Time in the emergency department (until 1988)
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 September 1986, Ewart's wife Roz arrived at the end of his shift with a suitcase of his belongings - their marriage was over due to the strains of Ewart's work on their relationship. (CAS: "Hide and Seek") In November 1986, a drunk teenager was brought in after a party and was sick over Megan. She wouldn't talk and was revealed to be Gillian; Ewart’s daughter. She was upset about how distant her family had become. (CAS: "Moonlight Becomes You") A week later, she arrived to see Ewart, but he was too busy to see her. She waited in the staff room where she chatted with Megan before leaving upset, without speaking to him. Megan suggested to Ewart he should ring her, but he said he hadn’t found the time. (CAS: "Teeny Poppers") After Duffy was raped on her way to work the following week, Ewart comforted her and took her to Susie’s house to stay (CAS: "Drunk")
From September 1987, Ewart continued his campaign to bring back the night shift as Holby A&E was only dealing with emergencies from 9-5. At all other times emergencies were being taken to Queen's. After a meeting with the District Health Authority, Ewart and the team found out they had been given back their night shift. Ewart was delighted and Mary asked him if she could be his new Senior house officer. (CAS: "A Little Lobbying")
At a cocktail party, Ewart met new administrator Elizabeth Straker, initially with conflict and differing opinions. (CAS: "A Little Lobbying") After weeks of heated debates and arguments, Elizabeth found the courage to invite Ewart over to dinner, he accepted and ended up staying the night but ignored bleeps on his pager following riots between the police and the local community (CAS: "The Raid") Two weeks later, Ewart attended his divorce hearing; Roz left him with nothing. (CAS: "Seeking Heat") In December 1987, Ewart suffered a mild heart attack and was visited in hospital by his ex wife Roz and his new love interest Elizabeth. (CAS: "Burning Cases") By early September 1988, Elizabeth had left for America fed up of Ewart being 'married to Casualty'. (CAS: "Welcome 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 in October 1988, just minutes after comforting a distraught Megan. (CAS: "Burn Out") The staff mourned and it was left to Charlie to take over the helm of running the department.
Behind the scenes
Bernard Gallagher portrayed Ewart Plimmer on Casualty from 1986 until 1988. A stand-in actor made a cameo appearance as Ewart in a flashback in the first episode of series 30. The flashback was to 1974, therefore revealing that Ewart started working at the ED in or before then.