Intended for healthcare professionals

Reviews Multimedia

Emergency soaps

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 13 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:744
  1. Ed Walker, staff grade practitioner in accident and emergency medicine
  1. Dewsbury, Yorkshire

    Casualty, BBC1, Saturdays ER, Channel 4, Wednesdays

    If there's one thing we all want from television programmes these days, it is authenticity. With the advent of Jerry Springer, the revelation that award winning documentaries were faked, and the disclosure that even Vanessa Feltz (whose husband, in case you had missed it, is a gynaecologist) was duped by agency actors, it's a confusing time.

    We need more shows that don‘t pretend to be something they are not. More shows that are so obviously theatre that no one in their right mind could possibly mistake them for real life. More shows like Casualty and ER. Many emergency specialists long to live in a city like Holby, where BBC1's Casualty is set. It's not a big place, but it has a railway station, an airport, a harbour, a motorway, all night rave venues, a flourishing drugs scene, and an endless supply of dangerous chemical factories. It is also surrounded by farmland, providing ample opportunity for ghastly agricultural accidents involving heavy machinery and severed limbs. It's every trauma junkie's fantasy town.

    This week, they had a bank robbery that went horribly wrong and, as a …

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