Critical Series 1 Episode 2 and aother day, another near-death inside the impossibly clean hospital, where no-one smokes outside in the No Smoking area – unlike any other hospital I’ve been in…
Today’s patient is a woman in her 40s who will need a dentist… since someone’s rammed a stake through her jaw and it’s turned her face blue… or so you might think but she actually fell out of a window and onto a fence post, and makes her look like Frankenstein’s monster. It puts her in the position of “Cannot intubate. Cannot ventilate” as Hicklin keeps repeating, while everyone stands around looking bored as the woman’s oxygen levels drop. An urgent tracheotomy is required, but it does help when the patient is out for the count, first!
All looked good for the patient as we reached the first ad break, but then she immediately collapsed… well, if she was fine then it would be a short episode! What she needs is a nice internal bleed to screw things up. It also gives Lennie James the chance to make his first appearance in the hospital as Trauma bod Glen Boyle, a man who never smiles… well, except for Fiona, with whom they clearly share a past.
Oh, and there’s an idiotic box-ticker interrupts to insist the patient completes a form for a Major Trauma Experience Survey… despite being unconscious(!)
Critical features way too much willy-waving from the characters, even metaphorically from the headstrong Hicklin, who starts to stop a potential lifesaving lapatotomy on the patient’s haemorrage; All the staff prove that they can’t put Fruit Pastilles in their mouths without chewing them, after they find some on the patient, and there’s more lens flare than a JJ Abrams movie.
With no sign of Clare Skinner’s character, Lorraine Rappaport, she looks to be Critical’s answer to Fortitude’s Christopher Eccleston – brought in for the first episode to give it a boost, and then to be seen no more.
This week’s episode was slightly better overall, but if I watch Critical again, I think I’ll just skip straight to the operation in the latter third – the only part of the show which exhibited any tension – and ignore the soap opera-style nonsense beforehand as it’s a complete waste of time. I just don’t understand how Jed Mecurio can cover every single base when he’s writing Line of Duty, yet drops the ball when it comes to the basic dialogue outside of the operating theatre.
Critical continues on Sky 1 on Tuesday at 9pm.
Overall Score: 3/10
Director: Jon East
Producer: Christopher Hall
Screenplay: Jed Mercurio
Fiona Lomas: Catherine Walker
Glen Boyle: Lennie James
Nicola Hicklin: Neve McIntosh
Nerys Merrick: Mali Harries
Harry Bennett-Edwards: Kimberley Nixon
Billy Finlay: Danny Kirrane
Justin Costello: John Macmillan
Giles Dhillon: Paul Bazely
Rebecca Osgood: Emma Fryer
Tommy: Jay Boakes
Bob Webster: Tim Faraday
CT Technichian: Joanna Jeffrees
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.