After over 500 episodes, CASUALTY has produced a number of memorable moments including spectacular stunts and special effects plus moving and dramatic character and guest storylines.
holby.tv take a look at some of CASUALTY’s landmark episodes…
Series 1 – Gas
On 6th September 1986, CASUALTY first hit our screens in an episode entitled ‘Gas’. One of the first scenes showed a young Charlie Fairhead (the show’s now longest serving cast member) driving to work in his old yellow beetle car, ‘Lover Boy’ blaring meaningfully from the radio. He arrived at Holby, stubbed out his fag on the ground with his foot as Ewart Plimmer was heard barking orders at an ambulance man. Back then it was a very different show – more political however the viewers’ fondness for the staff members of Holby still remained.
Series 2 – Cry for Help
The BBC planned to shelve CASUALTY after Series 2, however as the series drew on critics began to warm to the medical drama. One such storyline which did grip viewers was the show’s first main character death. More than 10 millions viewers tuned in to watch the dramatic stabbing of paramedic Sandra Mute. Back then character deaths were uncommon, however with increasing episodes, the death toll of Holby staff members currently stands at 15. In storylines including suicide, murder, toxic fume poisoning and heart attack – episodes which farewell a character will always draw viewers.
Series 6 – Cascade
One of CASUALTY’s first spectacular stunts centred on an aircrash. As staff were bidding colleague Beth Ramanee farewell, they were called back to the hospital on red alert to help with the casualties. What no one spotted until they worked out on which Friday in December it was due to be screened was that it coincided with the third anniversary of the Lockerbie disaster. To avoid offending relatives of those who suffered, it was pulled off and shown the following February. ‘Cascade’ is one of two episodes which were postponed from the schedules; the other being Series 2 episode ‘Living Memories’ which featured late actor Roy Kinnear who died shortly after filming the episode. The episode was postponed for ten months out of respect for his family.
Series 7 – Boiling Point
Series 7’s finale episode will go down as one of CASUALTY’s most controversial episodes to date. Sparking many complaints, a planned repeat of the episode was never shown. The episode which featured riot scenes that led to arsonists torching the hospital was shown after the watershed but some still deemed the episode too violent. Geraint Morris, then producer, was disappointed the episode caused so much outcry defending the show saying ‘It seemed clear to me that the episode was dealing with the tragic consequences of violent acts. The moral was plain.’ This episode received CASUALTY’s highest viewing figures at the time, with 17.02 million.
Series 10 – Night Moves
After ten years, CASUALTY saw it’s first wedding when nurse Ash married PR Officer Laura Milburn. A different series finale to most, but CASUALTY couldn’t help but add a little doom when Kate’s husband falls down steps outside A&E. A blow to the head leaving him in a coma and eventual death next series. This was the first of six weddings; Charlie & Baz, Adam & Reuben, Josh & Colette, Fin & Comfort and Abs & Ellen have also wed onscreen.
Series 12 – Everlasting Love
One of CASUALTY’s most memorable episodes for many reasons. The episode which saw Baz and Charlie finally make it up the aisle. And also saw many special guest returns – Megan, Duffy, Mike and Ash all came back to Holby for the occasion. The single ‘Everlasting Love’ performed by the cast was released and reached No.5 in the charts. It was also the show’s first two-part episode. Since then, not including the Casualty@Holby specials, there have been 14 two-part episodes including ‘World Gone Wrong’ which featured Lara and Nikki’s dramatic hostage and ‘Hitting Home’ which was part of BBC’s Hitting Home season on domestic violence.
Series 11 – Chain Reactions
The opening episode of Series 11 featured the show’s first main character birth. Charlie rushed to Baz’s bedside just in time to witness the birth of his son Louis. Amy Howard, Duffy and Roxanne Bird have also had onscreen births.
Series 14 – Being There
The Series 14 finale was a monumental episode in that it was the first to feature scenes outside of the UK. The two-part episode showed Tina Seabrook head to Australia in search of her love Sean Maddox. ‘We knew that setting scenes in Australia would be an incredible contrast to what we usually see in CASUALTY. I did worry that cutting from the blazing sun of Alice Springs to the gloomier corridors of the hospital might prove difficult, but I think it works, largely because the audience will be driven to know what happens to Tina and Sean. And we’ve got what we wanted: a big ending’ said the producer. Since this episode, CASUALTY has also featured an episode in Lapland involving Charlie and Baz in Series 18.
Series 15 – Choked
Controversial two-part episode ‘Choked’ featured the show’s first gay wedding. Nurse Adam Osman married his partner Reuben following his HIV status being outed in the press. Pal Aron, who played Adam, was delighted at his exit scenes, ‘We think this is the first time a gay wedding has been shown on primetime TV so it’s real ground-breaking stuff.’
Series 15 – Merry Christmas Dr Spiller
One of the most popular Christmas episodes which featured couple Holly and Patrick and the show’s first snow scene. Life in Holby has never been dull over Christmas; other Xmas storylines have included Max & Tina’s passionate clinch in Series 14, a car crashing infront of the Holby A&E entrance with Josh inside – as his wife Colette is having an affair with Simon plus Charlie and Baz’s Lapland adventure.
Series 19 – Casualty@Holby
When CASUALTY spawned it’s sister-series HOLBY CITY in 1999, it was only a matter of time before we saw the show’s join forces. In a 2004 Christmas special, we saw a fuel tanker crash into the hospital causing mayhem and distruction. The action packed episode sees staff fighting for their own survival as well as their patients. CASUALTY’s Paediatrician Jim Brodie was one of the unlucky ones – when he gave up his life to save that of midwife Rosie as they both dangled precariously off a bridge. Another Christmas special was shown the following year, later followed by an interactive Organ Donation episode and Halloween merge four-parter.