Pre-dating television favourites Casualty and Holby City by decades, Emergency - Ward 10 was Britain's first medical soap opera. Initially thought of as a filler programme, the twice-weekly serial rapidly became a favourite with the nation's viewing public. Between 1957 and 1967 it regularly pulled in audiences in excess of 15 million and spawned two spin-off programmes and a feature-film adaptation. Set in the fictitious Oxbridge General Hospital, Emergency - Ward 10 concentrated as much on the private lives of the staff as it did on their jobs, setting the template for today's modern medical soaps. It also introduced the viewers to medical procedures, earning praise from the British Medical Council for helping to allay the public's fears of hospitals. High in dramatic content, the series had a low mortality rate and made stars out of the doctors, nurses and indeed patients who walked the wards.