1 9 7 8 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
This nonsensical glimpse of hospital and medical life from London Weekend Television took its odd title from the old chestnut that a dose of pink medicine is the primary cure for all ills.
Written and devised by practising doctors Chris Beetles (a GP from Hampstead) and Rob Buckman (a cancer specialist at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London) – with the aid of LWT’s Head of Comedy Humphrey Barclay – the six-part series was unorthodox and risque.
Beetles and Buckman developed their original style in revues at London’s Mermaid and Mayfair Theatres.
Others in the cast were Nickolas Grace from the Royal Shakespeare Company, Lynda Bellingham and newcomer Peter John.
Among the medley of sketches was a send-up for a brand of rupture belt. It followed the boy-meets-girl-over-champagne routine with soft lighting and background music – then the truss was revealed with the voice-over announcing, “It’s the right one! But we also make the left one!”
There was a cleverly choreographed segment featuring a team of Russian surgeons performing a “pulmonary left upper lobectomy” (sic) while doing a strenuous Cossack dance, a lengthy sketch, brimful of double meanings about a patient (hidden from view) who was stuck fast in an enormous length of cast iron piping which jutted through the screen, a musical called “The Night They Invented Schizophrenia”, and a filmed advertisement for an American TV series featuring Sweeney-style doctors, Fasolt & Fafner.