Pre-dating television favourites Casualty and Holby City by decades, Emergency - Ward 10 was Britain’s first medical soap opera. Initially thought of (much like Coronation Street) as a filler programme, the twice-weekly serial rapidly became a favourite with the nation’s viewing public.
Between 1957 and 1967 it regularly pulled in audiences in excess of 15 million and spawned two spin-off programmes and a feature-film adaptation.
Set in the fictitious Oxbridge General Hospital, Emergency - Ward 10 concentrated as much on the private lives of the staff as it did on their jobs, setting the template for today’s modern medical soaps. It also introduced the viewers to medical procedures, earning praise from the British Medical Council for helping to allay the public’s fears of hospitals.
This series, in common with many from the 1950s and ‘60s, no longer exists in its entirety. Included in this set are a selection of 24 further episodes from the early 1960s, unseen for over 40 years.
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