Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Last Night's Tele : Critical

Jed Mercurio, creator of Line of Duty, Bodies and Cardiac Arrest, returned to the medical drama last night with Sky One's Critical and soundly pronounced the likes of Casualty and Holby City dead.

I'd been looking forward to this ever since it was announced last year and the opening episode did not disappoint. Set in real time, Critical explores the crucial 'golden hour' of emergency medicine, the first sixty minutes that means life or death for the poor unfortunate on the Resus trolley.

And this really was a poor unfortunate. Unlike the soapy, long in the tooth and unrealistic Casualty and Holby City, we learnt nothing about the man our determined team fought to keep alive, we just knew about the serious injuries he had received...and we saw them, and the surgical procedures to combat them, in graphic gory detail.

Focusing firmly on the nitty gritty, former doctor Mercurio turned in another scarily accurate depiction of medicine that focused on the procedures and only suggested just the slightest hint of what occurred around it, such as the lives and personalities of the staff and the back stabbing hospital politics. 

Set in a state of the art major trauma unit, this often felt and looked like science fiction but it's reassuring to know - should we ever be unlucky enough to find ourselves in such a Resus - it is all fact. Whizzily filmed around an almost Kubrick like set and choc-full of tensely uttered jargon being spat over grimly realistic CGI body organs I felt like I couldn't tear my eyes away from the screen and the cast, including Neve McIntosh (Bodies) Emma Fryer, Catherine Walker, Claire Skinner, Kimberley Nixon and (only briefly seen in the debut episode) the show's lead Lennie James certainly helped to hold our attention too.

Tuesdays, Sky One, 9pm.

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