In the last of our spotlights on the characters of The Politician's Husband, we focus on the Hoynes' chidren, Ruby and Noah. The three part drama created by Paula Milne and starring David Tennant and Emily Watson begins tonight on BBC Two
Ruby HoynesPlayed by Lucy Hutchinson
Noah has been in Ruby’s life since birth: she totally accepts his strange rituals and phobias and is touchingly protective of him.
Played by Oscar Kennedy
Noah is 11 and his Asperger’s was not diagnosed until he was five years old. Like many people with Asperger’s, he is prone to panic attacks, phobias and obsessions. He finds the world an unpredictable and terrifying place.
Paula Milne on Noah:
One of the most important characters in the drama is Freya and Aiden’s son Noah, who has Asperger’s. He has a particular obsession with flight paths. He also doesn’t like to be touched. And you quickly see that Aiden, particularly, doesn’t know how to handle him. Even Freya admits at one point that she goes to work to get away from Noah’s endless obsessions and rituals. Neither of them wants to admit, or even believe, that they don’t love him enough. Dramatically, I think that was important. It makes them a bit bruised by life. They aren’t just the ideal family in an ivory tower. They are a family who have to deal with something – at the same time as trying to do their jobs and have political aspirations. So Noah’s place in the story was to make them seem oddly ordinary, in a way.
Emily Watson on Noah:
Their son Noah, who has Asperger's, is a very important part of the drama, especially in terms of David's character. I think when Noah's Asperger's became evident, Aiden basically couldn't deal with it. He stepped away from him. And in a way I think he is overcompensating in politics; he becomes more and more driven because he can't find the normal solace of what a human relationship provides.
David Tennant on Noah's Asperger's condition:
We were helped brilliantly by people coming and talking to us. I wouldn’t want to betray any confidences by going into that too much, but people were very honest with us, which was hugely humbling, actually, and very helpful for the roles. When you have a child with Asperger’s, you can’t always communicate in the way that you would normally expect. It can rob people of a normal life – and that is a huge part of the story here.
Watch episode 1 of The Politician's Husband on BBC Two tonight from 9pm