Michelle Collins guest stars as the distraught mother of Simone, a young victim of a college shooting incident, in a feature-length first episode of the 25th series of Casualty, on Saturday 4 September on BBC One.
Meanwhile, Holby City’s laidback staff nurse Donna (Jaye Jacobs) is catapulted into the ED to help out during the traumatic events and new nurse Mads (Hasina Haque) joins the team as its latest regular.
Celebrating its 25th birthday next year, Casualty continues to entertain Saturday night audiences with a medicinal mixture of high-action drama, a reflection of social and health issues and – at its heart – the everyday lives and loves of the staff at Holby City hospital’s emergency department.
“As we move towards the 25th anniversary and the relocation to Cardiff, Casualty continues to be in rude health,” says John Yorke, BBC Controller Drama Production. “Each year the cast and crew produce nearly 50 weeks of consistently high-quality drama to a loyal and appreciative audience and it continues that tradition with this dynamic new series”.
In episode one, the team faces their worst day ever as a shooting incident at a local college escalates, bringing terror into the heart of the ED. Seen through the eyes of the team in the emergency department and the victims’ traumatised families, the incident tests the team’s courage, expertise and, ultimately, the strength of their bonds with each other.
“This opening storyline has been in development for a year,” explains series producer Oliver Kent. “Casualty is renowned for its explosive series openers but this time we wanted to do something different. Rather than focus on the scene of a disaster we wanted to explore the human cost of disastrous events and look at the awful impact they have on the victims and their families. Without a shot being seen fired you watch as the dreadful effect on everyone involved takes its toll.”
“This subject is a sensitive area and it’s our responsibility to present a realistic yet dramatic interpretation of the events, exciting without being sensationalist,” says Casualty’s consultant producer and lead writer Mark Catley.
“The key was to see the devastation through the eyes of the parents, they are our window in to the chaos and their confusion reflects our own. And over the first seven episodes of the new series we attempt to show not only the immediate affect of these actions but the widespread fallout that ensues.”