Broadmoor

Series 1 - Episode 1

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Review

For the first time, the world’s best-known high-security hospital lets in the cameras. Documentaries about prisons, hospitals and mental health facilities have proved popular in recent years and in a sense Broadmoor offers veteran film-maker Olivia Lichtenstein a combination of all three.

It’s unlikely to make for comfortable viewing, though: this is a facility (technically a hospital, not a prison) that houses and treats the most severely psychologically disordered patients, including violent offenders such as Peter Sutcliffe. And having the patients’ faces blurred (on the insistence of the hospital) won’t make it any easier to watch. Even so, it should be grimly fascinating television.

Summary

Part one of two. Having been built as a Victorian asylum for the criminally insane, Broadmoor in Berkshire is now a high-security psychiatric hospital and home to some of the nation's most violent men - many of whom are considered too dangerous to be accommodated elsewhere. This documentary meets new patients at the institution, others who are responding well to treatment, and some whose lack of co-operation keeps them from moving on.
Documentary