Doctors lockdown episode gave cast focus after weeks of uncertainty – producer

On-set filming for the drama was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The series producer of Doctors has said creating a one-off lockdown episode offered the cast of the BBC One soap “a real focus” after “weeks of uncertainty”.

Peter Lloyd said they had wanted to convey the “hard work” of the NHS and the “fear and paranoia” people went through during lockdown.

Written by Toby Walton, the 45-minute episode, titled Can You Hear Me?, was entirely self-shot by the cast at home, after on-set filming for the BBC drama was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The episode was shot on various home devices
The episode was shot on various home devices (BBC One/BBC Studios/PA)

Mr Lloyd said: “I think for all of us, this gave a real focus after weeks of uncertainty.

“We were making something concrete that was going to be broadcast.

“Everyone was very enthusiastic, and though some were daunted by the set-up and the technical know-how, we managed to pull it off.

“We had special guest appearances from Charlie Clemmow (Imogen Hollins), Sunjay Middha (Shak Hanif) and Caoimhe Farren who plays Kira Hyde, a Letherbridge doctor on the frontline.”

He said the team experimented with phones, laptops and tablets, while actors were asked to find their own “in character” costumes and do their own make-up.

The episode will feature 10 regular actors, two semi-regular actors and a guest.

Mr Lloyd said he had wanted to “capture the strange times we were experiencing and present it to our audience as they were going through it”.

He added: “We wanted to convey the hard work of the NHS, the fear and paranoia everyone went through and some of the ridiculousness of the situation.

“Toby (Walton) really pulled that off and turned in a script that was by turns hilarious, heartbreaking and heart-warming.”

Hinting at the events which unfold during the episode, he said: “Of course our characters are all still working through the lockdown, so these scenes are all set in the evenings, where remote meetings are held, phone calls are made and even counselling takes place.

“All are working hard, but some suffer from the inevitable anxiety and fear, some withdraw from the world and someone may even start to discover some symptoms.”

The lockdown episode will air on Friday June 12 at 1.45pm on BBC One.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access