agencies and mothers involved.
Theroux reveals how poverty, addiction and abuse are often the reasons behind the heartbreaking decisions that the birth mothers make.