I must declare a strong bias. I have worked as an NHS Finance Manager overseeing radical changes for the last 15 years. Not always for the best I must add. In many cases it is change for the sake of change, backdoor privatisation, erosion and rationing of NHS services.
Watching 'Bodies' you can understand why those who can afford it opt for Private Health Insurance. I'm paid to keep my mouth shut and just get on with it. So this series was rather cathartic. Such a crying a shame it was so overlooked and therefore under-rated. It deserved to have the same political impact as 'Cathy Come Home' in the 60's, or 'The Day After' & Threads; in the 80's.
The experiences of our hero Dr Lake, brilliantly played by Max Beesley (still his best role to date by miles) mirrored my own thwarted whistling blowing efforts, albiet in a more mundane non-clinical role.
I had wondered what former NHS doctor Jed Mercurio had been up too since penning 'Cardiac Arrest' back in the mid 90's. That was based on his experiences as an overworked junior doctor and was done in the same fly on the wall, all too real and occasionally obsidian black comedic style. I plan to get hold of that series on DVD too.
I don't really go for the usual run of the mill hospital 'soaps' clearly aimed at a female audience. They are so far-fetched what with lead cast members being admitted onto their own wards every other week following freak gardening accidents etc. But with Dr Mercurio's proven pedigree I knew this would be well worth tuning in for. The scheduling also made me curious. Late on a Saturday night on BBC3 almost as if to limit it's ratings potential. Just enough viewers to justify the reasonably high production costs and giving the BBC Execs the required kudos for meeting their 'hard-hitting' programming quota. Yet not so much attention as to have the BBC switchboard jammed by petrified expectant Mums demanding a full and immediate public enquiry. I understand Cardiac Arrest achieved this notoriety among grannies. I can only speculate that Obs & Gynae DNA (Did Not Attend) figures would have hit the stratosphere had it been repeated on BBC 2.
So it came as no real surprise that the 3rd series was canned in favour of a rather hurried, slightly unsatisfying 'loose ends tying up' one-off special. I think Jed Mercurio must have felt totally let down and hamstrung by the BBC commissioners. I suppose its kind of fitting really as many NHS Clinicians feel the same way about NHS PCT Commissioners these days.
The programmes themselves are as addictive as morphine and will appeal to anyone who enjoys well written dramas, high production values, seeringly authentic prosthetic special effects ( probably best viewed on an empty stomach and an empty womb!) and absolutely spot on acting. Keith Allen's potty mouthed but ultra-talented senior surgeon is hilarious. Patrick Baladi does a brilliant 'Management Poodle' . In fact I can't fault any of the performances. Even down to the black lady from HR who's sole role it is to silently devour biscuits at the frequent disiplinary showdowns. As for the bedroom scenes PHWOOR!!
I AGREE WITH THE 'BEST BBC DRAMA EVER' COMMENT . Obviously too close to the bone politically and in many 'extreme close up' cases literally!