This popular period drama centres on Eleanor Bramwell, a pioneering female doctor in the late 19th century, and the struggles she has with her friends, colleagues and society.
Determined to take the medical profession out of the dark ages, her strongly held opinions often draw her into conflict with the chief surgeon, a man keener on tradition than he is on progress. Her father Robert (David Calder) would like Eleanor to join him in his respectable private practice but his daughter has plans of her own which take her from the decadent drawing rooms of elite Victorian society to the shocking deprivation of the slums in the East End of London. Eleanor’s forward thinking makes her enemies amongst the medical establishment, but her energy and commitment also win her friends. As Eleanor consolidates her professional standing in the hostile medical world, in her private life she becomes romantically involved with a charismatic Irish physician, a man considered a scheming opportunist by her father.
In the first series Eleanor opens the charitable Thrift Infirmary and discovers that distinguishing between the deserving and undeserving poor is not only difficult but dangerous. Her life is threatened by the kind of unsavoury characters her father wishes she would ignore.
Trivia: Bramwell was the brainchild of Lucy Gannon, who was also the creator of other hit ITV shows, Soldier Soldier and Peak Practice.
Lord Lister, the pioneer of antiseptics such as carbolic acid, worked alongside doctors like Bramwell in the late 1890s in London.
UK / ITV – Central / 22×60 minute episodes 2×120 minute episodes / Broadcast 22 May 1995 – 18 June 1998
Creator: Lucy Gannon / Producers: Tim Whitby, Harriet Davison
Jemma Redgrave as Eleanor Bramwell
Kevin McMonagle as Doctor Joe Marsham
Ruth Sheen as Nurse Ethel Carr
David Calder as Robert Bramwell
Michele Dotrice as Lady Cora Peters
David Shelley as Caslow
Keeley Gainey as Kate
Cliff Parisi as Daniel Bentley
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