Friday 10 August 2012, 14:51
#Holby riots is the season finale for Casualty series 26 (tx 22nd July 2012). The genesis of the idea came from a story conference that we held with our core writers in May 2011. We were looking for big ideas to plot in as the big turning points of the series and we had a desire to do something that reflected the state of the nation. At the time there were a number of marches taking place in London and our plan was to do a march that went out of control. This then morphed into the idea of doing a riot. We had this idea before the summer riots of 2011 and did consider changing our story. But we felt that if we could do it with integrity then we should stick to our guns.
We decided to end make the finale the climax of a three part story, with Sally Abbott and Sasha Hails (who had come up with original march idea) writing the final pair. In addition to the usual detailed medical research we also did a lot of work with the police force to ensure authenticity. This included spending a day working with the riot police at the metropolitan police training facility in Gravesend. We felt it was important to represent the stresses that the emergency services experience in working together without making the cops out to be the bad guys. We were also keen to build our series elements to a climax. So the episode is really the best of Casualty – great contemporary drama, spectacle, great medical dilemmas and huge stakes for our regular characters.
The episode was commissioned on 16th November 2011 and shot from March 12th-5th April 2012. Because of the Olympics and other summer scheduling complexities it was decided to transmit the final pair on consecutive evenings and this enhance the sense of event and the impact of the show.
Watch a clip from Casualty’s police adviser explaining how to make actors look like riot cops:
The Script for #HolbyRiot part 2 is available to download from our Script Library.
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