Holby City

Holby City

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Holby City

Holby City is a famous medical drama series on BBC that has been running since 1999. The characters and the cast of the series have made it worth watching and many people have been fans of this timeless medical drama ever since it started.

Plot

The storyline is placed in a fictional city called Holby and talks about the daily events and lives of people in the hospital. The series was a spin-off from the famous series Casualty and it uses the same hospital as well. Many times, characters of Casualty are seen in Holby City and the show is renamed as Casualty@Holby City for that particular episode.

The Series

The series is created by Mal Young and Tony McHale and has been produced by a number of producers including Johnathan Young, Kathleen Hutchison, Richard Stokes, McHale, Belinda Campbell, and Oliver Kent over the years.

The series has already completed 15 seasons and is now running the 16th one, which started on 15 October 2013. In the year October 2010, Holby City started high definition broadcasting owing to the HD channels and increasing demand for better quality pictures.

The show has successfully run for over 700 hours and it continues to entertain its audiences all around the world. Primarily based out of the UK, the series is also extremely popular in the US and other countries in the world.

The Cast of Holby City

The prominent cast of this series includes Hugh Quarshie as Ric Griffin, Tina Hobley as Chrissie Williams, Rosie Marcel as Jac Naylor, Paul Bradley as Elliot Hope, Jaye Jacobs as Donna Jackson, Jane Asher, Robert Powell, John Michie and many more.

The series started off with 11 central characters in the first season. However, none of the actors are part of the show now. The series kept bringing in new cast and characters to keep the interest alive and now, in each season, there are 15 main characters that form the central story for Holby City.

A Thorough Research for Holby City

Due to the medical drama, the series has also employed many researchers and doctors to check the script and verify all the medical information mentioned in the series. Also, the cast is given a basic medical training so that they can perform better and more realistically.

Many times, Holby City has been compared to other medical drama series in terms of content and figures. The series did very well in its opening series and got up to 9.27 million views. However, the viewership kept declining after the fifth series and it gave a rise to concern for the producers.

It was also suggested that the show should be modernised for the youth and it should include some good music as well to keep the audience interested. The 11th series got around 5.44 million views while the later series have an average of 4 million views. The show is broadcast on BBC on a weekly basis.

Accolades Galore

Holby City has been nominated for over 100 awards in the course of its running duration. It has won critical acclaim and also the hearts of many of its viewers. The show has won 10 awards including the following.

  • British Academy Television Award – Best Continuing Drama (2008)
  • BEFFTA Award
  • Two Ethnic Multicultural Media Awards
  • Two Music Video & Screen Awards
  • Four National Screen Awards

Holby City was once one of the most popular and loved television series. The medical drama, lives of the patients, doctors, nurses and all characters weave into a beautiful storyline. Though the popularity of the show has seen many ups and downs, there are various viewers across the world that thoroughly enjoy the show and look forward to a new episode every week!

The Benny Hill Show

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The Benny Hill Show

The Benny Hill Show was a British comedy show, which aired across 140 countries across the world between January 15 1955 and May 30 1991. The show fell under the category of slapstick comedy and was written by Benny Hill.

Boots Randolph and James Q were the prime music composers for the show. The show fell under the genre of comedy while employing various techniques like mime, parody, slapstick and double-entendre to entertain audiences. 1989 saw the decline of The Benny Hill Show due to low ratings and high production costs.

Features of The Benny Hill Show

One of the significant features about the show which gained a lot of popularity was the theme song of the show called Yakety Sax. It was performed by Boots Randolph and written by James Q ‘Spider’ Rich. Yakety Sax was first aired on 19 November 1969.

Another memorable feature was the exuberant introduction by Henry McGee. It said, Yes! It’s The Benny Hill Show! Benny Hill himself closed the show by saying, Thank you for being with us, and we look forward to seeing you all again—very, very soon. Until then, bye bye! The show’s musical director was conductor Ronnie Aldrich and songs were sung by singers, the Ladybirds.

Various Characters

The show always starred Benny Hill acting as different characters from his time. He dressed up in various costumes. Slapstick comedy, double entendres and burlesque were his forte. Though critics called some aspects of the show sexist for the portrayal of its female characters, Benny Hill said they maintained their dignity at all times while the men who chase them were cast as bufoons.

His show usually used to end with him being chased by a bunch of women for pranks he played on them. Another unique feature about him was that he sang patter songs. Composed by him, his songs were lengthy, usually sang in a single take. They had double-entendre meanings to it, which he sang in high-speed. He also used the camera to his advantage by creating illusions, which add to the drama of the show.

American Celebrities

During his career Benny Hill performed depictions of various American celebrities, which included Orson Welles, Marlon Brando, Kenny Rogers, international celebrities like Miriam Makeba and Nana Mouskouri, pop-music hosts like Tony Blackburn and Jimmy Savile, politicians like Denis Healey and Lord Boothby and British stars like Michael Caine and Shirley Bassey.

Cast of The Benny Hill Show

The cast included various other significant people apart from Benny Hill himself. The prime supporting cast included Henry McGee, Bob Todd, Jon Jon Keefe, Jackie Wright and Nicholas Parsons.

Female supporting actors included Sue Bond, Lesley Goldie, Jenny Lee-Wright and Bettina Le Beau. In the later stages of the show, it also incorporated a dance troupe by the name of Love Machine, which was then succeeded by the Hill’s Angels. Some other prominent actresses included Bella Emberg, Patricia Hayes, Rita Webb and Anna Dawson.

Guest stars included Don Estelle, Patrick Newell, Paul Eddington, Hugh Paddick, Paula Wilcox and Kathy Staff to name a few. Some of the musical guests involved Petula Clark, Kiki Dee, Judith Durham, Alma Cogan and Cleo Laine amongst others.

Benny Hill also used to chat with some of the guests that came on his show for a few minutes.

Critical Acclaim

As the show gained immense fan following, Thames Television, which ran the series in the later years, edited some of The Benny Hill shows from the first four years and turned it into a feature film called The Best of Benny Hill, which was released in 1974.

The show was also given an award of the ‘Special Prize of the City of Montreux’ at the Rose d’Or festival in 1984.

Blackadder

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Blackadder

Blackadder is a four-part TV series of a period British sitcom that originally aired on BBC 1. There were several one-off instalments as well. All the TV episodes starred Rowan Atkinson of the Mr. Bean fame in the title role, and Tony Robinson. Atkinson portrayed the role of Edmund Blackadder who was an anti-hero and he was supported by Robinson who played the role of Baldrick, Blackadder’s dogsbody.

Each of the four series was set in different historical eras. While the two protagonists remained the same, they were always accompanied by different characters. Many of them reappeared in one series or another as well. Produced by John Lloyd, all the series were co-written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton except for the first one, which was co-written by Curtis and Atkinson.

A very popular TV series, the fourth series was placed 16th in the 100 Greatest British TV Programmes in 2000. The British Film Institute creates this list. The first series was voted as the second-best British sitcoms of all times when a poll was conducted in 2004 to find Britain’s Best Sitcom. The Empire Magazine also ranked it as the twentieth best TV show of all time.

The Black Adder

The Black Adder is the first of the four series that originally aired between 15 June 1983 and 20 July 1983 on BBC1. The first series was jointly produced by the Australian Seven Network.

This series is set at the end of the British Middle Ages, in 1485 to be precise. Written as an alternate history, this series depicts the Battle of Bosworth Field that was won by King Richard III. However, he is mistaken for someone else and eventually murdered. King Richard III is succeeded by Richard IV played by Brian Blessed. He is one of the Princes in the Tower.

The entire series follows the exploits of Edmund, the Duke of Edinburgh, who calls himself The Black Adder to get in the good books of his father, Richard IV and his quest to overthrow him.

Blackadder II

Set in England, Blackadder II depicts the reign of Queen Elizabeth I from 1558 to 1603. The Queen’s character is played by Miranda Richardson. The primary character in this series is Edmund, Lord Blackadder. He is the great-grandson of the Black Adder from series one. This series portrays how the great-grandson regularly deals with the Queen and her toadying Lord Chamberlain, Lord Melchett played by Stephen Fry. They are portrayed as rivals.

This series also portrays how the great-grandson has to deal with the Queen’s frantic ex-nanny, Nursie played by Patsy Byrne.

Blackadder the Third

Set in the period called as the Regency, Blackadder the Third is set during the late 18 and early 19 century. This series portrays Edmund Blackadder Esquire as the butler to the Prince Regent who is the Prince of Wales. This character is portrayed as a complete idiot and fop and is played by Hugh Laurie.

In spite of Edmund’s respected abilities as well as intelligence, he really has no personal fortune to boast of except his fluctuating wages from the Prince. This series also starred a lot of supporting characters played by Helen Atkinson-Wood, Robbie Coltrane, Simon Osborne, and the like.

Blackadder Goes Forth

Set in 1917, this series revolves around the trenches of the First World War on the Western Front. Captain Blackadder refuses to be a part of the trenches is always looking at multiple ways of getting out, yet his schemes always bring him back in the trenches. This series is a rather darker depiction than the others and portrays the scarcity of trench warfare as well as the life-wasting and incompetent strategies of the top brass.

Agatha Christie’s Poirot

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Hercule Poirot is the fictional character made popular by Agatha Christie, an English playwright, short story writer and a crime novelist. Known for the 14 short story collections and 66 detective novels, Christie also wrote The Mousetrap, which is the longest-running play in the world. Her first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles was her claim to fame. This is the novel that also introduced the character of Hercule Poirot.

Christie has sold so many copies that her name also appears in The Guinness Book of World Records as the highest-selling novelist of all time. Roughly, around four billion copies have been sold worldwide. So, when it was decided to create a TV series around this character, there was no doubt that it would become really popular.

Agatha Christie’s Poirot

Being one of the long-lived characters in Agatha Christie’s novels, Agatha Christie’s Poirot is an aptly named British TV drama that was aired from 8 January 1989 on ITV. The series was so popular that it ran until very recently, 13 November 2013. The title character of Hercule Poirot is played by David Suchet who does incredible justice to the fictional and literary character.

Initially, LWT produced it, but then it was picked up by ITV Studios later on. This series became quite popular and the US aired it as Poirot on A&E and PBS. In all, there were 70 episodes telecast over a whopping 13 series. Each episode ran from about 50 minutes or 90-100 minutes. Series 6 onwards, all the episodes ran from 90-100 minutes. The shorter episodes are in fact, based on Christie’s short stories that feature Poirot.

Casting

An important part of any movie or TV series is the casting. The right casting only enhances the fictional character and gives it the depth that it requires. Suchet played the character of Blott in Tom Sharpe’s TV adaptation of Blott on the Landscape. That is where Christie’s family noticed him and recommended his name to play Poirot.

Suchet on his part prepared for the role by reading all the novels and short stories that featured Poirot. He even copied each and every piece of description about the character. In fact, he adopted Poirot’s mannerisms to the tee. He almost left the production because the director refused to feature every odd behaviour that the character displayed.

Award-Winning Series

Agatha Christie’s Poirot has been nominated 20 times for the BAFTAs between 1989 and 1991 for the first three series. Besides the BAFTAs, it has also been nominated in at least five different awards including the British Academy Television Awards, British Academy Television Craft Awards, RTS Television Awards, Edgar Awards, Satellite Awards, as well as PGA Awards. It was nominated right until 2010. Out of several nominations, this series won a whopping five awards.

The first one was won in 1990 for Best Original Television Music at the British Academy Television Awards. In the same year, it won three awards for Best Costume Design, Best Make-up, and Best Graphics at the British Academy Television Craft Awards. The next award came two years later at the Edgar Awards in 1992. One of their episodes, The Lost Mine was nominated under the Best Episode in a TV Series category and it came out the winner.

Several DVDs as well as Blu-ray Discs were also released starting March 2009. The complete collection can now be watched from the comfort of your own home on either DVDs or Blu-ray Discs. Besides the series collection, the movie collections have also been released since July 2009.