One Night In Emergency BBC1, Monday THIS is what Alice in Wonderland might have been like had she gone to Glasgow rather than down the rabbit hole, and drank too much of that fortified wine that comes in the funny purple bottles rather than funny tea.
Kevin McKidd excelled in a nightmarish ramble through the underbelly of the Western Infirmary.
It was a miles apart - in every sense - from his alter-ego in the slick American wards of Grey's Anatomy.
Written by Gregory Burke, whose plays Gagarin Way and Black Watch are less surreal but every bit as menacing, it was a festive selection box of wellknown Scottish actors from David Hayman to Sanjeev Kohli.
McKidd wasn't the only one lured back from Los Angeles by the twisting script, which followed his character's journey on a voyage towards a final brutal reality.
The now-familiar Hollywood tones of Oscar-winning Glasgow composer Craig Armstrong ran through the drama like cold trickles of blood.
Quality drama made in Scotland.
See, we can do it.
Found here: California Chronicle Original source: Daily Record; Glasgow (UK). Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved
Trailer for "One Night In Emergency". Shown at the Inverness Film Festival November 2009 Dcreened on BBC1 Scotland on January 4, 2010.
Filming gritty BBC drama gave Kevin McKidd welcome break from LA sun
HE'S more used to posing around Seattle Grace Mercy Hospital, rattling off sharp one-liners to beautiful colleagues in wards resembling showhomes.
So when Grey's Anatomy star Kevin McKidd pitches up wearing his medical scrubs in the tired wards of a former cancer unit in Glasgow, there's a dream-like contrast - a momentary mash-up between the Western Infirmary and US Medicare.
It takes for Sanjeev Kohli to walk past to ground this experience firmly in Glasgow.
Kevin leads an impressive ensemble cast in an off-beat new BBC Scotland production called One Night In Emergency. It's the first piece of TV work from the pen of Gregory Burke, who is best known for international theatre hit Black Watch.
The drama follows Kevin's character Peter on a bizarre journey through an inner city hospital as he desperately searches for his wife, Penny, played by Michelle Ryan.
It's a radical change of direction for Kevin, whose breakthrough role in Trainspotting wasn't the instantaneous career launchpad it proved to be for some of his co-stars in the 1996 film.
Instead he opted for the slow burn, working his way through a CV's worth of smaller parts before finally bubbling up in the big time across The Pond in epic swords and sandals series Rome.
By all accounts, the BBC had to work hard to bring him home for the part in a comparatively low-budget production.
For Kevin, though, it represented a chance to get home from the incessant sunshine of LA, where he lives with his wife and young family.
That's right. A break from the sun. Kevin, originally from Nairn, said: "When I'm here, of course, I miss the sun of LA but, believe it or not, it's actually nie to get a break from the sun too.
"It becomes a bit of a bore after a while. You actually find yourself yearning for wind or rain or something.
"When I lived in London, I liked that you could jump in the car and drive to Scotland in a few hours. Now that I'm in LA that's not possible. So it was nice this part gave me the chance to come back.
"I've been looking for a home-grown Scottish-based project for a couple of years. The last I did here was (low-budget) flick Afterlife, which was a good few years ago. Then this came up.
"I know Gregory Burke is the big hot property of the moment after Black Watch, but I think I must be about the only person who hasn't seen it.
"I tried to get tickets for it when it was in LA, but things were really tight with filming, so I never got the chance."
Fans of the play, which toured the world with the National Theatre of Scotland, might note the irony that Kevin features in Burke's script.
One of the characters in the play is said to look like the actor, with a joke over whether his hair is blond or ginger.
Kevin said: "It's blond. They actually dyed it for the part in Grey's Anatomy, and it ended up ginger. But it's naturally blond.
"One of my pals told me that I was mentioned in Black Watch, and I was dead chuffed.
"Gregory said the reason that ended up in there was because when he did his research with the troops, they all loved the film Dog Soldiers (which Kevin starred in). They watched it all the time on DVD - they felt the patter between the soldiers was very real. It's funny how it all snowballed."
Bbc Scotland have been deliberately vague with details about One Night In Emergency.
Burke, however, has admitted he was aiming for something "mythical", like Homer's The Odyssey "set within a hospital environment with surreal twists and turns."
And the script immediately appealed to the 36-year-old actor.
Kevin said: "I really liked it. I thought it was weird and strange, something I couldn't quite get my head around at first.
"Since then, we've got to the point when I've managed to make some sort of sense from it. It gets into dark areas, and is much darker than things you'd get on the American network."
Kevin is called back on set for a short scene at the end of the corridor. When he returns, his eyes appear red raw.
"I'm supposed to be not very well," he said. "But I can't say much more than that. Things appear quite normal on the surface, but there's more to it than that.
"At first, it looks like it's going to be a kitchen sink drama about the state of the NHS, but then quickly we realise there are far stranger things going on.
"It's very in vogue at the moment to have this hyper-real gritty drama and that's one of the things that attracted me to it."
Trial & Retribution's David Hayman also figures, as does Sanjeev Kohli and Kevin's old Trainspotting buddy Ewen Bremner.
Kevin said: "Ewen and I have stayed in touch over the years. We were in 16 Years of Alcohol and The Acid House together, but it was great to see him again.
"I've started to become aware of the passage of time, though, because there are crew members who are actually too young to remember Trainspotting, and that's quite a thought. It's almost become a museum piece."
The same can be said for his sci-fi venture Journeyman, which was cancelled mid-run because of mediocre viewing figures and the writer's strike.
For now, though, he has plenty to detain him.
One Night In Emergency was followed by a whistle-stop tour of the Hebrides and Western Isles with his wife.
After that, the open-ended arrangement in Grey's Anatomy means he's sorted for work in the short term.
"The contracts are all swayed in favour of the studios," he said. "How long it lasts is beyond my control."
As is the impact the phenomenally popular series has, as he discovered after only a few weeks as Dr Hunt.
He said: "We were invited to the premiere of Frost/Nixon in Hollywood. So me and my wife were getting our pictures taken on the red carpet and suddenly the paparazzi at the end of the line went mental.
"Then this tall, glamorous woman went past us, took me by the arm and told me she loved my character in Grey's Anatomy. My wife was like, 'That was Sharon Stone!'
"I wasn't at the right angle to check whether she was wearing her underwear, though..."
ELGIN actor Kevin McKidd swapped the sunshine of Los Angeles to return to Scotland to film a chilling one-off drama to be screened next week.
The acclaimed star, now a household name in the USA after joining the cast of hit show 'Grey's Anatomy', heads the cast of 'One Night In Emergency', a unique drama written by award-winning 'Black Watch' playwright Gregory Burke for BBC One Scotland.
It marks his television writing debut, and charts the other-worldly journey through an inner-city hospital of Peter (played by McKidd) as he desperately searches for his wife, Penny, played by Michelle Ryan, formerly of 'Eastenders', who went on to play the title role in the recently remade series, 'The Bionic Woman'.
As Peter ventures deep into the labyrinthine building, he is drawn into a surreal, parallel world, encountering strange characters along the way including his nemesis, a one-eyed security guard.
Explaining his vision for the drama, writer Burke said: "I wanted to create something mythical, and 'One Night In Emergency' is a modern interpretation of Homer's 'The Odyssey', set in a hospital environment with many surreal twists and turns.
"It's all about yearning for your loved ones, wanting to return home and how, in times of crisis, being with the people you love becomes paramount. I'm proud and humbled that so many acclaimed actors are involved, not least because it's my first drama for TV."
Leslie Finlay, who is executive-producing the drama for Scottish Screen, said it was a fantastic opportunity to showcase Scottish talent.
The drama, set to have viewers tuning in on Monday at 9pm on BBC Scotland, reunites McKidd with his 'Trainspotting' co-star, Ewen Bremner, and also stars James Cosmo and David Hayman.
FORMER EastEnders beauty Michelle Ryan has revealed she agreed to film hospital drama One Night In Emergency because of Rome hunk Kevin McKidd.
Bionic Woman babe Michelle, 25, jumped at the chance to play Trainspotting star Kevin's wife in the dark thriller.
She grinned: "I was attracted because of the writing.... and the chance to work with Kevin.
"He was brilliant. There's a moment when he walks into the hospital and says, 'I want to see my wife' and the all the females on set were like, 'Ahhhh!' "
Michelle plays Kevin's sick wife Penny in the surreal drama, which is based on Homer's Oddysey.
His character Peter embarks on a bizarre journey through a hospital to see his missus, including being robbed by a dodgy cab driver and seduced by a horny nurse.
Kevin - who also plays Dr Owen Hunt in US hospital drama Grey's Anatomy - revealed: "Luckily, knock on wood, I have NEVER spent a night in a hospital. The longest time I've been in one was on this shoot and of course on Grey's Anatomy, although that's just a set.
"We filmed entirely on night shoots in a dank, spooky Victorian hospital in Glasgow, so that was surreal in itself."
LA-based Kevin, 36, admits he's missing Scotland and enjoyed coming back to film the show, which also features fellow Trainspotting star Ewen Bremner and telly veteran David Hayman.
He said: "It was a relief to be among my own again. I shot my first film in Glasgow so it felt like coming home for me, even though I'm from Elgin.
"I was worried the sentiment on set would be, 'Here he comes, the bloke who went off to Hollywood,' but that didn't happen. It was brilliant seeing folk I hadn't seen in ages." #
One Night In Emergency is on BBC1 at 9pm on January 4.
Michelle Ryan goes from sunny L.A to Scottish morgue for new role
WHEN Michelle Ryan became the Bionic Woman, America rolled out the red carpet.
When she came to Scotland to film new BBC drama One Night In Emergency, she got to visit a hospital morgue.
It was a change in circumstance she laughed about with her co-star, Kevin McKidd. Having starred in Journeyman and now Grey's Anatomy, he knew exactly where she was coming from.
Michelle said: "It's funny but I met Kevin when we were both in America. I was doing Bionic Woman and he was doing Journeyman.
"We're in the US, playing leading characters in big productions. We're in huge trailers and it's always really sunny.
"Next minute, we're in Glasgow, he's driving me to rehearsals and it's pouring with rain. We're filming in a deserted hospital in the middle of the night and I'm on my way to visit a morgue.
"It's different, to say the least.
"Everything is just bigger in America, it's as simple as that.
"There is an element of razzle dazzle to it all, I guess, but the sheer scale of it is incredible.
"But it's so nice to have someone like Kevin who has been through the American experience, someone you can talk to about it and go, 'Wow - that was crazy'."
The craziness included being invited to "gifting suites", where companies try to place their product with anyone considered a star by dishing out freebies.
The former EastEnders actress said: "It's a bit strange standing there thinking, 'I don't know if I should take this stuff because I don't need it'. But everyone is saying, 'Take it, take it'.
"I settled on a pair of Ray-Bans and felt that was enough."
There were no such perks to the role in One Night In Emergency.
Michelle plays Penny, who is desperately trying to get in touch with her husband Peter (McKidd) when he is admitted to hospital.
He is lost in the sprawling wards and corridors of the institution and drawn into a parallel world full of strange characters.
Written by Gregory Burke, who had a stage hit with Black Watch, it's a surreal tale based on Homer's The Odyssey.
Filmed in Glasgow's Royal Infirmary and Western General hospitals, it couldn't be any further from the glamour of Hollywood.
Michelle admitted: "Hospitals give me the heebie-jeebies. The smell of them. We actually filmed in a morgue and I went down, out of curiosity, to see what it was like.
"You have the fridges and a little card with somebody's name on it. It's just so final.
"But it makes you think. If you don't enjoy your time with all the small stuff, then what's it all about?"
Acting since she was 10, Michelle has an impressive body of work behind her at just 25.
Her five years as Zoe Slater made her a soap star, she had a crack at Hollywood as the modern-day Jaime Sommers and impressed with show-stopping guest turns in Doctor Who and Merlin.
Michelle is used to playing women who can look after themselves - something she is more than capable of doing herself.
She learned Krav Maga, a self-defence, hand-to-hand combat system, for Bionic Woman.
But playing Penny in One Night In Emergency gave her a chance to show a more vulnerable side.
She said: "It's a really intriguing script and quite dark - so much so, I asked at one point in the read through if there was any light at the end of the tunnel.
"This character is not afraid to be vulnerable and to face the fact there isn't always a happy result."
It shouldn't come as a surprise that Michelle decided to tackle a different kind of character.
After all, this is a girl who is used to taking risks, including shutting the door on EastEnders.
She dismisses any talk of a return to the soap, although she remains grateful to the show she left four years ago.
She explained: "I always saw EastEnders as an apprenticeship. I always wanted to go on and do different things.
"I have some really good friends from that show but the door is closed.
"I've always taken chances. I think that's how you progress - by stepping out and doing different things.
"I really do like my freedom and jumping from job to job.
"I just want to work with people I admire and respect, wherever that be - big budget, low budget, leading role, supporting role."
One Night In Emergency is on BBC1 on Monday, January 4, at 9pm.
HOSPITAL DRAMA'S WARD OF WARNING
One Night In Emergency marks Scots playwright Gregory Burke's TV writing debut.
Burke, 41, said: "I wanted to create something mythical and One Night In Emergency is a modern interpretation of Homer's The Odyssey set within a hospital environment with surreal twists and turns.
"It's about yearning for your loved ones, wanting to return home and how, in times of crisis, being with the people you love most becomes paramount.
"The story was based on a real experience I had with my partner, when she had to go into hospital for a lumbar puncture. I felt helpless and dislocated when I had to leave her and frustrated at not being able to influence events.
"Most of us go through life immune to the problems of the world, so when we're exposed to peril, it's a real shock.
"I wanted to reflect this in the drama using a normal middle-class couple who are put into an unexpected and perilous situation."
He added: "Michelle and Kevin were great to work with. They are partners in the drama and the relationship worked well because they kind of knew each other, having met previously in LA and New York.
"Glasgow Royal Infirmary was the obvious film location.
"It's such an iconic building, almost like a gothic castle, although it looks quite threatening.
"We filmed using the innards of the building - the morgue and old underground tunnels.
"Even though we filmed in summer, it was cold and damp and very spooky down there."
REAL-LIFE SHOCKERS FOR BBC FILM CREW AT CITY’S HOSPITALS Saturday October 17,2009 By Daily Express reporter credit: Express
It was only supposed to provide the background setting for a new TV thriller based in an accident and emergency ward. But stars and production staff working on BBC Scotland’s One Night in Emergency were shocked by the real-life mayhem they witnessed in Glasgow hospitals.
The hard-hitting hospital drama, which is due to be screened later this year, reunites Trainspotting actors Kevin McKidd and Ewen Bremner.
Other stars appearing in the bleak thriller include ex-Eastender and Bionic Woman and EastEnders star Michelle Ryan.
Yesterday cameraman Benjamin Kracun revealed the unusual situations the crew encountered at the city’s Royal Infirmary and Western General hospitals.
He said: “When we were shooting one scene where the mortician is wheeling a body to the morgue, we had to stop filming because a real body was coming down.
“Then one night there were six stabbings which, according to hospital staff, is just a normal Thursday night. It was extreme.”
The team spent 15 nights shooting in the 100-year-old Glasgow Royal Infirmary, including exploring some areas rarely seen by the public.
The cameraman told how filming in the old buildings after dark was a spooky experience.
He said: “The Royal Infirmary is a really fascinating building. All the underground scenes were shot there. They have this one corridor that is incredibly long, going right under the hospital.
“It’s pretty dark. There are some places that people probably haven’t been in for years.”
One Night in Emergency marks the television writing debut of Gregory Burke – best known for his award-winning play Black Watch.
It charts an other-worldly journey of a character called Peter, who is played by Grey’s Anatomy star McKidd.
Peter journeys through an inner-city hospital on a desperate search for his wife, played by Ryan, who has been admitted with a minor complaint. As he ventures deep into the building, he is drawn into a world of strange characters.
Burke said: “It’s about a guy’s life unravelling.”
"One Night In Emergency" - Inverness Film Festival 15
DetailsBook Online.Seat prices: £6.00 / Reduced Rate £5.50 / Under 18's £4.00 / Eden Court Friends £1.00 off tickets Playhouse Cinema
This event has the following performances:
14 November 2009 10:00 AM Book Now
One Night In Emergency (15)
Playhouse Cinema Sat 14 Nov
One Night In Emergency marks the television debut of critically-acclaimed playwright, Gregory Burke (Black Watch). Inspired by Homer's Odyssey, this hard-hitting drama charts one man's journey through the wards of an overrun, inner-city hospital.
Peter (McKidd) and Penny (Ryan) are an ordinary middle class couple: childless, career-minded and cosseted. But when Penny is admitted to A&E with what appears to be a minor complaint, their world is turned upside down. Peter arrives at the hospital late. It's a busy night, and the emergency department is full of the ill and injured. Frustrated by the lack of help he receives, Peter decides to take matters into his own hands. He begins to wander the corridors in search of his wife. As he ventures deep inside the building, a series of strange encounters divert him from the task at hand. He is slowly drawn into a parallel world of officious security guards, social outcasts and drug-addicted hospital staff. Will he escape in time to see the woman he loves and atone for past mistakes?
Additional information Certificate:15Running time:59 minsDirector:Michael Offer Cast:Kevin McKidd, Michelle Ryan, Igal Naor, James Cosmo, Ewen Bremner, David Hayman, Gary Lewis, Jamie Sives, Sanjeev KohliYear:2009Country:UKLanguage:English
The writer of Black Watch, Gregory Burke, has written his first drama for the BBC, a version of Homer's Odyssey set in a city hospital.
One Night in Emergency has attracted a well-known cast , including Kevin McKidd, known for his roles in Trainspotting and Rome, and Michelle Ryan, of Eastenders and Bionic Woman fame.
The drama, which will be shown on BBC One, also stars James Cosmo, Ewen Bremner, David Hayman, Gary Lewis, Sanjeev Kohli and Tam Dean Burn.
Roughly following the plot of Homer's epic tale, the drama sees Peter, played by McKidd, embarking on a seemingly straightforward journey to see his wife, Penny, in hospital.
However, the journey rapidly becomes stranger and, the BBC said yesterday, "as Peter ventures deep into the labyrinthine building, he is drawn into a surreal, parallel world, encountering strange characters along the way including his nemesis, a one-eyed security guard, played by Igal Naor".
The drama, produced by Silver River, has been partly funded by Scottish Screen and is currently being filmed in Glasgow. It is due to be broadcast later this year.
Burke, whose new play Hoors is currently being performed at the Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, said: "I wanted to create something mythical and One Night In Emergency is a modern interpretation of Homer's The Odyssey set within a hospital environment with surreal twists and turns.
"It's all about yearning for your loved ones, wanting to return home and how, in times of crisis, being with the people you love becomes paramount.
"I'm proud and humbled that so many acclaimed actors are involved in One Night In Emergency, not least because it's my drama first for TV. We're all giddy with excitement."
Gaynor Holmes, the executive producer for BBC Scotland, said: "We're absolutely delighted to be working with Silver River and thrilled to have such a stellar cast on board for One Night In Emergency.
"Gregory has crafted an exciting and sometimes surreal adventure from within the corridors of an inner city hospital and we're sure the audience will be utterly gripped."
Leslie Finlay, who is executive producing the drama for Scottish Screen, said: "Scottish Screen is thrilled to be supporting acclaimed playwright Burke on his first produced screenplay for television. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Scottish talent."
Burke is best known for writing Black Watch, the National Theatre of Scotland production that won a series of awards, including, most recently, the Best New Play award at 2009's Laurence Olivier Awards. His debut Gagarin Way was one of the biggest hits of the Edinburgh Fringe in 2001.