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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best children's show ever created, 6 July 2011
This review is from: Children's Ward - The Complete First Series [DVD] (DVD)
What we have here is the first series of what must surely go down as one of the longest and most successful children's programmes ever committed to TV. Although it may appear to be aimed at the younger generations on first glance it is actually so much more than that. People of all ages will be able to enjoy Children's Ward as it is a very emotional, at times hard-hitting and a very mature programme.

The series follows the day-to-day running of the children's ward in the fictional hospital of South Park in Manchester. The medical team consists of diligent and hardworking Head Nurse Dave Spencer, the motherly and understanding nurse Mags, the youthful but mature nurse Diane Meadows and veteran medical practitioners Dr. Charlotte Woods and consultant Dr. McKeown, whose first name is never revealed. Rounding off the team are inexperienced student nurse Gary Miller and cantankerous old Jack Crossley, the master of the sweets trolley. Together they assume responsibility of a group of ill or injured children who periodically come and go as the series progresses.

The main patients are Keeley Johnson and Billy Ryan who are initially at loggerheads with each other owing to a clash of personalities. The development of these two characters is one of the core points of the entire series as they both embark on voyages of discovery owing to the uncertain natures of both their ailments. I won't give too much away but suffice to say that before the show ends both confront their personal demons and triumph over some very daunting odds.

The writing in this series is nothing short of fabulous. Each of the characters, both patients and staff, develops considerably over the course of the series and their individual journeys are brilliantly covered in an unbiased fashion. They are ably reinforced by some stirring storylines. Most of these naturally revolve around the children but we are also offered strong insights into the private lives of their staff including their relationships and personal woes. This is where the acting really comes good. It is so natural that we can well believe these are real people and real incidents unfolding before our eyes and as such we sympathise when something goes wrong and feel a burst of exultation when things go the way they're supposed to.

If you are hesitant to purchase this because you are unsure whether it is `adult' enough then I heartily recommend you take the plunge. Children's Ward does what it says on the tin and much, much more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally About Time!, 23 May 2011
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This review is from: Children's Ward - The Complete First Series [DVD] (DVD)
I was only watching some very old episodes of this the other day on YouTube Ahhh the memories of my childhood come flooding back this was the highlight along with Byker Grove of coming home from school and now it's finally coming out on DVD... I can't wait to get my hands on the official DVD release to drool over a young Tim Vincent again with his broken leg, and that nurse whose now the cross dresser in Coronation Street! :p
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars at last, 4 May 2011
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This review is from: Children's Ward - The Complete First Series [DVD] (DVD)
at last this great series is being released on dvd, i used to watch this every week and it starred a very youg tim vincent
will be waitng excitedly for it to arrive and will be great to watch again..i hope that every episode gets released..
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 July 2014
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This review is from: Children's Ward - The Complete First Series [DVD] (DVD)
Great series
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4.0 out of 5 stars good, 24 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Children's Ward - The Complete First Series [DVD] (DVD)
I brought as danny dyer is in one of the episode briefy but it was fun to watch it all again as i use to watch this on tv.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good opening series from a first time viewer, 19 April 2013
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DTdh (Brit in Southern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Children's Ward - The Complete First Series [DVD] (DVD)
It's hard to believe, with it's memory in such high regard, stories highly praised, and the amount of future talent that featured both in front of and behind the camera, that Children's Ward had not seen the light of day in repeats since (or even before) the last series ended in 2000. Thankfully it's now a part of Network DVD's catalogue, so all those who saw the show originally and the first time viewers like myself can see the show at last.

Children's Ward's stories are slow-burners, clearly planned out from the beginning of the series' first episode to the last, of thirteen in this series. Fiona Brett's (Rebecca Sowden) hit-and-run features concurrently here, with the mystery of the driver coming, to me, as a great revelation I did not see coming. There are several clever clues pointing to this, only noticed when you watch the series back a second time. Again, great writing by the script department.

Keeley's (Jenny Luckcraft) story is also handled well, with many layers until it's finally revealed what her true illness is. It's easy to see how Keeley becomes such a well-remembered and liked character as people look back on CW, and from reading ahead on where her character is taken, it's a really nice journey. Tim Vincent as Billy is also retained like Keeley, and it's easy to forget for everything else he's done since that T.V was first an actor.

I read how Paul Abbott originally planned for the show to have a children's home setting, but I'm assuming a late 80's-carried stigma prevented this from happening. It's a shame really, as I wonder if the hospital setting made it harder for the writers to keep certain characters in show for long, particularly the children as patients. There are some characters, here and in the two further series so far released, who could easily have lasted longer than the one series they were only a part of. This, and seeing how much more has been got out of characters today in the various Tracey Beaker series'.

As the series goes on, the number of episodes were whittled down from thirteen to as little as ten half-hours for several of the show's run, only getting back up to thirteen in the last couple of years. Just hope the stories were able to be as informative and entertaining for the less time they would have had to tell them as here in Series 1-3.
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5.0 out of 5 stars childrens ward dvds, 8 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Children's Ward - The Complete First Series [DVD] (DVD)
these childrens ward dvds were so fantastic I couldn,t stop watching them thats how much I loved them I couldn,t put them down
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great show!, 4 July 2012
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This review is from: Children's Ward - The Complete First Series [DVD] (DVD)
It's interesting and exciting to follow what happens with the children on the ward.
Also it brings back memories of my youth. I was a language student in Jersey and watched Children's Ward on television.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic series, 2 Sep 2011
This review is from: Children's Ward - The Complete First Series [DVD] (DVD)
I remember the later series so didnt know if this was going to be as good but its better than I remember! the storylines are fantastic and acting really good!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Series- Brings back childhood memories!, 29 Aug 2011
By 
R. Adams "rick1138" (Cheltenham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Children's Ward - The Complete First Series [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this series when it was broadcast (I was 9 at the time) and it brought back fond memories. The series is gritty and great viewing for kids (and big kids) bringing up issues like anorexia and alcoholism that I didn't know much about at that age. It's not gone into great detail (it's not casualty!) but it is dealt with in a sensitive way. The acting is first class, in fact some of the kids outshine the adult actors at times (Tim Vincent, William Ash, and Jenny Luckcraft stand out). I cannot recommend this highly enough! Just hope Network DVD continue to release all the series.
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