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Royal, The (ITV 2003-2009, Wendy Craig, Denis Lill)

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Spin-off drama from Heartbeat set in a cottage hospital in Elsinby, a seaside town neighbouring Heartbeat’s Aidensfield, and set contemporary to that series in the 1960s.

Claude Greengrass returned to the “Heartbeat” world as a regular character for the first season and occasional cameo crossovers with other current Heartbeat characters were seen.

The Royal was run by Hospital Secretary T.J. Middleditch (although in series five he bowed out gracefully to be replaced by the younger and more dynamic Adam Cernegie; Other key characters included visiting consultant Mr Rose, married husband and wife doctor team Jill Weatherill and Gordon Ormerod, young Dr Jeff Goodwin (who arrived in season three) and nurses including Staff Nurse Meryl Taylor and of course Matron.

Most of the interior scenes were shot at a real life hospital in Bradford, a disused wing of St Lukes. Robert Daws and Amy Robbins are a couple in real life too.

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In 2008 there was a short lived daytime soap style spin-off called The Royal Today set in the same hospital but in contemporary times. This ran for 50 episodes from 7 January – 14 March 2008.

production details
UK / ITV-1-Yorkshire / 78×60 minute episodes / 19 January 2003 – 26 July 2009

Theme Music: Michael Starke / Executive Producers: Keith Richardson, Ken Horn

cast
JULIAN OVENDEN as Dr David Cheriton
IAN CARMICHAEL as TJ Middleditch (-season five)
ROBERT DAWS as Dr Gordon Ormerod
AMY ROBBINS as Dr Jill Weatherill
WENDY CRAIG as Matron
MICHAEL STARKE as Ken Hopkirk
BILL MAYNARD as Claude Greengrass (season one)
DENIS LIL as Mr Rose
PAUL FOX as Dr Jeff Goodwin (from season three)
ANNA MADELEY as Nurse Samantha Beaumont (from season three)
ROBERT CAVANAH as Adam Carnegie (from season five)
KANANU KIRIMI as Dr Joan Makori (from season five)

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THE EPISODES
SEASON ONE 19 January – 2 March 2003
1. FIRST IMPRESSIONS (19 Jan 03)
2. SECOND TIME AROUND (26 Jan 03)
3. COFFIN FIT (2 Feb 03)
4. SISTER OF MERCY (9 Feb 03)
5. IMMEDIATE CARE (16 Feb 03)
6. KISS AND TELL (23 Feb 03)
7. CRASH (2 Mar 03)

SEASON TWO 25 May – 29 June 2003
1. ALL AT SEA (25 May 03)
2. SNAKES AND LADDERS (1 Jun 03)
3. THICKER THAN WATER (8 Jun 03)
4. WISHING AND HOPING (15 Jun 03)
5. ONE OF THOSE DAYS (22 Jun 03)
6. LAST WALTZ (29 Jun 03)

SEASON THREE 16 November 2003 – 15 February 2004
1. THE UNBREAKABLE CHAIN (16 Nov 03)
2. IF NOT FOR YOU (23 Nov 03)
3. DOING THE ROUNDS (30 Nov 03)
4. CONSEQUENCES (7 Dec 03)
5. POISON (14 Dec 03)
6. FAMOUS FOR A DAY (21 Dec 03)
7. SKIN DEEP (28 Dec 03)
8. CLIFFHANGER (4 Jan 04)
9. ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR (11 Jan 04)
10. HOLDING ON TIGHT (18 Jan 04)
11. FOR THOSE IN PERIL (25 Jan 04)
12. RECKONING (1 Feb 04)
13. DOING TIME (8 Feb 04)
14. HOME TO ROOST (15 Feb 04)

SEASON FOUR 5 December 2004 – 6 March 2005
1. FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE (5 Dec 04)
2. BEGGARS AND CHOOSERS (12 Dec 04)
3. NO ROOM FOR RAVERS (19 Dec 04)
4. THE ROSE QUEEN (9 Jan 05)
5. IT’S WHAT’S ON THE INSIDE THAT COUNTS (16 Jan 05)
6. DUTY BOUND (23 Jan 05)
7. SINS OF THE FATHER (30 Jan 05)
8. EVERYBODY NEEDS SOMEBODY (6 Feb 05)
9. SAY A LITTLE PRAYER (13 Feb 05)
10. THE WAY WE WERE (20 Feb 05)
11. SINKING FEELING (27 Feb 05)
12. WHILE THE CAT’S AWAY (6 Mar 05)

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SEASON FIVE 12 March – 16 April 2006
1. LOVED AND LOST (12 Mar 06)
2. COMETH THE HOUR, COMETH THE MAN (19 Mar 06)
3. THINKING TOO HARD (26 Mar 06)
4. SEEKING REFUGE (2 Apr 06)
5. FEVER (9 Apr 06)
6. LETTING GO (16 Apr 06)

SEASON SIX 17 September – 22 October 2006
1. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE (17 Sep 06)
2. WAIFS AND STRAYS (24 Sep 06)
3. WINNERS AND LOSERS (1 Oct 06)
4. PRICE OF PROGRESS (8 Oct 06)
5. KEEP ON RUNNING (15 Oct 06)
6. FROM THIS DAY FORWARD (22 Oct 06)

SEASON SEVEN 25 March – 4 November 2007
There was a long four month break between episodes 6 and 7.
1. ABSENT FRIENDS (25 Mar 07)
2. HOME AND DRY (1 Apr 07)
3. HOPING FOR THE BEST (8 Apr 07)
4. FEAR OF THE EXPECTED (15 Apr 07)
5. DR WHO? (22 Apr 07)
6. CURSED AND BLESSED (29 Apr 07)
7. STARTING OVER (16 Sep 07)
8. COMING TO THE BOIL (23 Sep 07)
9. SCABS (30 Sep 07)
10. LAURA (21 Oct 07)
11. CAN’T BUY ME LOVE (28 Oct 07)
12. LOVE AND LOSS (4 Nov 07)

SEASON EIGHT 22 June 2008 – 4 January 2009
Again like season seven there was a long mid season gap between episodes 5 and 6.
1. AGAINST ALL ODDS (22 Jun 08)
2. ON THE ROAD (29 Jun 08)
3. BLOOD’S THICKER THAN WATER (6 Jul 08)
4. SLINGS AND ARROWS (13 Jul 08)
5. TO LOVE AND TO LOSE (20 Jul 08)
6. STOLEN DREAMS (14 Dec 08)
7. HOME FROM THE HILL (21 Dec 08)
8. PASTURES NEW (28 Dec 08)
9. BUSMAN’S HOLIDAY (4 Jan 09)

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SEASON NINE 21 June – 26 July 2009
1. IN THE AIR (21 Jun 09)
2. BEST OF INTENTIONS (28 Jun 09)
3. COMPROMISING POSITIONS (5 Jul 09)
4. SAFE AS HOUSES (12 Jul 09)
5. COUNTING CHICKENS (19 Jul 09)
6. THESE FOOLISH THINGS (26 Jul 09)


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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