Posted by Sam Fenny - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 22 February 2024

Breathtakingly Awful: The ITV Drama Department Outdoes the BBC with New NHS-Worshipping, Pro-Lockdown, Propaganda Series

A major benefit of having low expectations is that one is rarely disappointed. Hence when the Daily Sceptic asked me to review Breathtaking on ITV I was initially pleasantly surprised.

As an example of the medical dramatisation genre, Breathtaking is well crafted; as one might expect when the writing team includes the former doctor Jed Mercurio, probably familiar to readers as the producer of Line of Duty. To doctors of my generation, Mercurio will be remembered for Cardiac Arrest, the brutally accurate portrayal of working life on the wards in the mid 1990s featuring smoking hot Helen Baxendale as the ruthlessly effective junior physician Dr. Claire Maitland.

Sadly, Breathtaking lacks such an alluring female lead. Nevertheless, the acting is high quality, plausibly depicting how hospital staff interact with each other and their patients, even down to the totally clueless junior doctor.

The first episode also succeeds to large degree in portraying the uncertainty of early March 2020 about the nature of the Covid virus. Hindsight can distort memory. At the time it was not clear that for the vast majority of the population, COVID-19 would prove to be little worse than a bad outbreak of seasonal influenza. There was genuine and well-founded anxiety within the medical community that we were facing a very serious public health emergency, and it was rapidly obvious to front line clinicians that preparations for such an eventuality were non-existent. Insofar as it is possible to convey a sense of unease and impending catastrophe, the first episode does a reasonably good job.

Unfortunately, that’s about it for the positives. Breathtaking soon reveals itself as a thinly disguised political polemic, featuring the customary tropes of our sacralised NHS. In the opening scene, the selflessly heroic Dr. Abby Froggatt finds her facemask doesn’t pass the test designed to prove exclusion of aerosolised particles. From this observation, she deduces that PPE is only for men. From there, the writers indulge themselves with the full smorgasbord of sanctimonious virtue signalling victimhood. In the middle of the second episode, an overly emotional middle grade doctor accuses the hospital director of being unconcerned with the plight of frontline clinical staff. In a particularly confrontational moment, he utters the memorable line: “Do you know who’s dying down there? It’s certainly not the white people up here.” From that low point, I’m afraid the series continues rapidly downhill.

That really sums up Breathtaking. It’s a slickly produced piece of propaganda, pushing a retrospective defence of the lockdown protagonists and their attendant ideological baggage. Again, this is hardly surprising when the writing team includes former journalist and palliative care physician Rachel Clarke. Readers will recall Dr. Clarke’s vigorous pro-lockdown activism during the Covid period. The series illustrates many of the reasons why such catastrophically bad decisions were made. When emotion and fear take precedence over reason and logic, big mistakes follow, particularly when hysteria is amplified by the mainstream media.

I could spend considerable time detailing the dramatic devices juxtaposing heroic clinical staff with incompetent evil conservative politicians – to be frank, just listing the recognisable stereotypes would take several hundred words. There’s no point reciting this litany because readers of the Daily Sceptic can easily figure it out for themselves. As episodes roll by, the script ramps up the intensity of the narrative arc, spraying blame for Covid deaths on politicians, administrators and online disinformation with an increasingly crude editorial line that abandons any attempt at concealing pro-lockdown bias. My only surprise is that the phrase ‘like a war zone’ didn’t crop up until the end of episode three.

The timing is slightly curious, dovetailing as it does with the ongoing Covid enquiry and an impending election. A cynic might suspect ITV executives were trying to convince the public that the Government erred in not locking down sooner and harder. Perish the thought…

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