Docs On The Box, Five

by | Sep 14, 2005 | All, Reviews

Highlights

• 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.

Lowlights

• 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?

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles

14/09/2005

Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!

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