Casualty: You had one shot

(Series 31, ep. 44 ‘One’ by Paul Unwin) The word that was going through my mind as I watched this one-shot, real-time episode of Casualty was “choreography.” The way the camera moved fluidly around the different parts of the set, at one point even being lowered from the first floor down to the ground and then moving seamlessly on, was nothing short of incredible. Actors would walk into shot, deliver their lines and then the camera would be following somebody else, taking up some other part of the story. Apparently the crew were all in costume in case they happened to appear in any shot, but if they did I certainly didn’t notice them – everyone in the background seemed to be doing the usual doctor-stuff, nurse-stuff and patient-stuff, as always. I didn’t see a mis-step or a thing out of place.

The whole thing had been brilliantly thought out by the writer, Paul Unwin, and the director, Jon Sen, so that the episode had dynamics and pace. The actors all made it look easy, and it was testament to them that after a while I started to forget the “one-shot” aspect of it and got swept into the story. I actually felt a bit emotional by the end, with Jez’s scene with the father of the baby who died in the fire, and then with Duffy’s voice-over. I know that last bit was a tad cheesy, but if such a special episode couldn’t be used as a love letter to the NHS it would have been a missed opportunity.

See the behind-the-scenes video here

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Casualty: You had one shot

  1. Joyce Taylor

    I thought that the acting became a bit unreal,the camera was making me feel dizzy,and I found it difficult to hear some of the lines! I didn’t think that the program reached its usual high standard! Sorry! I’m sure that my opinion won’t be held by many!

  2. Wendy

    I enjoyed it and found it interesting however it felt like the story revolved around the actors who could be relied upon to remember their lines. It seemed similar to live soap episodes where those who want to appear have a line and those who don’t have a week off.
    Although the students pulled the story together they were irritating as was Jez although his final scene with the baby’s father was touching.
    The story was so out of context with the previous few weeks.
    Criticisms aside congratulations on the achievement are due to the crew and cast

  3. PLL

    Kudos on the camerawork but the actor who portrays Jez was hammy, the story seemed out of place with previous week’s, and as always Duffy and the overpaid man were wooden. At least we had a respite from the snorefest that is Connie/Grace/Sam.

    Aside from that, I’m wondering what happened with the Lily and Ian story. And why is Jez, a black man, dating a white man from a known racist family. Additionally, why aren’t the black characters and the only Asian character not written as fully rounded characters. Same with the extremely few and far between other BBC programmes that feature BAME characters…

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