Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Case Study No. 1956: Elizabeth "Libby" Croker

Frank and Libby || She walks in beauty, like the night
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The following is a list of fictional characters from the British drama Shameless, created by Paul Abbott, which began broadcasting on Channel 4 in 2004. The programme is set on the fictional Chatsworth Estate in suburban Manchester, and the surrounding area and primarily follows the lives of the Gallagher family and the neighbouring Maguire family, and their friends and neighbours in the town's shops and local pub the Jockey.


Libby Croker (played by Pauline McLynn) is one of Frank's love interests. She is a librarian who lives with her disabled mother, for whom she is sole carer, giving up her own independent existence. Libby is narcoleptic. In the most recent episode, she has moved in with Frank, after being released from prison for inciting a riot. Her mother has also moved in with the Gallaghers, living in their front room, and has been set up as a counterpoint to Frank, both of whom consider the other as "fakers" regarding their illnesses. Libby's moving into the Gallagher home has not been welcomed by Frank's sons. Liam in particular has demonstrated a rather cold attitude toward Libby, perhaps because he fears that the relationship is doomed to failure anyway, and doesn't want to get too friendly with Libby. However, Libby has gradually been accepted by most of the family. In episode 13 of Series 8 Libby was found to be exchanging love letters with a colleague. The colleague was later found out to be a figment of her imagination borne out of a desperate need for affection.

After her and Frank split, Libby left Chatsworth whilst her mother and godson Aiden chose to stay with the Gallaghers.



Elizabeth "Libby" Croker was the love interest, and fiancee of Frank Gallagher. They came very close to getting married, even though Monica tried to put a stop to the wedding it was the lack of a Minister that ruined Libby's dream.

Libby suffered from Narcolepsy when introduced and fell asleep during sex with Frank and when at the wheel of her mobile library. The Narcolepsy would apparently manifest at times of excitement for Libby but Frank suggested she double or triple her medication dosage to keep the effects away. Patty disagreed with this and told Libby that she would end up dead but Frank countered that due to his ex-wife Sheila being heavily medicated and his son Liam's Epilepsy he was experienced with medication. Libby took Frank's advice and her Narcolepsy was never seen to affect her again.

She suffers from narcolepsy, and was introduced in Series 7 as a love interest for Frank, when she almost got hit by a car but was saved by Frank who was on duty as a lollipop man. She was introduced along with her controlling, Irish, disabled mother Patricia. Libby is known for her very romantic nature as well as being a fantasist, she worked in a library when she was first introduced and has a passionate love of poetry and classic literature. The strong nature of her fantasies and her idealist nature lead to her ignoring Frank's faults for so long. All these elements of her personality can be seen when soon before her departure in Series 8 she was revealed to be falling for a mystery man who she swapped letters with. The man would quote from her favorite books and poems and speak of Frank's inadequacies but it was soon revealed that he didn't exist, Libby had been writing the letters to herself.

She was so taken with Frank that one of his usual rambling speeches led to her leading a violent protest to save her library which got her arrested and sentenced to prison. In time Frank forgot Libby and the series went on without her, but she later returned in Episode 707 in search of Frank. Unfortunately, when Libby asked around for him everyone assumed she was a social worker and proceeded to tell her that he wasn't around, or they had never heard of him. After her previous failed attempts at finding her love she eventually found her way to the family's home, after Carl told her Frank wasn't there she finally said to tell Frank that maybe there was nothing between them after all.

Frank soon realized that it was Libby that was searching for him and not the DSS when Joe Pritchard showed him footage from the shop secutiy camera. Frank managed to track Libby down and though her Narcolepsy left her sleeping at the wheel of her new mobile library from excitement, the couple soon started their whirlwind romance.

Despite the tumultuous start to their relationship, Libby soon moved into the Gallagher homestead with her mother. Her love for Frank and perhaps her joy at Patty's disapproval of the relationship soon lead to Libby becoming the effective lead of the family. She took on the role of mother to Stella and Liam as well as even having a strange mural of a happy and naked Frank and herself painted above their bed.

Libby had an initially difficult relationship with Liam, Frank's youngest son, who was old enough to remember Frank's past relationships with his mother Monica and Sheila Jackson. It was strongly implied that Liam didn't want to get too close with Libby, as he was certain that she would soon tire of Frank when she realised that he was a waster. But they gradually grew to trust one another until Liam saw Libby as the best parent figure Stella had.

In Series 8 Frank disappeared after his stag party, leaving everyone to believe he couldn't go through with the wedding. A heartbroken Libby tried everything to find him but was unsuccessful until Karen Maguire discovered Frank in the local psychiatric hospital. Karen had checked herself in for a day to be sure her Bipolar medication was working properly and was shocked to find Frank had been there the whole time, the staff saying his real life were fantasies. When they refused to release Frank, Libby decided to break in and help him escape while The Jockey was prepared for their wedding but Frank had engineered his own escape. He soon discovered that his nurse, Mildred Fletcher was the lover of Monica and Frank had been committed because Monica wanted to stop his marriage to Libby. The lovers were eventually reunited but with the confusion of Libby breaking into the hospital while Frank was breaking out, they were left without a Minister and unable to get married.

Split and Departure
Frank made his feelings clear when as time passed, the wedding was forgotten by all but Libby, and Patty who enjoyed mentioning it to upset her daughter. As Frank let her down over and over, Libby began to become disillusioned with him and started to see the relationship clearly for the first time. One night in The Jockey Letitia Powell mentioned that she had to write a speech for a debate arguing for abortion, she unfortunately listened to Frank's thoughts on the matter and repeated his obscene and unapologetic ideas to a shocked class room. When Letitia got into trouble for this her mother Avril demanded Frank explain what happened to the school and an already angry Libby told him to fix it "by whatever means necessary". Frank half heartedly tried to reason with the teacher, a large woman who told Frank she would lift Letitia's suspension if Frank gave her oral sex. Frank promptly refused but outside Letitia cornered him and revealed she knew it would happen and that Libby told him to fix the problem by whatever means necessary. Frank completed the task, which seemed to restore a lot of Libby's faith in him however this soon changed when the teacher arrived at the house to complain that Frank gave her Thrush.

This led to the end of Libby's relationship with Frank. She packed her bags and left the Chatsworth Estate, leaving her mother behind. Patty later revealed to Frank that Libby had wanted to give their relationship another chance but Patty stopped her by admitting she wasn't disabled at all and had faked it to stop Libby marrying many years previous. Libby, who spent her entire adult life at her mother's side was spurred to leave by this information. Though Patty acted very apathetic to this situation she later admitted that she had no idea where Libby was and had received no contact from her, something that greatly troubled her.



Shameless star Pauline McLynn quits show after 'difficult year'

Jan 23, 2011 19:31
By Manchester Evening News

Shameless star Pauline McLynn has quit the hit Manchester TV show.

The actress, who plays librarian Libby Croker and love of Frank Gallagher's life, left her role at the end of last year.

Channel 4 bosses had tried to keep the news under wraps until nearer her screen exit from the Chatsworth estate.

But the revelation that she had left emerged after the actress spoke in interviews of her "difficult year" commuting between Manchester and her homes in London and Ireland.

Former Father Ted favourite Pauline, 48, was at the centre of the opening storyline in this month's new series, filmed at the Shameless Wythenshawe HQ.

Viewers were left wondering if her wedding to Frank (David Threlfall) would take place after he ended up in a psychiatric hospital. In the end they remained unmarried.

Fans will see Libby walk away in episode 13 of the eighth series, to be broadcast on March 8, before Shameless takes a mid-season break.

Channel 4 then plan to screen the remaining nine episodes in the autumn, as filming also begins on next year's ninth series.

Irish-born performer and writer Pauline first made her name as Father Ted's tea-loving parish housekeepr Mrs Doyle.

She joined The Jockey regulars at the start of the 2010 series, which saw Libby moving in with Frank and the rest of the Gallagher family.

A spokeswoman for the drama said: "It was a natural point for Pauline to leave the show. She's very proud to have been a part of Shameless over the last couple of years and has other projects coming up that she's excited about."

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