Green Wing is a British sitcom set in the fictional East Hampton Hospital. It was created by the same team behind the sketch show Smack the Pony, led by Victoria Pile, and stars Tamsin Greig, Stephen Mangan and Julian Rhind-Tutt.
Although set in a hospital, there are no medical storylines; the action is produced by a series of soap opera-style twists and turns in the personal lives of the characters. They proceed through a series of often absurd sketch-like scenes, or by sequences where the film is slowed down or sped up, often emphasizing the body language of the characters. The show has eight writers. Two series were made by the Talkback Thames production company for Channel 4.
The series ran between 3 September 2004 and 19 May 2006. A special episode was filmed with the second series, which was shown as a 90 minute long special on 4 January 2007 in the UK, but was shown in Australia and Belgium on 29 December 2006.
Separate from the series, a special sketch was made for Comic Relief and screened on 11 March 2005. Another was performed live at The Secret Policeman’s Ball on 14 October 2006.
Green Wing‘s plot revolves around the lives of the staff of the East Hampton Hospital Trust, an NHS hospital with staff ranging from the slightly unusual to the completely bizarre.
The series begins with a new arrival, surgical registrar Caroline Todd (Tamsin Greig). Caroline suffers from constant embarrassment and misfortune, stumbling from one crisis to the next due to a mixture of her own indecisiveness, clumsiness, and general bad luck. Caroline works alongside two other doctors: Guy Secretan (Stephen Mangan), a half-Swiss, womanizing anesthetist, and “Mac” Macartney (Julian Rhind-Tutt), a charming, effortlessly cool surgeon. It is not long before Caroline begins to develop feelings for both of them, though she is unsure as to which of the two she truly loves. Throughout the series, it becomes clear that Mac is her true love, but a range of disasters prevent their relationship from flourishing. Other people Caroline meets include Martin Dear (Karl Theobald), a well-meaning house officer who is constantly failing his exams. He is unloved by his mother and is often bullied by Guy. Martin soon develops feelings for Caroline, and begins to fall in love with her. There is also Angela Hunter (Sarah Alexander), a seemingly-perfect, but irritating, senior registrar in pediatrics. Whilst Angela appears to mean well, Caroline cannot stand her and despite her best efforts to avoid Angela, she ends up as Caroline’s lodger.
Caroline’s main rival for Mac’s affections is Sue White (Michelle Gomez), the Scottish staff liaison officer employed to listen and respond to the problems of East Hampton’s staff. However, Sue is perhaps the least suited person for the job. She is the most eccentric member of staff in the hospital; abrasive, cruel, foul-mouthed, obsessive and completely self-absorbed. Her office is a place where the impossible tends to happen, and anyone who enters is normally treated with a mixture of verbal abuse and psychological torture. The only person she treats with any affection is Mac, whom she loves to the point of madness, but Mac, like everyone else in the hospital, sees her as beyond the edge of insanity. Anyone else who attempts to get involved with Mac is treated with contempt and hatred by Sue, in particular Caroline, whom Sue attempts several times to murder.
Another doctor with relationship problems and bordering insanity is Alan Statham (Mark Heap), a pompous, stuttering, kinky and extremely odd consultant radiologist. He is desperately and hopelessly in love with Joanna Clore (Pippa Haywood), the 48-year-old head of human resources with an increasingly bitter attitude. Their relationship is an open secret, with student doctor Boyce (Oliver Chris), often using it as a weapon against them, bullying Alan constantly. Joanna’s human resources staff also use it against her, in particular Kim Alabaster (Sally Bretton), who has a bad attitude towards most of the people she meets, and Naughty Rachel (Katie Lyons), who earned her nickname due to her love of sex. The other HR staff include Harriet Schulenburg (Olivia Colman), an overworked mother of four trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Karen Ball (Lucinda Raikes), who divides her time between doing much of the office’s work, trying to attract Martin’s affections, and being bullied by Kim and Rachel.
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