Rewind: ‘Green Wing’ revisited

What was it about?

First shown on 3 September 2004, Green Wing revolves around the staff of East Hampton Hospital.

Caroline Todd starts work in the Hospital as a Surgeon and promptly becomes one side of a love triangle between the witty Dr. “Mac” Macartney and vain anaesthetist Guy Secretan.

Alongside the central trio we have the on/off relationship between Radiographer Alan Statham and HR Manager Joanna Clore, the banter between Alan and his sparring partner Boyce, not to mention the bitchy Admin staff or sociopathic relationship liaison officer, Sue White.

Green Wing mixed soap opera conventions with surreal sketch comedy, treading a tightrope between scripted laughs and cast improvisation. Whilst it has been mentioned in the same breath as Monty Python, Green Wing is its own beast and no comedy series since has nailed the same playfully weird tone.

 

Who was in it?

The cast is practically a who’s-who of the decade’s British comedy stars, including Tamsin Greig (Friday Night Dinner), Julian Rhind-Tutt (Black Books), Stephen Mangan (Dirk Gently), Mark Heap (Spaced), Pippa Haywood (The Brittas Empire), Michelle Gomez (Bad Education), Karl Theobald (Twenty Twelve), Olivia Colman (Peep Show), Oliver Chris (Bluestone 42), Sarah Alexander (Jonathan Creek) and Lucinda Raikes (The Thick of It).

 

Best moments?

Fan favourites are ‘The Housewarming Party’ and ‘Slave Auction’ from Series 1.

Whilst it’s generally accepted that Series 2 and the special never reached the comedic heights of the show’s first run, there are moments that still capture Green Wing’s unique energy, particularly when Junior Doctor Martin makes a side-line in Life Modelling and Sue blackmails Joanna into helping her fly.

 

 

Last seen?

The final episode of Green Wing was a 90-minute special shown in January 2007. Caroline decided between Guy and Mac, Alan and Joanna were on the run from the law and the Admin girls went all Lord of the Flies.

The original ending left some fans disappointed and confused by the denouement. There is an alternative ending on the DVD that leaves things a little more open, which the cast preferred.

 

The future?

The cast and crew haven’t expressed a desire to make a third series.

Creator Victoria Pile went on to direct, produce and write (along with six other Green Wing writers) the Channel 4 comedy series Campus. Campus was lampooned by critics for hanging on to the coattails of its predecessor and sank after one series.

As for the cast, they almost all went on to bigger things. Olivia Coleman graduated from her supporting role in Green Wing to, amongst countless other high profile roles, an award-winning turn in ITV’s acclaimed Broadchurch. Grieg and Mangan are working together on BBC Two’s Episodes – the third series of which came to a close in July this year and has already been renewed for a fourth. Michelle Gomez is currently popping up in the new series of Doctor Who, while Sarah Alexander is now married to Jonathan Creek.

Green Wing will always have a special place in the hearts of its fans. For me, in terms of style, great performances and consistent laughs, it’s hard to beat.

 

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What are your favourite memories of Green Wing? Let us know below…