Angels (TV series)

British television seasonal drama series

Angels is a British television seasonal drama series about student nurses. It was broadcast by the BBC between 1975 and 1983. It was described as the "Z-Cars of nursing".

Angels
GenreDrama
Created byPaula Milne
StarringFiona Fullerton
Lesley Dunlop
Julie Dawn Cole
Angela Bruce
Pauline Quirke
Kathryn Apanowicz
Shirley Cheriton
Judith Jacob
Clare Clifford
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series9
No. of episodes220
Production
Producer(s)Ron Craddock, Morris Barry, Julia Smith
Running time50 minutes 1975 - 1978
30 minutes 1979 - 1983
Release
Original networkBBC1
Original release1 September 1975 –
22 December 1983

From 1979 the show changed to a seasonal twice-weekly soap opera format.

Background and creatorsEdit

The show's title came from the name of the hospital where the first series was set. This was St. Angela's in Battersea. In the 1980s this was changed to Heath Green Hospital in Birmingham. The series was devised by Paula Milne.[1] Early producers included Morris Barry and Ron Craddock. The first episode was directed by Julia Smith. She became the show's producer in 1979. Her script editor on the later series was Tony Holland.[2] Filming took place at St James' Hospital in Balham, London. This has since been demolished. Location filming for the fictional Heath Green Hospital took place at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry. This has since been demolished and replaced by University Hospital Coventry.

Julia Smith enlisted Tony Holland as the Angels script editor after the show became a twice-weekly soap. In the 1980s Smith and Holland created EastEnders. Writers on its first series included Jill Hyem, Anne Valery and Adele Rose. Hyem and Valery later co-wrote Tenko.

ActorsEdit

The series included some young actors who would later become better known. These include Fiona Fullerton, Érin Geraghty, Lesley Dunlop, Julie Dawn Cole, Angela Bruce, Clare Clifford and Pauline Quirke. Additionally, Kathryn Apanowicz, Shirley Cheriton and Judith Jacob all later appeared in EastEnders. Mamta Kaash played a key role in the hospital drama Casualty.

Theme musicEdit

The guitar-driven theme tune, similar to American police dramas of the time, was called Motivation. It was composed and performed by Alan Parker.[3]

Critical receptionEdit

Angels, tackled issues such as contraception, alcoholism and promiscuity as part of the nurses' lives. Angels received criticism for its unglamorous depiction of the nursing profession. Angels tried to be realistic and authentic. Each actress was required to work on a real hospital ward to gain experience.

CastEdit

Actor Character Series Duration
Fiona Fullerton Patricia Rutherford Series 1-3
Julie Dawn Cole Jo Longhurst Series 1-3
Lesley Dunlop Ruth Fullman Series 1
Clare Clifford Shirley Brent Series 1-4
Karan David Sita Patel Series 1-3
Érin Geraghty Maureen Morahan Series 1-3
Angela Bruce Sandra Ling Series 1-5
Joanna Monro Anna Newcross Series 4-7
Shirley Cheriton Katy Betts Series 4-7
Carol Holmes Jean MacEwen Series 4-6, 8-9
Shelley King Jay Harper Series 4-5
Kate Saunders Brenda Cotteral Series 4
Clare Walker Sarah Lloyd-Smith #1 Series 4
Kate Lock Sarah Lloyd-Smith #2 Series 5
Kathryn Apanowicz Rose Butchins Series 5-7
Sharon Rosita Fleur Barrett Series 5-7
Judith Jacob Beverley Slater Series 5-7
Susan Gilmore Elizabeth Fitt Series 6-7
Fay Howard Adrienne O'Shea Series 6
Julia Williams Tracey Willoughby Series 7-9
Sarah Lam Linda Mo Series 7-8
Pauline Quirke Vicky Smith Series 8-9
Mamta Kaash Nargis Khan Series 8
Al Ashton Mike Hathaway Series 8
Michelle Martin Janet Dickens Series 8-9
Juliet Waley Alison Streeter Series 8-9
Joy Lemoine Ayo Lapido Series 9

BooksEdit

Some TV tie-in novels were published to coincide with the series.

  • Angels by Paula Milne & Leslie Duxbury, Pan Books/BBC Books, 1975.
  • Flights of Angels by Paula Milne, Pan Books/BBC Books, 1976. Includes novelisations of the Season 2 episodes Vocation and Walkabout.
  • New Angels by Paul Milne, BBC Books, 1978.
  • Angel Katy by Leah Harrow, Dragon Books, 1979.

DVD ReleaseEdit

On 18 March 2013 Simply Media released the Series 1 (fifteen episodes) of Angels on DVD. Series 2 was released in September 2014.

ReferencesEdit

Other websitesEdit