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Series 34 of Casualty commenced airing on 17 August 2019. Filming for the series' first episode took place in April 2019. It was initially set to comprise 46 episodes. Whilst Simon Harper continued to serve as the show's executive producer, it was confirmed by the BBC in April 2019 that Lucy Rafferty had stepped down as series producer. In September 2019, it was announced that Loretta Preece would assume the role, with her being credited from episode 5 onwards.

Prior to the broadcast of the premiere episode, it was announced that Neet Mohan would return from a four-month break to reprise the role of junior doctor Rashid Masum, and Victor Oshin would join the main cast as F1 Mason Reede. In episode 5, Michael Stevenson made his final appearance as paramedic Iain Dean following the conclusion of his major mental health storyline; his departure was announced earlier in the year, and Jane Hazlegrove returned to the show as veteran character Kathleen "Dixie" Dixon for the occasion. In the subsequent episode, Iain's replacement Lev Malinovsky was introduced and portrayed by Uriel Emil. In October 2019, Cathy Shipton announced that she was filming her final scenes as Lisa "Duffy" Duffin who first appeared in Casualty's first episode in September 1986, and it was confirmed in November 2019 that Amanda Mealing would return to the show as consultant Connie Beauchamp in January 2020. In December 2019, the show's winter trailer was released, revealing that Kirsty Mitchell would join the series as advanced clinical practitioner Faith Cadogan.

Overview

Cast changes and guest appearances

In April 2019, it was announced that Amanda Mealing would be "taking a break" from her role as Connie Beauchamp and would return to filming in the autumn.[1] Prior to the announcement, Mealing had posted a video on Twitter of her leaving her dressing room with the caption, "The last out turns the lights off. @BBCCasualty it’s been emotional."[2] Mealing's returning scenes were shown in episode 18 which aired in January 2020.

In the first episode of the series, Neet Mohan reprised his role as junior doctor Rashid Masum. In April 2019, following Rash's exit from the show in episode 1124, it was confirmed that Mohan had taken a break from the series and had already returned to filming.[3] In July, a spokesperson confirmed that Rash's returning scenes would air in mid-August.[4]

In May, Michael Stevenson announced that he was "taking a break" from his role as paramedic Iain Dean; he thanked fans of the show for their support during Iain's mental health storyline and assured them that "Iain's journey will continue". executive producer Simon Harper [5] However, in September, new series producer Loretta Preece stated that there was "no plans at present" to write Iain back into the show, though "the door is wide open".[6] Stevenson's final scenes as Iain were featured in episode 5.

On 7 August, the BBC issued a press release stating that Jane Hazlegrove would be making two appearances as former series regular Kathleen "Dixie" Dixon in series 34. Simon Harper remarked, "Dixie was and remains a massively popular character with the audience who miss her to this day, and she and Iain are clearly going to have a lot to catch up on after his tumultuous year."[7] Hazlegrove appeared in episodes 4 and 5, facilitating Iain Dean's exit storyline.[8]

The following week, a BBC press release stated that Victor Oshin would be joining the show in series 34 as "overconfident" F1 Mason Reede. Simon Harper was impressed by Oshin's first audition for the character and stated, "He’s brilliant as Mason, layering the character with a deep vulnerability beneath the bravado of a junior Doctor." Oshin made his first appearance as Mason in the series' second episode on 24 August.[9] Oshin exited the show in December of the same year, with the beginning of episode 17 depicting Rashid Masum discovering Mason's dead body in a store cupboard; Oshin's departure from the show had not been announced prior to the episode's broadcast.[10]

Suspension of production

On 18 March 2020, the BBC issued a statement on the effect of the worsening COVID-19 outbreak on BBC Studios' continuing dramas, such as Casualty and Holby City, and announced that all filming would be postponed until further notice. It was explained that "the decision was made after the latest government update".[11] Shortly after the announcement was made, Jason Durr, who portrayed David Hide, explained that Casualty would continue airing new episodes "for a few more weeks ahead" on account of the show filming episodes three to four months in advance.[12]

By 24 March, the producers of Casualty and Holby City were in talks with local NHS services to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) "and other useful medical items to assist them". Simon Harper said, "Casualty and Holby City are all about celebrating NHS heroism, so we are only too happy to help out and do what we can for the courageous and selfless real-life medics battling this situation."[13]

On 2 May, immediately before the transmission of the series' 33rd episode, BBC One's continuity announcer introduced the episode by explaining that the episode that was originally scheduled to air had been skipped because it had been "considered inappropriate to show at the moment", but the most important moments of the episode would be shown in the catch-up section. The beginning of the rescheduled episode showed scenes of the main cast wearing full PPE, quarantine tents and patients being ventilated. On Twitter, Simon Norman, the writer of the dropped episode, explained that the decision to skip it was made due to its imagery and the symptoms portrayed in the episode such as breathing problems, but he clarified that the episode did not feature a virus outbreak.[14]

Following the broadcast of episode 35 on 30 May, the show took a month-long break to keep it on-air for as long as possible. On 2 July, it was announced that the transmission of new Casualty episodes would resume the following week.[15] On 6 August, a Digital Spy article stated that, as of the date the article was published, there were six episodes of the series remaining to be broadcast, meaning that the entire series had been filmed before lockdown.[16]

On 4 August, George Rainsford — the actor who portrays Ethan Hardy — posted a tweet announcing that filming of Casualty would resume in September;[17][18] the tweet was later deleted.

Cast

Main characters

Recurring characters

Guest characters

Episodes

Episode No. Series No. Title Director(s) Writer(s) Original airdate
1139 1 Episode 1139 Steve Brett Mark Catley 17 August 2019
3401BombExplodes Rash returns to the ED and is immediately thrown into dealing with an attack at a market in Holby, while Ethan attends the scene. And David’s son Ollie arrives at the ED out of the blue.
1140 2 Episode 1140 Steve Brett Rebecca Wojciechowski 24 August 2019
3402TheoUrgesEffieToAcceptTreatment Rash helps a patient through a terrible loss, Ethan is brought a case by a friend from the past, and Duffy struggles with being left home alone while Charlie is at work.
1141 3 Episode 1141 Fiona Walton Debbie Owen 31 August 2019
3403DavidTriesToResuscitateOllie David is devastated when his ex-wife Rosalene calls him because their son has run away. Needing to feel useful, Duffy volunteers at a care home, where she learns how overlooked some residents can be.
1142 4 Episode 1142 Fiona Walton Johanne McAndrew and Elliot Hope 7 September 2019
3404IainReunitesWithDixie Archie takes justice into her own hands to support a wronged patient, a friend from Iain’s past helps him think about his future, and Rash struggles to cope as pressure mounts.
1143 5 Episode 1143 Paul Riordan Dana Fainaru and Hamish Wright 21 September 2019
3405IainTalksToAnna Rash’s career is threatened when he is blamed for Mason’s mistake. Iain’s confidence is knocked by Jan and Ruby’s surprised reaction when they hear he’ll be going for the HEMS job. Effie gets onto the CF trial thanks to Ethan’s lies.
1144 6 Episode 1144 Paul Riordan Mark Catley and Julie Dixon 28 September 2019
3406DavidOllieReconcile David and Ollie continue to butt heads, Rash decides to fight to stay in Holby, and a new member joins the paramedic team.
1145 7 Episode 1145 Matt Hilton Rachel Paterson 5 October 2019
3407MasonAfterPunch Mason struggles to ask for help in his most difficult week as a junior doctor, David’s bubble is burst when Rosalene starts to fight for custody, and Ethan struggles to convince Effie to go through with the trial.
1146 8 Episode 1146 Matt Hilton Colin Bytheway 12 October 2019
3408LornaThreatensToKillJessie Ethan struggles to keep his personal life from distracting him at work, while Duffy fights to reclaim her confidence despite some devastating news.
1147 9 Episode 1147 Steve Hughes Sumerah Srivastav and Colin Bytheway 19 October 2019
3409ArchiePersuadesVincentToAcceptTreatment Rash and Mason finally make peace, and Archie is reunited with guilt when the abusive ex-teacher she had taken vengeance on returns to the ED.
1148 10 Episode 1148 Laura Smith Pete Lawson 26 October 2019
3410EthanRashArgue Tension rises between Ethan and Rash, while Rosa opens up to David about her past.
1149 11 Episode 1149 Eric Styles Gerard Sampaio 2 November 2019
3411EthanTellsEffieHeHasHuntingtons Ethan regrets his actions when Effie’s trial goes wrong, Jade faces a dilemma, and Danny’s impromptu visit to his childhood home isn’t quite the family reunion he hoped for.
1150 12 Episode 1150 Eric Styles Katie Douglas 16 November 2019
3412RobynLosesCharlotte During a routine CQC investigation, Robyn is devastated to realise she can’t rely on Duffy. Ethan stifles his feelings and turns his back on Effie, and Rash protects Mason from Dylan.
1151 13 Episode 1151 David Innes Edwards Kim Millar, Johanne McAndrew and Elliot Hope 23 November 2019
3413LevConfrontsJohnny Ruby tells Jan that she no longer wants to work with Lev after she learns about his shady past. Rosa and David put their fake relationship into action, and the terror attack continues to haunt Ethan.
1152 14 Episode 1152 David Innes Edwards Isla Gray 30 November 2019
3414DuffyRealisesShesHallucinating Rash can’t stand it when Mason saves the day, Charlie is shocked to learn that Duffy can't look after herself, and Rosa realises her mum has lied to David.
1153 15 Episode 1153 Piotr Szkopiak Mark Catley and Colin Bytheway 7 December 2019
3415CharlieBreaksDown Charlie learns to get by with a little help from his ED family. Rash feels isolated and left behind as Mason flies ever higher. Will and Archie take on a tough patient together, cementing their friendship in the process.
1154 16 Episode 1154 Piotr Szkopiak Hilary Frankland 21 December 2019
3416DavidRosaWedding Ruby comes to terms with her pregnant sister's arrival, David and Rosa celebrate a Christmas wedding, and Charlie’s Christmas optimism is put to the test.
1155 17 Episode 1155 Jordan Hogg Dana Fainaru 28 December 2019
3417MasonDead It's an emotional rollercoaster of a day for Rash as events take their toll on staff and patients alike. Dylan struggles in his role as clinical lead, and Archie is desperate to impress Dylan but instead accepts friendship from Will.
1156 18 Episode 1156 Jordan Hogg Debbie Owen 4 January 2020
3418ConnieReturns Connie returns to the ED, and Ruby makes a life-changing decision.
1157 19 Episode 1157 Roberto Bangura Jillian Mannion 11 January 2020
3419JacobDante Jacob attempts to make a difference in two patients' lives, while Ruby helps Archie get to the bottom of an ED mystery.
1158 20 Episode 1158 Roberto Bangura Rachel Paterson 18 January 2020
3420CharlieBill A desperate Charlie seeks help from an old foe, whilst Faith and Lev find themselves living through their worst nightmare.
1159 21 Episode 1159 Eric Styles Philip Lawrence 25 January 2020
3421CharlieReassuresDuffy Marty suffers a betrayal, a guilt-ridden Charlie questions his decision to put Duffy in a care home, and Archie and Connie bond over their work.
1160 22 Episode 1160 Eric Styles Katie Douglas 1 February 2020
3422CharlieWarmsDuffy An anxious Charlie searches for Duffy, who is missing in hostile weather conditions. Meanwhile, Lev is unable to accept the severity of Luka's prognosis.
1161 23 Episode 1161 Diana Patrick Oliver Frampton 8 February 2020
3423TeamClapsForDuffy The ED pulls together in Charlie’s time of need, and Connie struggles to conceal her guilt from Archie.
1162 24 Episode 1162 Diana Patrick Dan Berlinka 15 February 2020
3424RubyChallengesVioletteForCustody Ruby and Violette’s relationship is pushed to the limit when Violette betrays Ruby’s trust and puts baby Harmony’s life in danger. Ethan returns to an ED and gets a less than warm welcome from Rash, and Will learns not to mix romance and work.
1163 25 Episode 1163 Steve Hughes Johanne McAndrew, Elliot Hope and Dana Fainaru 22 February 2020
3425RubyVioletteAtSession Violette tries to get clean in rehab and prepares to fight Ruby for custody of baby Harmony. Faith struggles to cope with Luka’s diagnosis and considers joining a support group.
1164 26 Episode 1164 Steve Hughes Adam Hughes 29 February 2020
3426FaithLevWatchSurgery Faith and Lev prepare for Luka’s surgery. Charlie returns to work earlier than expected, throwing himself into work as a distraction from his grief, but soon becomes agitated when he realises a few things in the ED have changed in his absence.
1165 27 Episode 1165 Andy Newbery Colin Bytheway 7 March 2020
3427RubyGivesUpHarmony Ruby fails to juggle Harmony and work, and Marty pushes Jade to the limit.
1166 28 Episode 1166 Andy Newbury Stephen McAteer 14 March 2020
3428WillTreatsFenisha New paramedic Fenisha makes a big impact, and Jacob is forced to go behind Charlie’s back.
1167 29 Episode 1167 Julie Edwards Hilary Frankland 28 March 2020
3429CharlieQuits A heartbroken Lev struggles with Luka’s chemotherapy, and grieving Charlie finally snaps.
1168 30 Episode 1168 Emma Wilkinson Hilary Frankland and David Semple 4 April 2020
3430JadeConsolesMarty Marty faces the consequences of his wild lifestyle, and Ethan realises what he really wants.
1169 31 Episode 1169 Roberto Bangura Michelle Lipton 18 April 2020
3431RubyTakesHarmony Rash defies Connie while dealing with a complex case, and Ruby makes a life-changing decision.
1170 32 Episode 1170 Roberto Bangura Jeff Povey and Stephen McAteer 25 April 2020
3432CharlieConnie Fenisha’s happiness comes crashing down, and a familiar face is brought into the ED.
1171 33 Episode 1171 John Maidens Rebecca Wojciechowski 2 May 2020
3433NoelLearnsTruth Noel’s suspicions are proved right when he catches a predator, and Fenisha battles with a difficult decision.
1172 34 Episode 1172 Alex Jacob Rachel Aird 23 May 2020
3434JadeCallsNigel Fenisha pushes Jan too far, Jade must confront her past, and Jacob makes an unexpected friend.
1173 35 Episode 1173 Alex Jacob Dana Fainaru 30 May 2020
3435ConnieCharlie When Charlie inadvertently gets caught up in a hostage situation at the ED, he must decide where his loyalties lie. Dylan does everything he can to keep Faith safe, putting his life on the line in the process.
1174 36 Episode 1174 John Maidens Charlie Swinbourne and Sophie Woolley 11 July 2020
3436JadeSusie Jade is nervous to meet her birth mother. Will she find out the truth behind her life in care? Charlie is reminded of Duffy's selfless legacy when he treats a heart transplant patient. There’s palpable tension between Faith and Dylan.
1175 37 Episode 1175 Michael Lacey Jillian Mannion and Dana Fainaru 18 July 2020
3437LevRemembersSergei Lev reflects on a traumatic childhood after connecting with a patient of similar heritage, and Jan struggles to prioritise her marriage over her work.
1176 38 Episode 1176 Michael Lacey Tim Stimpson 25 July 2020
3438DylanComfortsFaith Ethan is forced into action after a dangerous accident at Holby Comic Con. Can he push past his lingering PTSD and save the day? Jacob betrays Nate's trust, jeopardising their friendship. Faith turns to Dylan for comfort in a crisis.
1177 39 Episode 1177 Paul Riordan Philip Lawrence 1 August 2020
3439DylanCatchesLev Jacob is concerned when Nate is brought into the ED struggling to breathe, and temptation gets the better of Lev.
1178 40 Episode 1178 Paul Riordan Debbie Owen 8 August 2020
3440DavidRecallsMania David struggles to manage his bipolar symptoms as his past comes back to haunt him, and Dylan’s morals are pushed to their limit.
1179 41 Episode 1179 Ruth Carney Katie Douglas 15 August 2020
CasualtySeries33TitleCard An utterly conflicted Dylan struggles to contain his fury at Lev, and Fenisha steps up to help in Jan’s hour of need.
1180 42 Episode 1180 Katherine Churcher Hamish Wright 22 August 2020
CasualtySeries33TitleCard Hospital drama with the staff of Holby's accident and emergency department as they deal with more sick and injured patients.

References

  1. Edwards, Chris. (15 April 2019) "Casualty confirms Amanda Mealing is taking a break from her role as Connie Beauchamp" Digital Spy [Accessed 06 August 2020]
  2. amanda mealing [@meamandamealing] The last out turns the lights off. @BBCCasualty it’s been emotional." (Tweet) — via Twitter [Accessed 06 August 2020]
  3. Dainty, Sophie. "Casualty airs exit scenes for Rash Masum as Neet Mohan takes a break from the show" Digital Spy [Accessed 05 August 2020]
  4. Dainty, Sophie. (11 July 2019) "Casualty confirms when Rash Masum will be back on screen – and it's very soon" Digital Spy [Accessed 05 August 2020]
  5. Lee, Jess. (29 May 2019) "Casualty confirms exit for Iain Dean as Michael Stevenson takes a break" Digital Spy [Accessed 06 August 2020]
  6. Dainty, Sophie. (11 September 2019) "Casualty boss Loretta Preece speaks out on Iain's exit – and whether or not he'll return" Digital Spy [Accessed 06 August 2020]
  7. "Dixie’s back! Jane Hazlegrove returns to Casualty for two episodes" bbc.co.uk [Accessed 05 August 2020]
  8. Dainty, Sophie (21 September 2019) "Casualty star Michael Stevenson reacts to Iain Dean's exit scenes" Digital Spy [Accessed 06 August 2020]
  9. "BBC - Victor Oshin joins the cast of Casualty as junior doctor Mason - Media Centre" bbc.co.uk [Accessed 06 August 2020]
  10. Seddon, Dan. (28 December 2019) "Casualty airs shocking scenes as Mason Reede is found dead" Digital Spy [Accessed 06 August 2020]
  11. "BBC - Statement on BBC Continuing Dramas - Media Centre" bbc.co.uk [Accessed 05 August 2020]
  12. Jason Durr [@jasedurr] (18 March 2020) "Filming on @BBCCasualty is suspended due to #Covid-19 so I’ve hung up #DavidHidesbumbag for a while! We shoot 3-4 months in advance, so drama from the ED will continue on your screens for a few more weeks ahead. Meanwhile #WashYourHandsand #StayAtHome x" (Tweet) — via Twitter
  13. "Coronavirus: Casualty and Holby City donate protective equipment to NHS" BBC News (24 March 2020) [Accessed 05 August 2020]
  14. Simon Norman [@SimonNorman1] (2 May 2020) "Mainly because of the imagery ( PPE, hazmat suits etc) and some symptoms including breathing problems. But it wasn't about a virus." (Tweet) — via Twitter
  15. Patterson, Stephen. (2 July 2020) "Casualty confirms when it will return to screens" Metro [Accessed 05 August 2020]
  16. Dainty, Sophie. (6 August 2020) "When are Casualty and Holby City going off air, and how long for?" Digital Spy [Accessed 06 August 2020]
  17. George Rainsford [@georgerainsford] (4 August 2020) "One month until we resume filming! Trying to offload the lockdown lard with first garden workout in a while. #fitness" (Tweet) — via Twitter
  18. Hollingsworth, David. (5 August 2020) "Casualty star drops huge hint on when show will start filming (it’s not long!)" What's on TV [Accessed 5 August 2020]
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