Crown Court: Season 1, Episode 1

Doctor's Neglect?: Part 1 (11 Oct. 1972)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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Mr Simpson was admitted to hospital following a car crash in Fulchester. He was examined by doctors and treated for minor injuries before being discharged. Moments later, Mr Simpson ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
John Alkin ...
Rex Arundel ...
Mr. Masterson
David Ashford ...
Derek Jones
Joseph Berry ...
Jeremy Bulloch ...
Dr. Warner
Petra Davies ...
Mrs. Simpson
Basil Dignam ...
Dr. Sissons
Ernest Hare ...
...
David Neal ...
...
Court Associate
Jacqueline Stanbury ...
Nurse Dowling
George Waring ...
Mr. Frost
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Storyline

Mr Simpson was admitted to hospital following a car crash in Fulchester. He was examined by doctors and treated for minor injuries before being discharged. Moments later, Mr Simpson collapsed on the forecourt of the hospital and was rushed back inside for emergency brain surgery, from which he died. His widow Mrs Simpson is suing the hospital for neglect, claiming that the doctors who initially treated her husband missed the injury. Written by andymarlow

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Drama

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Release Date:

11 October 1972 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

Crown Court Curio
26 January 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This was the pilot for Granada's long-running Crown Court series. It was not transmitted at the time although it eventually aired on satellite TV decades later. While it has many of the hallmarks of the series it has some interesting variations which make it well worth seeing.

The story is an unusual one. The regular series predominantly focused on criminal trials with a very occasional civil case, usually centred on libel. The issue here is one of alleged negligence with the Rudkin Hospital Board being sued by Mrs. Simpson, the widow of a man who died after being treated for a head injury sustained in a car accident. She alleges that the hospital failed to properly supervise her husband who then walked out of casualty before soon collapsing and ultimately dying. The case is an interesting if not captivating one, given a little extra spice by tension between the medical team of Dr. Warner and Nurse Dowling who had a difficult time on their duties, not helped by the recent end of their romantic relationship. The hospital's defence is that despite this they took all reasonable care of Mr. Simpson.

The most striking difference from the regular series is the inclusion of regular dialogue between the lawyers, with each other and with their clients. The discussions are not just about the case but include social discussions about their own relationships. Why these did not feature in the transmitted show is uncertain - it may be the producers felt it was better to stick purely to action within the courtroom. The theme tune is also different although its trumpet-led fanfare isn't too removed from the Janacek piece that was adopted. There was no jury and the verdict was delivered by the Judge although that was the nature of this sort of civil case rather than a production decision. The lack of a jury did take away some of the tension from the later stages and may be why subsequent trials involved juries.

It's also worth noting that although later characters such as Justice Waddington and Jonathan Fry QC appeared they were played by different actors - Ernest Hare and David Neal rather than Richard Warner and Bernard Gallagher. Whether the actors seen here were intended to continue with their roles and were unavailable or whether the casting hadn't been finalised at that stage isn't known. David Ashford, who later regularly appeared as Charles Lotterby, features here as a different barrister - Derek Jones. It's notable that Mr. Jones appears as a distinctly inexperienced and rather inexpert counsel, rather different to the later Mr. Lotterby. Given that this story was not transmitted these changes in casting and character passed by unnoticed at the time but strike the regular viewer of today.

All considered, one of the most distinctive Crown Court outings if not one of its best.


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