Truckers: We're connected but alone

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Truckers is about trucking. Obviously.

Well, maybe...

It’s about trucking in the way that Common As Muck was about dustmen or Made In Dagenham about the Ford motor industry. What I mean is: everything I write explores a central theme or question.

In Common As Muck it was, “What is the nature of dirt?” In Dagenham it was, “Rights versus privileges.”

And in Truckers, while we are very much embroiled in the lives and loves of a group of people who earn a living in the haulage business, what the show is really about, I think, is isolation.

Truck drivers are not team players: Watch the trail

The fact that at a time when we seem to be so infinitely connected through PCs, smart phones, tablets and the myriad social networks which utilise these devices, as well as the innumerable lifestyle magazines, blogs and TV shows which are all designed to help us get on board with modern trends and values, we are actually never more alone.

Moving through time and space in a society of one. In fact, the very connectivity of modern living encourages us to go solo and then share those single experiences.

However, the overall effect of this kind of lifestyle is to remove us from direct and shared intercourse with those around us.

And in Truckers it occurred to me, I had a wonderful metaphor for exactly that way of life, of people connected but alone.

That theme of disconnection is further explored in the individual episode plots. For example, Malachi’s story in episode one is really one of awakening. 

A man who awakens to the fact that he has taken his marriage for granted, seeing it as just one more of the many things which constitute his nomadic, easy come, easy go lifestyle but which, in fact, should have been his rock and corner stone.

Malachi asks Sue to take him back but is it too little, too late?

That it has not been, has, ultimately, caused him to face an extremely solitary future.

In episode four, Wendy comes to understand that she has been isolated by the idea of blame (are we not, an ever more litigious world?) in that her inability not to blame herself for the breakup of her childhood home, has completely blighted her life.

Of course, I should say at this point that Truckers is a comedy and the show is designed to make you laugh, too!

But I think humour is the emollient which allows the absorption of extremely profound ideas, without which some people baulk and simply will not enter the debate.

Therefore, if all goes as I hope this week, when Truckers transmits my audience will laugh and chuckle and then ask: “Hang on...is that me? Am I one of those isolated people? Am I spinning solo, stuck on the edges of society when, if I just lived literally, rather than virtually, tasted salt and sweat a bit more, I might re-connect with what it is to be human?”

William Ivory is the writer of Truckers.

Truckers starts on Thursday, 10 October at 9pm on BBC One and BBC One HD. For further programme times please see the episode guide.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC. 

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