DARREN DEVLYN It’s a big deal killing off a regular cast member. Howdid you feel about Zoe Ventoura’s character being taken out in a car crash? It was a brave decision by the writers to do that. It was so instantaneous. It came out of the blue, as accidents do. The effect of having her die so suddenly has resonated with the audience. Is there an intention to send a message to viewers about the perils of using a mobile phone while driving? It obviously does. I think everyone has done it to varying degrees. You see it every day driving in the city and it shows the effects when you take your attention off the road and these things can happen. To kill such a popular character I think does send a very strong message. Are you aware of the hype on blogs and fan forums about the death episode? What does that tell you about the impact of the show? I amaware of it. It is a reminder to us and everyone on the show that we have a very loyal and strong audience watching us, and we have a responsibility to them. Your character Dave is showing clear signs of a depression battle. How does the death in the family affect his ability to cope? It drags Dave back to reality. His father role kicks in and he puts aside his own downward spiral for the love of his son and the grieving that is going on around him. It’s forced him to face up to his own issue, which is small in comparison to what Ben is going through and what everyone else is going through. It forces him to examine where he is at. Whydo you think the show has taken Dave down this path? I think depression in men of Dave’s age is a lot more common than people realise. We try to keep our fingers on the pulse and we are reflecting what it going on in society. Howmuch research has gone into creating the storyline? I think everyone, from myself to the writers, have had some experience dealing with these issues. I’m pleased the show is bringing this issue forward. A lot of men don’t talk about what they are going through. Packed to the Rafters, Channel 7, Tuesday, 8.30pm
Reflecting society: Erik Thomson’s character battles depression.