Monroe

Monday, 22 October 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Monroe is busy pursuing Lizzie and playing agony aunt to Shepherd when an awkward, violent woman arrives at St Matthew’s with a deadly cerebral aneurysm in tow. The neurosurgeon calls on Bremner to help save her life.

Full synopsis:

Monroe (James Nesbitt) has recovered his confidence as a neurosurgeon. Having seen ex-wife Anna (Susan Lynch) happily paired off with Dave the vet, he’s made it his project to win over his colleague Lizzie (Tracy-Ann Oberman). However, a planned date doesn’t go quite as either of them anticipated.

Meanwhile Springer (Luke-Allen Gale) is proving reliably insufferable in his new role as a junior registrar, despite the fact that he was Monroe’s second choice. He’s also found himself in the implausible situation of dating Witney (Christina Chong), confirming everything he’d always suspected about himself and astounding the rest of the staff.

Shepherd (Tom Riley) knows that Witney is doing everything in her power to put their reckless one-night stand behind her and is doing better at it than he is. He and Bremner (Sarah Parish) are trying their best to play happy families, but Shepherd’s secret is still festering, as are the issues with Bremner that drove him into Witney’s arms in the first place. Confused, he walks out and moves into Monroe’s flat.

Enter Sally Indale (Jennifer Hennessey), who has a history of fitting and aggressive episodes. An MRI scan reveals an aneurysm ‘the size of the Isle of Wight’ deep in her temporal lobe. Monroe believes that if Sally agrees to a particularly frightening operation, hypothermic circulatory arrest, he can restore her old personality. The operation will be made even more testing by the fact that Bremner, Monroe, Shepherd and Witney will be sharing space in the crowded theatre.

At the same time, Witney and Bremner are faced with the problem of Max Portas (David Ajala), an amateur footballer who has myocarditis, a virus that is attacking his heart muscle. But Max refuses treatment, and Witney, recognising his isolation spends a night in the ward trying to talk him around.

Monday, 15 October 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

As Shepherd and Witney reel from their liaison, Monroe finds himself without purpose after a catastrophic operation. Grave complications mean Bremner’s operation on a five-year-old refugee turns into a race against time.

Full synopsis:

Monroe (James Nesbitt) is reeling from the failure of a recent brain tumour operation. Just as he’s promoting Springer (Luke Allen-Gale) to the position of registrar, he’s starting to question his own abilities as a neurosurgeon.

Shepherd (Tom Riley) and Witney (Christina Chong) are facing the uncomfortable fact that she’s slept with her boss’s partner and he’s slept with Bremner’s registrar. Shepherd’s first instinct is to tell the truth, but for Witney that prospect is the most horrifying thing she’s ever heard – professionally, it could ruin her.

It’s a difficult day for inspiring the confidence of new patients, but they have to try. Monroe’s next patient is Alex Schofield (Gwilym Lee), a mummy’s boy with a benign tumour in his spine. The slightest misstep in surgery could mean paralysing the young man for life, so Monroe takes the unprecedented step of inviting Shepherd to use an MEP machine to test the strength of electrical currents running through Alex’s spine. But the technology invites trepidation and Monroe halts the operation early, leaving the majority of the tumour in Alex’s spine. It takes the heat of an emergency to get the neurosurgeon back on track – a gentle rugby fan with a knife in his brain.

Bremner (Sarah Parish) and Witney face one of the more exotic entries in the heart surgery handbook – Tetralogy of Fallot. This complex condition is afflicting a five-year-old Pakistani refugee, Yalda Sahni (Sophie Mohammed), and the surgeons learn once again that no matter how far ahead you plan, matters of the heart are never simple.

In crisis, Shepherd and Bremner go to counselling to patch up their difficult relationship, but find there are no quick fixes.

Meanwhile, Springer (Luke Allen-Gale) is helpless to prevent his new status at St Matthew’s going to his head, and starts to treat Wilson (Michelle Asante) as if she were his trainee. Romance is also on the cards, although Springer is oblivious as to what’s really going on with Witney, his date for the evening.

Monday, 8 October 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Head of Clinical Services Gillespie (Neil Pearson) has dealt Monroe (James Nesbitt) a tough hand. He can only have one registrar on his team, but trainees Springer (Luke Allen-Gale) and Wilson (Michelle Asante) are equally capable. Monroe’s going to have to put the pair through the wringer to find out who is the better surgeon – but the biggest test this week will be of his own abilities.

The neuros’ first case is Shelley Maxwell (Amelia Young), a teenage girl whose brain shunt, fitted when she was a newborn, is beginning to malfunction. It’s time for her to have her brain’s third ventricle punctured by Monroe so that her cerebrospinal fluid can drain properly. It’s an operation for which Shelley’s been preparing for years, but she worries that once she’s fixed, her divorced parents and their families will have no reason to unite around her.

Then there’s Lynn Monkford (Caroline Strong), reconciled to the idea that she’ll die of cancer within a year. Monroe – who develops a close relationship with her husband, Mike (Sean Gilder) – can make that year worth living if he operates to reduce her brain tumour. Although it’s a routine operation, it is also the beginning of one of the greatest crises of his professional career.

Also at St Matthew’s for surgery is Graham Birdwell (Martin Walsh), preparing to undergo a double heart bypass with the help of his mentally disabled brother Geoffrey (Tim Dantay), and an A&E case with a nail to the chest. The latter is really a job for Witney (Christina Chong), but the less ambitious Mullery (Andrew Gower) finds himself taking on the patient and performing a grisly ‘clamshell’ to save the man’s life…

Meanwhile, Monroe finds himself powerless to prevent his son’s impending marriage, while Shepherd (Tom Riley) is finding life with the aloof Bremner (Sarah Parish) and their son Louis more of a strain than he ever expected, so much so that he finds himself looking for comfort elsewhere.

Monroe

Monday, 1 October 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

NEW SERIES:

International star James Nesbitt (The Hobbit, Occupation, Cold Feet) and the strong ensemble cast from the acclaimed first series are joined by Tracy-Ann Oberman (Friday Night Dinner, Doctor Who, EastEnders), Neil Pearson (Bridget Jones’ Diary, Between The Lines, Drop the Dead Donkey) and Lisa Millet (Love Life, Five Daughters) for the second series of ITV1’s medical drama Monroe.

Created by the BAFTA award-winning Peter Bowker (Eric and Ernie, Occupation, Wuthering Heights,) the second series sees the return of Sarah Parish (The Pillars of the Earth, Mistresses, Cutting it) as formidable heart surgeon Jenny Bremner, and Tom Riley (Bouquet of Barbed Wire, Lost in Austen) as Monroe’s best friend, anaesthetist Lawrence Shepherd.

Epiosde one:

In the opening episode Paul Herd (Jody Latham – The Street, Shameless) and his pregnant wife Julie (Julia Haworth – Coronation Street) ask Monroe for help. Paul has been refused surgery by other hospitals for a dangerous neurological condition and Monroe has to decide whether to operate, putting him in conflict with Gillespie.
Eighteen months on and there have been quite a few changes for the staff at St Matthew’s. Monroe (James Nesbitt) has moved into his new bachelor pad, while Shepherd (Tom Riley) and Bremner (Sarah Parish) are now parents to baby Louis.
Today is Bremner’s first day back after maternity leave, and already there is tension between her and Shepherd regarding childcare. Meanwhile, Alistair Gillespie (Neil Pearson), the hospital’s new Head of Clinical Services, is making life difficult for both Bremner and Monroe and neither is used to being overruled.
Gillespie also introduces Lizzie Clapham (Tracy-Ann Oberman), a Nurse Specialist, who will act as an emotional support for neuro and cardiac patients – another thing that gets Monroe’s back up. If anyone’s talking to his patients, it should be him.

Bremner finds it difficult to settle back in at work; Gillespie has taken her off the operating rota for a while to ‘ease her in’, and she finds herself out of the loop for important inter-departmental meetings. Her trainee Witney (Christina Chong) has been promoted to registrar, and Bremner isn’t at all happy when it seems as though she may be becoming too big for her boots. She’s also lost a trainee, as Mullery (Andrew Gower) has stepped over to general surgery and now works for her nemesis, Gillespie.

When a road traffic accident is rushed in, both Monroe and Gillespie are forced to operate together. Monroe assumes that once he’s shown Gillespie his prowess in theatre he’ll get him on-side, but Gillespie proves to be less of a pushover than he’d hoped…
Meanwhile, at home, Monroe decides it would be a good idea to invite ex-wife Anna (Susan Lynch) to dinner with her new boyfriend, Dave the vet (Simon Chadwick). Nick (Perry Millward) also joins along with his girlfriend, Donna (Karla Crome), shocking his parents with the news that they’re getting married in just a few weeks’ time.

When Bremner is forced to perform an emergency sternotomy to save the life of an elderly heart patient, she finally feels back at home at St Matthew’s. But there are ominous signs that her relationship with Shepherd isn’t quite what it should be.
Monroe has his own relationship issues to deal with at work. He carries out an incredibly risky AVM operation against Gillespie’s advice, but manages to save the patient. However, his bubble is burst when Gillespie tells them that the hospital can only afford to promote one of his trainees to registrar. He must lose either Wilson (Michelle Asante) or Springer (Luke Allen-Gale) and the final decision is his.

James Nesbitt is to star in the title role of a new medical drama commissioned by Laura Mackie, Director of Drama at ITV.

Monroe has been written and created by Peter Bowker and will be produced by Mammoth Screen.

Monroe is a brilliant and unusual neurosurgeon. A flawed genius who never lets anyone forget his flaws or his genius. Each episode will feature one compelling story of the week about life or death situations. The drama will focus on the way in which a serious injury or disease cuts across the lives of everyone involved, from hospital staff to patients to relatives. And how that group become, in an intense few days, a reluctant dysfunctional family united by hopes, fears and grief. At the centre of this stands Monroe, his trainees, his anaesthetist and his poker school – and his female colleague, heart surgeon, Jenny Bremner, who has contempt for his cockiness.

The series will tell heightened emotional stories and be shot through with dark humour and portray the pressures and pleasures of high-end surgery in a modern urban hospital.

Monroe will start filming in September 2010 in Leeds. The series will be produced by Jennie Scanlon and the executive producers will be Peter Bowker, Michele Buck and Damien Timmer.

ITV’s Director of Drama Commissioning Laura Mackie said: “Monroe will breathe new life into the medical genre, I hope the combination of Pete’s sharp and pacy script and Jimmy’s performance as the charismatic surgeon will make this one of the most compelling new dramas for 2011.”

Peter Bowker said: “I am a huge fan of hospital drama – not least because it provides the chance to tell big emotional stories based on compelling characters.

“Neurosurgeons are the nearest thing we have to real-life miracle workers, yet they share the same human failings as the rest of us. We want them to be brave enough to take the decisions they take, yet they can’t always be right.  We don’t have to like them, but we have to believe in them. Monroe dramatises what it is like to be at the sharp end of those expectations.”

Mammoth Screen’s Damien Timmer said: “To have Nesbitt and Bowker working together on a new hospital series is a massive coup for us.  Monroe is a very important addition to our drama slate.”

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