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BBC Confirms Topics For Louis Theroux's Upcoming Series, Altered States

BBC Confirms Topics For Louis Theroux's Upcoming Series, Altered States

The series will touch on euthanasia, adoption and polyamory when it is released later this year in November.

Rachel Andrews

Rachel Andrews

Details of Louis Theroux's upcoming series have finally been revealed by the BBC.

The new series will be titled Louis Theroux's Altered States, and explore the unusual ways modern America deals with birth, love and death.

The topics Louis will be covering are euthanasia, polyamory and adoption, and he will explore how changing social attitudes and radical new laws have affected these three themes.

Louis Theroux's Altered States will be a three-part series, with Louis already revealing it would be released in November.

Speaking about his new series, Louis said: "I have always been interested in how people conduct the most intimate aspects of their lives.

PA Images

"For this series we looked at the new ways Americans are approaching some of humanity's oldest dilemmas: pregnant mums who feel unequipped to keep their babies and so pick new parents for them; the world of polyamory aka "ethical non-monogamy"; and people with debilitating conditions who opt to hasten their own deaths.

"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."

He continued: "I have been given extraordinary levels of access to courageous people and families across the United States, many of them enduring unbelievable levels of stress and anguish, and it was a privilege to be allowed into their lives in this most personal way."

Episode one, Take My Baby, will see Louis head to California, the adoption capital of the US, where the majority of new-born adoptions are carried out privately in a multi-million dollar industry.

Louis meets birth-mothers getting ready to give their babies to another family, uncovering stories of poverty, addiction and abuse, which play a part in pushing these women into making such a heartbreaking decision.

And on the flip side, he'll meet the families paying huge amounts of money to adopt, but in a system open to abuse, whether the birth-mother will hand over the baby hangs in the balance until after she has given birth.

In episode two, Maximum Love, Louis will travel to Portland in Oregon, which is seen as the US capital of polyamory and ethical non-monogamy - the practice of having multiple relationships that go further than just sex.

Louis will meet families who have made the decision to open up their relationships, whether that's by inviting others into their relationships or seeking romance elsewhere.

For some, polyamory and ethical non-monogamy may lead to love and happiness, but for others it can lead to jealousy and broken hearts.


Louis will journey to California for episode three, Choosing Death, where it is legal for residents to end their lives with a prescribed cocktail of drugs, as long as they are terminally ill, of sound mind and strong enough to administer it themselves.

The episode will follow Louis as he is invited into the homes of those who want control over ending their own lives, where he learns that choosing the right time is not always so simple.

Louis will also meet a group that provides information on how to die if residents don't fit the legal criteria, raising complex moral and legal questions.

Altered States will air in November on BBC Two.

Featured Image Credit: BBC Two

Topics: TV News, louis theroux