Casualty (TV series)

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Casualty
Casualty Logo.svg
Genre Medical drama
Created by Jeremy Brock
Paul Unwin
Starring Current and former cast
Theme music composer Ken Freeman
Jeremy Holland-Smith
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series35
No. of episodes1,191 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producersAdrian Bate (1996–1997)
Laura Mackie (1997–1998)
Ruth Caleb (1998)
Mal Young (1998–2004)
Mervyn Watson (2002–2007)
Belinda Campbell (2007–2011)
Alison Davis (2007–2008)
Johnathan Young (2011–2013)
Oliver Kent (2013–2017)
Simon Harper (2017–2020)
Running time40–50 minutes
60–90 minutes (special episodes)
Production companies BBC Bristol (1986–2011)
BBC Studios Cymru Wales (2011–present)
Release
Original network BBC One
Original release6 September 1986 (1986-09-06) 
present
Chronology
Related shows
External links
Website

Casualty (stylised as CASUAL+Y) is a British medical drama series that airs weekly on BBC One. [1] It is the longest-running emergency medical drama television series in the world, [2] and the most enduring medical drama shown on prime time television in the world. [3] Created by Jeremy Brock and Paul Unwin, it was first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 6 September 1986. The original producer was Geraint Morris. [4]

Contents

The programme is set in the fictional Holby City Hospital and focuses on the staff and patients of the hospital's Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department. The show has strong ties to its sister programme Holby City , which began as a spin-off series from Casualty in 1999, [5] set in the same hospital. Casualty is shown weekly on a Saturday evening, which has been its time slot since the early 1990s.

Casualty's exterior shots were mainly filmed outside the Ashley Down Centre in Bristol from 1986 until 2002, when they moved to the centre of Bristol. In 2011, Casualty celebrated its 25th anniversary and moved production to the Roath Lock Studios in Cardiff, where it is currently filmed. The 1,000th episode of Casualty aired on 25 June 2016. [6] A feature-length 30th anniversary episode of Casualty aired on 27 August 2016, episode 1 of series 31. For the series 31 finale, creator Paul Unwin returned to write a special episode which was entirely recorded in one take using only one camera, five boom operators and forty microphones. [7] On 17 March 2020, production on the series was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic along with all other BBC shows; [8] filming resumed in September 2020. When Casualty returns, it will have a shorter duration time of 40 minutes rather than its usual 50 minutes. It was later confirmed that Casualty would return on 2 January 2021. [9]

Creation

The series was created by Jeremy Brock and Paul Unwin. [10] According to writer Susan Wilkins, it was meant to be a response to the Margaret Thatcher era, and Unwin said that as young socialists, they wanted to create a "television revolution" that would be feminist, anti-racist, pro-NHS and anti-Conservative. [11]

Production

Location

Casualty and Holby City are both set in Holby City Hospital, [12] in the fictional county of Wyvern, in the south-west of England. [13]

From the show's inception to series 26, episode 16, the city exterior was represented by Bristol, [14] including well-known landmarks such as the floating harbour and Clifton Suspension Bridge often visible in outdoor scenes. [15] The City of Bristol College was used as the location for most exterior shots of the hospital from 1986 until 2002, when a new exterior set was built in Lawrence Hill Industrial Park in the city. [16] Casualty has also filmed at Chavenage House back in 1997. [17]

Following plans to switch filming to Birmingham, it was confirmed on 26 March 2009 that filming of Casualty from 2011 would move to a purpose-built studio and backlot set at the BBC Roath Lock studios in Cardiff, South Wales. [18] [19] Episode 16 of series 26 marked the final episode filmed in Bristol, with a fire destroying the department. The first episode from Cardiff, [20] broadcast on 7 January 2012, was an 80-minute episode. [21] Most exterior shots of the city of Holby are now shot within the city of Cardiff and wider area of South Wales. Railway scenes are shot on location at various preserved railways, which from the start of shooting have centred around the West Somerset Railway, the Avon Valley Railway and more recently the Barry Tourist Railway. In May 2018, filming for the premier of series 33 was shot in Bristol and Yate. [22]

Broadcast

The programme has usually been transmitted on Saturday nights, although for a period in the late 1980s and early 1990s it switched to Fridays. The first two series each consisted of 15 episodes; series 3 ran for 10 episodes (although one of those episodes was postponed following the death of its guest star, Roy Kinnear); series 4, 5 and 6 were 12, 13, and 15 episodes long respectively. The final episode of series 6, which focused on a plane crash, was postponed until February 1992, after being initially scheduled for transmission on 20 December 1991 – one day before the 3rd anniversary of the Lockerbie disaster.

When the show moved back to Saturday nights in September 1992, the series length was extended to 24 episodes per year, and placed in a pre-watershed slot at approximately 8 pm. This initially caused some controversy due to the graphic and controversial nature of some of the storylines. [23] In 1997–8, the episode number was increased again, with 26 episodes (including two 75-minute specials) making up series 12. Subsequent series each saw an increase in episodes; series 13 ran for 28 episodes, series 14 ran for 30 episodes, series 15 ran for 36 episodes, series 16 and 17 ran for 40 episodes and series 18 ran for 46 episodes. Since 2004, popularity of the show resulted in a switch from a traditional seasonal format (which had progressed from three months in its early years to around seven months by 2001) to an almost year-round production and transmission — each series from series 19 (2004/5) to 25 (2010/11) has lasted for 48 episodes. However, this figure was dropped to 42 for series 26, with no summer break, which was related to production moving from Bristol to Cardiff. [24] Series 27 consists of 44 episodes an increase of 2 episodes on the previous series and returned to 48 for series 28. [25] [26] In addition, from series 26, the show also began broadcasting in August of their respective years, rather than start in September with a two-week break in late December.

Casualty usually runs for 50 minutes between 20:0022:00 slot on BBC One. Special events such as the Eurovision Song Contest and sporting events sometimes see the schedule moved around. On most of these occasions, Casualty is taken off-air for the night to make way for alternative shows. It has been known in the past that if an episode is in two parts, part one will be aired on the Saturday and part two on Sunday. It is broadcast across Europe via BBC Entertainment on the same date.

Cast and characters

Casualty follows the professional and personal lives of the medical and ancillary staff of Holby City Hospital's emergency department. It features an ensemble cast of regular characters, and began with ten main characters in its first series. The original characters are consultant Ewart Plimmer (Bernard Gallagher), senior house officer Baz Samuels (Julia Watson), charge nurse Charlie Fairhead (Derek Thompson), staff nurse Clive King (George Harris), state enrolled nurse Megan Roach (Brenda Fricker), student nurse Lisa "Duffy" Duffin (Cathy Shipton), paramedics Sandra Mute and Andrew Ponting (Lisa Bowerman and Robert Pugh), receptionist Susie Mercier (Debbie Roza) and porter Kuba Trzcinski (Christopher Rozycki).

Currently, the regular cast consists of lead consultant in emergency medicine and cardiothoracic surgeon Connie Beauchamp (Amanda Mealing); consultants Ethan Hardy (George Rainsford), Dylan Keogh (William Beck) and Will Noble (Jack Nolan); foundation training doctor Rash Masum (Neet Mohan); clinical nurse manager, Jacob Masters (Charles Venn), senior charge nurse and emergency nurse practitioner Charlie Fairhead (Derek Thompson); advanced clinical practitioner Faith Cadogan (Kirsty Mitchell); staff nurses Robyn Miller (Amanda Henderson), David Hide (Jason Durr), Marty Kirkby (Shaheen Jafargholi), and Jade Lovall (Gabriella Leon); operational duty manager Jan Jenning (Di Botcher), paramedics Lev Malinovsky (Uriel Emil) and Fenisha Khatri (Olivia D'Lima); and healthcare assistant Rosa Cadenas (Jacey Sallés).

A survey published by Radio Times magazine in March 2004 found that Casualty has featured more future stars than any other UK soap or drama series. [27] Actors who appeared in the show prior to wider success include Kate Winslet, Orlando Bloom, Minnie Driver, Christopher Eccleston, Tom Hiddleston, Ashley Artus, [28] Parminder Nagra, Sadie Frost, Ray Winstone, David Walliams, Jonny Lee Miller, Martin Freeman, Helen Baxendale, Robson Green and Brenda Fricker. [27] Discussing her 1993 appearance in Casualty, Winslet told the Radio Times: "In England, it almost seems to be part of a jobbing actor's training [to appear in Casualty]. As far as I was concerned it was a great episode, a great part. Appearing in Casualty taught me a big lesson in how to be natural in front of the camera." [27] In addition, the series has featured a variety of more established stars, including Norman Wisdom, Amanda Redman, Anita Dobson, Jenny Seagrove, Rula Lenska, Prunella Scales, [29] Celia Imrie, [30] Toyah Willcox, Maureen Lipman, [31] Frances Barber, Andrew Sachs, [32] Russ Abbot, Stephanie Beacham, [33] Honor Blackman and Michelle Collins in cameo roles.

DVD releases

The first three series of Casualty were released on DVD (Region 2, UK) by 2 Entertain/Cinema Club. The third was released to coincide with the show's 20th anniversary celebrations. In Australia the first series was released by Umbrella Entertainment. There are no future DVD releases planned at present for the UK or Australia.

DVD titleNo. of discsYear(s)No. of episodesDVD release
Region 2 Region 4 Notes
Casualty Series 1 419861510 April 2006 [34] 8 December 2008 [35]
Casualty Series 2 419871510 July 2006 [36] N/A
Casualty Series 3 319881011 September 2006 [37] N/A

International broadcast

Irish viewers can stream the series on the free RTÉ Player service. [38]

American viewers can watch the series on Britbox, a subscription service U.S. streaming service. [39] [40]

Holby City

Holby City began on 12 January 1999 as a spin-off from Casualty and is named after the fictional Holby City Hospital in which both series are set. The show follows the lives and careers of staff and patients on the surgical wards of the hospital, and deals with a range of clinical and ethical issues. Similarly to Casualty, the regular characters are all surgeons, nurses and other medical and ancillary staff, with patients played by guest actors, including famous names such as Eric Sykes, Phill Jupitus, Michael Jayston, Michele Dotrice, Ronni Ancona, Emma Samms, Lee Ryan, Nikki Sanderson and Johnny Briggs. [41] The show was created by Mal Young and Tony McHale, who became its executive producer between 2007 and 2010. He was succeeded by Casualty executive producer Belinda Campbell.

Casualty@Holby City

Casualty@Holby City credits Casualty@Holby City.png
Casualty@Holby City credits

Reflecting Holby City's origins as a spin-off from Casualty and the closely related premises of the two programmes, the BBC has screened occasional crossover mini-dramas entitled Casualty@Holby City, featuring a number of characters from each of the two casts. [42] Mervyn Watson, former executive producer of Casualty, has commented on the origins of the idea to fully cross the two shows over for the first time: "I think the idea came from somebody in the comedy department, who casually said to the Controller of Drama 'Wouldn't it be a good idea if ...' The Controller did think it was a good idea, spoke to myself and Holby's executive producer, got it commissioned by the Head of BBC One and the rest is history." [43]

Filming of Casualty@Holby City episodes is usually divided between Casualty's Bristol set, and Holby City's Elstree studios, although a large proportion of the Christmas 2005 crossover was also filmed on location in a road tunnel in Caernarfon, Wales. [44] The theme tune used for crossover episodes consists of a shortened version of both the Casualty and Holby City theme tunes, played over one another in sync, criticized by the Daily Mirror for being "basically both theme tunes played at once." [45]

Interviewed prior to broadcast of the Christmas 2005 crossover, Watson commented on the future of Casualty@Holby City: "We can't guarantee any crossovers for next year, but the audience likes them. And as long as the Controller of BBC One wants them, then we'll be happy to oblige." [46] In November 2007, Holby City producer Diana Kyle added: "We like to do crossovers whenever we can, but it's tricky because both Holby City and Casualty film for 52 weeks a year, so the actors on each show have to work flat-out on their own programmes. We are trying to create more opportunities where the two dramas can merge, though." [47] Another crossover was broadcast in 2010, with Casualty producer Oliver Kent commenting that the production teams enjoy airing crossovers, and that the difficulty in producing them is "purely logistics". [48]

HolbyBlue

In April 2006, the BBC announced that a spin-off drama from the show, to be named HolbyBlue , was in early stages of production. [49] The series focuses on the police service of Holby South, and aired for the duration of its first series on BBC One on Tuesday nights, with Holby City switching back to its former Thursday night slot at 8:00 pm. Long running Casualty character Charlie Fairhead appeared in HolbyBlue's first episode, and a full two-part crossover episode with Holby City aired at the beginning of the show's second series. [50] On 6 August 2008, the BBC announced that HolbyBlue has been axed after two series. [51]

Casualty 1900s

In December 2006, the BBC broadcast a historical medical drama titled Casualty 1906 , reflecting life in the 'Receiving Room' (A+E was a concept not yet developed) of the Royal London Hospital 100 years previously, based on historical hospital records and news reports of the time. A three-episode miniseries, titled Casualty 1907 , was developed for broadcast in 2008. Although not a direct spin-off, nor set in the same fictional location, The Times has suggested "that this is BBC high-concept brand-extension at its very best", [52] with the BBC using the popularity of and viewer familiarity with Casualty to launch a new historical drama — a conclusion The Guardian also asserted. [53] A third series, Casualty 1908, featuring Cherie Lunghi, was also commissioned.[ citation needed ] On 25 March 2009, it was announced that the BBC would be airing Casualty 1909 , a six-part series which aired in June and July 2009. [54]

Awards and nominations

AwardWinsNominations
British Academy Television Awards 417
Digital Spy Reader Awards 010
Inside Soap Awards 734
National Television Awards 141
Royal Television Society Awards 44
TV Quick and TV Choice Awards110
Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards 13
Other awards57
Total33116

Related Research Articles

<i>Holby City</i> British medical drama television series

Holby City (styled as HOLBY CI+Y) is a British medical drama television series that airs weekly on BBC One. It was created by Tony McHale and Mal Young as a spin-off from the established BBC medical drama Casualty, and premiered on 12 January 1999. It follows the lives of medical and ancillary staff at the fictional Holby City Hospital, the same hospital as Casualty, in the fictional city of Holby, and has featured occasional crossovers of characters and plots with both Casualty (which featured dedicated episodes broadcast as Casualty@Holby City) and the show's 2007 police procedural spin-off HolbyBlue. It began with eleven main characters in its first series, all of whom have since left the show. New main characters have been both written in and out since, with a core of around fifteen main actors employed at any given time. In casting the first series, Young sought actors who were already well known in the television industry, something which has continued throughout its history, with cast members including Patsy Kensit, Jane Asher, Robert Powell, Ade Edmondson and John Michie.

Holby is a fictional city in the United Kingdom, the setting for the BBC medical dramas Casualty and Holby City, and the police drama HolbyBlue. It is based on the real city of Bristol, where Casualty was formerly filmed, and is notionally located in the fictional county of Wyvern in South West England, not far from the border with Wales. While Casualty has been filmed in Cardiff since 2011, Holby City is filmed in Elstree, Hertfordshire. Both shows are set in the same fictional Holby City Hospital. Holby has an airport called Holby International.

Amanda Jane Mealing is an English actress, known for portraying the role of Connie Beauchamp in the BBC medical dramas Holby City and Casualty.

<i>Casualty@Holby City</i>

Casualty@Holby City (styled as CASUAL+Y @ HOLBY CI+Y) is a series of special crossover episodes of BBC medical dramas Casualty and Holby City. While Casualty was launched on 6 September 1986, and its spin-off Holby City was first aired on 12 January 1999, the first full crossover episode between the two programmes was not broadcast until 26 December 2004. As of 27 December 2005, four crossover specials have been aired, comprising nine episodes total. Although further crossovers of storylines and characters have since occurred, they have not been broadcast under the Casualty@Holby City title.

The first series of the British medical drama television series Holby City commenced airing in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 12 January 1999, and concluded on 9 March 1999. The show was created by Mal Young and Tony McHale as a spin–off from the BBC medical drama Casualty, intended to follow the treatment of patients from Casualty as they were transferred onto the hospital's surgical wards. McHale served as the programme's lead writer throughout the first series, which ran for nine episodes. Young cast actors who were already established names in the acting industry, particularly from a soap opera background. Several cast members shadowed real surgeons and nurses in preparation for their roles to increase the show's realism. The series received mixed reviews from critics. It was compared favourably with Casualty, but received negative reviews in which it was contrasted poorly with the American medical drama ER. The series première attracted 10.72 million viewers, falling to 8.51 million by the series finale.

Donna Jackson

Donna Jackson is a fictional character from the BBC medical drama Holby City, played by actress Jaye Jacobs. She appeared in the programme from its sixth series in 2004, to its thirteenth in 2011, and from its nineteenth in 2017. Donna entered the series as a staff nurse, characterised as a wild-child with a chaotic personal life. During her tenure, she grew to take her work more seriously, becoming a ward sister and accepting more personal responsibilities by adopting her half-niece Mia. A tart with a heart character, Donna had many romantic liaisons with her colleagues, including a one-night stand with midwife Mickie Hendrie. She ultimately fell in love with agency nurse Kieran Callaghan, and departed to be with him after he was injured in Afghanistan as part of the Territorial Army.

The twelfth series of the British medical drama television series Holby City commenced airing in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 20 October 2009. The series deals with the repercussions of the death of ward sister Faye Byrne's son Archie, including the resignation of consultant Connie Beauchamp and the return of former registrar Thandie Abebe-Griffin. It also focuses on staff members' romantic and family lives. F1 Oliver Valentine becomes romantically involved with registrar Jac Naylor and ward sister Daisha Anderson, and his sister Penny embarks on a secret romance with a heart transplant patient. Consultant Linden Cullen is reunited with his estranged daughter Holly, nurse Donna Jackson decides to adopt her half-niece Mia, sister Chrissie Williams gives birth to a son, Daniel, and Faye becomes pregnant by her estranged husband Joseph. The series includes a crossover episode with sister show Casualty and it also has the highest number of episodes to date, as the series contains a small number of episodes which air during the same week.

The twenty-fourth series of the British medical drama television series Casualty commenced airing in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 12 September 2009, and concluded on 21 August 2010. Events of the series included a crossover with sister show Holby City.

The eighteenth series of the British medical drama television series Casualty began airing on BBC One in the United Kingdom on 13 September 2003, and concluded on 28 August 2004. The series consists of 46 episodes, which focus on the professional and personal lives of medical and ancillary staff at the emergency department (ED) of the fictional Holby City Hospital. Foz Allen serves as the series producer, while Mal Young and Mervyn Watson act as the executive producers of the series. Twelve regular cast members reprised their roles from the previous series and six actors joined the cast during the series. Original cast member Julia Watson, who portrays Baz Wilder, also returned.

The twenty-second series of the British medical drama television series Casualty commenced airing in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 8 September 2007 and finished on 9 August 2008.

The twenty-fifth series of the British medical drama television series Casualty commenced airing in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 4 September 2010 and concluded on 6 August 2011. The series featured several crossovers with spin-off show Holby City.

The eighteenth series of the British medical drama television series Holby City commenced airing in the United Kingdom on 13 October 2015, and concluded on 4 October 2016. The series consists of 52 episodes. Oliver Kent continues his position as the show's executive producer, while Simon Harper serves as the series producer. Sixteen cast members reprised their roles from the previous series, while several recurring characters, and numerous guest stars feature in the series. Four actors depart during the series and two cast members reprise their roles after taking breaks in the previous series. Jemma Redgrave appeared in the series between February and September 2016 as general surgeon Bernie Wolfe. Jason Robertson joined the semi-regular cast in February 2016 as Jason Haynes, and two new cast members joined the serial in summer 2016: Marc Elliott as registrar Isaac Mayfield and Lucinda Dryzek as F1 doctor Jasmine Burrows.

The thirty-first series of the British medical drama television series Casualty commenced airing on BBC One in the United Kingdom on 27 August 2016, and concluded on 29 July 2017. The series consisted of 44 episodes, including the show's feature-length thirtieth anniversary special episode, "Too Old for This Shift". Erika Hossington continued her role as series producer, while Oliver Kent continued his role as the show's executive producer until the end of the series. Seventeen cast members reprised their roles from the previous series with original character Lisa "Duffy" Duffin returning to the series as part of the show's thirtieth anniversary. Rik Makarem appeared in the series between October 2016 and January 2017 as first year foundation doctor (F1) Sebastian Grayling. This series also featured the death of regular character Caleb Knight, who has appeared since series 28.

The thirty-third series of the British medical drama television series Casualty began airing on BBC One in the United Kingdom on 11 August 2018, one week after the end of the previous series. The series consisted of 46 episodes. Lucy Raffety continues her role as series producer, while Simon Harper continues his role as the show's executive producer. Sixteen regular cast members reprised their roles from the previous series. The series, which is billed as "The Year of the Paramedic", begins with a motorway collision stunt sequence, and features a crossover episode with spin-off series, Holby City. This series featured the departures of six cast members, including Amanda Mealing as Connie Beauchamp, Azuka Oforka as Louise Tyler and Chelsea Halfpenny as Alicia Munroe. Four new regular cast members also joined the series, while two actors began appearing in a recurring capacity.

The twenty-first series of the British medical drama television series Holby City began Airing on BBC One on 2 January 2019 in the United Kingdom. The series consists of 53 episodes. Kate Hall acts as the series producer for episode one and was replaced by Jane Wallbank from the following episode; Simon Harper is the executive producer. The series is billed as an anniversary year for the drama as it celebrates twenty years since its launch. The series also features a crossover episode with sister show Casualty, an episode written by the show's co-creator Tony McHale and the show's 1000th episode, due to be broadcast in November 2019. Thirteen actors reprise their roles from the previous series and former cast members return for guest stints throughout the series. Three new regular characters were also introduced, while Nic Jackman was promoted to the main cast in his role as foundation doctor Cameron Dunn.

"CasualtyXHolby" is a two-part crossover of the British medical dramas Casualty and Holby City. The first part aired on 2 March 2019, and the second on 5 March 2019 on BBC One. Both episodes were written by Michelle Lipton and directed by Steve Brett. The plot sees Holby City Hospital experience a loss of power due to a cyberattack. Consultants Connie Beauchamp and Jac Naylor also come into conflict when they learn there is only one theatre available while treating two of their colleagues.

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