mon 15/07/2024

Frankie, BBC One | reviews, news & interviews

Frankie, BBC One

Frankie, BBC One

New primetime district nurse dispenses a spoonful of sugar

Wigs out: Eve Myles as Nurse Frankie

Introductions, eh? When you make someone's acquaintance for the first time, you can never really tell if they’re going to  grow on you. They worry about this a lot when knocking up drama serials. So meet Frankie, district nurse, the new resident at nine on Tuesday nights on BBC One. Living with a copper but married to the job. Gap between her teeth, which is always a good sign. Wigs out to music in the car. On the minus side, she treats the voice of Ken Bruce as some kind of life coach.

Fancy spending the next few weeks if not years in her company? Because that's very much the plan.

Lucy Gannon is back on the medical beat. In the 1990s she introduced us to Derbyshire’s dishy doctors in Peak Practice and Edwardian distaff doctors in Bramwell. Twenty years on we are in an unidentified urban somewhere or other which is probably quite provincial as the hospital seems not to employ anyone non-white. If it helps, Frankie is Welsh, her avuncular confidant at work is Scottish, and her bloke’s some sort of northerner.

Not that Nurse Frankie sees much of the bloke as she’s always Putting Her Patients First. Sometimes beyond the call of duty. In the first episode she found a diamond ring in the bedroom drawer suggesting that a proposal was imminent. Then on the big birthday night in question she got dolled up in red - same colour as her best supporting motor – but had to rush back to hospital to help a mother through labour. The mother's young daughter had earlier in the day been fitted with a pacemaker after having a cardiac arrest in a traffic jam. The expectant father arrived back from Afghanistan minutes after the birth. Got all that? It's all about overegging.

It’s not hard to ♥ Frankie. As embodied by Eve Myles, whom you may recall acting that plank Barrowman off the screen in Torchwood, she feels like a cheery dose of real life. When she does a wiggly-arsed dance as her disgraced boyfriend (Dean Lennox Kelly, pictured above) watches longingly through the letterbox, you sense she means it. She has quite a cavalier attitude to economic realities. “I laugh at cutbacks!” she declaims to one of her out-patients. “I sneer at them!” If only it were that easy, dearie. Nurse Jackie she is not, but give her a gold star for a good bedside manner.

Scholars of Gannon’s back catalogue will purr at the reapparition of Jemma Redgrave (off Bramwell) as a starchy voice of reason in a white coat. Yes, it’s all a bit safe. There’s very little, bar the odd bit of rumpy pumpy, that couldn’t be shown on CBBC. This is probably the idea. As the crown jewels of the NHS are sold off to private finance partnerships with the fresh blood still dripping from their fangs, what the nation really needs is a lovely district nurse saying it’s all going to be all right. Even if it isn't.

Jasper Rees on Twitter

As embodied by Eve Myles, whom you may recall acting that plank Barrowman off the screen in 'Torchwood', Frankie feels like a cheery dose of real life


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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Worst BBC medical show ever.Frankie was an insult to those health care professionals who do care and who do make a difference. Frankie as portrayed by Myles came over as shallow self centred who was under the impression she was the only healthcare professional who ever really cared for their patients and she was inept with it

Agree totally

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