ITV’s powerful and blunt three-parter about the Covid crisis was adapted from her memoir of the same name by Dr Rachel Clarke, alongside Jed (Line Of Duty) Mercurio, a former doctor, and a doctor turned writer/actor . Prasanna Puwanarajah (Martin Bashir in The Crown).
Interestingly, Clarke’s career path went in the opposite direction to that of his collaborators: he was a journalist before going to medical school.
Clarke, now a palliative care doctor, has 15 years of frontline service and three bestsellers under her belt, and both skills are very evident here.
Seen through the eyes of Dr. Abbey Henderson (Clarke, by any other name), Joanne Froggatt’s consultant, this view of the pandemic is claustrophobic and unforgiving.
Henderson, a mother and wife whose home life is soon reduced to FaceTime, sees patients arriving at her hospital with obvious Covid symptoms several weeks before the start of the first lockdown, on March 23, 2020.
Joanne Froggatt plays consultant Dr Abbey Henderson, who cares for patients who arrive at her hospital with obvious Covid symptoms several weeks before the start of the first lockdown.
Their hospital is ill-prepared, and the staff’s struggle to cope with an influx of patients is at odds with management advice (following the edicts of Public Health England), which appears to be, mostly, to “maintain the calm down and move on.” There is a shortage of PPE, oxygen is running out, there are not enough ventilators or ICU beds, and staff are getting sick.
Amid the chaos, Henderson takes her fears (and questions) upstairs, but when she’s rejected, she and her colleagues somehow keep the show going.
The writing is taut and fast, and Froggatt (on screen almost constantly) is simply phenomenal. There is also archival news footage, clearly intended to provoke fury: Boris Johnson gleefully shakes hands, for example, and Matt Hancock pretends to be in it all.
Kathryn Flett says she wasn’t prepared to return to the pandemic
In real life, Clarke appears to wear a blood red heart instead of a true blue one on the sleeve of her medical gown. Which means that for those viewers who suspect that a Labor government would have handled the pandemic equally ineptly, Awesome’s political score may infuriate as much as it moves them by the narrative.
But there are some very memorable scenes: a doctor bringing his own violin to play at the bedside of a dying musician, staff “attending” a colleague’s online funeral, the beds of a dying husband and wife placed side by side. side by side…all beautifully done.
And yet, in the end I thought: who would want to see any of this? And because? Surely life in post-pandemic 2024 is tough enough to revisit 2020?
Weird but entertaining…
Michael Sheen’s television directorial debut (in which he also appears) is a three-part drama that, on the one hand, I can summarize as a dystopian thriller set in the aftermath of the Port Talbot steelworks collapse. On the other, it is a genre-buster that defies categorization.
The lives of the Driscoll family – steelworker Geoff, his wife Dee, their daughter Thea (a policewoman with a four-year-old son), and their drug-using son Owen – are turned upside down when riots engulf their hometown. after the management seems to close. by the steel plant.
Simon The Prophet is played by Jonathan Nefydd (right), while a red-robed medieval monk also appears.
In search of a new life, they intend to cross the border, evading a sinister Wagner Group-style security company headed by the feared ‘Welsh Catcher’.
Sheen co-created The Way with documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis, whose contributions (cutaway news footage and somber electronic music) are evident.
The comedy collides with not-so-subtle political points about refugees and an ending steeped in Welsh mythology (Jonathan Nefydd’s Simon the Prophet and a medieval monk).
The strange result is unpredictable, although thanks to an excellent cast, very entertaining.
Stacey is a good class
Stacey Solomon (pictured) returns to help people declutter their homes in the new series of Sort Your Life Out, available on BBC iPlayer.
In the first of a new series of Stacey Solomon’s Sort Your Life Out (BBC iPlayer), in which tidying up comes with tears and hugs, Craig struggled to maintain a happy home for his two young daughters, whose mother died four years ago .
Besieged by grief and a house full of stuff, resonating with memories of what life was (and should be), the journey to the elegant, quiet refuge they deserved was genuinely moving.
If, like me, you’re longing for spring, I recommend a dose of TV vitamin D, also known as Monty Don’s Spanish Gardens (BBC iPlayer).
In the first episode, our brilliant host explored the heart of Spain that the British often overlook, from the impressive scale of the El Escorial palace complex to the intimacy of the private gardens, passing through public spaces such as the Paseo del Prado in Madrid (the first tree in Europe). -bordered urban promenade). I’m sure the next two episodes will bring us a little closer to the sun.
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