Next Masterpiece drama set in hospital gynecology unit in 1961

By Dru Sefton

Masterpiece and ITV Studios, production home to Downton Abbey, will partner again on Breathless, a medical drama set in a London hospital’s busy gynecology unit in 1961, the two announced last week.

According to a press release, “Breathless follows the lives of a group of doctors and nurses working in a London hospital, a world in which everything and everyone has their place. But underneath this veneer simmers a cauldron of lies and guilty secrets, driven by love, ambition and sex.”

Rebecca Eaton, Masterpiece e.p., said in the announcement that “television dramas that tell good stories about womens’ lives in the 20th century are endlessly interesting to me, and apparently to lots of other people — look at the appeal of Call the Midwife and Mad Men. We’re all fascinated by the enormous changes that happened just a short time ago. Breathless is a sharp, visually-rich portrait of a group of people on the cusp of change, the 1960’s.”

The program will be co-created and written by Paul Unwin (Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and Poirot), who will also direct the first two episodes. Executive producing for ITV Studios is Kate Bartlett.

It is scheduled to premiere in 2014.

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