New blood in Casualty
With a new location in Cardiff, a new set and a host of new characters, Casualty's 26th year could be its most exciting yet.
OLIVER COLEMAN PLAYS DR TOM KENT
ARRIVAL DATE: January 2012
POSITION: Emergency Paediatrics Specialist
CHARACTER IN A NUTSHELL: "He'll do what he believes in, no matter what anybody else thinks. He's a very nice guy and a good doctor, he's honourable. He's also a big kid so will be running around with the children or putting them on his shoulder - anything to make them feel better."
SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIPS: "He's quite a flirt, and him and Linda get on very well, they're compatible as doctor and nurse. There may be something there but don't quote me on that one!"
WHAT'S IN STORE: "His personal life hasn't been explored yet, it's very much a secret."
HOW SQUEAMISH ARE YOU?: "You tell yourself the blood is fake but it looks horrific so you still have the urge to retch. I always thought I had a strong stomach. Apparently not."
HOW'S CARDIFF?: "I love living here, I loved in London for 10 years so it's nice to come from a big city to another which is still vibrant but is not so overcrowded. And I like going out to the countryside."
MADELEINE MANTOCK PLAYS SCARLETT CONWAY
ARRIVAL DATE: August 2011
POSITION: Staff Nurse
CHARACTER IN A NUTSHELL: "She was a bit nervous when she first started but she's growing up. As she's worked with the team and come into contact with new people it's affected her. In the fire she inadvertently became a hero."
SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIPS: "There's a romance with Lloyd coming up. I think we were both a bit shocked as in real life we're quite like brother and sister. I hadn't considered it but the producers said they'd seen some chemistry on screen."
WHAT'S IN STORE: "She's going to have an identity crisis to do with the fact she's mixed race. She meets Lloyd's parents and feels out of place as culturally it's very different. I was personally interested in that. I'm interested to sew how it comes together."
HOW SQUEAMISH ARE YOU? "The most gruesome thing was probably being sicked on by an elderly patient. People don't realise that it doesn't happen just once, we do it until we get it right, so every time it was just wiped off with a baby wipe and we'd go again. I think it's a mixture of apple juice and porridge and cornflakes."
HOW'S CARDIFF?: "It's great so far but it is a bit far from London and you have to pay to get in so there is a bit of a mental barrier."
WILLIAM BECK PLAYS DR DYLAN KEOGH
ARRIVAL DATE: March 2011
POSITION: Consultant in Emergency Medicine
CHARACTER IN A NUTSHELL: "One of the first instructions I got was that Dylan should never smile and it's something I've held on to as long as possible. There isn't much opportunity for him to tap-dance on the table, but the sarcasm he employs is grounded in reality. He genuinely gets frustrated in situations."
SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIPS: "There's Sam who he is still married too, but if I say that we were married in Vegas, that gives you some idea of the longevity of the relationship and the chances of it working. We're very much estranged and Dylan has remarried his dog Dervla, who he has a much stronger relationship with."
WHAT'S IN STORE: "We're keen to keep the Sam and Dylan plate spinning. I understand the desire to want to see the conclusion, but once that happens there's nowhere for that to go. The anticipation is delicious."
HOW SQUEAMISH ARE YOU? "I absolutely love all the medical details and jargon in Casualty. I started out training to be a doctor before I decided to act and I'm still fascinated by the endless variety of diseases and the endless amounts of questions that arise each time."
HOW'S CARDIFF?: "The fire was a fitting end to our time in Bristol. People here are really lovely and I'm flattered that people know what goes on."
MICHAEL OBIORA PLAYS LLOYD ASIKE
ARRIVAL DATE: August 2011
POSITION: Staff Nurse
CHARACTER IN A NUTSHELL: "He's still learning but he's very clear on what he wants, he's a professional and he has very strong morals."
SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIPS: "The relationship with Scarlett starts to develop in the next few months. I think the audience thought, 'Maybe..' when they first started but then they went their own way, and now they're meeting in the middle and sparks fly."
WHAT'S IN STORE: "He's got such a strong sense of justice and we really build on that. We see him get over-involved with patients - if they drink he's got an opinion about that, if they come from difficult circumstances he has an opinion about that."
HOW SQUEAMISH ARE YOU? "I am quite queasy. I don't like funny-coloured liquids and I don't like guts but this has been good for me. In my third episode I had to undress a tramp's leg wound, and there were maggots and it was very disgusting. The brave face I put on was so fake."
HOW'S CARDIFF?: "It's a world away. I'm starting to feel a bit more settled now. I'm spending more time here although I can't get my head around rugby, I love football, but I'm trying to embrace it."
CHARLOTTE SALT PLAYS MAJOR SAM NICHOLLS
ARRIVAL DATE: OCTOBER 2011
POSITION: Army Medic
CHARACTER IN A NUTSHELL: "Sam is feisty and competitive, and says what everyone's thinking."
SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIPS: "We hope the fact that Sam and Dylan were married came as a nice surprise! Dylan's such a complicated character, and Sam is too so it's a nice relationship, and you see the trouble they've had. It'll go on for God knows how long I'm sure. I think they're going to play it that one of us is still in love with the other."
WHAT'S IN STORE: "Maybe a few catfights! There's a bit of a clash with Zoe. Sam's not good with other women, she's from a man's world. I love Sunetra [Sarker, who plays Zoe] so much but it was really fun - I want to do more of that! I don't want to be nice ever!"
HOW SQUEAMISH ARE YOU? "I'm not that squeamish but first thing in the morning when there's loads of blood and you have to get in there and do stitching, when it's all hairy and bloody and you have to stitch it up, and someone's flinching, and you've got to look relaxed - that's hard when I'm going green."
HOW'S CARDIFF?: "It's exciting, you feel a shift in something here and there's a whole lease of life, it's like a new show. I love the city but I haven't picked up any Welsh yet - too many vowels."
EXTRA TIME - A GLIMPSE BEHIND THE SCENES
:: The make-up department uses 15 types of blood, including types for dried, congealed, clotting, dark scabs and fresh scabs.
:: Edible blood comes in any flavour you desire, including mint, chocolate chip and blueberry.
:: The teams use an average of two pints of blood per episode. Over a series, that's almost 100 pints.
:: Pus is made from a combination of hair conditioner and yellow colouring.
:: Brain matter is created from cotton wool, gel and blood.
:: Swelling is difficult to replicate on screen and make-up designers have been known to have a quiet word with medical advisers, begging them to downplay how much swelling would be involved.
:: The make-up and costume artists pride themselves on their work. A director once threw a tramp off set only to discover he was one of the cast.
:: Casualty continues on Saturdays on BBC One