The Fragile Heart

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The Fragile Heart
Genre Medical drama
Created by Paula Milne
Written byPaula Milne
Directed byPatrick Lau
Starring Nigel Hawthorne
Dearbhla Molloy
Helen McCrory
Dominic Mafham
Robert Langdon Lloyd
Sylvia Chang
Composer(s) Gavin Greenaway
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes3
Producer(s) Brian Eastman
CinematographyNicholas D. Knowland
Editor(s)Neil Thomson
Running time55 minutes (including adverts)
Production company(s) Carnival Film and Television
Original network Channel 4
Picture format 14:9
Audio format Stereo
Original release6 November (1996-11-06) 
20 November 1996 (1996-11-20)

The Fragile Heart is a BAFTA award-winning British medical drama television series created by Paula Milne and first aired on Channel 4 from 6 to 20 November 1996. The series nominated the Royal Television Society award for Best Drama Serial. [1]



Edgar Pascoe (Nigel Hawthorne) is a highly successful and charismatic cardiac surgeon. Pre-eminent in his field, he is the embodiment of the upper echelons of medicine: urbane, assured, supremely confident in his own abilities. But he is not infallible - either in the operating theatre or in his private life with his divided family.

Edgar's wife Lileth (Dearbhla Molloy), a dedicated and compassionate country GP, is increasingly drawn to the holistic arts of healing still practiced in the East, but scorned by purveyors of Western technology. As their professional ideals and methods clash, so inevitably does their relationship. Nicola (Helen McCrory) is Edgar's favoured child, ruthless and unscrupulous in her ambition to emulate her illustrious father.

But it is in China, heading a medical delegation, that Edgar is confronted by an ethical dilemma over the abuse of human rights and is forced into a painful moral awakening which will prove to affect every area of his life.



Nigel Hawthorne Dr. Edgar Pascoe
Dearbhla Molloy Dr. Lileth Pascoe
Helen McCrory Nicola Pascoe
Dominic Mafham Daniel Pascoe
Robert Langford LloydDr. Maurice Denton
Sylvia Chang Dr. Zhao Quing
Stewart OngDr. Chen
Pao Han LinWan Pu
John HartleyMrs. Youngman
Brenda CavendishMrs. Youngman
Gareth Armstrong Profusionist
Marian McLoughlin Margaret Sedgely
Sebastian AbineriPeter Sedgley
Ian Aspinall Dilip
Adrian Pang Lin Ling Tian
Simon Slater Calder
Eamon Boland Deviln
Terence KempMr. Bower-Kemp
Gordon GriffinFlanders
Hi ChingHang
Leader HawkinsDr. Manville
Gabrielle LloydNancy Manville
Diana PayanMrs. Lawson
Vincent Marzello Hugh Lyle


Home Media

The Fragile Heart was released on DVD on 8 October 2018.

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  1. RTS Awards Archive (February 2017), p. 19 (accessed 2017-02-27).