Click here to go to the episode list.

Let me be quite clear on this point. I don't particularly like hospital dramas. Oh, I suppose, generally speaking, if I find that they happen to be on the TV at the same time I'm in the room and not actually in the middle of doing something - a rare event, I confess - I can sit and watch, enjoy (more or less. Usually less) - and then forget them as soon as they've ended.

       But not with this hospital drama.

       I've only just managed to see the first series (I missed it the first time round - pressures of work) in preparation for the second. And I was very, very impressed.

The first series had its rough edges - that horrendous 'dragonfly' camera for one - you know, the one that circled and ducked and dived and made you feel slightly nauseous... You know the one. I found it very offputting. Nevertheless, I stopped to watch the programme. OK, I admit I was frowning through a lot of it, trying to work out quite why I was still sitting there, given my loathing of hospitals. But I found myself - against my will, I must add - gripped by what I saw on the screen.

For one thing, we were thrown right in at the deep end. Minimal introductions (almost part of the credits!) to the protagonists, no idea of quite where everyone slotted into the hierarchy, or their relationships... It expected - no, demanded - a degree of concentration, of close attention, from the viewer. And personally I quite like being treated as an intelligent being.

       Then there was the script - tight, believable, and with some of the best lines I've ever heard in a TV series (I intend writing reviews of the first series when I can find the time, so I won't quote any here.)

       Then there was the structure of it - a sufficient number of different and distinct characters to portray a wide variety of natures and temperaments, but not so many that I couldn't remember who they all were. The situations, and cases, shown were extremely realistic without going over the top. And there weren't too many of them - enough to convey the constant pressure of a busy Accident and Emergency department in a large hospital, but not so many that the viewer couldn't find the time to empathise with the patients (and the staff, come to that!) Beautifully balanced, all told.

       But primarily it was the acting. Wonderful, wholly believable acting from a wonderful, highly talented cast. A&E is now a 'must-see' - simply unmissable...

At the time of writing (April 5th 2000) the series is being screened, in the UK, on ITV every Thursday at 9pm. Up to you whether you take my advice or not, of course, but I'd recommend you watch it. It's very very good...

Episode 1 Episode 2
Episode 3 Episode 4
Episode 5 Episode 6
Episode 7 Episode 8
Episode 9 Episode 10
Episode 11
Episode 12

For brief comments regarding Series 3, click

© 2000 Joules Taylor


Hospitals and I simply don't get on.... Never have, and I doubt we ever will. Back