Casualty is the longest running medical drama in the world. It’s a bit like ER but minus George Clooney. If you haven’t seen any of the episodes, you are missing out for many of the storylines over the years have been dramatic: plane crashes, hostage situations, tragedies and heart warming happy endings.
The series first aired BBC1 in September 1986 and before long it became a staple fixture in the Saturday evening television schedule. Set in a fictional hospital emergency department (ED) somewhere in the south west (Bristol residents will have recognised numerous famous landmarks in many of the episodes), Casualty has featured hundreds of dramatic storylines. It even spawned its own spin-off series, Holby City, which has been just as successful.
Numerous well-known faces have appeared in Casualty since the series’ inception, the show often becoming a catapult into greater things. These include Kate Winslett, Orlando Bloom, David Walliams, and Christopher Ecclestone. Equally, many well established stars have taken the opportunity to play guest roles in Casualty – Amanda Redman, Honor Blackman, Russ Abbot and Jenny Seagrove to name but a few. Sadly George Clooney has yet to appear in Holby City’s emergency department wearing a white coat, but we can but hope.
One of the great things about Casualty is that life in Holby City’s emergency department is never boring. The producers don’t give us endless episodes featuring Friday night drunks and hapless individuals who have tripped on a kerb and broken their ankle. Instead we are treated to some fantastically dramatic plotlines featuring all kinds of terrible accidents, severed limbs, fiery infernos, and pretty much anything that makes for dramatic prime time viewing.
Many of the special FX on Casualty involves prosthetics, including teeth, which is where FangFX come in. Dramatic scenes featuring injuries to life and limb need to look gruesomely realistic. A bottle or two of fake blood won’t cut the mustard, so to speak, and if viewers are not convinced by what they are seeing, they won’t be drawn into the storyline.
The new series of Casualty has already started, so if you have missed the first episodes, make sure you catch up on iPlayer.