The Best Of Men

Category: BBC Two; Drama
Starring Eddie Marsan and Rob Brydon and written by Lucy Gannon, The Best Of Men is the remarkable and uplifting true story of the birth of the Paralympic Games and its visionary creator Dr Ludwig Guttmann.

In 1944 a talented neurologist called Guttmann arrived at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and against the odds transformed its Spinal Injuries Unit into a place of miracles, hope and determination.

Eddie Marsan plays Dr Guttmann, an inspirational doctor who transforms the lives of his patients and staff. Rejecting the general view that paralysis was a terminal condition, Guttmann threw out the old care regime and brought in a new philosophy - to get all his patients to live full and useful lives. Sport was his big idea and he used it to help build physical strength as well as self-respect.

Rob Brydon plays Sergeant Wynn Bowen, a Welsh soldier with a large personality, whose life is forever changed after he is paralysed and admitted to Stoke Mandeville under the care of Dr Guttmann.

In the summer of 1948, Guttmann held the first national athletic event for disabled athletes, which took place on the same day as the opening ceremony for the 1948 London Olympics.

Eddie Marsan is Dr Ludwig Guttmann; Rob Brydon is Sergeant Wynn Bowen; George MacKay is William Gardiner; Niamh Cusack is Sister Edwards; Nigel Lindsay is Mr Gardiner; Ben Owen-Jones is Neil; David Proud is Jeremy; and Richard McCabe is Dr Cowan.

Whitby Davison Productions

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