Page last updated at 14:47 GMT, Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Union angry at Tube suicide film

A poster from the film, Three and Out
Actor Mackenzie Crook plays the role of the driver in Three and Out

A film has been criticised by a train driver's union for its portrayal of deaths on the London Underground.

Three and Out features a driver who witnesses two accidents and is told if a third person dies he will lose his job but will get a "huge payoff".

Writing on the union's website general secretary Keith Norman said the plot was "insulting and foolish".

The distribution company said the light-hearted film took "great care" to handle "heartfelt issues" sensitively.

The driver, played by actor Mackenzie Crook, witnesses two accidental deaths while at work and is traumatised by it, the film company said.

But he sets out to seek the third person to give up their life under his train after colleagues explain that he will receive "enough cash to pay off his debts and retire to a Scottish idyll".

If the vehicle you're travelling in has a callous, self-seeking half-wit at the wheel, you're going to look for another form of transport
Keith Norman, Aslef

In his weekly column Mr Norman wrote: "I really can't find anything amusing about people so distressed that they are driven to suicide.

"And, having witnessed it myself, I know the life changing trauma that drivers can suffer when they have been involved in an incident like this.

"If the vehicle you're travelling in has a callous, self-seeking half-wit at the wheel, you're going to look for another form of transport.

"And the notion that train drivers are unmoved at finding a corpse under the wheels of their trains, and that their first thought is, 'How can I gain from this?' is insulting and foolish," he added.

A statement from the distribution company, Worldwide Bonus Entertainment, said they were "aware of the difficult - and at times heartfelt - issues that the film raises, alongside its more light-hearted moments.

"The production team did not want to shy away from confronting these issues, or go to the other extreme and lose the comedy, but great care was taken to make sure that the more emotive elements of Three And Out were handled as sensitively as possible.

It added that they filmed in "close cooperation" with London Underground Filming and that the script was also sent to The Samaritans, who feature in one scene of the film.

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