Breathless (TV series)

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GenrePeriod drama
Created byPaul Unwin
Peter Grimsdale[1]
Written bySimon Tywell
Directed by
  • Paul Unwin
  • Marek Losey
  • Philippa Langdale
Composer(s)Anne Dudley
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes6
Executive producer(s)Kate Bartlett
Producer(s)Jolyon Symonds
CinematographyTim Palmer
Running time44–50 minutes
Production company(s)
Original networkITV, STV, UTV
Picture format16:9 1080i
Audio formatStereo
Original release10 October (2013-10-10) –
14 November 2013 (2013-11-14)

Breathless is a British television period drama originally broadcast on ITV. It was created by Paul Unwin and Peter Grimsdale and directed by Paul Unwin, Marek Losey and Philippa Langdale, it stars Jack Davenport and Catherine Steadman. The setting is early 1960s England.[1] This show was produced by ITV Studios and Masterpiece. On 29 January 2014, it was confirmed that Breathless would not be returning for a second series.[2]


The plot concerns some of the hospital staff that secretly perform off-site abortions (illegal at the time), their lives, and the complications that ensue. However, various subplots quickly rise to the surface while at a third level, personal relationships explore the roles of each of the characters in the society and social mores within the context of tremendous changes occurring in Britain. The focus remains on London in the early 1960s and its emerging contrasts within all of society of those times. Particular attention is paid to the dress and custom of that time period. Some of the wardrobes and hair styles, particularly of the women but the men also, seem tight and rigid, yet even the occasional flowing fabrics or home interiors reflect the rather dramatic changes rippling through England and all of western cultures during the 1960s.


  1. ^ a b Dowell, Ben (1 February 2013). "ITV commissions drama, Breathless, about gynaecologists in 1960s". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  2. ^ "ITV's medical drama Breathless, starring Jack Davenport and Catherine Steadman axed after just one series". Metro. UK. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2015.

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