An episode of long-running medical drama Casualty has been pulled by the airwaves, with the BBC deeming it “inappropriate” to show the story due to its apparent parallels with the real-life coronavirus pandemic.
Shortly before the episode was due to begin on Saturday 2nd May, an announcement on-air revealed to viewers that it would not be shown, with the drama instead jumping ahead to the following episode (with number 34 becoming number 33).
To avoid any gaps, the BBC broadcast a short recap of the episode’s scenes with relevant dramatic information, with the short glimpses – which included several shots of characters in full-body protective “hazmat” suits – hinting at a virus storyline that may have uncomfortably mirrored current events.
“The episode we were due to watch tonight, filmed before the spread of COVID-19, was considered inappropriate to show at the moment,” a voice-over said.
That missing episode of #Casualty looks great. Bonkers decision not to show it. I understand the reasoning but I disagree with it.— 📚 Tobias Oliver 💻 (@TobiasOGForrest) May 2, 2020
“But never fear, everything we need to know from that episode is in a catch up right at the start of the programme.”
Can you at least put the skipped episode on iplayer so we can make our own minds up? #casualty?!— Becky xray (@becksgwynne) May 2, 2020
However, some viewers were still unhappy with the situation, with many taking to social media to protest that they hadn’t been given the choice over whether to watch the episode themselves.
Can't they just put it on iplayer then? Gives people a choice on whether they want to watch or not! #casualty— Toria🌟 (@sugdendinglex) May 2, 2020
Many were particularly annoyed by having key plotlines relegated to the catch-up montage, and called on the BBC to let them watch the episode anyway.
.@BBCCasualty @BBCOne Please put the missing episode, which is so integral to this series biggest storylines, on @bbciplayer. Its not only unfair to fans that we don’t get the choice whether to watch, but it’s unfair to the cast and crew who put so much work in to it. #Casualty— Jack Nolan Fans (@JackNolanFans) May 2, 2020
Currently, only last night’s episode is available to watch on iPlayer, and it’s unclear whether the BBC will relent at any point in the future (possibly for a full series release?) or whether fans will just have to make do with the episodes they’ve been given from hereon out.
RadioTimes.com has contacted the BBC for comment.
Casualty airs on BBC One on Saturdays