All Saints

aslSome spoilers:

The final episode of All Saints has it all: a death, a birth, a departure, a proposal, a conciliation and a life-changing diagnosis.

Of course, it all takes place in the All Saints Western General Hospital -so you’ll just have to tune in to learn which ones involve the residents and which are the patients…

But for most of its 48 minutes (70 including ads) this drama does what it has done for most of its 12 seasons: it gets on with the daily emergency of saving lives, attending to ill and injured patients and pausing ever so briefly to argue, fall in love, smile and reassure.

This is the end of 11 years for the Seven soap, the longest-running weekly hour drama currently on Australian screens. The final episode, “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” is written by Script Producer Louise Crane-Bowes.

It opens with John Howard’s voice over, “The philosopher Voltaire once said ‘Doctors prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less for human beings of whom they know nothing.’ I say there’s so much more to it than that.”

Howard’s presence is unmistakable in this soap. He is enigmatic, if physically distracting, as the grumpy Dr. Frank Campion. It’s a presence he maintains to the final end of this drama, forced out the Emergency Ward by rising production costs.

John Waters as Dr. Mike Vlasek has adopted action qualities this season for the Medical Response Unit. In the final episode his team is left grounded.  I would have liked Campion to have asked Vlasek whether the costs of his MRU have effectively led to the shutdown of the hospital, but that’s not a conversation we’re likely to see.

Also on their medically best behaviour are other regulars including Dr. Charlotte Beaumont (Tammy MacIntosh), Dr. Bartholomew West (Andrew Supanz), Gabrielle Jaeger (Virginia Gay) and Dr. Adam Rossi (Kip Gamblin). Guest stars include Frankie J. Holden, Celeste Barber, Jonathan Wood, Heather Mitchell and Sapphire Blossom. It is directed by Marcus Cole.

And then there is Von Ryan (Judith McGrath) who is quietly leaving the hospital -a fitting plot move given McGrath is the show’s sole remaining original cast member. In trauma scenes Von Ryan again proves why she has been so compelling in this pivotal link in the All Saints chain. She is salt of the earth stuff…

As a finale this episode doesn’t dwell in sentiment. Only in the last ten minutes, after selflessly resolving its weekly medical cases, does the show take time for itself. No big MASH finale here. No going out all guns blazing. No former cast members returning to bid us goodbye.

Yes, there is a moment in which Von walks away from the hospital and turns around for a final look.

Yes there is a clip montage to remind us of some of its favourite sons and daughters: Georgie Parker, Erik Thomson, Libby Tanner, Celia Ireland, Wil Traval, Jolene Anderson, Christopher Gabardi plus Belinda Emmett and Mark Priestley.

Will you need the Kleenex? No not here, the show ends on an upbeat note going for affection rather than sentiment. Its medical record intact, it can switch off the life support knowing it has lived a long and healthy television life.

And the final shot goes, aptly, to Judith McGrath.

35_starsAll Saints concludes 9:30pm Tuesday October 27th on Seven.

22 Comments:

  1. why did they have axe such a good show. i think the show is great only watched the last three sesions as i was to young to watch the others but it is a horrible loss

  2. I was actually counting on 7 to put Scrubs on as the All Saints Replacement.

    By doing that you would keep the Packed to the Rafters Viewers from defecting over elsewhere.shameon them really.

    I hope the Private Practice replacements bellyflop and they have to go back to the drawing bord for some replacement.

  3. wondering what the name of the song that was played on the closing credits of All Saints on tues oct 20th??? Can you please let me know
    Thanks heaps 🙂

  4. I think channel 7 is making a big mistake axing All Saints. There is so much reality crap on T.V at the moment and at least this show has heart as well as medical situations. I know many young people that religiously watch the program.

  5. Shame, shame, Shame channel 7. You have axed another great Australian Show. I suppose All Saints will be replaced by yet another crappy American Reality Show.

  6. They wouldn’t have anymore room for medical dramas over at Seven.

    You have Mercy then there’s Greys Anatomy and Private Practice add in all those medical emergency/animal rescue shows amongst others let us not forget scrubs even though that is more of a comedy and the only one I don’t mind watching.

    Don’t forget the people who work in the Medical Profession last thing they need to see is a programme taking their work home with them several nights per week.

  7. That’s such a beautifully written tribute, David. Thank you. 🙂
    I’ll miss this show & the wonderful cast.
    I’m glad, too, that the last shot is of Von.
    She was the heart and soul of that show.
    I wish the cast & crew the very best in their future.
    Hopefully, channel 7 will bring back the afternoon repeats,
    so we can enjoy such a wonderful show.

  8. Im amazed another network has`nt jumped onto this. It rates so well, be a great shot in the arm for 9 or 10.

    10 took neighbours from 7 and it still going to this day…

  9. I’m also pleased Judith McGrath is the last shot.

    Through the years All Saints has produced interesting plots with great direction and actors. I will miss it, however its time to move on.

    Just wondering if there are any new Aussie made Hospital Drama’s in Ch 7’s pipeline ?

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