Get Your First Look at 1960s Medical Drama 'Breathless', Coming to PBS in 2014!

The cast of "Breathless" (Photo: ITV via Radio Times)
The cast of "Breathless" (Photo: ITV via Radio Times)
Another British series has joined the list of intriguing imports we can expect from across the pond next year – period drama Breathless will be coming to Masterpiece next year on PBS stations nationwide.

The upcoming six-part drama will focus on the lives of a group of doctors and nurses working in a London hospital in the 1960s. The series is set in a busy gynecology unit in  1961, during a time when abortion was still illegal, the contraceptive pill was only just available to married women and moral codes were shifting. 

The series stars Jack Davenport – whom you may recognize from Coupling, Smash, or the Pirates of the Carribbean films – as a doctor who’s a bit like the Don Draper of medicine, a brilliant surgeon caught up in a cauldron of lies and guilty secrets, and driven by ambition. Davenport will be joined by Downton Abbey alums Iain Glen and Zoe Boyle (who played Sir Richard Carlisle and the ill-fated Lavinia Swire, respectively), as well as Mistresses’ Natasha Little.

It looks kind of fun. Check out the first trailer from ITV and see what you think of it: 

Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton had this to say about Breathless: “Television dramas that tell good stories about women’s 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,” she explained. “We’re all fascinated by the enormous changes that happened just a short time ago.”

Since – judging by the trailer – this series already feels a bit like Call the Midwife meets Mad Men, that characterization seems very on the nose.

The medical drama will premiere on October 10 in the UK and will air on Masterpiece at some point next year. (This is a total guess – but an airdate in the mid-to-back half of 2014 seems likely, as early 2014 is pretty well booked up with Downton Abbey, Death Comes to Pemberley and several other series.)

Thoughts on the trailer and general concept? Does Breathless look interesting to you?

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Twitter at @LacyMB