As the current, unnecessary trail for BBC One HD proves, the BBC loves its trailers and adverts and yet there’s one part of its output which rarely ever seems to get a plug: Casualty.
If you’re one of those people who boycotts the show in the mistaken belief that it’s just a soap which drifted off to the margins of the Saturday night schedule, you’ll have missed some outstandingly good performances by Georgia Taylor who plays troubled Doctor Ruth Winters.
Ever since she arrived in the Emergency Department Ruth’s had a rough old time, most memorably trying to kill herself a couple of years back.
Cursed to be life’s whipping boy, Ruth has since found herself in a loveless marriage with a closeted gay fellow Doctor who then publicly left her for his secret boyfriend.
Everyone has their tipping point and this was poor Ruth’s who now finds herself sectioned and incarcerated in the hospital she normally works in and where the chief psychiatrist turns out to be the lovely Matthew Kelly.
Saturday’s powerhouse of an episode, in which Ruth is forced to confront some of her inner demons, was undoubtably the best hour of drama anywhere on the BBC that week.
Those of us who tuned in saw Kelly’s character slowly peel the layers off Ruth’s self-deception until, in a tear jerker of a finale, she finally reached out to colleague Charlie (Derek Thompson), the ED stalwart she’d tried to sack for Christmas.
The tragedy is that the BBC didn’t seem to tell anyone outside the usual audience about it.
Considering the acres of trails and promotion the BBC lavishes on the amateur-hour pap that is EastEnders I don’t understand why this far superior show is so ignored and unloved by the Beeb.
You’d think a broadcaster which wastes good money on crud like Bonekickers, Spooks Code 9, Robin Hood and Merlin would want to draw attention to a gem like Casualty.
The only explanation which makes sense is that BBC bosses (who you may have noticed I don’t hold in especially high regard) fear that if more people learn they’re capable of producing high quality shows it’ll make the dross they prefer to churn out even less defensible.
If you fancy a glimpse of a quality British TV drama you’ll find Casualty around 9pm Saturdays nights on BBC One, failing that you can catch it on the iPlayer.