Time in the emergency department (1986-88)
Ewart was the inspiration behind the night shift when it began in 1986. The old man with the white moustache was a friend to his staff but could be very stern and short tempered with administrators. He rarely got involved in clinical work, but did from time to time get his hands 'dirty'. He would often sit alone in his office listening to his walkman. However, his dedication to saving the department put a strain on his relationship with his wife and daughter.
In November 1986, a drunk teenager is brought in after a party and is sick over Megan. She won’t talk and is revealed to be Gillian; Ewart’s daughter. She is upset about how distant her family have become. A week later, she arrives to see Ewart, but he is busy. She waits in the staff room where she chats with Megan, before leaving upset, without speaking to him. Megan suggests to Ewart he should ring her, but he says he hasn’t found the time. By December, the night shift and the department face an uncertain future and the staff demonstrate to save the night shift much to Ewart's surprise.
From September 1987, Ewart continued his campaign to bring back the night shift as the Emergency department is only dealing with emergencies from 9-5. After a meeting with the District Health Authority, Ewart and the team find out they have been given back their night shift. Ewart is delighted and Mary asks him if she can be his new SHO.
At a cocktail party, Ewart then meets new administrator Elizabeth Straker, initially with conflict but after she asks him out to dinner, he stays the night. A month later, Ewart's wife Ros divorces him because of unresolved differences, leaving him with nothing. In December 1987, Ewart sufferes a mild heart attack and is visited in hospital by his ex wife and his new love interest Elizabeth. By early 1988, Elizabeth leaves for America fed up of Ewart being 'married to Casualty.'
Her replacement, Valerie Sinclair was soon at loggerheads with Ewart over the closing of the observation ward. Ewart got his way and ironically, in the very place that he'd been fighting to keep open, he suffered a second heart attack and died, just minutes after comforting a distraught Megan. The staff mourned and it was left to Charlie to take over the helm of running the department.
Behind the scenes
Bernard Gallagher played Ewart Plimmer in Casualty from 1986 until 1988. He was also featured in Charlie's mind as a flashback on the 29th August 2015 but was uncredited.