Critical (TV series)

Genre Medical drama
Created by Jed Mercurio
Written by Jed Mercurio
Matthew Broughton
Laurence Davey
Mark Greig
Michael A. Walker
Tom Needham
Katherine McGinn
Directed by Jon East
Michael Keillor
Philippa Langdale
Starring Lennie James
Catherine Walker
Claire Skinner
Kimberley Nixon
Neve McIntosh
Prasanna Puwanarajah
John MacMillan
Mali Harries
Paul Bazely
Danny Kirrane
Peter Sullivan
Emma Fryer
Jack Fortune
Orion Lee
Juliet Oldfield
Composer(s) Ruth Barrett
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 13
Executive producer(s) Jed Mercurio
Mark Redhead
Cameron Roach
Producer(s) Christopher Hall
Running time 60 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s) Hat Trick Productions
Original network Sky 1
Picture format 16:9 1080i
Audio format Stereo
Original release 24 February (2015-02-24) – 19 May 2015 (2015-05-19)

Critical, styled with a time-clock format as CR:IT:IC:AL, is a British medical drama series that debuted on Sky 1 on 24 February 2015.[1] The series is set in a fictional major trauma centre (MTC), City General Hospital, which treats critically ill patients. Each episode is based on one patient and efforts to save his or her life within one hour.[2] Created by Jed Mercurio (Line of Duty and Bodies),[3] the drama follows the team of medical professionals whilst they make life-changing decisions.[4] The title refers to critical condition, the most serious medical state, as well as the decisions and actions of the staff; everything done within the first hour is absolutely vital and could determine whether a patient lives or dies.[5] Despite receiving positive reviews, the show was cancelled on 14 July 2015 due to low ratings.[6]


The series was created by Jed Mercurio.[7] The first 13 episodes were ordered by Sky 1 from Hat Trick Productions[8] in September 2013. Reviews were predominantly positive,[9][10][11][12] noting the ground-breaking style and structure of the series; however some critics expressed a preference for a more traditional approach to medical drama.[13][14] In Australia, the series premiered on BBC First on July 28, 2015.[15]


Guest cast


No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
1"Retribution of Outraged Nature"Jon EastJed Mercurio24 February 2015 (2015-02-24)0.79
A seriously ill man has been flown in from a road accident. Vascular surgery specialist Lorraine Rappaport sets to work on the patient - but when office politics come into play, she is asked to step down, forcing hospital fellow Fiona Lomas to take over. But it soon becomes clear that she doesn't have the theatre experience of her colleague.
2"The Art of Medicine"Jon EastJed Mercurio3 March 2015 (2015-03-03)0.50
Time is running out as the team treats a woman who has suffered an horrific fall. Amid all the action, Fiona tries to adapt to working with her ex, Glen.
3"Lock Arms and Block Cemetries"Jon EastJed Mercurio10 March 2015 (2015-03-10)0.47
Emotions run high when the team fights to revive a cyclist involved in a serious collision. Glen makes a bold decision, but will it be enough?
4"The Weakness of Mankind"Michael KeillorMatthew Broughton17 March 2015 (2015-03-17)0.37
Stress levels rocket when, while treating a badly beaten man, the team faces a nightmare scenario that sends the major trauma centre into lockdown.
5"Medicine My Lawful Wife"Michael KeillorLaurence Davey24 March 2015 (2015-03-24)Under 0.36
Confusion fills the operating theatre when Lorraine returns to work, taking the reins from Glen as trauma team leader to treat a woman with a gunshot wound.
6"No Place to Be Sick"Michael KeillorMark Greig31 March 2015 (2015-03-31)Under 0.37
Tensions continue to bubble between Glen and Lorraine, when they race to the aid of a troubled patient who has jumped from the hospital's atrium walkway.
7"To Array a Man's Will"Philippa LangdaleMichael A. Walker7 April 2015 (2015-04-07)Under 0.35
A shock is in store for the team when they treat an agitated patient who has been involved in a car crash. Glen delivers an overdue apology to Fiona.
8"Scrambled Eggs Go Back in the Shell"Philippa LangdaleJed Mercurio14 April 2015 (2015-04-14)0.29
The team feels the pressure more than ever when they treat an unexpected, horrifically burned patient. Glen grows closer to Fiona, when he sheds light on his army days.
9"The Purest Evil"Philippa LangdaleJed Mercurio21 April 2015 (2015-04-21)0.36
The prognosis is bleak when the team battles to save a teenage drowning victim, leading to a standoff between Glen and Clive. Fiona, meanwhile, makes a bold move.
10"To Die of the Cure"Jon EastTom Needham28 April 2015 (2015-04-28)0.39
Hospitals are normally animal-free zones, but the team makes an exception when the victim of a dog attack is brought in - with the canine still attached.
11"Time"Jon EastLaurence Dave5 May 2015 (2015-05-05)0.44
Obstacles arise when the team tackles one of their trickiest cases, a man who has been perforated by crane spikes. Glen receives an interesting offer.
12"The Great Physician"Jon EastKatherine McGinn12 May 2015 (2015-05-12)0.38
Stretched to the limit, the team hits the road to treat multiple victims involved in a traffic accident. Fiona, meanwhile, tries to keep her engagement a secret.
13"When It's Best to Go"Jon EastJed Mercurio19 May 2015 (2015-05-19)0.40
Devastated by news of Fiona's engagement, Glen races off, only to be involved in a life-or-death emergency.


  1. "Critical: Every second counts as Lennie James leads ground-breaking Sky1-HD medical drama". Sky. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  2. Lynn, Connolly (3 February 2014). "Critical coming to Sky 1! Is this the lovechild of ER and 24? Lennie James stars in "real-time" drama". Prime Time. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  3. Plunkett, John (27 January 2014). "Line of Duty's Lennie James to star in Sky1 Jed Mercurio drama". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  4. Drewett, Meg (27 January 2014). "Lennie James leads cast of new Sky1 medical drama Critical". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  5. Munn, Patrick (27 January 2014). "Lennie James Cast As Lead In Sky1's Medical Drama Series 'Critical'". TV Wise. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  6. Martin, William (14 July 2015). "Sky1 has axed medical drama 'Critical'". Cultbox. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  7. "Bodies creator pens real-time medical drama for Sky 1 ". The Guardian.
  8. "Lennie James to lead cast of Sky1's Critical". Televisual.
  9. Billen, Andrew (25 February 2015). "TV Review: Critical; Immigration Street". The Times.
  10. Jones, Ellen E. (25 February 2015). "Critical, Sky1 - TV Review". The Independent.
  11. Wollaston, Sam (25 February 2015). "Last Night's TV". The Guardian.
  12. Hogan, Michael (25 February 2015). "Critical episode 1 review". The Telegraph.
  13. Harrison, Bernice (28 February 2015). "Critical needs a dose of the emotion shown by Grey's Anatomy". Irish Times.
  14. McKay, Alastair (27 February 2015). "Catch-up TV". London Evening Standard.
  15. Purcell, Charles (July 23, 2015). "NEW THIS WEEK (Jul 27): I Am Cait, Village Vets Australia, Critical, Atlantis, Ipswich V8s & more". The Green Room. Archived from the original on 25 July 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  16. "Line of Duty's Lennie James to star in Sky1 Jed Mercurio drama ". The Guardian.
  17. "Sky announces real-time '24-style' medical drama Critical". Whats on TV. 27 January 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  18. "Critical coming to Sky 1! Is this the lovechild of ER and 24? Lennie James stars in “real-time” drama!". Unreality Primetime.
  19. Pyke, Chris (30 April 2014). "Watch: Kim's Critical new medical drama from Line of Duty team". Wales Online. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  20. Hunt, Debs (27 January 2014). "Lennie James leads cast of Sky 1 medical drama 'Critical'". Inside Media Track. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  21. "Weekly Top 10 Programmes". BARB. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
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