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One of if not THE finest medical TV series ever!
I should perhaps quantify that by saying I'm not really a fan of medical dramas. I used to watch Casualty back in the late eighties/early nineties but I've never had much time for ER or Holby or Chicago Hope or any of the seemingly endless programmes about pathologists...
BODIES on the other hand is a real treat! It's darkly comic, actually realistic [so some doctors have told me, all be it a endlessly the worst day ever], superbly written, acted and directed.
Why oh why isn't there more British Drama like this!!! This excellent programme does go to show BBC THREE is worth it's chunk of the license fee!
The finale of Bodies has just aired in the UK and I can say without
doubt that this is the most compelling and tense drama to come out of
Britain for a very long time. Combining an acting and shooting style
both muscular and assured in execution; a brave, gripping, convincing
script and appropriately realistic prosthetics, Bodies is hard to beat
in its genre. With all the colourless, vapid dross being churned out on
British TV nowadays, it seems almost unbelievable that the BBC in its
wisdom saw fit to axe it.
Max Beesley brings a riveting, pinched intensity in his outstanding portrayal as hard-done-to doc Rob Lake struggling in a sea of incompetence, dishonesty and sheer managerial mediocrity. His central, career-defining role in tandem with oleaginous Dr Whitman (Keith Allen), comely foils Donna Rix (Neve McIntosh), Polly Grey (Tamzin Malleson) and his nemesis, the pusillanimous, dangerous Roger Hurley (Patrick Baladi), provides the viewer with an at times uncomfortable but undeniably unmissable experience.
There is no sentiment at work here, no shirking away from numerous, unpalatable aspects of the British NHS or dilution of the viscera involved in child delivery. Bodies is destined to remain a classic TV series; a far cry from the cloying sloppiness and user-friendly mollycoddling of, say, the BBC's Casualty. Closer in concept to ER yet far superior in the sheer quality of the conflict on screen, Bodies packs a bloody punch as a tremendous watching experience which has yet to be unsurpassed in medical drama.
Highly. highly recommended.
'Bodies' is a realistic and riveting medical drama set around the
gynecological and labor ward staff of a London hospital.
Personally, I haven't been this taken with a British drama series in years, or any drama series for that matter. A medical drama is especially hard to do. To balance the medical procedures with the lives of the hospital staff is a very difficult thing to achieve.
'Bodies' not only uses realistic medical situations and procedures to keep you watching, but also uses the personal and professional relationships between the doctors and nurses. Both of which will make you want to come back over and over again.
The characters aren't black and white, they have layers and the audience finds them selves responding to them differently at different times.
The acting is absolutely perfect, most notably Max Beasley and Neve McIntosh as the torrid lovers Rob and Donna, Patrick Baladi as the enigmatic Dr. Hurley and of course the wonderful Keith Allen as Mr. Whitman. The direction is flawless and the cinematography is edgy and poignant, using a hand held camera and lots of close ups.
Despite the odd cringe worthy medical scene, this show really is worth watching. I'm waiting for the DVD to come out in Australia so I can watch it all over again.
I have been following this fantastic drama over the last few weeks. It
was gripping. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Every week I
kept thinking of a very small swear word to describe Dr Hurley.
I read the book and as Jed Mercurio rightly points out his book taken straight from page to screen would not have worked. I am pleased with the way in which he has handled the transition and made it real in a way that only television and the screen can do.
I felt that by making Donna Rix and Rob Lake older than their characters in the book (21 and 24 if i remember rightly) their lives held a better realm of realism. Max Beesley was far more believable as a doctor rather than trying to find a younger actor to play the part. When he makes mistakes you feel as though as an experienced doctor he should have known better.
All in all bodies was a fantastic piece of drama and my only point of criticism is that the ending of the series was a little abrupt, especially if this is to be a one off drama. I hope not as the doors have been widely left open. I hope to see a DVD release and a new series.
We are watching this BBC drama now and have two more episodes to go. It is excellent! Max Beesley is superb and the series itself is compelling if a bit on the "oh my God, I can't believe they are showing that on TV" side. It is a very realistic portrayal of an intern or new resident in a private British hospital. The attitudes of the management and some of the staff are inexplicable and I hope they are an exaggeration of fact. The sex scenes are more explicit then anything I've ever seen on regular cable in the U.S. and it is better than ER at making the surgeries realistic - definitely not for the squeamish. Although very disturbing, it is worth watching. Every minute is filled with intensity.
Highly inventive and original drama which adds a dark and disturbing
twist to the countless hospital dramas that have plugged our TV screens
for so long.
An exceptional leading cast show how versatile they can be in roles that may have previously been unfamiliar to them. Excellent new series that I would encourage all to watch as an alternative to other programmes within the hospital genre. Guaranteed to shock and not for the squeamish, it provides suitable viewing for the dark, cold and drizzly nights that are now upon us. The NHS has never been portrayed in such a glowing light.....
I may be wrong, but I heard that the writer used to be a doctor once. Scary.
I work in the NHS, and this is the most realistic drama I've seen. None of your dewy-eyed idealism of casualty et al, this shows what hospitals are really like, and it's not pretty. I think the acting is great, on the whole, Max Beesley is a really realistic sort of person, and Neve NcIntosh looks really anxious and upset, which judging by the circumstances, she probably ought to be. My favourite bit is when one gynaecologist tells the manager that there's a four letter word that describes a gynaecological orifice, and he's the biggest one he's ever met! Absolutely priceless! I wonder if they'll make any more, they should move it to BBC1 if they do.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
We're really enjoyed the BBC series 'Bodies'
'House' was an excellent platform for Hugh Laurie's wonderful acting skills, with a pleasant little medical mystery woven in, particularly in the early episodes. 'Bodies' seems much more like the real thing.
It's, naturally for a BBC series, got the standard political stance - elective caesarians are seen as sins against the Holy Ghost, though, to be fair, even there the episode makes the proponents of both sides of the (very simplistic) debate such unlovely characters that the BBC opinion isn't shoved too firmly down the throat. It is a little heavy-handed to have the pro-elective party also the hysterically litigious one, but, there you are, the laws of the BBC universe can only be bent so far.
What I like most is its examination of complicity, camaraderie and their insidious conversion into corruption. It looks as if the rest of the series will be examining corruption, and it's always an important matter - humans can never be rid of corruption, it can only be dealt with by constant vigilance.
I am, and always have been, a huge fan of the whistleblower - one of the few genuine heroes, in my opinion. This series makes it clear just how much honesty of this sort is hated and how difficult it is for even brave, principled and intelligent people to blow the whistle - even on corruption with extremely grave and wide-spread consequences.
I enjoyed the scene of the 'golden corridor' - the enclave of the administrators. It is interesting that the decision to wrest hospital administration from the dead cold hands of the Lancelot Spratts, of Richard Gordon's delightful fictions, was both the most obviously sensible, and the most clearly barmy decision one could imagine. Naturally the corruption simply passes from the medical to the administrative - without, of course, removing the opportunities for medical corruption so ably depicted here.
The acme of corruption is where the self-interests of both the medical and administrative staff coincide - I look forward to a good battle with, one hopes, humanity winning over the Kafkaesque Leviathan of the NHS.
The humour isn't quite up to the level of Jo Brand's 'Getting On', but it's getting on for being as good in places.
It's a dramatisation, and a good one, so you can't expect too much complexity, but the stark line between medical incompetence and administrative error is badly drawn. There seems to be no room left for the genuine and real possibility of misadventure through pure chance. The slimy, incompetent surgeon is seen to make a mockery of the judgement that 'nobody is to blame' - but, often, that simply is the case.
I look forward to the treat of watching the rest of the series!
I work as medical doctor at emergency department in a little town in
Poland. For me, watching this series was very important experience - I
realized that people who work in medical field all over the world are
always the same : greedy and thirsty for power,revengeful, cowardly
etc. Hospitals are full of bureaucracy, statistics,nasty people,
procedures and doctors who sometimes want just to treat patients good
-and they have to fight with management, insurance companies etc Other
doctors are interested only in money and brilliant career, not
particularly caring for their patients. All of this is shown in
"Bodies" and also seen in real life.
Watching this series I've felt like being in my own hospitals...very weird
to summaries : "Bodies" is the most realistic and breathtaking medical drama I've ever seen. anna salwierz, MD, Lesko
There is another series coming of Bodies later this year I believe. i too wondered why it was on BBC2 and not BBC1 and apparently it's too graphic for BBC1. It is scary but it was indeed written by a real doctor, I read an interview and he said everything on there is true. I think the writing is brilliant and the acting is too. Especially Max Beesley. I haven't heard or read one criticism about this drama, its by far the best medical drama on TV because it is shot as though it's a documentary. And being written by someone actually in the profession makes it spot on. I would recommend this to anyone, except the squeamish - the prosthetics are superb.
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