TELEVISION / BRIEFING: Doctors in the house

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The Independent Culture
Viewers may well have been feeling queasy recently. This is nothing to be alarmed about; it is a perfectly normal condition known as medical soapitis. Lukewarm on the heels of Casualty and Dr Finlay, MEDICS (9pm ITV), Granada's new six-part drama, returns with former Tardis-dweller Tom Baker as flamboyant surgeon Geoffrey Hoyt. He's so flamboyant, he conducts his operations to the accompaniment of classical piano music. The series reflects the difficulties the Henry Park Hospital is encountering as a Trust; all the dialogue is about budget-holding, bed-shortages and bad agency nurses. Hoyt is concerned about creeping commercialism; confronted by executive Ruth Parry's (the ubiquitous Sue Johnston) new logo in the hospital lobby, the surgeon wonders: 'What next? A whelk stall? A boot sale in the consultants' car park?' The rest is awash with the suds of standard hospital soap - boozy GPs, doctors with gun-shot wounds, love triangles and, yes, the odd medical condition, too.

The very title SOUNDBITES (7.30pm BBC2) is reminiscent of the Classic FM theory that people shouldn't be made to swallow too much at one time. Perky percussionist Evelyn Glennie introduces musicians and their music. Tonight Cynthia Millar demonstrates the sort of music she has contributed to 75 film scores.

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