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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

ER with slightly more interest in people than performance

Author: Yrmy from Helsinki, Finland
25 August 2003

Always & Everyone is pretty much a British contribution to the flux of ER-derived medical shows, right down to some of the characters, such as Harewood's Mike Gregson, who during the first two series had time to cover much of the same ground as Eric La Salle's Peter Benton in ER. The rest of the cast includes a collection of well-worn hospital series archetypes, from nice nurses worn down by too much empathy for their patients to a young know-it-all doctor who soon learns all about teamwork and medicine not being just about technical skills.

While there's enough jargon and hand-held camera, the series has a grittier look (cold, grey British kitchen-sink "realism" instead of ER's glaring and stylised hyper-realism) and less interest in the gung-ho medicine celebrating edge-of-the-envelope feats of individual heroes than its transatlantic counterpart. The moralising and sentimentality are also somewhat toned down, even when heavy themes are flaunted.

Still in contrast to the multiple intersecting storylines of more traditional British medical dramas such as Casualty, A & E focuses on the personal and professional exploits of the regular characters and the treatment of individual patients in the insular environment of the emergency room. The outside world is not a community to be serviced but a shadowy skip that keeps dumping in more mangled flesh for the staff to stich together, even when they are hampered by that old stand-by nemesis, bureaucracy, or reeling from miscarriages, broken affairs, backstabbing or loss of colleague (there's usually one dead regular per series to keep the audience from becoming too comfortable with the set-up). Speed and shock are high on the list of priorities here, as with ER, even if the treatment sequences don't become such rampant displays of performance and jungle warfare-like visuals. However, there's little of the experimentalism in format and narration that ER could occasionally distinguish itself with: the one original idea was the inclusion of two security guards who commented on the hospital goings-on from behind their monitors and offered some predictable comic relief, but this upstairs-downstairs angle obviously didn't work, and so the proles got the heave-ho after the first series.

What you get is a professionally-made, briskly-paced medical series that breaks little new ground, but is at best genuinely compelling. What ultimately hold it all together are the solid and dedicated performances from the whole cast, but especially Shaw as the traditional bruised-but-passionate, I'm-a-doctor-and-that's-all-I'm-good-at father figure Kingsford and Cusack as the ever-smiling, compassionate and capable feminine counterpart Fletcher, who seems to be always caught in some emotional crossfire.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

an excellently well acted series

Author: hotwoman7 (hotwoman7@hotmail.com) from london. England
7 July 2002

This series has proved to be very popular with a lot of people and i understand why, it is simply a well acted, gripping, exciting on the edge of your seat show!! it may take time to get used to, but in its own way is the uk's answer to ER! as a returning 4th series in 2002 the show seems to have more and more similarities to ER for example the new two elephants cafe that all the doctors eat in (doc magoos) but the cast are amazing and act well in the series. i am upset that in the new series (4), all of the old docs seem to have disapeared off the face of the earth (david scobie, raz, stuart phelin, andrew argyle) the new docs are dishy but i think that it wasnt thought of enough (like how do you explain 4 docs just leaving and new ones turning up as if they had always been there?) that was the only chritisisms i have about the new series. otherwise i say niamh and martin, you have done yourself's and saint victors proud(again)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Striking and unpredictable, with pace - brilliant acting

Author: pcusack from London, UK
16 June 2000

This is an exciting new medical drama, brilliantly acted with very fine scripts. It's got pace and excitement, taking on some social issues but not in a heavy-handed way. It's the best series of this type to come out of Britain and should be seen. Watch out for Niamh Cusack and Martin Shaw - award-winning stuff!

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Did we watch the same story?

10/10
Author: youaremysymphomy from Belgium
3 May 2008

Martin Shaw was the main name in this story, how on Earth can you say he was in only one episode?

He missed two, there are are another 30+!

I discovered it late, but although I'm a big ER fan to which it was supposed to be the British counterpart, George Clooney and co. don't hold the comparison.

A long way from Doctor in the House of the late sixties, no curls from Ray Doyle, but still a great role for one of the best British actors ever!

Great supporting cast, let's not forget this is not a one-man show.

When you appreciate someone as much as I appreciate Mr Shaw sometimes you tend to forget the rest, I'm glad I can see beyond, it only increases my watching pleasure.

PLEASE release the dvds!

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