Casualty@Holby City Christmas 2004


Casualty@Holby City Christmas 2004

Infobox Television episode
Title =Casualty @ Holby City: Part One
Series =Casualty


Caption =Fuel tanker collides with an ambulance before crashing into the hospital's Emergency Department
Season =19
Episode =17
Airdate =26 December 2004
Production = 462
Writer =Jeremy Brock Johanne McAndrew Paul Unwin
Director =Michael Offer
Guests =Amanda MealingH Kim VithanaH Hugh QuarshieH Jaye JacobsH Ian AspinallH Dominic JephcottH Rene Zagger Freema Agyeman
Episode list = List of Casualty episodes, Series 19
Prev =Forsaking All Others
Next =Secrets We Keep
Infobox Television episode
Title = Casualty @ Holby City: Part Two
Series = Holby City


Caption =Jim aids Rosie when she is impaled by metal.
Season = 7
Episode = 11
Airdate = 28 December 2004
Production = 222
Writer =Johanne McAndrew
Director = Michael Offer
Photographer =
Guests = Dominic Jephcott Suzanne PackerC
Ian BleasdaleC Maxwell CaulfieldC Simon MacCorkindaleC Matthew WaitC
Sarah MannersC
Episode list = List of Holby City episodes, Series 7
Prev =Elf And Happiness
Next =Seven Days Later

Casualty@Holby City Christmas 2004 marked the first full crossover episodes of BBC medical dramas and sister shows "Casualty" and "Holby City", under the title of "Casualty@Holby City". The two episodes broadcast on 26 December and 28 December 2005, and saw Holby City Hospital explode, trapping numerous characters inside the building, after a fuel tanker crashed into the hospital's Emergency Department. The episodes were written and produced by regular "Holby City" crew members, but were shot for the most part on the "Casualty" set. The crossover met with mixed reviews in the press, but received high ratings, and were amongst the top three most watched terrestrial programmes on both respective days of broadcast.

Plot

Part One

On his way to attend the birth of his child, Dale, the driver of a fuel tanker, crashes through the wall of the hospital's Emergency Department, into the reception area. Immediate evacuation of the hospital is begun, while medical director Connie Beauchamp and Emergency medicine's Clinical Lead Harry Harper make the decision to shut off power to the ground floor. Dale is excised from the tanker by General Surgical Consultant Ric Griffin and a team of fire fighters, who make the discovery that the vehicle has been leaking petrol into the hospital's basement. Midwife Rosie Sattar and Obstetrics Registrar Mubbs Hussein deliver Dale's wife's baby, alarming her by presenting her with a black child when she and her husband are white. As Dale's condition deteriorates, he expresses his dying wish to see his newborn son. In a moment of quick thinking, Staff Nurse Donna Jackson borrows a newborn Caucasian baby, allowing his wife's indiscretion to go unconfessed as Dale passes away with the child in his arms.

Meanwhile, his wife's actual child begins to exhibit breathing difficulties, and Rosie calls on Consultant Paediatrician Jim Brodie for help. The mother rejects her son, leaving him with them as she herself leaves. Elsewhere, Connie and Locum Consultant Cardiac Surgeon Alistair Taylor are forced to complete open heart surgery on a child despite the precarious state of the infrastructure - held hostage by the patient's father who holds a scalpel to his ex-wife's neck. Paramedic Luke Warren fails to spot the deadly symptoms of a student with Lassa fever, and Receptionist Bex Reynolds is lured up to Nightingale pharmacy by a fake pharmaceutical representative. As the generator is switched off in the basement, the petrol explodes and the building bursts into flames, trapping numerous staff members inside.cite episode |title=Casualty@Holby City (Part One) |episodelink=Casualty%40Holby_City_Christmas_2004 |series=Casualty@Holby City |serieslink=Casualty@Holby City |network=BBC |airdate= 2004-12-26]

Part Two

As fire-fighters struggle to contain the aftermath of the explosion, Connie is joined in theatre by Harry as they continue the transplant by torchlight. Rosie and Jim manage to get the baby to safety, but as debris falls, Rosie is impaled on a piece of metal. Bex, having been trapped under rubble and abandoned by the fake drugs rep, is discovered by firemen and carried to safety. However Alistair, having abandoned the transplant and jumped from a fifth floor window, deteriorates rapidly. He talks Donna through performing a life saving procedure on another patient, before passing away. Inside the building, Jim removes the metal pole from Rosie's abdomen, and all those still trapped in the building congregate in the hospital's isolation room.

From outside, Ric guides Connie to find a maintenance corridor and a bridge which will lead them to a point where firefighters are waiting for them. The bridge is in a state of near collapse and the floor below is engulfed with flames, but one by one, the group make it across. Rosie is last to cross, helped by Jim and Harry. Just as it seems they will all make it to safety, the fake pharmaceutical representative rushes across behind them, damaging the bridge further and falling to his death. Jim and Rosie are left hanging from the broken bridge, with Harry unable to hold both their weight. Jim saves Rosie's life by letting go, also falling to his death. As the survivors congregate in the hospital car park and mourn their losses, a brass band arrive and play out the episode with John Lennon's Happy Xmas (War Is Over).cite episode |title=Casualty@Holby City (Part Two) |episodelink=Casualty%40Holby_City_Christmas_2004 |series=Casualty@Holby City |serieslink=Casualty@Holby City |network=BBC |airdate= 2004-12-28]

Production

These two episodes are especially notable for being the first time sister shows "Casualty" and "Holby City" engaged in a full crossover. Casualty's Executive Producer, Mervyn Watson, has stated that the initial 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|date=December 2004|accessdate=2007-09-14]

The episodes' producer and director were both selected from the "Holby City" crew, however the majority of filming occurred on the "Casualty" set in Bristol - with additional filming taking place in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children, a Barratts office block in Brentford, an ex-MOD tank testing site in Chobham, and also at the "Holby City" set in Elstree, London.

Filming of both episodes took six weeks total, and presented a number of scheduling problems - largely resulting from the fact the "Casualty" and "Holby City" cast regularly work 120 miles apart, in Bristol and Elstree. Watson has commented::"At the heart of it was the problem of two large shows which work continuously 52 weeks of the year, being interrupted and brought to a halt for a short period (two weeks). This released a number of characters to appear in the special, but then we had to restart the two shows, sometimes using those characters when available, but mainly using the other characters who weren't in the special. The schedulers from both shows had a nightmare time, but kept smiling as ever and deserve medals for making it all possible."

The first episode of the two-part special was broadcast in the usual "Casualty" slot, while the second was broadcast as a "Holby City" episode.

Reception

The episodes received mixed reviews in the press. The Sun named it at the season's 'Best Christmas Drama',cite web|url=http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2001330008-2004592864,00.html|title=What to watch this Christmas|publisher=The Sun|date=24 December 2004|accessdate=2007-09-10] while The Evening Standard selected the first episode as a televisual 'Pick of the Day'.Citation
last=Ramsey
first=Terry
author-link=
publication-date=24 December 2004
date=
year=
title= PICK OF THE DAY
periodical=The Evening Standard
publication-place=London, England
place=
publisher=
volume=
issue=
pages=
url=
doi=
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] The The Daily Mirror also named the crossover as one of the 'Best TV shows for Christmas & New Year', and was given generally favourable reviews by Mirror writers Jane Simon and Jim Shelley - despite the former lambasting the realism of the plot - "The building collapses, there's a little girl upstairs about to have a heart transplant, the tanker's leaking fuel and there's a velociraptor loose in radiology. Sorry, I made that last one up."Citation
last=Simon
first=Jane
author-link=
publication-date=24 December 2004
date=
year=
title= 15 FESTIVE FEASTS; Best TV shows for Christmas & New Year.
periodical=The Daily Mirror
publication-place=London, England
place=
publisher=
volume=
issue=
pages=
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] - and the latter commenting that "Casualty@Holby City was deeply weird, like watching Casualty on acid."cite web|url=http://www.mirror.co.uk/showbiz/tv/shelleyvision/2004/12/28/casualty-s-bit-of-armless-fun-89520-15018628/|title=CASUALTY'S BIT OF ARMLESS FUN|publisher=The Daily Mirror|date=28 December 2004|accessdate=2007-09-10] Similarly, The Western Mail also selected the episodes as dramatic highlights of the Christmas season, despite going on to discuss the aptness of the BBC's press release describing the two episodes as "thrown together."Citation
last=Davies
first=Daniel
author-link=
publication-date=27 November 2004
date=
year=
title= TELEVISION TINSEL
periodical=The Western Mail
publication-place=Cardiff, Wales
place=
publisher=
volume=
issue=
pages=
url=
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]

Other reviews were more openly negative, with The Guardian describing the episodes as "two virtually identical and rubbish shitcasts for the price of one."cite web|url=http://arts.guardian.co.uk/screenburn/story/0,,1376283,00.html|title=Box of delights|publisher=The Guardian|date=18 December 2004|accessdate=2007-09-10] The Daily Record commented similarly that "It can be quite difficult to tell these medical drama twins apart. After all, they're both rubbish."Citation
last=Traynor
first=Frances
author-link=
publication-date=30 December 2004
date=
year=
title= TURN OFF
periodical=Daily Record
publication-place=Glasgow, Scotland
place=
publisher=
volume=
issue=
pages=
url=
doi=
oclc=
accessdate=
] while The Liverpool Echo suggested "the blood should instead be flowing in the BBC boardroom" for commissioning the crossover.Citation
last=Shennan
first=Paddy
author-link=
publication-date=22 December 2004
date=
year=
title= If you want quality on TV . . . switch off!
periodical=The Liverpool Echo
publication-place=Liverpool, England
place=
publisher=
volume=
issue=
pages=
url=
doi=
oclc=
accessdate=
] One of the most lengthy reviews was given by The Independent, who wrote of the episodes: :"OVER THE Christmas break, the funniest programme on television by a motorway pile-up was Casualty @ Holby City. A masterpiece of sustained comic timing, it had this casual viewer of the dramas that spawned it scrabbling wildly for an explanatory hypothesis. ...Of course, a giggle is never very far away when you watch Casualty. ... And it wasn't just the narrative excess that was perfectly judged - it was the sublimely cloth-eared script. ... Tragically, the tape the BBC sent me for Part Two was blank from start to finish, though it was probably a blessing in disguise. Any more, and I would have required abdominal surgery."Citation
last=Sutcliffe
first=Thomas
author-link=
publication-date=29 December 2004
date=
year=
title= Last night's television: How can I laugh @ a time like this? Casualty @ Holby City BBC1
periodical=The Independent
publication-place=London, England
place=
publisher=
volume=
issue=
pages=
url=
doi=
oclc=
accessdate=
]

Despite the critical reviews, the episodes received high ratings. The first reached a high of 8.91 m viewers, making it the third most watched terrestrial programme of the day.cite web|url=http://www.barb.co.uk/viewingsummary/weekreports.cfm?report=weeklyterrestrial&RequestTimeout=500|title= Weekly Viewing Summary w/e 26/12/2004|publisher=BARB|accessdate=2007-09-12] The second episode was watched by 8.82 m viewers, making it the second highest rated terrestrial programme of the day.cite web|url=http://www.barb.co.uk/viewingsummary/weekreports.cfm?report=weeklyterrestrial&RequestTimeout=500|title= Weekly Viewing Summary w/e 02/01/2005|publisher=BARB|accessdate=2007-09-12] Alongside other "Casualty@Holby City" episode ratings, this makes the first part of this crossover the most viewed of any to date, with the second installment tying for second highest ratings with the concluding installment of the Christmas 2005 special.cite web|url=http://www.barb.co.uk/viewingsummary/weekreports.cfm?report=weeklyterrestrial&RequestTimeout=500|title= Weekly Viewing Summary|publisher=BARB|accessdate=2007-09-23]

References

H. "Holby City" character crossover.
C. "Casualty" character crossover.

External links

* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/casualty/christmas2004 BBC Official "Casualty@Holby City" "Christmas 2004" website]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/casualty/specials BBC Official "Casualty@Holby City" specials website]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/casualty BBC Official "Casualty" website]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/holbycity BBC Official "Holby City" website]


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