Green Wing: In which we learn that Caroline doesn’t know what a toilet brush is.


First Aired: 3rd September 2004


Tamsin Greig                                  Doctor Caroline Todd

Michelle Gomez                             Sue White

Stephen Mangan                          Doctor Guillame Secretan

Julian Rhind                                 Doctor McCartney

Karl Theobald                              Doctor Martin Deer

Oliver Chris                                 Doctor Boyce

Karl Theobald                              Doctor Martin Deer

Mark Heap                                  Doctor Alan Statham

Sarah Alexander                          Doctor Angela Hunter

Sally Bretton                                Kim Alablaster

Olivia Coleman                            Harriet Schulenberg

Lucina Raikes                               Karen Ball

Katie Lyons                                  Naughty Rachel

Pippa Heywood                            Joanne Clore

Plot: Doctor Caroline Todd is locked out of her house. It’s her first day as a surgeon at a new hospital, now without sleep, shower or clean clothes and has just knocked a neighbour off a ladder. It’s gone 8 o’clock and the other hospital personnel have started to arrive.

Surgeon Mac is trying to get fellow doctor Angela to act jealous just as Caroline walks by. At the admin department Harriet has forgotten to do the school run and runs right back out of work to drop her kids off at school. Consultant radiologist Alan Statham is asking for a new ID badge from Staff Liason Sue White, who has little time for him, or for anyone else really. During a lecture, Statham is having trouble with Boyce, one of his junior doctors who doesn’t treat him with the ‘proper’ respect.3

Mac is enjoying taking the piss out of his ‘friend’ anaesthetist Guy Secretan. There’s more disrespect thrown Statham’s way, this time by Mac and junior Doctor Martin Deer seeks counsel from Sue White.

Caroline is being shown round by Human Resource Director Joanna Clore before Sue White takes her for the first of far too many ID Card pictures. Mac and Guy are daring each other to eat raw coffee, Mac ends up being the one who eats it. To make himself feel better Guy teases Martin, under the pretense of giving him romantic advice.

Caroline meets Mac and assists on a hernia operation and meets Guy, who in an attempt to win her over offers use of his flat for the evening. She reluctantly agrees. There’s a small shoving incident between Sue and Statham. There are more moments with Martin and throughout the who program there are several bizarre vignettes from the admin department as it becomes clear that an affair is going on between Alan and Joanna.

Caroline arrives at Guy’s flat, while Guy is working out when to go back and try it on with her. Best that he waits, since Caroline has done a floaty in Guy’s toilet. Alan and Joanna have a date, where Alan feels a little unappreciated, leading to a lot of sniping. Guy tries his best as Caroline plays crazy defense and that night, Alan compares his penis to a corpse.

Notes: Every now and again, a program makes you ask the question. “How did this get made?” Not in the way that Warehouse 13 made me ask, I meant as in how did they let something this bizarre get to TV? Green Wing is a very unusual beast and while I did want to watch it again, it did make me cautious about writing this, because how do you sum up this series. It’s a sitcom, but much of the tropes that they use, don’t really apply. It feels just as much like a sketch show, but uses the same characters and has a narrative link. There isn’t a member of the cast who isn’t good and most are great. It’s a who’s who of comedy of the time, with Coupling’s Sarah Alexander, Spaced’s Mark Heap, Peep Show’s Olivia Coleman and Black Books’ Tamsin Greig proving herself hilarious when given something more to do. There are quotable lines, crazy scenes and innumerable moments of laughter. The star of this show however is clearly Michelle Gomez as the certifiable Sue White. Sue White is one of those characters that shouldn’t be in this program, or in fact any. How did she even get here? It’s like having a court jester in a Western. There isn’t a single scene she is in that doesn’t get either a laugh or a WTF response.

I would have loved to be in the pitch meeting for this show, simply because I couldn’t imagine how this was going to explained to producers that would give them an idea of what this show was, in a way that sounded safe to put on TV. Some TV shows set the rules, some shows break the rules. This show was written in a place without those rules. There’s nothing risque, or inappropriate, don’t get me wrong, but this wasn’t a program that anyone was expecting. It’s out there, it’s out of the box stuff and it’s absolutely brilliant as a result.


Does it work? I don’t know, there’s very little to compare it to.

Does much need fixing? Same as above, I can’t imagine what anyone could do with this program.

Does it stand up? It’s a product of it’s time, but still works as well now.

Do I want to watch the next one? Want to? Over a week, I watched both series and the finishing it off special.

Did I enjoy it? Both I and the MIGHTY Rosie loved this program.

Overall: 5 out of 5 This isn’t a perfect show, but I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.









Published by Munky

Liverpool based family man and unrepentant geek, trying to understand what's going on in my own head, which is not always being a good place to be. Remember always, we live in a world of wonders.

One thought on “Green Wing: In which we learn that Caroline doesn’t know what a toilet brush is.

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