Doctor in Charge: Season 1, Episode 3

The Minister's Health (23 Apr. 1972)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
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The Minister of Health is to be admitted for the removal of varicose veins. When a vicar, Mr. Bridgenorth, also due to have varicose veins removed, turns up slightly ahead of the minister, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Robin Nedwell ...
Sammie Winmill ...
Edward Malin ...
Mr. Morgan (as Eddie Malin)
Ernest Clark ...
Joy Stewart ...
Geoffrey Davies ...
George Layton ...
Richard O'Sullivan ...
Robert James ...
Reverend Bridgenorth
Basil Henson ...
Minister of Health
Graham Armitage ...
Private Secretary
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Storyline

The Minister of Health is to be admitted for the removal of varicose veins. When a vicar, Mr. Bridgenorth, also due to have varicose veins removed, turns up slightly ahead of the minister, he is mistaken for the illustrious patient and receives the full V.I.P. treatment whereas the minister himself is treated rather more ordinarily. However the minister appreciates this, and Professor Loftus breathes a sigh of relief that he might just get his knighthood after all. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Comedy

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Release Date:

23 April 1972 (UK)  »

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One Minister Too Many!
13 April 2008 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

The Minister of Health is due to arrive at St.Swithins for a varicose vein operation, and wants to be treated like any other patient. Worried that an unfavourable impression of the hospital may jeopardise his chances of a knighthood, Loftus removes Bingham from his ward and places Duncan in charge.

By a striking coincidence, a vicar by the name of the Reverend Ian Bridgenorth arrives at the same time for exactly the same operation. The staff mix him up with the Minister of Health, and the vicar finds himself getting the five-star treatment intended for the other man...

A one-joke episode, though not without its amusing moments. Bingham does seem rather wasted here. His big moment comes when he puts the Rev.Bridgenorth in a wheelchair and pushes him to the research unit, believing him to be the Minister of Health.

Joy Stewart shines for once as Sister Fowles, bellowing orders at Nurse Crumpton like an army sergeant-major.

The Minister of Health is seen reading 'Diamonds Are Forever' by Ian Fleming, the film version of which had only gone on release a short time before.

'The Rev.Bridgenorth' is played by the late Robert James, a talented supporting actor who, amongst other roles, played 'Lesterson' in the 'Dr.Who' classic 'The Power Of The Daleks' and a doctor in the 'Steptoe & Son' story 'Upstairs, Downstairs, Upstairs, Downstairs'. Eddie Malin, Hylda Baker's talkative cousin 'Walter' in 'Nearest & Dearest', appears as randy patient 'Mr.Morgan'.

Funniest moment - the confusion about the Ministers' food. The Rev. Bridgenorth is in bed praying. When he opens his eyes he finds his meal has been switched ( by Sandra ), and thinks it to be the work of The Lord!


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