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Tense new series from Line of Duty creator to land this week

Tense new series from Line of Duty creator to land this week

It's a three-part series being shown over three nights

The trailer to Jed Mercurio's latest tense drama starts with former Prime Minister Boris Johnson narrating about keeping the NHS safe and supported during the then-looming coronavirus pandemic.

Hearing it back now, after horror stories of NHS staff wearing bin bags due to PPE shortages, is enough to send shivers down your spine.

But for the sake of the Line of Duty mastermind's newest piece of work for television, it sets the scene for the real-life nightmare that ensued.

Joanne Froggatt stars in the new drama.

Airing on ITV1 on Monday (19 February), Breathtaking stars Joanne Froggatt as Dr Abbey Henderson.

Set weeks before the first of three national lockdowns to hit the UK, it follows acute medicine consultant Abbey and her team as the then unknown crisis snowballed.

With a first wave of Covid-19 patients hitting hospitals, staff running out of PPE, available beds, and staff healthy enough to work, Abbey is forced to make a raft of difficult choices.

When lockdown is finally imposed, the pandemic stretches Abbey and the team to their limits as they confront government policy in relation to care home discharges and inadequate PPE.

Hospital staff try their upmost best to save patients but are forced to endure the trauma of loss and tragedy caused by the engulfing pandemic.

See the trailer for Breathtaking below:

As a cold, harsh winter arrives with another wave of infections hits the hospital, the emergence of Covid-19 deniers causes the team to reach their breaking point.

Scarred and enraged, Abbey cannot maintain her silence any longer and decides to risk everything by speaking out.

The script for breathtaking is based off of the real life memoir from the pandemic by doctor Rachel Clarke.

Reading it, Froggatt said: "Very soon into the first script I started shedding a tear or two — and that’s never happened to me before, in 27 years of reading scripts.

"I was blown away and just thought people needed to know what was really happening, not just what we were being told. These people’s stories need to be out there.

Breathtaking takes place during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We need to be aware of what these people have done for our community."

In a rare move for TV shows based off of real life, nothing in Breathtaking is exaggerated or invented for creative purposes.

Everything is based off of experiences of those who lived through Covid-19 in UK hospitals, whether it be staff or patients.

Mercurio, who read the memoir in one sitting, said: “I just thought 'this is an authentic account from the frontline' and it felt like a story we had to tell.

Breathtaking shows us a first glimpse of what hospitals dealt with as Covid took over.

"That mismatch between the public messaging and the professional reality is the centrepiece of the drama.

"And if the messaging to the public had been transparent, then people within the NHS would have felt more supported and heard."

Breathtaking airs on ITV in three parts over three nights, from Monday to Wednesday (19 to 21 February)

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Topics: Coronavirus, ITV, TV and Film, Health, UK News, Politics, Boris Johnson