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Emergency Ward 10

Emergency Ward 10

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Emergency – Ward 10 is a British television
British television
Public television broadcasting started in the United Kingdom in 1936, and now has a collection of free and subscription services over a variety of distribution media, through which there are over 480 channelsTaking the base Sky EPG TV Channels. A breakdown is impossible due to a) the number of...

 series shown on ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

 between 1957 and 1967. Like The Grove Family
The Grove Family
The Grove Family is a British television soap opera, generally regarded as the first of its kind broadcast in the UK, made and transmitted by BBC Television from 1954 to 1957...

, a series shown by the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 between 1954 and 1957, Emergency – Ward 10 is considered to be one of British television's first major soap opera
Soap opera
A soap opera, sometimes called "soap" for short, is an ongoing, episodic work of dramatic fiction presented in serial format on radio or as television programming. The name soap opera stems from the original dramatic serials broadcast on radio that had soap manufacturers, such as Procter & Gamble,...



The series was made by the ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

 contractor ATV
Associated TeleVision
Associated Television, often referred to as ATV, was a British television company, holder of various licences to broadcast on the ITV network from 24 September 1955 until 00:34 on 1 January 1982...

 and set in a fictional hospital called Oxbridge General. Growing out of what was originally intended to be no more than a six-week serial (entitled Calling Nurse Roberts), the series became ITV's first twice-weekly evening soap opera. Although somewhat cosily genteel by modern standards, Emergency – Ward 10 was the first hospital-based television drama to establish a successful format combining medical matters with storylines centring around the personal lives of the doctors and nurses. To this end, the series was also British TV's first soap set in the workplace.

Emergency – Ward 10 attracted controversy for its portrayal of an interracial relationship between surgeon Louise Mahler (played by Joan Hooley
Joan Hooley
Joan Hooley is an actress and screenwriter. Born in Jamaica, Hooley moved to the United Kingdom as a young girl, and her career has been based there...

) and Doctor Giles Farmer (played by John White), showing the first kiss on television between black and white actors in July 1964, some four years before Star Trek
Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

s more famous Kirk/Uhura kiss in the episode "Plato's Stepchildren".

Emergency – Ward 10 finally ended in 1967 when ratings began to slide after the show had been on air for ten years. ATV executive Lew Grade
Lew Grade
Lew Grade, Baron Grade , born Lev Winogradsky, was an influential Russian-born English impresario and media mogul.-Early years:...

 later admitted that cancelling the series was one of the biggest mistakes he ever made in his career.

The formula was subsequently revived with the (originally) afternoon series General Hospital
General Hospital (UK TV series)
General Hospital is a British daytime soap opera produced by ATV which ran on ITV from 1972 to 1979. It was modelled after the American drama of the same name....

(no connection with the American daytime soap General Hospital
General Hospital
General Hospital is an American daytime television drama that is credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running American soap opera currently in production and the third longest running drama in television in American history after Guiding Light and As the World Turns....

) which was broadcast between 1972 and 1979.

Australia's Charles "Bud" Tingwell starred in the series as surgeon Alan "Digger" Dawson, enjoying a heart-throb status because of his role.

Its haunting closing theme tune was "Silks and Satins" by Peter Yorke.


In March 2008, Network released a DVD set containing the 24 earliest surviving episodes which date from 1959 and 1960. A second 24-episode volume was released in July 2008, while a third 24-episode set was released in 2010. A 1966 episode will be included on Network's forthcoming Soap Box Volume One DVD as will the sole-surviving episode of spin-off Call Oxbridge 2000.

Cast List

  • Jill Browne ... Nurse Carole Young
  • Charles 'Bud' Tingwell ... Dr. Alan Dawson
  • Desmond Carrington
    Desmond Carrington
    Desmond Carrington is a UK-based actor and broadcaster, currently best known for his on BBC Radio 2. His show went out on Sundays for 23 years from 1981 to 2004, when it moved to Tuesdays - then to Fridays...

     ... Dr. Chris Anderson
  • Peter Howell
    Peter Howell (actor)
    Peter Howell is a British actor.A regular in 1950s television hospital drama series Emergency Ward 10, he has made guest appearances in The Avengers, The Prisoner, and Doctor Who. He played the prison governor in the 1979 film Scum. He played Saruman in the 1981 BBC Radio production of The Lord of...

     ... Dr. Peter Harrison
  • Barbara Clegg
    Barbara Clegg
    Barbara Clegg is a British actress and scriptwriter for television and radio. She was born in Manchester and spent her early years in Gatley.Clegg started out acting in the theatre before moving into film and television with roles in Emergency Ward 10 and The Dream Maker...

     ... Nurse Jo Buckley
  • Frederick Bartman ... Dr. Simon Forrester
  • Jane Downs ... Audrey Blake
  • Richard Thorp
    Richard Thorp
    Richard Thorp is an English actor, who appeared in such great British films as The Dambusters and the 1957 film The Barrets of Wimpole Street.. He is best known for playing the part of Alan Turner on ITV soap Emmerdale since 1982. Previous TV roles included Dr...

     ... Dr. John Rennie
  • John Barron
    John Barron (actor)
    John Barron was an English actor.-Biography:Born in Marylebone, London, Barron was interested in acting from an early age. For his 18th birthday his godfather paid his entry fee to RADA. After serving as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, he returned to stage acting...

     ... Harold de la Roux
  • Stephen Hancock
    Stephen Hancock
    Stephen Hancock is a British TV actor. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avonin 1929. He is most notable for his role as Ernest Bishop in Coronation Street which he played from 1969 until the character was killed off in 1978...

     ... John Faulkner
  • Robert MacLeod ... Dr. Whittaker
  • Victor Winding
    Victor Winding
    Victor Winding is a British actor born in London on Winding was educated at Westminster Technical Institute and initially trained as a draughtsman but acted in amateur dramatics and taught drama at night school. In 1958, aged 29, he joined Farnham Repertory Theatre. The Castle Theatre was opened...

    ... Dr. Fairfax