• It was satisfying and surprising to see how groundbreaking early hospital drama was in Britain. Emergency Ward 10’s mixed race kiss caused a storm of controversy but was very important in setting a positive precedent and pre-empted Star Trek’s ‘first ever’ inter-racial TV romance.
• Spotting a youthful Nursie from Blackadder II in early footage of NHS drama EW10.
• MASH’s Loretta Swit looking like a cross between Joan Rivers, Alicia Duvall and Roly from Eastenders. It was great to be reminded of her historic medical drama and its ability to simultaneously move, satirise and amuse.
• The fact that the theme tune to Casualty hasn’t changed since 1986.
• St Elsewhere’s refusal to portray doctors as faultless, rightly confronting the issue of malpractice head on and in gripping fashion. Similarly, its ultra-realistic approach to illness is still admirable, particularly when one considers how far the show went in altering misperceptions of AIDS and testicular cancer.
• Recognition of the importance of Channel 4’s brilliant – and already-missed – No Angels, probably the best programme we’ve seen at tackling medical horror stories and turning them into golden nuggets of black comedy.
• Edwina Currie’s somewhat chilling confession that “Dr. Kildare could lay his hands on me anytime”. Let’s hope for his sake he’s wearing protective gloves.
• No Diagnosis Murder or Dr Karl Kennedy from Neighbours.
• Although the programme’s chronological structure worked well and gave a real sense of history to medical drama, we could have done with learning more about why some shows succeeded while others disappeared without a trace.
• Additionally, the programme needed to address the age-old question of why those who appear in Casualty always end up starring in The Bill and vice versa?