999 (British TV series)

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999
BBC 999 Logo.jpg
GenreDocudrama
Created byPeter Salmon
Presented byMichael Buerk
Juliet Morris
Donna Bernard
Catherine Hood
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series12
3 (Compilation)
5 (Lifesavers)
1 (International)
No. of episodes103
14 (Compilation)
41 (Lifesavers)
6 (International)
20 (Specials)
Production
Running time50 minutes
Release
Original networkBBC One
Original release25 June 1992 (1992-06-25) –
17 September 2003 (2003-09-17)
Chronology
Related showsRescue 911
Real Rescues

999 (initially known as 999: Dramatic Stories of Real Life Rescues in some listings) is a British docudrama television series presented by Michael Buerk, that premiered on 25 June 1992 on BBC One and ran until 17 September 2003. The series got its name from the emergency telephone number used in the United Kingdom and is the British adaptation of the American series Rescue 911, which premiered in April 1989 and ended in August 1996.

A number of specials and spin-off shows were also aired, including five series of 999 Lifesavers (1994–98) hosted by Buerk and Juliet Morris (later replaced by Donna Bernard), and 999 International in 1997.

History[edit]

In the first series, each episode included two reconstructions of real emergencies, using actors and occasionally Buerk himself, as well as some of the real people involved in the emergency.[1] By the second series, episodes of 999 included more reconstructions.[2] While recreating an accident for an episode in 1993, veteran stuntman Tip Tipping was killed in a parachuting accident.[3] In September 2002, it was announced that the series had been cancelled.[4]

Transmissions[edit]

Original series[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 25 June 1992 6 August 1992 7
2 12 February 1993 20 April 1993 4
3 27 April 1993 8 June 1993 7
4 15 June 1993 6 July 1993 4
5 8 April 1994 10 June 1994 10
6 7 April 1995 16 June 1995 10
7 12 April 1996 14 June 1996 10
8 21 June 1996 5 July 1996 3
9 8 May 1997 12 June 1997 6
10 7 April 1998 16 June 1998 10
11 27 April 1999 17 November 1999 10
12 5 April 2000 27 September 2000 5
13 29 May 2001 10 September 2001 14
14 28 October 2002 27 January 2003 7
15 15 April 2003 17 September 2003 4

Note: Series 2 was a revised repeat, whilst Series 4 and 8 were compilation series. Compilation episodes aired between series on 29 March 1996, 28 August, 2 September and 9 December 1998

999 Lifesavers[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes Main presenter(s) Co-presenter(s)
1 8 September 1994 13 October 1994 6 Michael Buerk Juliet Morris
2 15 September 1995 17 November 1995 10
3 3 September 1996 17 December 1996 10
4 25 February 1997 1 April 1997 4
5 17 October 1997 6 January 1998 10 Donna Bernard

Note: Series 4 was a compilation series.

999 International[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 31 July 1997 11 September 1997 6

Specials[edit]

Date Title
30 May 1994 Young Lifesavers
6 December 1994[a] No Excuses
28 April 1995 The Point of No Return
12 January 1996 Operation Coathanger
19 January 1996 Sea of Fire
26 January 1996 The Lonely Walk
8 February 1996[b] The Flying Doctors
20 February 1996 999 International Rescue (part 1)
27 February 1996 999 International Rescue (part 2)
3 May 1996 Speed Kills
6 May 1997 Missing in Action
14 October 1997 The Great Storm
17 March 1998[c] Escape from Paradise
27 March 1998 Heart Special
21 August 1998 Diana's Legacy
8 September 1998 999 Lifesavers Baby Special
25 November 1998 Storm Alert
5 January 1999 The New Year Storms
5 April 1999 The Easter Floods
17 August 1999 999 Fire Rescues
2 September 1999 999 Animal Rescue

Merchandise[edit]

Tie-in publication[edit]

  • 999: Dramatic Stories of Real-Life Rescues by Michael Buerk, published by BBC Books in 1994. ISBN 0-563-37049-1.
Features 15 gripping stories as featured on the show, along with 999 Safety Advice: simple, easy-to-understand instructions on how to deal with common emergencies.
Tying in with the children's television series, "999" and "999 Lifesavers", this book contains instructions on how to react in emergencies. The topics covered include coping with sudden illness, what to do if someone is struck by lightning, survival out of doors, electrical accidents and road accidents. There is also advice on how to avoid accidents in the first place, focusing on, for instance, dangerous plants and animals, and sensible behaviour at the seaside.

Video releases[edit]

  • 999: Lifesaver Video (1996)
  • 999: Family Safety Video (1998)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Repeated on 14 November 1995[5]
  2. ^ Replaced Part 1 of 999 International Rescue
  3. ^ Postponed from 18 September 1997[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dugdale, John (29 July 1992). "Media: Not the 'Nine O'Clock News': Michael Buerk fronts a BBC programme that has been criticised as gory. John Dugdale on the dangers of mixing fact with fiction". The Independent. London. Retrieved 27 October 2009.
  2. ^ Rees, Jasper (9 April 1994). "Review - Dial nine for no-nonsense entertainment". The Independent. London. Retrieved 27 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Stuntman killed in parachute jump". The Independent. London. 6 February 1993.
  4. ^ Cozens, Claire (4 September 2002). "999 faces last rites". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 October 2009.
  5. ^ "999 Special - No Excuses". 14 November 1995. p. 94. Retrieved 13 July 2020 – via BBC Genome.
  6. ^ "999 Volcano Special - Escape from Paradise". 17 March 1998. p. 86. Retrieved 13 July 2020 – via BBC Genome.

External links[edit]