British daytime soap centered round a fictional health practice.
Over 2000 episodes of 30 minute duration since 2000. BBCTV.
British daytime soap set in the fictional Midland town of Letherbridge (close to the City of Birmingham). The series began in March 2000 and in February 2011 aired its 2000th episode - having picked up 2 prestigious British Soap Awards in 2010 for Best Dramatic Performance for a Young Actor or Actress and Best On-screen Partnership.
The series was created by award-winning scriptwriter Chris Murray who also co-created the police drama Merseybeat and was developed by Mal Young then BBC Controller of Continuing Drama Series who also created Holby City. Doctors is produced by BBC Birmingham and screened on BBC One and was originally broadcast at 12.30pm as a lead-in to the BBC's One O'Clock News. The storylines dealt with the lives of staff and patients at the Riverside Surgery. The initial lead star of the soap was Christopher Timothy, well known to television viewers as James Herriot in the series All Creatures Great and Small. In Doctors he starred as a reformed alcoholic but much respected GP, Dr Brendan 'Mac' McGuire. The format of the show was laid down in the very first episode; a doctor/patient storyline that would be concluded by the end of the show but with an underlying sub-plot concerning the private lives and relationships between the doctors and staff that would run throughout the series.
The success of Doctors led to the BBC to increase the short run of series over three years to permanent year-round continuing drama (apart from a break over the Christmas period). In 2004 the BBC decided to close its Pebble Mill studios where the series was filmed. To coincide with this a storyline was concocted whereby a spectacular explosion destroyed the Riverside Practice. The doctors moved to a new specially constructed surgery set which was named The Mill Health Centre as a tribute to the series' original production home. Fictional locations for the series are now the Mill Health Centre and its offshoot, Letherbridge University's Campus Surgery.
After six years in the role, Christopher Timothy decided to leave the series and today none of the original cast members appear. Since 2003 Diane Keen has played the role of Julia Parsons, the Practice Manager and is the longest running character in the soap. The series has a high turnover of regular characters with a majority of the current cast joining since 2009. For a daytime series, Doctors enjoys a healthy audience of around 3.1 million viewers.
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