Cardiac Arrest – French and Saunders Go To The Movies – tape 2009

First on this tape, episode 7 of Cardiac Arrest, Running on Vapours. Written by ‘John MacUre’ which was a pseudonym for Jed Mercurio – to this day I can’t believe that’s not the wrong way round.

The programme opens with Dr Mortimer learning that he’s HIV positive and has signs of AIDS.

Jo Dow

Someone has leaked his diagnosis to the papers, causing problems for the hospital manager.

Mr DeVries is convinced he’s the father of a young boy, and tricks him into letting him draw blood so he can test it.

Junior doctor Phil Kirkby has to prepare chemotherapy for a patient, but he’s not done that before, and nobody seems able to help, not even the senior, who was making noises earlier in the episode about ‘patronage’.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 31st May 1995 – 21:30

Before the next episode, there’s the end of the news, and weather from Ian McCaskill.

There’s a trailer for Inside Story.

Then, episode 8 of Cardiac Arrest, The Betrayed. There’s a nice presentation glitch at the start.

Cardiac Arrest title

Phil Kirkby is being made a scapegoat for his chemo patient dying after being given incorrectly ,ixed drugs. The hospital manager doesn’t want him to say that long hours or incomplete training might have been responsible for his error. He’s promised that they’ll look after him.

But the inquest, when he omits to tell them that he contacted his senior doctor and was told to proceed, determines that he was responsible and it wa an unlawful killing.

At the end of the programme, Claire Maitland (Helen Baxendale) who had left the hospital, and was almost considering private medicine, has a road to Damascus moment saving a man in a pub having a heart attack, and by the end of the programme, the old team are back in business.

I'm Back

These were 30 minute shows, a very unusual length for a drama in those days. And they definitely showed Mercurio as a name to watch, as his subsequent career has shown. Plus who doesn’t love Helen Baxendale as a doctor. Smart women always do it for me.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 7th June 1995 – 21:30

After this, recording continues, an we basically get the rest of the evening on BBC1. There’s a trailer for Blackadder Goes Forth, and one for Men Behaving Badly.

Then, French and Saunders go to the Movies is a compilation of some of their movie parodies.

French and Saunders

In their Bergman parody, Simon Brint is a perfect Death.

Simon Brint

BBC Genome: BBC One – 7th June 1995 – 22:00

After this there’s a trailer for Birds of a Feather.

Then, Hospitalwatch presented by Sue Lawley and a very hirsute Tony Robinson.

Tony Robinson

There’s a patient using a BBC Micro and 5 1/4″ Floppies for rehabilitation after being in a coma. This was 1995.

BBC Micro

BBC Genome: BBC One – 7th June 1995 – 22:30

After this there’s a trailer for Castles, then the start of a TV movie, She Knows Too Much (BBC One – 7th June 1995 – 23:00) and almost the whole film is here, bar the last five minutes. I didn’t watch it.


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