Episode one: Take My Baby
In the first film of the series, Theroux goes to California – the adoption capital of America – to talk with people involved in the adoption process. He meets the parents on both sides: the adoptive parents having to raise tens of thousands of dollars, and the birth mothers who are often racked with poverty and don’t have the means to raise a child. And despite the strenuous process, it’s still a gamble until the mother finally gives birth and sees her child for the first time. Can she still give it up?
Episode two: Maximum Love
It’s a remarkable coincidence that this episode of Altered States should share a lot of similarities with the new BBC comedy-drama Wanderlust. In Maximum Love, Theroux visits Portland, Oregon to talk with polyamorous couples and families who believe the idea of one love forever is antiquated. Many couples feel that more partners equals more love and happiness. However, some have endured great heartache and jealousy from their way of life.
Episode three: Choosing Death
For one of Theroux’s most hard-hitting topics, he’s back in California – one of six states that allow terminally ill people to end their lives with a lethal overdose. He visits the homes of those who want to take this option, and see how they decide when they want to die. He also visits those who want to die but don’t fit the legal criteria. As always when the topic of euthanasia comes up, this episode will bring forward a flurry of moral and ethical questions about ending one’s life early and whether it should be allowed.
Theroux has commented on this new documentary series, saying: '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.'
Altered States will be on BBC Two later this year
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