Pre-dating television favourites 'Casualty' and 'Holby City' by decades, 'Emergency Ward 10' was Britain's first medical soap opera. Initially thought of (much like Coronation Street) 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 (patient deaths were strictly limited to five per year) and made stars out of the doctors, nurses and indeed patients who walked the wards. This series, in common with many from the 1950's and '60's, no longer exists in its entirety, so included in this set are 24 of the earliest surviving episodes from 1959 and 1960.