TLC (TV series)
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TLC is a darkly surreal farce-like sitcom set in a fictional NHS hospital called South Middlesex where coffee is traded like drugs and pretty much everyone has a personality problem. It was first broadcast on the BBC on 11 November 2002 and ran over six episodes until 16 December. There were some very mixed opinions on the show among both critics and viewers, but it achieved decent ratings and featured an excellent comedy cast including Richard Griffiths, Alexander Armstrong and The League of Gentlemen's Reece Shearsmith. The series was released on DVD in the UK on 29 October 2007.
The show never confirms what "TLC" stands for, although it is presumed to be a sarcastic reference to the widely used abbreviation for "Tender Loving Care", but could equally refer to the alternative yet related abbreviation "Total Lack of Concern".
Dr Laurence Flynn (Played by Reece Shearsmith): A very unfortunate young Surgical House Officer who's only just started his job at the hospital. He's still haunted by the fact that he failed his final medical exams first time round (something his co-workers will never let him forget) and is determined to redeem himself. He is neurotic, clumsy, lacking in self-confidence and generally just not cut out for his job, and, unfortunately for him, is not at all popular among the other staff at the hospital despite his best efforts to befriend them. As a result, the staff play a lot of very cruel and often sadistic practical jokes on him, (such as trying to get him to revive dead patients, getting him sectioned under the mental health act, and giving him jabs for no reason at all) and poor Laurence ends up teetering on the edge of sanity for most of the series. He suffers from SERIOUS lack of sleep and ends up seeing and doing some very strange things as a result. Nurse Terry Cheung has a huge crush on him, but Dr Flynn is in turn madly in love with nurse Judy.
Dr Stephen Noble (Played by Alexander Armstrong): A Surgical Registrar at the hospital and Dr Laurence's mentor. He is Laurence's only friend and the two seem quite close, but he actually enjoys playing practical jokes on him just as much as everyone else does, and even sets up a few himself. Unlike most of his co-workers, Stephen loves being a doctor, but he is endlessly cynical by nature. He tends to get blamed for screw-ups during surgery, but in the end he usually throws the blame onto poor Laurence so he can get on with having sex with nearly every other member of hospital staff. He too suffers from lack of sleep and is already madly addicted to coffee. He is a huge fan of rugby and plays/watches it in his spare time.
Nurse Judy Conway (Played by Georgia Mackenzie): An attractive staff nurse who stands guard over the precious coffee with her fellow nurses. She is very cool and level-headed, and can seem quite caring towards others, but she has a malicious side with a cruel sense of humour. She is fully aware of Laurence's crush on her and uses to take advantage of him of several occasions. As a result she is usually the one who plays practical jokes on him, though by the end of the series when Laurence seems to switch his affections to nurse Juanita, her attitude towards him changes. She is Terry's roommate and usually spends her spare time with him.
Nurse Terry Cheung (Played by Benedict Wong): A gay nurse who works in the operation theatre. He has a quite a bit of a crush on Laurence and never fails to make some kind of embarrassing comment towards him whenever there are other people present. He is Judy's best friend and roommate and usually hangs out with her (and helps her play some horrible jokes on Laurence) but unlike Judy, Terry is one of the very few people who seems to actually like Laurence.
Gasman (Played by Erich Redman): A creepy German anaesthetist who works in the surgical ward of the hospital. He has a quite a pain fetish and is genuinely obsessed with the idea of making others suffer as much as possible, meaning he is NOT particularly good at his job. His only real goal in life is to torture both his patients and his co-workers whenever he can.
Mr Benedict Ron (Played by Richard Griffiths): The hospital's director of surgery. He is a good-natured guy who's always kind to his patients but is an embarrassingly bad surgeon. He always gets away with his failed operations anyway, usually by blaming someone else. He has a severe dislike for Laurence and always suspects him of being up to no-good.
Sister Charity Hope (Played by Llewella Gideon): The Ward sister who is pretty much the only completely sane person in the hospital. She is a mother to all who likes to keep things under control, but she has a rather unnerving habit of using gallstones as earrings.
Sid (Played by Tom Watt): The hospital porter, who is deadly slow at everything he does. He is not very good at what he does but is quite a good-natured guy, and has a secret crush on Sister Charity Hope.
Wheelchair Guy (Played by Martin Trenaman): An unlucky man who seems to permanently reside in the hospital. His legs don't normally work but he is almost cured every episode... Unluckily for him something also happens that stops the healing process each episode. The nurses don't seem too bothered by his plight. He eventually heals and leaves the hospital, but has an accident on a miniscooter soon afterwards.
Tim Brooke-Taylor also had a role as surgeon who had a nervous breakdown and was only allowed back in the hospital as the Hospital Chaplain and who now constantly wants to try to operate on patients and is puzzled as to why God allows suffering.