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Frances de la Tour
This was easily the best drama series on British television during 1999 and it's a crime it has neither been repeated nor released on video. Its impact was deep and wide-reaching, cropping up in Sunday supplement covers and the British Medical Journal. The previous comments appear to sum up reactions to this visceral, hilarious, touching and intelligent drama series: extremes. There is no middle ground here, and with the subject matter--psychiatric care in Glasgow, Scotland--it's no surprise. What I think most critics of the series misunderstand is that the title, as far as I can see, is a reference to "labelling", the distinction between "sick" and "well", "normal" and "mad". It's a show that flatters the viewer with a modicum of intelligence--so if you like your drama syrupy and spoon-fed, turn over now.
This continuum is personified in the main character, Dr. Danny Nash, written with wit intelligence by David Wolstencroft and played to searing perfection by Douglas Henshall (This Year's Love). Both, I believe, won awards for their work, and watching the series as a whole, it's no surprise: this is a series that shows you both sides of the therapeutic coin personified, a manic-depressive psychiatrist (a condition all too endemic in the profession).
Despite a plethora of sub-standard and under-watched shows being released on DVD and video, I have yet to see this excellent series released. It's a shame, as repeated viewings bring out the subtleties and themes that may stay hidden if the overall "trip" of watching the show hits you too hard in the gut first time round (and it does).
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