News

Breathtaking viewers are left ‘heartbroken’ and label ITV show ‘one of the most distressing dramas I have ever seen’ but hail ‘heroic’ NHS workers for their efforts during the pandemic


Viewers of the ITV show Breathtaking have been left ‘heartbroken’ after labelling the Covid-19 drama ‘one of the most distressing’ series they have ever watched. 

Distressed audiences reacted to the final episode of the three-part drama, which aired on Wednesday evening, depicting how one hospital became overwhelmed by patients in the first Covid wave in 2020.

People watching the ‘heartbreaking’ scenes, which were inspired by the book written by palliative care doctor Rachel Clarke, hailed the ‘heroic’ NHS workers for their efforts during the pandemic. 

Others said they were brought to tears while watching the ITV show as they relived  memories of being in hospital and losing family members to Covid, with some viewers almost unable to watch the harrowing scenes.

Traumatised doctors, nurses and patients shared how the primetime programme brought back stark memories of dealing with over-crowded wards and tackling the loss of their own loved ones to the deadly virus. 

ITV's new drama Breathtaking delves into life in hospitals during the pandemic

ITV’s new drama Breathtaking delves into life in hospitals during the pandemic

The Dr Abbey Henderson, played by Downton Abbey star Joanna Froggatt, in a scene from the the three-part drama, which depicts how one hospital became overwhelmed by patients in the first wave of the pandemic in March 2020

The Dr Abbey Henderson, played by Downton Abbey star Joanna Froggatt, in a scene from the the three-part drama, which depicts how one hospital became overwhelmed by patients in the first wave of the pandemic in March 2020

Viewers of the ITV show said on X that they have been left 'heartbroken' after labelling the Covid-19 drama 'one of the most distressing' series they have ever watched

Viewers of the ITV show said on X that they have been left ‘heartbroken’ after labelling the Covid-19 drama ‘one of the most distressing’ series they have ever watched

One viewer on X, formerly Twitter, explained how the show brought back memories of spending time in hospital and losing loved one during the pandemic. 

She said: ‘Not sure if it’s because I feel so poorly just now or because I spent so much time in hospital at the time or because I lost so many close family members to #Covid & suicide because of it but #Breathtaking has totally broken me tonight. It’s too soon!’

Another viewer added: ‘Anyone watching #BREATHTAKING and not crying cannot be a human being. It’s one of the most distressing dramas I have ever seen.’

A third expressed his sympathy for the NHS doctors on the frontline: ‘These poor kids man, heartbreaking #BREATHTAKING.’

One person wrote how the final episode was the hardest to watch out of the whole series. She said: ‘The first 2 episodes were tough to watch and unimaginable to work through, but episode 3 was absolutely devastating. 

‘Incredible writing & performances. Thank you and all your heroic NHS colleagues #Breathtaking.’

Another viewer told how she was almost unable to watch the final episode due to the harrowing scenes. They wrote: ‘I am heartbroken watching #BREATHTAKING I am not sure that I can watch it anymore but I feel it’s very important.’

Viewers react on X to the distressing scenes in the ITV show Breathtaking

Viewers react on X to the distressing scenes in the ITV show Breathtaking 

The first episode, called Containment, covers the three critical weeks leading up to the original March 2020 lockdown

The first episode, called Containment, covers the three critical weeks leading up to the original March 2020 lockdown

During the episode Dr Abbey sees one man, 80 years old with a heart condition, on a gurney in a store cupboard

During the episode Dr Abbey sees one man, 80 years old with a heart condition, on a gurney in a store cupboard

The series uses news footage and archive audio from Covid press conferences to chart the progress of the disease from earliest cases to full lockdown.

Key scenes broadcast last night highlighted a shortage of respirator masks, with those available designed mainly for men with big noses and broad jaws.

Staff asking for alternatives were seen being told: ‘If you really want one, you can get one on Amazon – they’re about 300 quid.’

The show stars former Coronation Street and Downton Abbey actress Joanne Froggatt, who plays Dr Abbey Henderson – a consultant frustrated by officials apparently allowing people to die rather than defy Public Health England protocols.

And the startling scenes appear to have chimed with many frontline medics, sharing their responses and memories from the height of the health crisis.

Mercurio, whose previous TV hits include Cardiac Arrest and Line Of Duty, posted ahead of last night’s broadcast: ‘As a former junior hospital doctor, I couldn’t be prouder of cowriting this 3-part drama paying tribute to the untold sacrifices of #NHS staff.’

There was a wave of response from medics suggesting their own pandemic ordeals were being reflected on screen, when the programme aired earlier this week. 

Kathryn de Prudhoe, posting as a trauma informed therapist, shared a tribute to her coronavirus victim father Tony Clay, 60, from Leeds – described as ‘totally and utterly devoted to his family and grandchildren’.

She wrote on X, formerly Twitter: ‘I lived that nightmare as the daughter of a man who caught and died from Covid in those early days.’

Temporary outreach nurse Kirstie shared a photo of herself with the strains left by PPE apparent on her face, as she deliberated over whether to watch the programme.

There was a wave of response from medics on X suggesting their own pandemic ordeals were being reflected on screen, when the programme aired earlier this week.

There was a wave of response from medics on X suggesting their own pandemic ordeals were being reflected on screen, when the programme aired earlier this week.

She posted: ‘Not tonight, maybe not tomorrow, not sure I will…but seeing a lot of people watching #BREATHTAKING.

‘This photo breaks my heart, the sadness and exhaustion in my eyes. I still recall the pain on my face. I think often of the patients I cared for, the scenarios I experienced.

‘The emotions in those eyes still haunt me as I embark on another round of therapy. I’ve never been the same since. Not quite.’

Among those tuning in was doctor Saleyha Ahsan, who posted pictures from the pandemic of her time in PPE as well as thoughts on her father’s suffering and revelations of pandemic rule-breaking in Downing Street.

She wrote: ‘All the #BREATHTAKING stuff is making me remember what I had buried – the memory of what it was like, the fear, the brutality of it all, the gov and civil service lying and partying, my patients, my dad.’

And gastroenterologist Dr Ajay M Verman shared photos of himself with and without PPE, adding: ‘Throwback to March and April in the first lockdown due to Covid-19 surges.

‘A really challenging and frightening time. My wife and I completed our wills in April 2020. My #Breathtaking moments.’

Dental surgeon Dr Vinay Raniga wrote: ‘In February 2020, I contracted COVID-19 whilst working at A&E at Northwick Park.

‘In March 2020, I was redeployed to the ICU frontline to save lives. I lived out of a Holiday Inn for 4 months, working 12-hour shifts. It was traumatic but an honour to serve.’

Another poster sharing pictures of her PPE-clad mother who ‘worked throughout Covid-19 on her intensive care unit’, adding: ‘I don’t think I really understood the depth of the trauma happening until watching #BREATHTAKING.

‘My mum and her fellow NHS workers are quite simply heroes.’



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button