UK drama to air episode with one single shot

Casualty will screen an episode shot in one single take across its one-hour running time.

UK medical drama Casualty has announced plans for a one-shot episode, to mark the end of their 30th Anniversary series – a tall order given its nearly one hour running time.

The episode, named ‘One’ will be filmed all in one take on a single camera, covering an hour in their emergency department as Duffy (Cathy Shipton) mentors two teenage girls being shown around the department for work experience.

To create the episode, a mobile camera will be required to be cable free and will also have to cover action from inside a moving ambulance. With 360 degree shots, a number of rooms in the Casualty Ambulance Station have been converted into control rooms for the crew. The sound will be achieved with 40 hidden radio microphones and five boom operators, disguised as part of the set.

Cathy Shipton says: “It is so exciting and nerve-wracking to be working on this episode and unlike anything any of us cast or crew have ever attempted before. It is a brilliant fly on the wall episode in real time, placing nurses central in the storyline. It will become a classic Casualty.”

Simon Harper, Acting Executive Producer for Casualty and Holby City, says: “It’s thrilling to have Paul (Unwin), as the co-creator of Casualty, conclude our 30th Anniversary series with this unique episode whose exciting concept is a first for the show.”

Erika Hossington, Series Producer, says: “This very special episode will give the audience a unique insight into an hour in A&E. It will be an intense, emotional hour where staff and patients are faced with life changing events. We want to reflect the front line in its unedited, rawest form, and this one shot episode with a brilliant script from Casualty creator Paul Unwin, has given us the opportunity to do that.”

Casualty airs in Australia on BBC First, running about a month behind the UK.

5 Responses

  1. David, do we know why BBC First has yanked Casualty off the air on Saturdays? They didn’t seem to announce it anywhere and there’s a lot of people questioning it on the BBC First Facebook page to no response.

  2. A Directors whim, whereby the novelty value exceeds production values. Steadicam was a major improvement in cinematography until a Director wanted “shaky-cam” to enhance “reality”.
    One long shot would a challenge for a commercial channel.
    The politics of the series creation can be found on Wikipedia.

  3. I don’t watch any of these U.K. procedural dramas, but if this episode winds up on free-to-air at some point, then I’d love to see it. Sounds like a fascinating hour of television.

    This reminds of the historical/art film Russian Ark, which is a full-length feature film that was also shot in a single take (it took them four attempts to get it right).

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