Casualty (TV series)


Casualty (TV series)

Infobox Television
show_name = Casualty
format = Medical drama


network = BBC One
creator = Jeremy Brock
Paul Unwin
starring = Michael French, Tristan Gemmill, Sunetra Sarker, Matthew Needham, Georgia Taylor, Derek Thompson, Suzanne Packer, Gillian Kearney, James Redmond, Janine Mellor, Sam Grey, Jane Hazlegrove, Matt Bardock, Ivana Basic, Abdul Salis, Charles Dale, Tony Marshall and Caroline Langrishe
first_aired = 6 September 1986
last_aired = present
runtime = 50 minutes
num_episodes = 634 (As of 5 July 2008)
list_episodes = List of Casualty episodes
related = "Holby City"
"HolbyBlue"
"Casualty 1906"
"Casualty 1907"
country = flagicon|UK United Kingdom
website = http://www.bbc.co.uk/casualty
imdb_id = 0096555

"Casualty" is the longest running emergency medical drama series in the world,cite web
url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/casualty/20years/video/
title = Longest Running Emergency Medical Drama
format = Flash
work = Official Website
] and the second-longest-running medical drama in the world behind America's General Hospital. Created by Jeremy Brock and Paul Unwin, it was first broadcast in 1986 and transmitted in the UK on BBC One (with repeats on UKTV Gold). The producer was Geraint Morris. The programme is based around the fictional Holby City Hospital and focuses on the staff and patients of the hospital's Accident and Emergency Department. The show has close ties to its sister programme Holby City which began as a spin off from Casualty. The shows plots and characters occasionally crossover between the two programmes. "Casualty" is filmed approximately 3 months in advance of broadcast and runs for most of the year, with each series defined by approximately a month's break during the summer.

The programme and its history

Location

Casualty is set in the fictional city of Holby. The show is filmed almost entirely in Bristol and well-known landmarks such as the floating harbour and Clifton Suspension Bridge are often visible in outdoor scenes. 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 on an industrial estate in the city at coord|51.459094|-2.567030|type:landmark_region:GB_source:enwiki| display=inline.

About the show

The drama concerns a group of doctors, nurses and administrators who work in the Accident & Emergency department (since Series 18 termed the Emergency Department (ED)). The show centres around the work of the medical staff and depicts their struggle to do their job effectively whilst dealing with bureaucracy and the difficult working environment of the NHS. This has been a recurring theme over the years, particularly in the early series, when the show was frequently criticised for endorsing criticism of National Health Service management under the Conservative government of the day.

History and broadcast

The programme has usually been transmitted on Saturday nights, although for a period in the late 1980s it switched to Fridays. Since 2001, popularity of the show resulted in a switch from a traditional seasonal format to an almost year-round production and transmission. "Casualty" has no fixed time slot, and usually begins airing in the 20:00 - 21:00 slot on BBC1, although it is sometimes broadcast after 21:00. The show is very rarely broadcast before 20:00, however, special events such as Eurovision and sporting events sometimes see the schedule moved around. On some of these occasions, "Casualty" is taken off air for the night to make way for alternative shows.

Adaptations and related media

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. Similar to "Casualty", the regular characters are all surgeons, nurses and other medical and ancillary staff, with patients played by guest actors - which have included some famous names such as Eric Sykes, Phill Jupitus, Michael Jayston, Michele Dotrice, Ronni Ancona, Emma Samms, Lee Ryan, Nikki Sanderson and Johnny Briggs.cite web|url=http://www.holby.tv/db/index.php?casualty_holbycity_past_guest_stars_holbycity|title= Guest Stars - Holby City|publisher=Holby.tv Database|accessdate=2007-11-17] The show was created by Mal Young and Tony McHale, who is currently its Executive Producer and occasional scriptwriter.

Casualty@Holby City

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" and featuring a number of characters from each of the two casts. Mervyn Watson, Executive Producer of "Casualty", has commented on the origins of the idea to fully cross the two sister 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."cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/casualty/christmas2004/interview/|title=Crossover Interview|publisher=BBC.co.uk|date=December 2004|accessdate=2007-09-14] 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, Gwynedd, North Wales.Citation
last= | first= | author-link= | publication-date=23 December 2005 | date= | year= | title= TV drama in North Wales tunnel
periodical=The Daily Post | publication-place=Liverpool, England | place= | publisher= | volume= | issue= | pages= | url= | doi= | oclc= | accessdate=
] The theme tune used for crossover "Casualty@Holby City" episodes consists of a shortened version of both the "Casualty" and "Holby City" theme tunes, played over one another in sync, critizised by The Mirror for being "basically both theme tunes played at once."cite web|url=http://www.mirror.co.uk/showbiz/tv/shelleyvision/2006/01/03/down-89520-16541433/|title=Jim Shelley Goes For The Jugular 03/01/2006|publisher=The Daily Mirror|date=3 January 2006|accessdate=2007-09-10] There have been four crossovers to date involving both casts:

The Christmas 2004 crossover featured a fuel tanker lorry crashing into the Accident & Emergency department of Holby City Hospital. "Casualty" character Jim Brodie died rescuing his colleagues from the burning hospital building.cite episode |title=Casualty@Holby City (Parts One and Two) |episodelink=Casualty%40Holby_City_Christmas_2004 |series=Casualty@Holby City |serieslink=Casualty@Holby City |network=BBC |airdate= 2004-12-26] In August 2005, an Interactive episode was screened as part of the BBC's DoNation season, raising the profile of organ donation issues. Viewers voted for one of two patients to receive an organ donation during the show. The plot was designed to raise awareness of the scarcity of organs and encourage viewers to consider joining the NHS Donor Register.cite episode |title=Something We Can Do |episodelink=Casualty%40Holby_City_Interactive |series=Casualty@Holby City |serieslink=Casualty@Holby City |network=BBC |airdate= 2005-08-27] A third crossover was produced for Halloween 2005. This four episode special focused on issues around youth violence, featuring an ambulance hijack and an assault on character Comfort Newton by pupils at a failing secondary school.cite episode |title=Teacher's Pet, Crash and Burn, Test Your Metal, A Great Leap Forward|episodelink=Casualty%40Holby_City_Halloween_2005 |series=Casualty@Holby City |serieslink=Casualty@Holby City |network=BBC |airdate= 2005-10-24] The last crossover to date aired at Christmas 2005 and saw a group of staff involved in a road collision when a tunnel collapsed en-route the hospital Christmas party. Former character Nick Jordan returned, and Paramedic Woody Joyner died saving the life of a baby.cite episode |title=Deny Thy Father (Parts 1 and 2) |episodelink=Casualty%40Holby_City_Christmas_2005|series=Casualty@Holby City|serieslink=Casualty@Holby City|network=BBC |airdate= 2005-12-24]

Interviewed prior to broadcast of the Christmas 2005 crossover, Executive Producer Mervyn 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."cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/casualty/christmas2005/interview/|title=Crossover Interview|publisher=BBC.co.uk|date=December 2005|accessdate=2007-09-14] 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."Citation | last= | first= | author-link= | publication-date=November 2007 | date= | year= | title=Ask the BOSS!
periodical=Inside Soap | publication-place=England | place= | publisher= | volume= | issue= | pages=40 | url= | doi= | oclc= | accessdate=
]

HolbyBlue

In April 2006, the BBC announced that a spin-off drama from "Holby City", to be named "HolbyBlue", was in early stages of production.cite news|author=John Plunkett|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2006/apr/27/broadcasting.bbc|title=Holby City walks the thin blue line|publisher=The Guardian|date=27 April 2006|accessdate=2007-11-18] 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 20:00. Despite Holby Blue being billed as a spin-off from "Holby City", the first series saw no crossovers between characters from either show. 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.cite news|author=Kris Green|url=http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/a79838/holbyblue-returns-with-crossover-ep.html|title= 'HolbyBlue' returns with crossover ep|publisher=Digital Spy|date=14 November 2007|accessdate=2007-11-18]

Casualty 1906, Casualty 1907

In December 2006, the BBC broadcast a historical medical drama titled "Casualty 1906", reflecting life in the emergency department of the Royal London Hospital 100 years previously. A full series, titled "Casualty 1907", has been developed for broadcast in 2008. Although not a direct spin-off, nor set in the same fictional location, the Times have suggested "that this is BBC high-concept brand- extension at its very best",cite news|author=Caitlan Moran|url=http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article657511.ece|title= The good old days of Casualty. Or not...|publisher=The Times|date=4 December 2006|accessdate=2008-03-26] with the BBC using the popularity of and viewer familiarity with "Casualty" to launch a new historical drama - a conclusion The Guardian also assert.cite news|author=Ben Dowell|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/feb/19/broadcasting.bbc|title= Casualty 1906 to become series|publisher=The Guardian|date=19 February 2007|accessdate=2008-03-26]

Awards and accolades

In 2007 Casualty won its first major award, the BAFTA for the best continuing drama. Long serving Ian Bleasdale, who played the character Josh accepted the award at the ceremony, which took place at the London Palladium. He said "To the doctors, nurses and ambulance crews, thank you for doing the job you do. I hope we go some way to showing exactly what it is," and dedicated the award to show's original producer, Geraint Morris, who died in 1997.

The cast of the show released the single "Everlasting Love", which peaked at 5 in the UK in 1998.

Wins

Since its conception, "Casualty" has won and been nominated for the following awards." [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096555/awards Awards for "Casualty"] ", "IMDb". URL last accessed 2007-07-08]

Nominations

DVD release

The first series of "Casualty" was released on DVD "(Region 2, UK)" by 2 Entertain/Cinema Club on 10 April 2006. The second series was released on 10 July, with series three released on 11 September. The third was released to coincide with the show's 20th Anniversary celebrations. There are no future DVD releases planned at present.

Theme music, titles and credits

The Casualty theme music was composed by Ken Freeman, who also composed the theme for sister show, Holby City. The closing music was traditionally quite different from the opening theme, although in recent years there have been few differences. In 2000 the garage duo Oxide & Neutrino sampled the theme tune in the song 'Bound 4 Da Reload (Casualty)', which got to number one in May. Different variations of the theme music have been introduced throughout the show’s history. The longest running was the original theme, which ran for fifteen years between 1986 and 2001. 2001 to 2006 saw a new, ‘poppier’ version of the theme, replaced between 2006 and 2007 by a theme more akin with the original, again composed by Ken Freeman. However, as of the start of the 22nd series, the 2001-2006 theme is once more being used.

There have been nine different variations of the opening titles and closing credits since the show’s inception. In 2001 the show’s characters have appeared in the opening titles, in place of previous generic hospital environment shots. However from 2002 onwards, generic shots were used again, with that theme lasting for four years until it was replaced.

Cast

Episode list

References

External links

*bbc.co.uk|id=casualty|title="Casualty"
* [http://www.holby.tv holby.tv - UK "Casualty" and "Holby City" website]
*imdb title|id=0096555|title=Casualty
*Screenonline TV title|id=481713|title=Casualty
* [http://www.whatsontv.co.uk/primetime/casualty "Casualty"] at What's on TV website


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