Hospital drama set in London during the early 1960s, following the staff of a busy gynaecology ward at a time when abortion is illegal and the contraceptive pill is only just becoming available to married women.
Episode 1 : Charismatic surgeon Otto Powell is summoned to the theatre, where a young pretender to his throne, Richard Truscott, is about to make a serious error. Meanwhile, nurse Angela Wilson is concerned about a patient who is determined to escape her impending marriage to a man she doesn’t love.
Episode 2 : Elizabeth receives a chilling visit from Chief Inspector Mulligan, who reveals he has information that could turn her life upside down. Meanwhile, Otto continues to fuel his obsession with Angela by paying her a visit, and while the pair find it increasingly difficult to deny their attraction to each other, the idea of getting involved with a married man makes her uncomfortable. Elsewhere, the honeymoon period is short-lived for the Truscotts when Richard discovers the truth about Jean’s miscarriage.
Episode 3 : When Jean arrives at the hospital with a patient who wants a ‘private’ procedure, Angela struggles to believe her sister is risking everything to assist with Otto’s illegal activities. Still hurting from his new wife’s betrayal about the miscarriage, Richard seeks out Margaret, a glamorous woman from his past, and he’s keen to rekindle their romance. Meanwhile, Elizabeth arranges to meet Chief Inspector Mulligan in the hope of getting him off her case for good.
Episode 4 : In the wake of the patient’s death, Charlie fears he will be struck off with nobody to defend him at the inquiry, while Otto is called away for the night to attend a complicated birth in Dorset, and seizes the opportunity to ask Angela to join him on the trip. Mulligan offers to give up the incriminating files if Elizabeth agrees to a very personal request, and Jean hosts a dinner party, to Richard’s horror.
Episode 5 : Elizabeth continues to try to manage the situation with Mulligan alone, but it soon becomes clear things have spiralled out of control. Angela succumbs to her feelings for Otto, but before anything can happen, Elizabeth and Thomas give her a cruel and humiliating reminder that he is a married man. Lily has high hopes for the future when Charlie receives a job opportunity in St Albans, while Margaret arrives at the hospital for exploratory surgery – and her prognosis leaves Richard devastated.
Episode 6 : As a lavish fundraiser and beauty pageant at the hospital brings everyone together, Otto is confident he can control Mulligan and eliminate the threat. However, Charlie doesn’t trust him to take care of things and decides on his own drastic course of action. Elizabeth is relieved to learn she’s no longer battling the policeman alone, but finds herself burdened by a new discovery. Meanwhile, Lily pretends she is happy to be staying in London, and Richard and Jean struggle to save their marriage.
Starring Jack Davenport, Oliver Chris, Catherine Steadman, Zoe Boyle, Shaun Dingwall, Natasha Little, Joanna Page, Iain Glen, Sarah Parish and Ronny Jhutti.
As a fan of Mad Men, I like the fashion, the hair cuts, the make up, well all of the 1960’s style. So this six-part TV drama fulfilled my need of glamour. Unfortunately, the storyline was a little disappointing and I found the end seriously botched. But I’m pretty sure that I would gladly watch Jack Davenport in a second series …
- If the BBC’s The Hour was an ersatz Mad Men, then what is ITV’s Breathless? (newstatesman.com)