The Golden Hour, ITV1

by | Sep 14, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

A new medical drama that roared on to the screen with all the impact of a number three bus to Bramwell – which, as it happens, was the cause of the spectacular accident that had our heroic doctors scurrying to their helicopters

What to say if you disliked it

Despite using every technique in the book (the book written by CSI, Without A Trace, 24, countless other US dramas), The Golden Hour dragged and TV clichés abounded

What was good about it?

• The tension that built up as the doctors battled to save Drew – knocked flying by the number three bus after running after little sister Jasmine. The clock started ticking on The Golden Hour, the vital period when everything’s a matter of life-or-death. For viewers who weren’t in the know, the term was helpfully spelt out early on. “Get it right in the first hour and we stand a good chance of saving lives and reducing long-term disability,”

• The gory bits, notably when Drew had his chest opened up on the roadside and his heart flicked to keep it going

• The moral of the story: mobile phones and motoring equals disaster

• Navin Chowdhry. He was great as Kurt in Teachers and is even better here as Dr Naz Osbourne, a man with bad jokes (“How long will this take?” “Depends if you want to take your legs with you or not.”) and a bad temper (although only a milk carton suffered during his violent relationship-ending outburst)

• We also liked the rest of the team. Richard Armitage as Dr Alec Track, the sleepy-eyed, strong-jawed leader of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service; Zoe Telford (another ex-Teachers star) as Dr Jane Cameron; and Ciaran McMenamin as the little-too-worthy Dr Paul Keane

• The dash of detective drama: Naz worked out that the bus driver was on his mobile phone when the accident happened and Jane worked out that Jasmine was being physically abused by her father

• The colour-bleached flashbacks, backstory fill-ins and moments of exposition looked good but there was a bit of an overload and, after a while, we got bored with these inserts and were relieved to see colour flooding back into the programme’s cheeks

• Nice chopper!

What was bad about it?

• The rather predictable ending – Drew opened his eyes in the final scene.

• The demise of cheery neighbour Rita who sounded like Olive from On The Buses (although she did have a Daily Mail and a jar of Marmite in her bag and, as we dislike both, maybe her death, under a flying car, wasn’t too much of a loss)

• There was only a very small opportunity to play the Casualty: who’ll-cop-it? Game before the accident happened

• The rather artificial little conflicts: Naz versus the surly Scottish cop (in TV land, all policemen in London are dour Scots – except at Sun Hill). Plus Alec versus the time & motion man; and the baying crowd versus the bus driver (“They always go too fast,” the mob explained as they rocked the ambulance containing the injured man)

Fact file Four-part drama series about the thrilling adventures of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS). The team consists of calm and efficient HEMS head Dr Alec Track (Richard Armitage), who has no room for a personal life; Dr Jane Cameron (Zoe Telford), who has fallen for Alec but remains a consummate professional; bureaucracy-hating, plain speaking maverick Dr Paul Keane (Ciaran McMenamin); flirtatious Dr Naz Osbourne (Navin Chowdhry), the joker in the pack who conceals his true feelings; and pilot Kurt (Billy Geraghty). Each 90-minute episode features the ‘golden hour’, the period following a trauma in which immediate medical treatment really can make the difference between life and death. Guest stars include Katy Cavanagh, Charlie Brooks, Jason Done, Keith Barron and Daniel Lapaine. Written by Andrew Rattenbury; made by Talkback Thames/Sony Pictures TV International

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


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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