What to say if you liked it
The return of the medical drama where back-stabbing, back-biting and the swallowing of bitter pills among the staff is added to the gory injuries and troublesome illnesses faced by the patients
What to say if you disliked it
Must we really be subjected to inverted uteruses during games of hunt-the-placenta in such graphic close-up?
What was good about it?
• Patrick Baladi’s remarkable performance as Roger Hurley, the smarmy, officious surgeon who might as well operate with a knife and fork because he couldn’t do any worse. Almost all of his ops are cock-ups and, in this opening episode, he managed to perforate a uterus and cut through a bowel (it was horrible). As sarcastic colleague/enemy Tony remarked: “Sometimes I think Roger’s going after Harold Shipman’s record.” But smarmy Hurley always wriggles out of trouble and slimes his way up the career ladder.
• Max Beesley as Rob Lake, the doctor with a conscience, providing the little angel counterpart to Hurley’s devil.
• Oliver Milburn’s excellent guest appearance as registrar James, who was set to join Hurley’s team but then ran a mile when he realised when an incompetent fool his new boss was.
• Keith Allen’s portrayal of consultant Tony Whitman, who refuses to pay at politics and hates Hurley so much that he smashed his rival’s headlights by playing golf in the car park and then gave Hurley one of his patients, knowing the woman would bleed to death in Hurley’s hands
• The exposé of today’s NHS. “It’s better for our targets if she doesn’t go to theatre,” said the midwife who couldn’t recover a woman’s placenta and inverted her uterus as she struggled to get at it
• The use of The Pretenders’ I Go To Sleep during Hurley’s latest botched operation
What was bad about it?
• Rob supports Manchester United
• There was only one sex scene involving Max Beesley and the lovely Neve McIntosh
• The delivery room scene was so gory that it was more or less unwatchable – and we’re not normally in the least bit squeamish.