Breathtaking: ITV releases trailer for forthcoming COVID-19 drama starring Joanne Froggatt

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Could the new ITV drama next month, “Breathtaking,” generate the same sort of public discussion that the broadcaster’s Post Office scandal did?

Since the release earlier this year of “Mr Bates vs The Post Office,” public discussion regarding the Post Office/Horizon IT scandal reached an all-time high and the lives of those postmasters and sub-postmasters affected by the software error were laid bare by the ITV One drama. Now, a new series set to air in February might once again elicit a similar form of public discourse.

“Breathtaking,” a three-part series directed by Craig Viveiros, saw filming completed in late 2023 and now is scheduled to arrive on both ITV One and ITVX later this year. The stories set to be shown in the series are in more than capable hands, with Jed Mercurio’s production company, HTM Television, involved in the new series. That production company’s credits include the BAFTA-nominated drama “Stephen” and the recently-returned “Trigger Point” with Vicky McLure

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Based on doctor-writer Rachel Clarke’s unflinching personal memoir of the greatest public health crisis in living memory, the drama focuses on a frontline hospital consultant set in a fictional big-city hospital, the drama narrates how frontline medical staff endured fear and frustration as they desperately tried to save the lives of coronavirus patients.

The drama will follow Abbey, the consultant in question, in her daily work against a backdrop of news footage from the early months of 2020. It will weave together the stories of her fellow doctors, nurses, patients, and paramedics whose ambulances were queued outside hospitals as the NHS struggled to cope with a tsunami of devastating cases. 

On completion of filming in May, lead actress Joanne Froggatt commented: “I feel truly honoured to be playing Dr Abbey Henderson in Breathtaking, based on Dr Rachel Clarke’s beautifully written, poignant and shocking book of the same name… When I first read the incredible scripts they moved me to tears on many occasions. I felt so passionately that I had to be a part of telling this story, the real story, of what was really happening behind the closed doors of the hospitals during the pandemic.”

“Our NHS staff are nothing less than absolute heroes in my eyes, and I hope telling this story goes a little way towards us understanding their truth, their lived experience and honouring their unbelievable commitment and sacrifice on behalf of us all."

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Who is set to star in “Breathtaking”?

Joanne Froggatt attends the Sherwood premiere at Broadway Cinema on June 06, 2022 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)Joanne Froggatt attends the Sherwood premiere at Broadway Cinema on June 06, 2022 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
Joanne Froggatt attends the Sherwood premiere at Broadway Cinema on June 06, 2022 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Although the full cast list of the show has not been announced yet, we know that the lead role will be portrayed by Joanne Froggatt, an award-winning actress who has won a Golden Globe award. Joanne is known for her roles in several popular TV shows, including Sherwood, Downton Abbey, Angela Black, and Liar. Additionally, she has been nominated for an Emmy award three times for her portrayal of Anna Bates in “Downton Abbey”.

When is “Breathtaking” set for release?

“Breathtaking” is set for release on ITV One and ITVX on Monday, February 19, Tuesday, February 20, and Wednesday, February 21 2024

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