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Back with a bang... (2009)

2009-09-12 Radio Times.jpg


Casualty makes an explosive start, and there's a link to the country's most famous Doctor, too

TABLOID HEADLINES MAY have concentrated on her relationship with the nation's favourite Doctor, David Tennant, but this week Georgia Moffett gets to demonstrate her own medical credentials in the new series of Casualty.

In a tense two-parter, Moffett plays junior doc Heather Whitefield who is caught up in an explosion at a shopping centre that's also used by a group of homeless people. "I've been in a few TV explosions and this was by far the most realistic," says Moffett. "We were stuck in the underground car park of a shopping centre in Bristol, covered in rubble, dust everywhere, in your eyes, your mouth, your ears. It felt like being sent into battle."

As well as the smoke, the noise and the dirt, Moffett also had to worry about her "explosion face". "Whenever I act like I'm being blown up or falling over, I pull the most extraordinarily ridiculous faces," she explains. "I look back at the footage and think, 'Oh, my God!' The bizarre thing is that I've started pulling some of those faces in real life, too. What's happening to me?"

This is Moffett's second appearance on Casualty (she appeared as a different character in one episode in 2007), and she acknowledges its iconic status in the TV schedules. "When you see Charlie walk into the room, there's a lot of history. It's a bit like Doctor Who [she appeared as the Doctor's daughter in 2008, pictured left]. These shows are important - the whole family sits down to watch them."

Is she a fan? "Yes, of both shows. I used to watch Casualty as a kid and I remember it being very scary. I never saw my father [Peter Davison] in Doctor Who, but, through my son, I became a massive fan of the new series."

Doesn't she have to say that? "Of course! [laughing] C'mon, Doctor Who is fantastic TV and the fans are justifiably passionate about it. I was only in it for one episode, but the reaction I had was incredible. So much warmth. I mean, look what happened when David left. It was like the nation was in mourning."

Talking of whom, does she get to see a bit more of Tennant now that he's not travelling around the universe destroying evil monsters? "You know what," Moffett giggles in reply. "I don't think I'm going to answer that. It's private."

Carnage at the mall

Once locals had left Bristol's main shopping centre, the Casualty production team moved in. Over three nights they filmed all the interior scenes, but for the set-piece explosion and fire sequences they moved to a purpose-built set at a warehouse on the outskirts of the city. That set — as shown in the picture (left) with new head of emergency Adam Trueman (Tristan Gemmill) in the thick of the action — had corridors built to exactly match the real centre. It took three weeks to construct, and emerged from the conflagration relatively unscathed. Gas-filled flame coils provided the heat, but flame-retardant walls meant damage was limited.

It was a baptism of fire for new boss Adam. Says Gemmill (also pictured right being "roughed up" by special effects, and below with Georgia Moffett): "He starts off trying not to be a draconian leader, but then the emergency happens and his light-hearted approach immediately backfires."

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  • APA 6th ed.: Scott, Danny (2009-09-12). Back with a bang.... Radio Times p. 8.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Scott, Danny. "Back with a bang...." Radio Times [add city] 2009-09-12, 8. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Scott, Danny. "Back with a bang...." Radio Times, edition, sec., 2009-09-12
  • Turabian: Scott, Danny. "Back with a bang...." Radio Times, 2009-09-12, section, 8 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Back with a bang... | url= | work=Radio Times | pages=8 | date=2009-09-12 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=20 October 2018 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Back with a bang... | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=20 October 2018}}</ref>