By James W, Monday 11th June 2018
From the birth of TV, there’s been a steady stream of medical dramas that have kept us glued to our TVs and have us swooning at all the hunky Doctors who would make anyone’s heart flutter with their bedside manner!
Here’s our Top 5 Medical dramas, does your favourite make the list?
5: Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman
One of the most laid-back and gentle of them all in this list, Dr Quinn is the family drama that took us back to the 1860s where the lives of the town of Colorado Springs are shocked and stunned by the arrival of a female doctor played by Jane Seymour. Michaela Quinn (Mike to her friends) is soon accepted by the townsfolk, starts saving lives and finds time for a simmering relationship with Byron Sully (Joe Lando). Over 149 episodes Mike battled sexism and bigotry as well as being a full-time mum. A classic series that’s still shown all around the globe.
4: St Elsewhere
One of the best from American TV history, St Elsewhere was from the same studio that gave us Hill Street Blues and you could tell. Storylines were gritty, acting was raw and the audience figures in the UK were huge. Set in a Boston hospital it boasted a large ensemble cast that included Denzel Washington, Ed Begley Jr. Howie Mandel and the Ed Flanders. Over six seasons the series bagged a number of awards and accolades, but many fans were disappointed by the rather surreal, "snow globe" ending of the last episode. By the way, “St Elsewhere” is American slang for hospitals that are deemed to be “dumping grounds” for patients that have nowhere else to go.
Now recognised as the longest running TV medical series in the world, Casualty was born in 1986 and has become a staple of Saturday night TV. Its success rests mainly on the casting of actors who bring a genuine reality to their characters, especially Derek Thompson who has played luckless charge nurse Charlie Fairhead since episode 1. The guest star list is like a who’s who of the acting world including Martin Freeman, Tom Hiddleston and Kate Winslet to name but a few. Clocking up almost 1,100 episodes there’s no sign that this series needs resuscitating just yet.
Created by David Shore and starring Hugh Laurie as medical genius and total smart-ass Dr. Gregory House, House was a major US hit that made Laurie a bankable star and gave the world the most unconventional Doctor yet to appear on our screens. House was a grouchy, unorthodox yet appealing character who had many failings as well as an addiction to painkillers which made him even more unlike what had gone before. Laurie’s timing and acidic delivery of lines earned him a legion of admirers and allowed him to break away from the usual “stiff-upper-lip” English characters he was always associated with.
With schedule bursting 331 episodes running over 15 seasons, E.R. is still the number 1 medical drama across the globe. Created by Michael Crichton and based on his own experiences as a medical student, this multi-award-winning series famously gave the world Dr Doug Ross (George Clooney), John Carter (Noah Wyle), Dr Mark Greene (Anthony Edwards) and Physician Assistant Jeanie Boulet (Gloria Reuben). These are just a few of the ensemble cast that would come and go but it was also the innovative storytelling and unconventional way it told stories that would ask more questions than give answers that would earn its longevity. There was an E.R. computer game released in 2005 but that failed to expand the fanbase.
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