Holby City (series 1)
The first series of the British medical drama television series Holby City commenced airing in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 12 January 1999, and concluded on 9 March 1999. The show was created by Mal Young and Tony McHale as a spin–off from the BBC medical drama Casualty, intended to follow the treatment of patients from Casualty as they were transferred onto the hospital's surgical wards. McHale served as the programme's lead writer throughout the first series, which ran for nine episodes. Young cast actors who were already established names in the acting industry, particularly from a soap opera background. Several cast members shadowed real surgeons and nurses in preparation for their roles to increase the show's realism. The series received mixed reviews from critics. It was compared favourably with Casualty, but received negative reviews in which it was contrasted poorly with the American medical drama ER. The series première attracted 10.72 million viewers, falling to 8.51 million by the series finale.
The series focuses on the hospital's cardithoracic ward, Darwin. Department heads and consultant surgeons Anton Meyer (George Irving) and Muriel McKendrick (Phyllis Logan) clash frequently over patient care and division of beds. Tension arises between nurses Julie Fitzjohn (Nicola Stephenson) and Jasmine Hopkins (Angela Griffin) over the position of Darwin ward sister. Registrar Nick Jordan (Michael French) clashes professionally with his estranged wife Karen Newburn (Sarah Preston), and pursues relationships with registrar Kirstie Collins (Dawn McDaniel) and theatre sister Ellie Sharpe (Julie Saunders). Ward clerk Paul Ripley (Luke Mably) resigns after being caught kissing a comatose patient, and senior house officer Victoria Merrick (Lisa Faulkner) begins taking amphetamines to cope with the pressures of work. In the series finale, Jasmine is stabbed by thieves, and Nick endeavours to save her life in theatre.
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