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Top 10 British Medical Dramas

VO: Richard Bush WRITTEN BY: Georgie Grier
Is it all blood, sweat and tears? Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 British Medical Dramas. For this list, we’ve selected our favourite heart-stopping medical shows from the UK. While the especially gory scenes in these shows are fairly minimal, they are all set in or around hospitals… So for those of you who are a bit squeamish, there’s more than a bit of blood ahead. You have been warned. Special thanks to our user RichardFB for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 British Medical Dramas


Is it all blood, sweat and tears? Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 British Medical Dramas.

For this list, we’ve selected our favourite heart-stopping medical shows from the UK. While the especially gory scenes in these shows are fairly minimal, they are all set in or around hospitals… So for those of you who are a bit squeamish, there’s more than a bit of blood ahead. You have been warned.

#10: “Doctors” (2000-)


As one of the longest-running shows on today’s list, “Doctors” may not quite receive the attention afforded to the UK’s prime time soaps, but it is daytime viewing at its best. Set in the busy fictional GP practice, the Mill Health Centre, as well as on campus at Letherbridge University, it follows the lives and loves of staff members and patients. But these surgery visits and house calls are rarely routine, as there’s no end of drama following this lot around.

#9: “Monroe” (2011-12)


Fictional neurologist Gabriel Monroe takes centre stage for this fast-paced series, which also boasts a strong ensemble cast - including James Nesbitt and Sarah Parish. However, despite well-rounded characters and intriguing backstories, the ITV show struggled for ratings when it first aired, and was eventually axed after a couple of seasons. It’s definitely one to rewatch online though, if only for Nesbitt’s turn as the titular neurosurgeon - who balances many a medical emergency with managing trainees, and his ever-growing list of personal problems. Rather him than us.

#8: “Bodies” (2004-06)


Penned by the award-winning writer behind “Line of Duty”, Jed Mercurio, this mid-noughties series isn’t for the faint-hearted. Told from the perspective of trainee surgeon Rob Lake, storylines focus on the obstetrics and gynaecology department - where daily life is far from straightforward. And as brilliant as “Bodies” is, the show doesn’t exactly offer a flattering portrayal of hospital service - with Lake discovering medical incompetence pretty much across the board. If you were a patient here, you’d probably be best to check yourself out ASAP...

#7: “Critical” (2015)


While this trauma centre drama flatlined pretty quickly - lasting for just a single series - it did catch critical attention for its innovative and original style. Based on a ward for patients who were either badly injured or gravely ill, the stakes are high from the off. And the surgeons seem fully immersed in the ups and downs of their life-or-death careers. Unlike other medical dramas, this show focused more on the action at hand and less on the characters’ relationships - giving viewers respite from the lovers’ tiffs you might find on other series.

#6: “Doc Martin” (2004-)


We jump from one extreme to the other, with this homely comedy centred on a sleepy Cornish village. On paper, Martin Clunes’ eponymous Doctor Martin might not seem like a barrel of laughs. He’s known for his grumpiness, blunt bedside manner and he even has phobia of blood - so he’s far from your typical professional medic. But he gets the job done with good grace and a bumbling charm. Plus, this show offers a timely break from all those otherwise gruesome surgery scenes.

#5: “Call the Midwife” (2012-)


This BBC period drama follows a team of midwives in 1950s London as they navigate their personal and working lives in the poverty stricken East-End. A highly-acclaimed series, it tackles not only a wide range of medical subjects, but also plenty of important historical events - including the founding of the NHS and the post war baby boom. And then there are the brilliant characters like the sharp-tongued Phyllis, the ex-military nurse Valerie and Helen George’s Trixie, who has been an ever-present since the show began.

#4: “A Young Doctor’s Notebook” (2012-13)


Here, we find ourselves in a small Russian town at the time of the Revolution. Starring Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm, this miniseries was based on one doctor’s memoirs during the early parts of his career after his graduation - and the original concept brought riveting results. A partly farcical dark comedy, the leading characters are the same person - but at different stages of their life. All in, it’s a medical series unlike any other - and one of Radcliffe’s most celebrated roles.

#3: “Doctor Foster” (2015-)


While this series features less actual in-the-surgery events compared to today’s other dramas, centring more on the personal trials and tribulations of its title character, “Doctor Foster” has become a fan favourite since debuting in 2015. The story follows Suranne Jones’ Foster, who suspects her husband is having an affair - and goes to great lengths to uncover the truth. Combining A-grade acting with an unpredictable storyline and edge-of-your-seat moments, it’s one not to be missed - and she’s a doctor not to be crossed.

#2: “Holby City” (1999-)


Originally created as a spin-off from “Casualty”, “Holby” has become a standout show in its own right, gathering a significant fan base since it started up in the late-’90s. Boasting more around 1,000 episodes and scoring more than 100 major award nominations, the series has seen major characters come and go - in all manner of often dramatic circumstances. And the cast has included countless well-known faces, including Ade Edmondson, Patsy Kensit, Sheridan Smith, Kieron Dyer and David Soul. These clinical corridors have many a tale to tell.

#1: “Casualty” (1986-)


Today’s winner is the longest-running medical emergency drama show in the world. And with good reason, because this place has seen it all. Tragic deaths, incredible recoveries, emotional relationships, devastating heartbreak, A-list cameos and career defining roles; it’s got the lot. Since 1986, we’ve watched the “Casualty” staff chop, change and evolve, while the day-to-day drama and tension of A&E and a working hospital unfolds around them. A staple of Saturday night scheduling, there’s never a dull day for these doctors, nurses, surgeons and specialists.
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